Shadows of Shirley: A Denison mystery - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Shadows of Shirley: A Denison mystery

Posted: Updated:
Elsie Russell, right, relates her ghost story at 2 Chicks Home and Market. (KTEN) Elsie Russell, right, relates her ghost story at 2 Chicks Home and Market. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- With buildings that have been around for more than 100 years, downtown Denison has a lot of history, and some of that history has endured at Main Street Mall.

And as Halloween approaches, employees say they have had many encounters with ghosts over the years.

"You get the feeling that you're being watched," said mall manager Wil McGehee.

Some claim to have seen a female figure in the windows. "Miss Shirley" is a friendly presence who comes around the most.

"I've seen her a few times, mostly in shadow form," McGehee said. 

Miss Shirley's father owned the furniture store in the 20,000 square foot building at 500 West Main Stret before it was converted into Main Street Mall.

"I really think Miss Shirley is here kind of as a protector," McGehee said. "She makes herself known to the people she trusts, I believe."

Part of the third floor at Main Street Mall was once a funeral home. McGehee said he feels many spirits when he's up there... and not all of them are as friendly as Miss Shirley. "

"I'm up here a lot," McGehee said. "There's always that feeling that you're not alone...  and every once in a while it gets to you, and you think, 'No ... I'm done for the day."

"This is the room from the furniture store... that's one that I usually do not go in," McGehee said. "You get the feeling that if you do something they don't approve of, you will get in trouble... not really knowing what 'trouble' is from a spirit. You know you've heard ghost stories your whole life, and you've seen that they can do things to you ... so you never know what's going to happen."

Main Street Mall isn't the only Denison shop where there have been ghost sightings. Elsie Russell is owner of the 2 Chicks Home and Market at 311 West Main Street.

"When we first moved into the building, we had a few things happen that we weren’t really quite sure about... signs would be turned over... doors would open and close," she said. "Just odd little things that we couldn't quite put our finger on."

The strangest thing that has happened at 2 Chicks Home and Market? A porcelain hand was broken when Russell came into work one morning.

"We thought someone had knocked it off, but in the video we actually saw some energy coming from that camera right there," she said, pointing at a security camera. 

Russell gave that "energy a name -- Jack -- after the man who used to own a clock store in the same building.

"There was a mist of some sort... some kind of energy... for about 45 minutes that we caught on the camera," she explained. "Then it gets a little stronger and you see it just fall off the shelf and break on its own."

Russell said "Jack" is a friendly spirit  who just wants to be acknowledged and remembered.

"When I come in in the morning, I say 'hi' to Jack, and when I leave at night, I say 'goodnight' to him...and to be good," she said.

McGehee does the same thing with Miss Shirley, adding that he's lucky to be in her presence at work every day.

"You know, I think people either believe or they don't," he said. "There's people that are sensitive, and people that aren't. So I really enjoy that I have seen and heard some things. It doesn't make me scared to go to work... it makes me excited about it, knowing there's something here, and you never know what's going to happen."

  • Submit a News Tip

    Do you have a news tip for KTEN?

    Begin by entering your email address in the field below or call 903-548-4010

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Your news tip has been submitted. If you provided contact information, we might use it to reach out to you if additional information is required.