In 1875, Major General William Shafter was leading his troops through rural west Texas when he came upon a small, shallow salt water lake, which he called Shafter Lake.
After the discovery, a local businessman convinced a couple of businesses to develop a town around the lake.
Updated 9/24/2019 – By 1907 the town had become quite crowded and had become a full fledged village.
The Short Life of Shafter Lake
The village was a success, until the town lost an election for county seat.
After that, the villagers dispersed and Shafter Lake essentially became a ghost town.
Rumor has it that since the town was abandoned, a ghostly woman in white is sometimes seen walking around the former lakebed.
For nearby hiker Theodore, Shafter Lake was the perfect place to simply get away.
“I love going on rugged walks and hikes through rural Texas, so I visit the are around Shafter Lake fairly often,” he explained.
“It’s a very open area, and it can become unbearably hot sometimes.
“But I jog until I can’t take it anymore.
“Anyway, it was August and the entire state was experiencing quite a heat wave.
“I had half a mind to just stay at home under the air conditioning,” he laughed.
“But I went, and I ran a few times around the area before I started to feel very dehydrated.
“I needed fresh water and shade, so I slowed to a walk and made for the large brush.
“I dropped on the sand and closed my eyes for a while.
An Unexpected Visitor
“After a short while, I thought I heard the sound of dead leaves being moved around on the ground,” he said, looking puzzled.
“I opened an eye and peered around but didn’t see anything.
“I just got comfortable again when I heard the rustling, louder and quicker this time.
“Nothing seemed present, so I sat up and looked toward the old lakebed.
“There, not ten feet away, was the strangest person I had ever seen.
“It was a woman—a glowing, semi-transparent woman at that,” he nodded.
“I could see the formation of legs underneath her white dress, but a few of her limbs seemed to disappear into the air.
“I couldn’t see her feet, nor could I see her hands.
“I sat as still as I could, taking in large breaths.
“But she didn’t seem to see me.
“She just kept walking, looking out towards the dried up earth.
“Judging by her expression, and the way she cradled her face with her arms, I would say she was quite worried about something.
“I’m not sure why, but something about her demeanor seemed to abate all of my fear,” Theodore shook his head.
“I slowly stood up, and she turned her head to look at me.
“Suddenly, her face grew livid, and her sweet disposition was carried off on the wind.
“She put her arms to her sides and bellowed at me, ‘GET OUT!’”
“As she screamed at me, all of the dead foliage fell from the bushes all around us.
“Exhausted or no, I had to get out of there immediately.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I had lingered, but I can tell you that I highly doubt I’d be sitting here, talking to you about it,” Theodore said, the hairs on his arms raising.
“That’s the last time I have been, or will ever go, to the ghost town at Shafter Lake.”
2993 Frankel City Hwy
Shafter Lake, TX