Day Trips

The Berclair Mansion offers haunted tours

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

The Berclair Mansion in Berclair, Texas, doesn't look like a haunted house from the wrought-iron gate.

It's a beautiful 22-room, 10,000-square-foot house built in 1936 with a manicured lawn and a fountain at the front entrance. Etta Terrell built the mansion in the tiny community, about halfway between Beeville and Goliad, after inheriting the family fortune. She died in the house in 1956.

Miss Etta's earlier home was destroyed by fire, so she built this one primarily out of steel and concrete to be fireproof. She and her four spinster sisters occupied the stately home until the last one died in 1968. The house's furnishings, including antiques from the 1700s, are pretty much as the sisters left them. In 1999, the family heirs donated the house to the Beeville Art Association as a museum.

That's when things started getting spooky. Maintenance workers reported seeing elderly women waving to them from the dark windows. Volunteers heard voices and doors close in the empty house. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that the Corpus Christi Spook Central's paranormal investigation recorded 20 unexplained voices in one night.

The Berclair Mansion is open for tours, ghosts included, on the last Sunday of the month from 1-4pm. Additional tour hours are planned for November and December; call 361/362-5823 or 800/248-3859 for details or to make a reservation. See a list of South Texas haunted sites at

1,108th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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Berclair Mansion, Berclair, Etta Terrell, Beeville Art Association

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