SPECIAL REPORT: A Haunting in Rankin

Audrey Castoreno
NewsWest 9

RANKIN - Back in the 1920's, the small town of Rankin was quite the hot spot. With one of it's jewels being the old Yates Hotel.

"Mr. Yates built this hotel and it was a showplace between Ft. Worth and El Paso. It was the only fireproof hotel," Museum Board of Director, Donna Bell said.

This was a time when the oil boom was at it's peak and many deals were said to be dealt in the Yates Hotel lobby. However, it wasn't all business. Rankin was once the place to be.

"This used to be quite the party town. They had a party train that came from San Angelo. It was called the Doodlebug. They dropped it off here and they stayed at the hotel, the guests," Bell said.

As history reads, the oil boom came to a bust.

The Yates Hotel was closed down in the 1960's and sitting vacant for almost a decade until those in the city chose to open it up as a museum.

That's where our story begins.

"We had a woman who was our curator, and she has a ghost upstairs, and her name was Gertrude, the ghosts name was Gertrude. I have never seen her or encountered her, but Helen swore she was up there. She told all these people and now were getting these people's children and grandchildren and they want to know about Gertrude," Bell said.

Even those in town have had some experiences with the paranormal when visiting.

"We came over here just to check it out because she had never been inside and then directly we hear foot steps like boot steps like clunk, clunk, clunk. So we get real quiet and we don't hear it again. Then all of a sudden we start talking and it was clink, clunk, clunk again, " Museum Visitor, Jennifer Aguilar, said.

NewsWest 9 contacted West Texas Paranormal team, Ghost Trax, to conduct an investigation of the museum.

"Who's to say? Nobody really knows if there's just one ghost here. There could be 100. Nobody really knows. Those are some of the questions we're trying to answer," Ghost Trax Founder, Joe Guevara, said.

Ghost hunting is not all fun and games. Ghost Trax says it's hard to get people to be receptive. However, with all hallows eve upon us, it's a little easier for the non-believers.

"It's more fun than anything else during this period. That's when you get more people involved. It helps publicizes some of the good parts of the paranormal but it also highlights some of the misconceptions as well," Guevara said.

Joe and his team put in a lot of time researching for the investigation. Although there was nothing of a Gertrude in the history books. They still have hopes of encountering her or something else paranormal.

"I'm just really excited that we have people here who are finally going to check it out. This is really exciting. I know a lot of people in Rankin have really been wanting this to happen and wanting to see if there really is anything here so I'm glad it's finally happening," Aguilar said.

With night falling upon us, it begins.

One team stayed behind to follow the monitors while we investigate the second floor.

The team goes in and out of each room looking for any sight of something paranormal. Snapping pictures and taking readings of the temperature in each room. Then we go into the first E.V.P. session.

We catch foot steps walking down the hall and even a faint whistle.

It's time to move on to the third floor which is usually cut off to visitors. It's much of the same routine. Going room to room, asking questions and taking photos.

The third floor gives everyone the eeriest feeling. During one E. V.P. session, we capture more foot steps. Even a door opening on the second floor, which at that time was empty.

One more team goes up to do a second sweep and the investigation concludes for the evening.

Joe and his team reviewed what we had found.

In the pictures taken in the hallway and garage, you can see a very clear orbs. In several other pictures, they found see through shadows which they believe could be some kind of energy.

As you can tell, we saw and heard alot of weird things tonight but a lot of times these investigations leave you with more questions than answers. We'll leave that up to you the viewer to decide whether or not paranormal activity does exist.