Friday, July 14, 2023

Events! From Mermaids to Limericks

Hey everyone! I’ve made the first of many events posts that will hit your inbox at least once a month if you subscribe to Tales from the Moon Tower on Substack. Events will mostly be in the central Texas area, but I will occasionally post things from further afield. I hope to see you at some of these! 

You can read and subscribe here.

Haunted by Hurricanes:The 1919 Hurricane in Corpus Christi and the Ghost that Remains.


Read about the Hurricane of 1919 and the ghost of Mary Ward McCampbell in my newest Substack article! My bachelorette party was a ghost tour of Heritage Park in Corpus Christi, Texas, where I first learned of her battle against the oncoming storm. I did loads of research and have links and resources for you if you wish to follow up for more. 

Subscribe to my Substack to read more ghost stories and strange history from Texas. This one is an example of what you'll get with a paid subscription, but you will also have access to travel guides, fun events, participation opportunities for my oral history project, and more! You can sign up here:

Wednesday, July 12, 2023



It's been a few years since I've posted any new podcast episodes, but y'all have seen me on socials, still exploring central Texas. Some new things are underway for Tales from the Moon Tower, namely my transition to Substack

I've removed most podcast episodes, and I'll likely remove those that remain and replace them with an oral history project I want to do in connection to my Substack articles. The writing allows me to include both reference information AND reader participation. The whole point of this work was to make you feel connected to Texas history, to engage you with strange or obscure stories to a past that belongs as much to you as to those we always hear about. Substack allows me to engage directly with readers, and to learn from your stories as well. Subscribers will have opportunities to contribute to my oral history project, and get access to event information, travel guides, and more!

As a free subscriber, you’ll have access to:

  • Regular notes posts
  • Occasional free articles
  • Event information for Tales from the Moon Tower and related organizations
  • “Remember When…” nostalgia pieces.

As a paid subscriber, you’ll have access to:

  • Chats and comments
  • Full access to well researched articles on strange history, ghost stories and local legends.
  • Participation consideration for my oral history project or guest interviews. (Depending on the stories you offer - no glorification of racism, misogyny or ableism.)
I hope you'll follow me so that we can engage in our local history together!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Episode 16: The Slocum Massacre

On July 29, 1910, angry white mobs descended on Slocum, Texas and murdered 200-300 residents of the successful Black community. This massacre is virtually unknown to Texans as it is not taught in history classes and efforts are still being made to silence this story. I interview Constance Jawaid, a descendant of survivor, Jack Holley. She has worked for years, carrying the torch in her family of decades of research and efforts to both recover the bodies in mass graves and to have Texas officially recognize this moment in history. Listen as she tells how the racism that started these murders continues in the form of silencing history and being refused access to the remains of lost family members. 

Hollie-Jawaid also helped ER Bills with information for his book,

The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas, which is available here:

Constance Jawaid and her daughter, Imani Nia Ramirez

Dedication of historical marker that bears the significant historical inaccuracy of only 8 victims.
Jack Holley, survivor and great-great grandfather of Constance Jawaid

The following links are additional articles on the Slocum Massacre:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Episode 15: Lynchings in Texas - Interview with ER Bills

Stories of lynchings are often glossed over in Texas history, and the brutal nature of the burnings that happened here are never discussed at all. I interview ER Bills about his book, "Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror," that details the horrifying history of these burnings and why it is relevant today.

Henry Smith, a man burned without trial in Texas in front of a crowd of thousands.

Burning of Henry Smith. They burned and tortured him for over 40 minutes. Notice the size of the crowd.

Courthouse burns down

Click image for link to purchase

Author and Historian ER Bills

Monday, May 18, 2020

Episode 14: The Strange Grave of Sandra West

Beneath a tiny stone rectangle in a San Antonio cemetery, lies the remains of a Beverly Hills socialite and heiress...buried in her Ferrari...wearing her favorite lace nightgown. In this episode, I tell her story and how the her strange burial came to pass.

I also announce the opening of my online bookshop to help both my podcast and independent bookstores nationwide! Any book you buy using my link: will help cover the costs of the podcast, support the authors and support independent bookstores nationwide!

Don't forget to leave a review for Tales from the Moon Tower wherever you tune in.

The crate enclosing Sandra West and her Ferrari are lowered into the burial plot next to her husband, Ike West, on May 19, 1977 at
 the San Antonio Alamo Masonic Cemetery
Spectators watch as cement is poured over the crate to deter thieves from stealing her car.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Episode 13: Felix Longoria: Civil Rights Legacy of a Fallen Soldier

Felix Longoria never knew the part he played in the civil rights movement. When his widow was denied access to the funeral home in Three Rivers because "the whites wouldn't like it," Dr. Hector P. Garcia intervened and recruited the help of LBJ. As a result, Longoria was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. But his story doesn't end there. Bitter racial tensions continue to divide the town and the battle over Longoria's legacy persists to this day.
Listen as I interview Jennifer Gonzalez, history teacher and Three Rivers native, about the monumental civil rights movement this launched and the bitter divide that remains in the wake of the diginified burial of a fallen soldier.

Jennifer Gonzalez was also kind enough to share a list of reliable resources on this topic. The following is her list of recommended reading and viewing.

Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism (History, Culture, and Society Series) by Patrick Carroll

Making of Chicano Militant by Jose Angel Gutierrez

Article: Three Rivers eager to whitewash civil rights watershed

NPR 10 minute Lesson on Tell Me More

Longoria Affair PBS

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Episode 12: Tonkawa Cannibalism: Fact vs. Fiction - Interview with Blane Conklin

I interview Blane Conklin with the Round Rock Historical Preservation Commission. We talk about his role in getting the Tonkawa honored as an official Local Legend in the city of Round Rock after decades of sensationalized misinformation about cannibalism prevented acknowledgement of their rightful place in Texas history.
If you want to learn more about what the Tonkawa Tribe are currently doing, you can follow them on their website.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Episode 11: Suzanna Dickinson - Her History and Museum

Listen as I interview Emily Collins from the Suzanna Dickinson Museum about her place in Texas history and what you can learn when you visit her charming house nestled in the middle of downtown Austin. If you want to visit her house (that is now a museum), you can find out more information here.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Episode 10: Austin Cemetery Special

Today I sit down with with Dale Flatt from Save Austin Cemeteries, a non-profit organization that works with Austin Parks and Recreation to preserve and maintain five of Austin’s historical cemeteries. I also interview Jennifer Chenoweth, the Museum site coordinator for Oakwood Cemetery, Austin’s oldest historic cemetery. They tell us some history of Austin's oldest cemeteries and talk about the programs they offer and what help they need from volunteers. You can find more information in the following websites:  - Save Austin Cemeteries

You can also find both on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Night of Texas Ghost Stories

What a great night we had at Lark and Owl Booksellers! The Night of Texas Ghost Stories was a hit. I loved the audience questions and I felt pretty special when they laughed in all the right places. :) Stay tuned for more events! Seems like people can't get enough strange tales of Texas history so more events are coming for sure. Thank you to Lark and Owl Booksellers for hosting this event and thanks to all the wonderful people that came out!