Undead Live #5 – Austin Inn at Pearl Street
Welcome to Undead Live!
Our new live series where we bring you the history and haunts of local places that are accessible to the public. After our live stream we conduct a brief investigation at the location and post our results for everyone to see.
Austin Inn at Pearl Street
We previously investigated the Inn at Pearl Street back in 2014 for an episode on Season 1, but at the time were only able to investigate one of the buildings. Now, we return to pick up where we left off!
The Inn at Pearl Street is now a modern boutique bed and breakfast located just South of the University of Texas, in the Judges Hill neighborhood. Around 1835 Thomas Jefferson Chambers, judge of the superior judicial court of the Mexican state of Coahuila and Texas, was granted this land for his services. General Thomas Jefferson Chambers served as a judge of the Superior Court of Texas. To compensate him for his services, and because the treasury at the time was out of money, he was deeded 66,420 acres of land. A portion of this deeded land included this present-day neighborhood in which the Inn sits.
During the Texas Revolution, Chambers requested that the land be used as security to recruit soldiers and to buy and stockpile material. In 1839, when the City of Austin was founded, the Congress of the Republic of Texas condemned the land. It was sectioned off and sold to eight owners. But it wouldn’t be until 1851 that the first home was constructed in the Judge’s Hill neighborhood. Judge Robertson was the first among the neighborhood resident judges and attorneys who earned the area the name of Judges Hill.
The first official record of the Inn can be found in the Austin City Directory of 1914 when it was the private residence of prominent 26th Judicial District Judge Charles A. Wilcox and his family. Judge Wilcox held the judgeship until 1917. He was so well-respected that when he died in 1931, government agencies and official buildings throughout the Austin area closed in his honor.
In the early 1980’s the house was falling into ruin, and for a brief moment of time was being used as a movie set for Richard Linklater’s film ‘Slacker‘.
In 1993, the previously abandoned and dilapidated home was rescued by Jill Bickford with the help of her parents, Burton and Victoria, and has been lovingly restored to its near-original turn-of-the-century charm. Much “heart and soul” has gone into the restoration of this home. The entire home has been re-plumbed, rewired and brought up-to-date while maintaining its historic integrity. For the most part, the home has remained just as it stood 100 years ago.
-Jill (the current owner) first noticed paranormal things happening when renovation began. Tools were being moved around and one broom kept getting pushed over every time she approached it. Visitors have reported footsteps going up and down the stairs, even when no one can be seen. People have also reported hearing music and other strange noises, and seeing lights on when the building was empty and electricity was turned off.
-Members of the Wilcox family are still thought to roam these grounds. Two of their children both died on the premises, a couple years apart. And the mother is still seen holding her babies in her arms. Judge Wilcox himself has been heard.
-During our previous investigation in the Victoria House, we captured EVP’s that sounded like “Wilcox” (the judge that lived here), laughter of children, whistling, and the sounds of musket fire (possibly from when this was a battlefield). We have captured disembodied legs descending the stairs.
-Today, we are headed into the Burton House. Jill recently has seen a dark figure behind her, the flickering of lights and the sound of footsteps going up and down the stairs, doors closing and even opening. Her cat would stare into the corners of this vintage home for no reason at all. We are going to head inside and investigate and will post our findings in the coming weeks. In the meantime, book a room and stay the night in one of Austin’s most beautiful and haunted locations.
After doing our live broadcast we investigated in each room of the Inn, including the basement. Our primary tools for investigating were a voice recorder, SB7 Spirit Box, and an Ovilus 3. We captured some compelling evidence during our short second visit here. Watch our video below to see what we caught!!