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 Facebook Live stream we conduct a brief investigation at the location and post our results for everyone to see.
Dead Man’s Hole
Marble Falls, TX
On the outskirts of Marble Falls, TX between Co Rd 405 and FM 2147 there’s a stretch of very nondescript road that passes by an historical site so unique and full of history, and it is so small that if you blink you’ll miss it. On this episode of Undead Live we investigate Dead Man’s Hole!
If you missed our original Live Stream be sure to watch the video below, and check out the evidence we captured at the bottom of the page!
Initially discovered by entomologist Ferdinand Lueders in 1821, the cavernous Dead Man’s Hole was formed by pressure from natural gas inside the earth. It later gained its moniker decades later during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era. Because of the gases in the hole, it remained unexplored until 1951, when breathing equipment could be used. The Texas Speleological Society mapped the hole in 1968, measuring it as 155 feet deep and extending 50 feet in length.
During the Civil War, Burnet County voted in opposition of secession, which is the withdrawal of one or more states from the Union that constitutes the United States, by a relatively one-sided count of 248 to 149. This became one major factor that led many Union supporters to seek refuge in the Hill Country, a decision most would come to regret. Awaiting them in Burnet County was a radical group known as the “Fire Eaters,” described as “worse than the Indians” when it came to violence. This group held on to Confederate beliefs, and secretly hunted and killed anyone whom they believed expressed opposing views. Described in many historical accounts as “fanatics”, the Fire Eaters looked upon their violent actions as a heroic stand for the Confederacy.
Although there is no report of exactly how the group came upon what is now Dead Man’s Hole, this area became a dumping ground for bodies of Union supporters that were hunted down by the Fire Eaters. An oak tree once stood beside the site that is said to have scars from ropes used in hangings during hasty and biased “trials,” after which the bodies were cut down and dropped directly into the hole. Reports vary as to how many bodies have been dumped, but local historians speculate it ranges from 17 to more than 36 humans. A mysterious epilogue to the hole’s gruesome history occurred after sacks of bones were collected from the sinkhole. Awaiting a proper burial in the Burnet County Courthouse, the bones disappeared, never to be recovered.
Perhaps one of the most prominent names associated with Dead Man’s Hole is John R. Scott, a judge born in New York that sought freedom in Burnet County. Scott had four sons serving in the Confederate Army but was nonetheless accused of expressing Union sympathies. As he attempted to flee to Mexico, Scott was chased down by the Fire Eaters and met his doom at the hole. Other officially recorded deaths were those of German immigrant Adolph Hoppe, Henry Flaugher who was simply out chopping wood and Benjamin McKeever who was hung for shooting at a farmers dog.
As Burnet County became more law-abiding, “Dead Man’s Hole” fell from usage. But as time passed, people began telling stories of its dark past. It became the most haunted venue in the area. The opening into Dead Man’s Hole is now closed, and the area was named a historical marker in 1998. The owner of the property deeded Dead Man’s Hole and the acres surrounding it to Burnet County as a park in 1999, opening the landmark to visitors. While many that venture out to view it are most likely those seeking a late-night spook, Dead Man’s Hole exists as an eerie and somber reminder of a very dark time in Burnet County history, as well as the history of our nation.
Dead Man’s Hole does not appear to be often investigated for the paranormal – The internet and books are lacking references to this historical site. However, of the successful investigations that have occurred the most common paranormal phenomena at Dead Mans Hole are EVP’s of voices of those that fell tragedy to the hole . Their was one report of having seen luminous balls of light floating around the premises.
When we first entered the vicinity of Dead Man’s Hole, we were greeted with vultures and random bits of bones around the site. An ominous welcome indeed… The hole itself felt eerily calm and the area around us quiet of any other noises but ourselves. After doing our Facebook Live Stream we lowered a GoPro and voice recorder into the hole see if you could capture any evidence that way. Above ground we began getting relevant Ovilius hits and clear hits coming through the Spirit Box when we were asking our questions. Watch below to see and hear everything that we captured!