A few years ago someone asked me if I’d ever heard any weird stories about the Dewitt C. Greer building downtown. They proceeded to tell me they had heard tales of folks seeing blood-smeared walls and other strange haunting phenomena on certain floors within specific rooms.
Recently, as I was working on archiving paper files and periodicals held by the Anomaly Archives, I came across the October 2003 issue (Volume 29, Number 2) of TxDoT’s Transportation News magazine whose cover shouts:
GHOSTS. . . Discovered in the Greer Building !!
The Ghosts of Greer by Mike Cox / Editor
If Harvey Hubert hadn’t fatally stabbed that young Austin man on Halloween night in 1916, he might have lived to see the fine new Highway Department building go up where the Travis County Jail once stood.
But that’s not how it worked out. At 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 23, 1918, Sheriff George Matthews sprang the trap on the gallows inside the jail and Hubert paid for his crime at the end of a rope.
Hubert, 34, had the distinction of being the last of nine men legally hanged in the castle-like stone jail, built for $100,000 in 1876 at the corner of 11th and Brazos streets — present location of the Dewitt C. Greer Building.
Who knows? Maybe Hubert’s spirit has something to do with the mysterious footsteps and strange noises some TxDOT employees have reported hearing at night in the big meeting room and on the eighth floor when the building’s supposedly empty.
But for anyone who believes in ghosts, there are plenty of suspects.
This edition of Transportation News is also archived online here: