BY TONY HARRINGTON
Nestled amongst the backdrop of Frisco’s bustling Rail District; a historic area of old downtown currently under massive revitalization, is the Frisco Heritage Center. A living museum dedicated to preserving the town’s rich and diverse cultural history.
The Heritage Center is comprised of twelve structures including an old jail, a log cabin, a railroad depot, and an old church.
But no building in the Heritage Center has such a haunted tale to tell than that of the Crozier-Sickles house.
The house was built in 1895 by widower Nannie Crozier two years after the death of her husband John Rufus Crozier. As a single mother of three daughters, she needed a home in which to raise the children. At the time, the house was situated at the corner of Preston Road and John Hickman Parkway.
In 1900, Nannie’s youngest daughter died of Typhoid Fever.
Two years after the death of Nannie’s youngest, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad line bypassed the town of Lebanon, forcing many families to relocate their homes to what is now the city of Frisco. The Croziers remained in their home in the town of Lebanon.
At some point, Nannie’s eldest daughter, Mary Annie, married a man named Charles Covington, and they lived in the house with Nannie until her passing in 1938. Charles Covington died in 1955 and Mary Annie remained in the home until the last years of her life, when she moved in with her younger sister (Nannie’s middle daughter) Emma in Garland, Texas until she died in 1972.
The house remained with the Crozier family until it was sold in 1977 to John and Donna Sickles. It was shortly after moving in that the new homeowners began to realize that perhaps the spirits of the family who previously owned the home had not quite vacated the property.
The couple began experiencing unexplained phenomenon. There was mist-like spectres that would appear within the house, knocking sounds at all hours of the day would be heard outside the master bedroom, and a small shadow figure would be spotted moving in and out of various rooms and hiding in corners.
The family had attempted to take pictures of the shadow figure or the mist-apparitions, but the photos would always turn out blank. Photos taken of other parts of the house where no activity was present would develop just fine.
At some point, John Sickles began remodeling the old home which seemed to have caused a surge in the paranormal events. The escalation in activity include seeing full bodies apparitions, including a small gray cat in the reflection of a hallway mirror. Apparently their actual cat was all too aware of the spiritual interloper and raised its hackles and hissied aggressively at the mirror in which the ghostly cat had appeared.
An interesting footnote to the ghostly encounters in the house is the seventh baluster on the staircase railing is upside down. It was common practice when the house was originally built in 1895 and was allegedly a superstition that kept ghosts from ascending the stairs. In hindsight, this may not have worked.
The Sickles reported that after renovations were complete, the activity died down, eventually stopping altogether.
In 2002, the Sickle family moved out and donated the house to the new Frisco Heritage Association. The house was relocated to the Heritage Center located behind the Heritage Museum. It is settled next to the historic Baptist church that the Croziers had attended while living.
Depending with whom you speak at the Heritage Center, the spirits are not completely at rest within the home. Visitors to the historic house have reported hearing voices and singing; while employees have reported feeling a sense of not being alone within the house while others report seeing shadows moving past the windows and within the halls.
The Crozier-Sickles house is an active tourist attraction and visitors to the Heritage Center can actually visit the home.
For more information on visiting the Frisco Heritage Center and the Crozier-Sickles house, visit the Frisco Heritage Center website here.