Comanche Look-out Hill

History

LOCATION - Nacogdoches & Judson, Northeast San Antonio

HOURS - Daylight to 11 PMOWNER - City of San Antonio Public Park

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - Medium, Some Hot & Cold Spots, EVP Audio (electronic voice phenomenon), Strange Noises, Shadow People



LEGEND - Urban Legend says there used to be a fort with a tower on top of this hill from which soldiers would monitor Comanche and Apache Indian raids on travelers along the Camino Real (Kings Highway) trail that ran at the base of the hill - this trail was the main road in and out of San Antonio (now Nacagdoches Road). It was said that if the Indians were approaching they would light up the top of the tower to let settlers and townspeople know to be aware. More truthfully speaking, a man who loved castles started building a fort-like structure on top of this hill in the 1920's and died mysteriously before finishing it. The hill was more than likely used as a vantage point for Native Americans to make attacks from, as well as a place for hunters and gatherers to scope out their prey before pouncing. People say they have seen Native Americans wandering around the park, sometimes on horseback. The most popular story is that people who live in the area, or who drive down Nacogdoches Road will see soldiers in time dress wandering aimlessly down Nacogdoches, and when they look back...nothing is there. Also, nearby residents say they constantly see lights on top of the hill at all hours.

WHAT WE EXPERIENCED - After reading the history of Comanche Look-out Hill we arrived expecting to find nothing other than another old San Antonio urban legend. We investigated the park in three teams along with Mission City Paranormal. Staggering our walks up to the top, once at the pinnacle of the hill we discovered all three groups noticed intermittent warm and cold spots. EMF (Electromagnetic Field Detector) was quiet, K2 turned up nothing on the walk up, or at the tower. The tower is completely fenced off and boarded up now. In the past you could go in and walk the stairs to the top, but constant vandalism and liability concerns led to the city erecting a fence around the tower. We conducted EVP and EMF readings at the tower, all of which turned up nothing. We expected the tower to be a paranormal hot spot considering some spirits will stick around places they love...common sense would tell you the man who loved castles and built this tower might still be here - we found no evidence to support this. We again staggered our descents from the tower, which is when everything started to happen at once. Our third group, comprised of Russell, Bobby, and Mike stopped dead in their tracks after banging noises started coming from the woods. It was 11:09 PM on a Wednesday, and sounded as if someone were chopping at a tree very nearby. A search turned up nothing. After meeting up with the full group to discuss evidence, Keith and Erica from Mission City Paranormal told us they had spotted a full figure shadow person in the middle of one of the trails and as they approached it ducked back into the woods. A search turned up several animals, but no people. WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR MORE!

MORE - Comanche Lookout Park is a 96-acre public park owned by the City of San Antonio. The site includes the fourth highest point in Bexar County with an elevation of 1,340 feet. The Cibolo floodplain lies at the base of this escarpment between the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Edwards Plateau.

Native Americans used this hill as a vantage point for warfare and hunting. The Apache, and later, the Comanche Indians dominated the area as they hunted along waterways including nearby Cibolo Creek. The hill was also a prominent landmark for travelers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The old Spanish road (one of several routes of the Camino Real or Royal Road) from San Antonio to Bastrop and Nacogdoches in East Texas extended past the base of the hill. The road followed earlier American Indian travel routes, and today its remnants are known as Nacogdoches Road. Contrary to popular belief, there was never a fort or look-out at the top of the hill. In fact, both Native Americans and settlers used this hill to scout game.

The land surrounding and including Comanche Lookout was part of Land Grant Survey #196 comprised of 1,476 acres that was surveyed for James Conn in April 1847. The property subsequently had a number of owners including Peter W. Gray, Alexander Patrick, and Ludovic Colquhoun. The Comanche Lookout property was acquired by Mirabeau B. Lamar in September 1848. Lamar served as second president of the Republic of Texas (1838-41) and enjoyed a long and distinguished political, military and diplomatic career. It is not clear why Lamar purchased the land described in his deed as "including the hill known as Comanche Lookout." The property was inherited by Lamar’s daughter by his second marriage, Loretto Evalina (1852-1933) who was only seven years old when her father died in 1859. She later married Samuel Douglass Calder, also a member of a prominent Texas family. The Calders lived in Galveston and apparently did not use the Comanche Lookout property. In July 1890, they sold 524.6 acres of the land to German immigrants, Gustav and Adolph Reeh of Bexar County for $3,500. The Reeh brothers used the land for farming. After Adolph Reeh died, Gustav sold a portion of his land to retired Army Colonel Edward H. Coppock in February 1923 for $6,000.

Coppock was a romantic and history aficionado, and with assistance from his two sons and a man named Tarquino Cavazos, he constructed an extensive compound on the hill including a four-story, medieval-style stone tower. Coppock envisioned a castle-like house, but completed only its foundation. Both he and Mr. Cavasos mysteriously died in 1948 and the project was abandoned. Colonel Coppock’s children sold the land in 1968 to a developer who cleared all of the structures except for the tower and some remnant foundations. There were some open cellars that the city eventually filled in. Back in the 1980's a lot of local teens would hold parties in the cellars and have bonfires since this way they couldn't be seen. This could account for some of the light being seen at the top of the hill. It was this time period where the land became very dangerous. There was heavy satanic cult activity happening here for a long while. When the city came in to clean up there were condoms, drug paraphanalia, and the tower had become completely defaced with graffitti. The park has been cleaned up and there are now plans to completely rebuild the second tower as well as the entire castle Col. Coppock planned to build.

Listener Submission #1- I've been to that hill 3 times already and it never failed that I was either freaked out, touched by something, or felt real cold and hot in areas there going up that hill. I never knew it was haunted until I saw your guy's footage on mix961.com. Oct 2003 

The first time I went was with some buddies that just got back from MCRD and our girlfriends, and we all almost crapped our pants. We were going up the hill, taking the short cut I guess you would call it, and there was rustling in the trees. There was no wind that night. It was happening right next to us and following us at the same time. There were 3 fresh out of Marine boot-camp friends of mine, my cousin, and myself. We all turned around and booked it. We didn't even talk about it after wards.Nov 2005 

The second time I went with a my girl and me and my cousin and his girl and we took the long way to the far right of the hill. I could swear on everything that I got touched 2 times by something. I asked my girl and my cousin's girl did you all touch me? They said no. I was too freaked out to keep going. On the way back down we heard the hammering like you guys coming from the top of the hill. We all ran as fast as we could and left. 

On the third time, I thought I would be a hero and took a different girlfriend. We went up the hill and we both heard someone say, Hey what are you kids doing? We had a flashlight and we could not turn it on to see where it was coming from. We were almost to the top and we just panicked and left. I will never go back there again....Oct 2006

Listener Submission #2- I've been to Comanche Look-out Hill. On the EVP session, the one where it was a weird noise, (the last one) we heard the same noise. We went closer to the sound and we heard it was a woman crying. We got even closer then when we looked behind a bush where it was coming from and it stopped. Just like that.

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