LOCATION - 19010 Scenic Loop Rd, Helotes, TX
HOURS - Opens at 5 PM Daily, Click Here To Visit Their Website
OWNER - Private OwnershipPARANORMAL ACTIVITY - High, Apparitions, Strange Noises, Items Are Thrown, Physical Damage (people have been scratched), EVP Audio (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), Photo Anomalies
LEGEND - The Grey Moss Inn is a legendary San Antonio restaurant opened in 1929 by Mary Howell. She lived across the street in a cottage of her own with her husband and children that still stands to this day. Mary loved the Grey Moss Inn dearly, it was her life work, and before she died she told many people she would NEVER leave Grey MOss Inn. It is believed her spirit haunts the place with a watchful eye. When she sees something she doesn't like, she makes it known...she's thrown decorative plates she wasn't fond of, glasses in the kitchen, she's knocked over tray jacks, started fires, and set off alarms. It's gotten so bad with the alarms, when the owners go out of town they have to tell Mary they're leaving so she knows. The owners also report seeing her in full form every so often. She is also believed to be in the women's bathroom. Mary was very prim and proper and when a male employee of the restaurant went in to use the women's restroom Mary became angry and shut off the lights. There is also another spirit there with a much more sinister side. There are reports of a man in a top hat in the office who has scratched several people, and usually the scratch is in the shape of a serpent.
WHAT WE EXPERIENCED - Investigation conducted with Mission City Paranormal ...present were Russell, Bobby, Vanessa, Mike, Beatrice, Tracy, Keith, & Erica. It was an extremely cold night with temperatures in the low 50's. Initially our main focus was Mary's cottage where we have heard many noises before, AND where loud banging noises were heard during the owners interview on video. We set up multiple cameras in the cottage and placed investigators in the cottage one by one. This produced little results at first. Another team was in the restaurant, and another team was in the office. The owners report a printer will print at random, they feel someone watching and moving by them, and several people have been scratched to the point of bleeding. This night, the office was very active. While standing in the middle of the office leaning on a cubicle Bobby felt a burning sensation near his wrist. Turning on the lights revealed a fresh scratch on his arm. In this same portion of the investigation Russell, Bobby, and Vanessa were all poked in the neck, and Bobby was slapped in the face. While the cottage had been producing noises all night, it was nothing substantial. Russell & Tracy entered around 3 AM and began provoking Mary telling her they were the new owners and were going to tear her house down, at which point a loud bang was heard. The force of the noise was so loud, it shook the chair Russell was sitting in. An exterior check of the building found nothing that could have produced that noise. Mike was able to duplicate the noise by pressing down on a nearby floor board, but the noise was immediate after stepping there. Russell & Tracy were in the cottage for more than six minutes before something caused the floor board to pop. Russell believes they know where the noise came from, but also believes it could have bee Mary that made it pop. The restaurant was very inactive all night, but on a last ditch effort while using the restroom before closing the investigation Mike left his audio recorder running in the restaurant and picked up a child's voice say "Mom". Up to this point everything we have learned about the Grey Moss Inn never indicated any child spirit. The Grey Moss Inn warrants more investigation.
MORE - Whispers of a rich and adventurous history echo at every turn on the Scenic Loop Road, today an enchanting and unique background for the Grey Moss Inn.
Originally an Indian trail carved around the hills, valleys, and caves of the area, the Scenic Loop was often the setting for fierce battles involving nomadic Indian tribes battling over land rights during the untamed Texas of long ago. The "Treaty Tree", a majestic oak, located in the meadow adjacent to the Inn, and said to possess a "peaceful energy", was used by these Indians to come together on a neutral "spiritually healing" ground. It was here that treaties and alliances were negotiated and signed.
In 1821, Polish mercenary Juan Menchaca obtained a land grant and with his Aztec wife began to settle the area. In the years that followed, stagecoaches from San Antonio to San Diego rattled down the loop, planning to stop only for a change of horses, but often subjected to "unscheduled" stops at the hands of renegade Indians and Menchaca’s leftover mercenaries. These bandits often lived and hid their gold in the numerous caves located within a very short horseback ride of the loop. Rumors still persist as to the whereabouts of hidden treasures in many of these caves. In pursuit of these bandits was sharpshooting Texas Ranger, Captain Jack Hayes. This handsome Irishman, a favorite with he ladies, provided law and order to the area until he ventured to the Bay Area of California where he helped settle the city of Oakland.
By 1872, the railroad had steamed into neighboring Leon Springs. And the Scenic Loop providing a path for the wagons and stagecoaches to Helotes. Robert E. Lee was a frequent visitor to the area, and a ranch on the Loop still bears the Lee family name. In 1916, famed revolutionary bandit, Pancho Villa, quietly slipped into the area to return a previously "captured" Jesse Madla and his 1914 Buick to the Madla family ranch – west of the Inn.
The 1920’s brought a new distinction to the Scenic Loop – the area became a popular playground and summer retreat for wealthy San Antonians. Their cabins and cottages still dot the hills. Artists and celebrates flocked to the Loop then, as now, for the scenic landscape and the pleasant climate. Actors and other "show people" came when the Orpheum Circuit – a vaudevillian troupe that played at the Majestic Theatre – "broke down" – could not be paid. In need of a place to stay, many San Antonians offered their Scenic Loop cottages.
Today the city of Grey Forest is a wildlife sanctuary and on the acreage adjacent to the Inn, native white tail deer graze in the late afternoon and evening. Armadillos, raccoons and rabbits scamper the grounds at night.
It was in this idyllic setting that the Grey Moss Inn gained fame for its combination of Southern hospitality and fine food, thanks to Mary Howell, who founded the Inn in 1929. A genius of a cook, Mary made her famous cumin-herbed squash casserole - still an Inn favorite - from squash grown in her own garden. She sold homemade candy from her front porch, and often cooked for her well-known "neighbors", including John Floore, artist Robert Wood, and movie star Sonny Tufts.
The year 1943 and World War II brought a housing and beef shortage to San Antonio. As Mary Howell cooked cabrito on the old mesquite grill, numerous people moved to the Scenic Loop, many of them dependents of the rumored 500,000 "hidden" men at nearby Camp Stanley and Bullis, that were there to protect against a possible invasion by Hilter's forces via Tampico, Mexico.
The Inn has never been closed and is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Central Texas, an enduring landmark for people celebrating engagements, anniversaries, and other special occasions amid an atmosphere of rural charm and romantic seclusion.