The ghost of Scarlett is supposedly seen on the balcony and the rear alley behind the building. It is interesting to note that the alley behind the Covered wagon Shop was once Morris Street.
The most spectacular sighting occurred in June of 1998. Late one evening a group of about 30 people were in the plaza when they noticed a woman walking on the balcony of the old Springer House. She was completely nude except for a garter that was on her right thigh. Since there were children in the plaza as well, several of the men yelled up at her to put something on. However she was oblivious, as if she didn’t hear them. Then as they all watched, she turned and walked through the wall on second floor. It would seem that they were not yelling a living person but the ghost of a long dead prostitute.
The catalyst of the ghost story is the hand written police report of Scarlett Torres’ death. Near the top of the report, “106 James” was sloppily written, possibly indicating an address. Since South Plaza Street was once James Street, this seemed to correspond to the location of the Old Springer house. However, in 2005, the actual investigation report was found in the historical achieves. The number “106” was the responding officer’s badge number and “James” was the last name of that officer. The murder itself occurred at the centennial hotel that once stood on Rio Grande Street. The full report also states that Scarlett was a social worker and not a prostitute. Since the murder did not occur at the Old Springer house, there is no catalyst for her “ghost” to be there.
Review of Sighting #1:
Sighting #1 was debunked a week later by questioning employees of the Covered Wagon shop about “paranormal” occurrences. During the questioning, one of the employees admitted that she was having a cigarette break after taking out the trash when she noticed a large group of people staring at her from the end of the alleyway. She put out the cigarette and returned inside the shop. She was wearing a short purple ensemble, (although it was not a 1920’s flapper) and that the incident occurred about a week earlier.
Review of Sighting #2:
Sighting #2 was debunked two days after it occurred. Since the call came to a cell phone, it was logged in the cell’s incoming call log. SGHA Investigators called the number, pretending to be a representive of the press. Since the “bruise” would constitute physical proof of their story, he asked if he could fly out and have the bruise looked at and verified by a medical professional. Joel admitted that their “ghostly encounter” was faked.
The bruise was done with make-up (eye-shadow) and that they did it because they were upset that the tour had been cancelled that night. He also stated that he thought is would be funny to “get even” by fooling the ghost tour guides by making them think that they missed a sighting of one of the ghosts. After this, Polston ended the Scarlett ghost story with the line, “it is an awful lot to go through to pull off a hoax, so decide for yourselves”. This line was either forgotten or not used by other guides doing the Old Town Ghost tour.
Additionally, the doors do indeed open inward. It is physically impossible for the doors to open outwards without causing significant damage to the door jam. Additionally, the doors themselves would most likely be pulled off of their hinges if the doors were forced outwards.
Review of Sighting #3:
Sighting was explained by examining the police records from 1998. A homeless woman (name withheld for legal purposes) was arrested for indecent exposure on Saturday the 6th at 11:34pm, near Rio Grande Blvd and Central. She was only wearing panty hose and admitted to have climbed up on the balcony of the Covered Wagon by scaling the wall and up to the roof on the west side of the building. The woman was also thought to have a mental illness and had not been taking her medication. This places her in near the location and the proper time to explain the balcony sighting.