Hit the Road with Chet Garner
The Grove’s Groove
Normal is a matter of perspective at a haunted Jefferson home

Chet found Mitchel Whittington, owner of the Grove, to be totally normal. Chet, not so much.
IMAGE: Courtesy Chet Garner

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Does Chet encounter anybody from the other side at the Grove, the most haunted house in Jefferson?


The story about the lady in white was spooky. The tale of a barber who visits regularly was strange. Anecdotes of disembodied noises and unexpected presences left me unsettled. But the scariest part of my visit to the Grove—Jefferson’s most haunted home—was my guide: Mitchel Whittington seemed totally normal.

He wasn’t wearing a dark robe or making alarming pronouncements. He simply recounted his ghostly encounters as if describing his morning coffee routine. His matter-of-fact presentation left me with the unnerving conclusion that he was telling the truth. I was terrified and intrigued.

Jefferson sits in the northeast corner of Texas and was once a bustling port city from which barges laden with cotton steamed to New Orleans. The downtown retains its historical architecture and charm. Even so, every building seems haunted and underscores Jefferson’s reputation as our state’s most haunted town.

Hit the Road With Chet Garner

Share in the excitement as Texas Co-op Power and The Daytripper explore out-of-the-way curiosities and colorful characters that make Texas unique. See where else Chet has gone Texploring.

When I arrived for my tour of the Grove, I expected an ominous Victorian structure covered in spiderwebs. Instead, I found a well-kept, one-story home with Whittington on the front porch to welcome me with a smile. He led me room by room, describing mysterious events he has witnessed.

I asked if it’s scary to live in a haunted house. Whittington laughed and said, “No, it isn’t. It’s a peek into the other side. And when I’m gone, I’m gonna come back and check on it.”

I enjoyed the tour but was happy to leave safely on this side of reality.

Chet Garner shares his Texplorations as the host of The Daytripper on PBS.

TAGS: Chet Garner, East Texas, Hit the Road, Travel

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