You may think you know everything there is to know about Kessler Park, but did you know about the Middlebrook Sisters and their famous haunted house? That’s where today’s Friday Four Hundred sits, a townhome in the aptly named Middlebrook Place, a spot of land near Stevens Park Golf Course where Cecilia and Margerite Middlbrook lived.
It was once the homeplace of the Stevens Family, a remodeled three-story Victorian farmhouse on top of a hill. It was once a sight to behold, neighbors say, until it fell into disrepair in the 50s and 60s and become a repeated target for vandals.
“The entire 3.5 acres were a wilderness of unkempt trees. These two little ladies would dress in these long black Victorian dresses, and of course when the 1960s came around with “The Munsters” and “House on Haunted Hill” and “Psycho”, it looked like Walt Disney Studios had been sent out to create this.
“They started getting heckled a lot. Teenagers came around drinking beer and threw beer cans at the ladies and broke windows, and of course they couldn’t replace the windows. They would throw rocks at them and hit them with boards. The house had no electricity, no gas, and the windows were boarded up. The fire department came out at Halloween, and a gigantic fireman would stand on either side of them while they gave candy to trick-or-treaters. The police told them they should buy a gun, but they never did. Everyone remembers them as very sweet and cordial.
“The abuse was legendary. The police would arrest dozens every weekend who were harassing these two ladies, and it became a spectacle. People would drive from all over North Texas. They couldn’t leave the house together because the house would be attacked …”
Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it? Shortly after Margerite died, Cecilia perished in a fire that consumed the old, decrepit mansion. Then the property was sold by the family to a developer that built the Middlebrook Place Townhomes in 1979, one of the final developments in Kessler Park. This lovely soft contemporary is a highly prized end unit inside this development, and it features lush landscaping and great views.