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The Houston Batman Returns

Posted by: Nick Redfern on November 1st, 2012

Monsters of Texas

In our 2010 book, Monsters of Texas, good friend Ken Gerhard penned a section on one of the weirdest of all Texas cryptids – a mysterious winged-thing that became infamously known as the Houston Batman, and which provoked fear and dread in the city of Houston almost 60 years ago.

Well, the Batman is now back. Kind of, anyway. Last night, ABC News did a feature on the Batman, in which Ken played a key role as interviewee. You can find the results right here.

“The most notorious reports of a flying humanoid is that of the Houston Batman,” professional cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard said.

This tale takes us to Houston back in the 1950s, when it was a boomtown bursting at the seams.

It was 2:30am on June 18, 1953 in the Houston Heights. Three neighbors claimed they saw something extraordinary just a few feet from their home.

Hours later, the unearthly encounter was front-page news in the Houston Chronicle.

“There’s really only one account that I’m aware of and it’s a very chilling encounter,” Gerhard said. “Subsequently, they were so horrified by their experience that they contacted the local police.”

The Houston Chronicle article detailed the encounter.

“Hilda Walker, a 23-year-old housewife, and two of her neighbors were sitting on their front porch, and suddenly Hilda noticed a large shadow moving across the lawn,” Gerhard said. “It was then that they could make out its form.”

One of the witnesses, Howard Phillips, a tool plant inspector, told the Houston Chronicle, “I could hardly believe it, but I saw it.”

All three witnesses had a similar description of what they saw that night.

“It appeared to be a very tall man or manlike figure standing about six and a half feet tall but with bat-like wings attached to his back,” Gerhard said. “Also seemed to be encased in a halo of glowing light.”

They said the mysterious figure lingered for 30 seconds or more.

“Then suddenly, the light began to fade out and the figure vanished,” Gerhard said.

The details of the Houston Batman may be uniquely 1950s, but the story is not.

“The flying humanoid phenomenon dates back millennia,” Gerhard said.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


4 Responses to “The Houston Batman Returns”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    Interesting. Was the Batman around during the couple decades Houston became a dump, after the oil boom died, and before its resurgence? I’d be interested to know.

  2. Kevin Talley via Facebook responds:

    I just sat down to watch “Eyes of the Mothman” and I saw this about the Houston Batman! I saw you in there Jeff Wamsley!

  3. Jeff Wamsley via Facebook responds:

    Yeah…that’s a great documentary….Matt pellowskis did his homework on that one

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    The flying humanoid thing baffles me…interesting but just not sure where to even start trying to hypothesize just what the heck people are really seeing…



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