Ballpark built on one of El Paso's oldest cemeteries

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 10:00pm

The Ballpark in Downtown El Paso is not even complete, but since its inception, it's been controversial.  Now some say, it might be haunted.  The Chihuahuas ballpark's right field is the site of one of El Paso's oldest cememteries, Camposanto.

"The experts, the anthropologists, the archaeologists are, they're convinced that that was a cemetery probably 1830s 1840s perhaps maybe into the 1850s," said Bernie Sargent, Chairman of the El Paso County Historical Commission.

"Roughly speaking, it's called a 'Spirits' park' or 'Spirits camp', where the spirits are buried," he said.

He thinks workers from the nearby Ponce Ranch were buried there during the 1830's and 1840's.  Ponce Ranch was located where the Camino Real is today.

"The first burials that we have heard of are going to be what we consider the Camposanto, which is where the baseball stadium is being built," Sargent said.

The city grew and many of the cemeteries in what's now Downtown El Paso, were pushed to the outer limits of the city.  The remains were consolidated and moved to Cleveland Square, Concordia and Evergreen cemeteries.

"It was all shuffled around," Sargent said.  "They dug up some of the bodies. They did move all of the tombstones that were there, or the markers that were there. We don't know for sure if they took all of the bodies. So we may have a haunted baseball park".

After El Paso's City Hall was knocked down and construction on the ballpark began, what's been found by the workers? Bodies? Coffins?

The City of El Paso said they haven't found anything.  In at statement Alan Shubert, who's the project manager of the El Paso Ballpark said this:

"While the City of El Paso is aware of previous uses of the site, there is no reason to believe any human remains were present at the time construction of the downtown ballpark began nor is there reason to believe any human remains are presently on the site."

"The only thing that they might be able to find would be belt buckles or maybe buttons or things like that that are made of metal," said Sargent.  "As far as the remains of the bodies it's unlikely that they'd find anything no bones. No bones about it".

Sargent also says it's possible the workers would see discolorations in the soil, but they probably wouldn't know what they're looking at.  We've filed a Freedom of Information request to get the geological survey of the area and are waiting on a reply.

So between the big plays by the Chihuahuas Baseball team, in between the cracking of peanuts and crunching of Cracker Jacks, if you hear a spooky sound, you'll know it's the ghosts of Camposanto root, root, rooting for the home team.


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