Polly’s Chapel – Paranormal Investigation

Polly's Chapel

There is a small chapel in Bandera County just outside of San Antonio called Polly’s Chapel. Jose Policarpo Rodriguez built the chapel in 1882 on the banks of Privilege Creek. Rodriguez, who was known as “Polly” was born in Mexico and came to Texas as a child. He went on to become famous as a scout for the U.S. Army, a guide, a hunter and finally a minister which is what led him to build the church. Polly is buried in an old graveyard just a short distance from the chapel.

A couple of members of our team had done a preliminary investigation of Polly’s Chapel upon hearing of some possible paranormal activity. We decided that a full investigation would be worthwhile based on some stories about possible hauntings taking place there.

The investigation at Pollys Chapel took place on a cold damp night. Eddie, Josh, Cari and Jay along with all of our electronic equipment piled into our 4X4 for a 45 minute drive to Bandera outside San Antonio.

We arrived at the Chapel around 10:45pm, exited the truck and immediately felt the chill of the country air. It was noticeably colder away from the city and the damp cold air, pierced right though our jackets.

Ignoring the cold, the team quickly gathered all their equipment and entered the chapel to set up our investigation.

Our preliminary investigation at Polly’s Chapel revealed a great deal of activity taking place. In fact, the amount of paranormal activity we encountered made it almost impossible to film. We were really hoping that we had the same amount of activity while we had all our equipment with us.

A quick check of the chapel did not reveal anything out of the ordinary. Video cameras and digital recorders were set in place to capture any paranormal activity which may occur while team members worked on EVP sessions.

The lights were then turned off and the IR lights were activated on the video recorders. Josh, who is the ADPR Video Tech, proceeded to film the [tag-tec]EVP[/tag-tec] session which was being held by Cari, Eddie, and Jay.

While filming the EVP session, a strange red glow was seen on the far side of the chapel window. It appeared to be pretty faint and slowly moved across the window, then on to the wall. At first, seeing this made investigators think it was just the IR from the video camera Josh was using, but after seeing it several different times, we noticed that Josh did not have the camera facing the window and the IR was not reflecting from the IR source on the video camera.

Josh was asked to repeat his actions several different times and the team was unable to get any results. Josh even faced the camera towards the window in order to see if the glow was the same. It was obvious at that point that the red glow was not that of the IR light. We were unable to debunk the small red glow, so we continued with the EVP session and did not see the red glow again.

Next, the team packed up the equipment and proceeded to the Cemetery where Polly himself is buried. Being outside really made for a cold investigation. It was pretty quiet, except for some dogs barking in the distance. The area felt really calm and Jay even stated that he was more comfortable in the Cemetery than in the Chapel.

We worked on EVPs at the location and filmed the area with IR Video Cameras. After staying in the cold until we could no longer feel our fingers or hands, we decided to call it a night and head back home.

Over the following week, team members analyzed all the recordings, but did not find anything unusual. Not a single EVP was found. We were all disappointed with the results of the EVPs that were taken. Next we turned to Josh, who had analyzed the video. Nothing..the video did not reveal anything out of the ordinary. Cari, who was checking her recordings and her photos, also did not come up with anything. It was finally down to Jay. I received an email from him and BINGO, we had something on film.

Jay sent me a photo he took which contained what appears to be a shadowy figure. The photo clearly shows a dark shadow next to the podium that we could not explain. Although we can not say for sure where we were all standing at the time the photo was taken, none of us were in the photo itself and could not have been casting a shadow in that area.

Although we concluded that there was no hard evidence of a haunting occurring here, our first video may still indicate otherwise. Please take a lo0k and let us know what you think.

Is Polly’s Chapel worth another visit?

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{ 12 comments }

JOel George February 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Can someone from this group email me. I have trying to get in touch with eddie but i dont know if his pc crashed again. I have some evp’s he said he would listen to and give me him advice on. I sent them to his email but many weeks with no response. So can someone email me so I can see if he got them, or can I resend them to one of you?
Joel

FamBam643 December 1, 2008 at 9:03 am

I always tend to do regular searches on “Polly’s Chapel” just to show friends and family the pictures, but this was quite the surprise to find. I’m a sixth generation descendant of Policarpo. I KNOW there are many “spirits” out there, can’t imagine them having much fun with strangers though, but I could suggest a few family members to take on your next visit, that are sure to get some of the very interesting spirits riled up out there!!!

Margi Duncan January 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

I am one of the Great Grandaughters of Grandpa Poli. I am the grandaughter of Selma Rodriguez Arias. They tell me that I favor my Great Grandmother Anastasia. I have been attending reunions since I was a child at Polly’s Chapel and always felt a presence inside the church. I am sensative to the paranormal but tend to run from it. I never liked staying inside the church for long. I never knew my Great Grandfather but could always sense his presence. He was a very strong willed man and I know I have his blood running through my veins.

I know that he is there, when I just cannot go on, he picks me up and somehow I find the strength through god and his life to keep on going. I was glad to hear of your investigations because as a child, I was always told, “it is just your imagination” . Good luck in your future investigations.

Margi Arias Duncan

Amy Ayala January 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

On November 29, 2008 I married John Ayala III out at Polly’s Chapel he is a decendent of Polly and we were married by Matias Rodrigus another decendent of Polly. It was a beautiful wedding and ment so much to my husband that we were married there I am so glad we did it.

Heidi Wyatt July 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I live on Polly’s original ranch. I use to own the chapel and cemetery, but donated them. His “fort” is on my ranch. If y’all are interested, I’ll show you his house. Polly is a good ghost…

chris quante July 15, 2009 at 8:37 am

I have been leasing this land for 18 years now and I am very familiar with the chapel, the cemetery and the history of my friend Poly. I have done many hours of research on him through the Alamo archives as well as the Texas historian. The noises you all are hearing at night are probably me, i like to sleep up in the bell tower and I snore.
Quante
PS: Poly was a good man in all aspects.

gabriel December 21, 2009 at 10:50 am

Heidi, Hello. I was just at the chapel this past Sunday (12/20). My mother claims that her father was a nephew of Polly. I would love to see his house, aka “the fort.” If interested and available, please e-mail me here: gabielperez2nd@gmail.com (i mispelled my own name when i set up that account. Forgot the “R” in gabRiel.

By the way, my granfather’s name was Silberio Rodriguez and he was born and grew up in Bandera. He was son of Jose Maria Rodriguez and according to my grandfather, Jose Maria was a Texas Ranger in that area. Any one familiar with Polly’s family ever hear that name? I would like to confirm my mother’s suspicion.

Thanks

Katie Murray February 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Does anyone know who to contact about holding a wedding at the Chapel? I am getting married this October and we are very interested in having the wedding at Polly’s Chapel. Any information will help, we haven’t been able to find out anything. Thanks! katie_rose89@hotmail.com

Maureen November 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Does anyone have information on Thomasa T. Gonzales who is buried in Polly’s Cemetery? She was born Dec. 31, 1886 and died, May 20, 1956. She had one male child , surname Gonzales. It was her husband, whose first name I don’t have, that is the descendant of Polly. The informant on her death certificate was Richard Herrera. She died in Kerr County and her first name is spelled “Tomasa” on the death certificate. According to the certificate, Thomasa’s father’s surname was Trevino and her mother’s name was Teofita Valles. My husband’s mother (Alicia Gonzales) was one of the daughters of Thomasa’s son and Maria Gonzales. Her father disappeared and Maria remarried and became Mrs. Lucio Lopez.

Maureen November 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Oops! I forgot to attach my email address to the previous comment. Here it is: maureenagarcia@bex.net. I hope someone can shed some light on Thomasa.
Thanks,
Maureen

ray ketchen February 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

me and some friends went out there at like 2 in the morning, it wasnt as creepy as i thought it was going to be, and its actually in Center Point…

Linda and Lin0 March 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Attn: Heidi Wyatt,
My name is Linda and I was out at the Chapel with my boyfriend Lino, I am from Elsa, Tx and he is from Kerville, Tx. We were there on Sunday March the 6th some time in the after noon. It was a very Beautiful Chapel I was very exicted as he told me about the story behind it, until he scared me as he opened the door he made a noise and I got scared and yelled. But we are very intrested in visiting out there with you. If you get this message give me a date on when that would be possible. I do live 5 hours from your area. And after reading this information about it, we are more exicted about visiting you. Send me a message to my email address above.
Thank you,
Linda and Lino.

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