The Smith Building Hoax CORPUS CHRISTI ? A decade after capturing footage of what appeared to be the ghost of a little girl haunting a downtown building, the amateur filmmaker says it was all a hoax. The footage is real. So are the terrified screams of those in the film and the large crucifix one man clutches to his chest after the ghost is sighted. What's not real is the figure of a little girl who appears in a dark corner of the Smith Building, now known as Retama Vista Apartments. Painter Mike De La Garza created the ghost girl using old clothes he found in the building. He filmed the ghost footage in 2002. At the time, he was 20 years old and hired to help renovate the then-empty second floor of the building at the corner of Schatzell and Mesquite streets. The idea began as a harmless prank and later evolved into a Corpus Christi ghost legend that has attracted an international following online. More than a month ago, De La Garza released footage from the original taping that proves the ghost figure is a prop he created. The previously unpublished clip shows a behind-the-scenes shot of ghost girl figure in the dark when suddenly the lights turn on to reveal the figure is actually a dress set up in the corner. De la Garza and the two friends walk into the shot and pose for the camera. De La Garza said he decided to release the clip that shows it's a hoax because he wants people to know the truth. "It's all entertainment," he said. "That's why I wanted to put the fake part out there." The reality has received mixed reaction within the online community. Some are angry, others still convinced its real and others wonder why anyone ever believed it. Tracy Long, who owns the building, falls squarely in that third category. "Duh. You have to be an idiot to believe it was anything else but a hoax," he said. Long bought the building six years ago and finished the second floor, once used by the IRS for offices in the 1950s, into loft apartments. After he bought the building, he had trouble keeping people away. He once found a group of people conducting a seance and often saw people parked outside the building who told him they felt vibes coming from the property. "It was just stupid," Long said. The idea for De La Garza's ghost girl started as a prank on his former co-worker Thomas, who is seen in the film holding a large crucifix. At the time, the two were tasked with cleaning out the building and prepping it for lease for the building's previous owners. One day while Thomas was away on an errand, De La Garza found some clothes, including what looked like a child's dress, in one of the rooms. He set it up in a corner of the room, using an old mop head and yardstick he broke into three pieces to give the dress a three-dimensional look. When Thomas returned, De La Garza pretended he had seen a ghost and showed it to Thomas. Thomas was convinced the building was haunted. He invited friends to see the ghost, too. During the next two weeks, the simple prank led to impromptu ghost tours of the boarded-up building as rumors of the ghost sighting spread. De La Garza led the tour and a friend of his ran the breaker box, switching lights on and off as De La Garza walked a small group through a maze of darkened rooms in search of the little girl, whom he called the Ghost of Christie Smith. Next he taped a 20-minute account of the haunting. By this time, Thomas had learned the ghost was a prank, and he participated in the film. The videotape shows grainy footage of De La Garza aiming the camera through dark hallways, rooms and a stairwell with Thomas as they canvass the building to capture footage of the ghost. He made one copy of the tape and gave it to a friend. "I never thought it would take on a life of its own," he said. De La Garza and his co-worker never finished the renovation, and they soon lost touch. De La Garza left for San Antonio, and when he returned the prank had turned into the talk of the town. People he didn't know recognized him from the video and wanted to know more. Then he agreed to an interview with a local TV station. At some point after YouTube was launched in 2005, someone posted segments from the original video on the site. There are several versions of the original footage online, and the analysis of it is spread among several different paranormal sites. It has an international following. For years, De La Garza thought the original footage was lost, but he recently found the tape in a box at his home in Corpus Christi. He decided to publish it on YouTube a few days before Halloween. "I'm going to put an end to all of this," he said.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- WXYZ-Detroit Videos
A Florida woman who has a son with Ethan Crumbley's father Jason describes their relationship.
- The Daily Beast
Rochester Hills District CourtThe parents of alleged school shooter Ethan Crumbley pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges on Saturday, shortly after they were nabbed by fugitive teams “hiding” in an industrial building in east Detroit. James and Jennifer Crumbley appeared emotional throughout the arraignment. Jennifer cried as she said she understood the charges against her. James smiled, laughed, shook his head, and raised his eyebrows at various points. Meanwhile, defense lawye
- Good Housekeeping
Current 'Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider is on a consecutive game winning streak. Read about the records she's shattering during her time on the game show.
When Elizabeth Hurley posts a new snapshot to her Instagram, everyone stops and stares. Whether she’s promoting her newest bikini from her collection, Elizabeth Hurley Beach, or flashing her dazzling smile, she’s never afraid to “show off” for the camera. On Dec 2, Hurley posted a video of herself smiling from ear to ear and […]
- NBC Sports BayArea
Draymond Green made Warriors history with a very unique stat line against the Suns Friday night.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Juan Toscano-Anderson said his dunk Friday was the best of his career and JaVale McGee had an epic response.
Elderly Asian man who was kicked while in his walker at the beginning of COVID faces attacker in court
The event: Rong Xin Liao was waiting for a bus near Eddy and Leavenworth Streets in Tenderloin, San Francisco on Feb. 20, 2020, when a man darted out and kicked him on his seated walker. Eric Ramos Hernandez, 24, was eventually arrested and charged in connection with the incident. Following his release, Hernandez was arrested and convicted of another trespassing misdemeanor in Santa Clara County.
- KOAT - Albuquerque Videos
Several senators in New Mexico are speaking out against Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. A lengthy lawsuit was filed in the state's supreme court on Wednesday by Democratic Senator Jacob Candelaria (District 26) and Republican Senator Greg Baca (District 29).
- USA TODAY
From Friday until Sunday, the Big Island of Hawaii is under a blizzard warning. A foot of snow and winds up to 100 mph are expected.
Jim Cramer: Buy these 4 'bargain basement' stocks to take full advantage of the omicron selloff — wait too long and you'll kick yourself
The market is nervous about omicron. Cramer says it's time to pounce.
- Best Life
Blood clots are a crucial part of the body's ability to heal from injury. That's because when you get wounded, your circulatory system quickly gets to work at plugging any open blood vessels by clumping at the injury site. However, in many cases, blood clots within your body can pose a potentially serious risk to your health, leading to heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions.That's why experts are sounding the alarm about one thing you may be wearing that can heighten your r
- NBC Sports Boston
Here's what the Boston Red Sox may have to pay Kyle Schwarber in order to re-sign the free-agent slugger this offseason.
- Business Insider
Georgia's chief election official Brad Raffensperger ignored a text from Mark Meadows about the 2020 election because his staff didn't know if it was real, report says
Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, played a key role in furthering Trump's efforts to pressure officials and overturn his election loss.
Deion Sanders Invited Brittany Renner to Speak With Jackson State Tigers About Dangers of Flirty DMs
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, in an unprecedented move, invited Instagram model Brittany Renner to speak with the team about the dangers of DMs.
“I didn't look!”
This Mom Who Has An OnlyFans Account Was Banned From Volunteering At Her Kids' School Because Of What She Does For A Living
"I love volunteering, so being told that I can no longer do that felt like one of the biggest joys in my life was just ripped away from me..."View Entire Post ›
- The Daily Beast
Matthew Hatcher/GettyThe parents of alleged Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley were found by fugitive teams on Friday night, “hiding” out in a commercial property in Detroit after receiving assistance from an unnamed person, police said early Saturday.A closer look by The Daily Beast of images from the arrests of Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley show the couple exiting a room with signage for Andrzej Sikora, a Polish-born, Detroit-based artist with connections to Oxford. According to
- Business Insider
Kayleigh McEnany said she didn't lie in the White House briefing room because she went to Oxford, Harvard, and Georgetown and was a Christian
McEnany repeatedly lied about COVID-19, the 2020 election, and Trump's public support, despite pledging never to deceive the public.
New Zealand's Mumbai-born spinner Ajaz Patel claimed all 10 Indian wickets in the second Test, becoming only the third bowler in cricket history to achieve the feat on Saturday.
- NBC News
Envelopes of cash and checks were found behind a loose toilet by a plumber doing repairs at celebrity televangelist Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas, according to a church representative.