There’s a home in the relatively quiet Kern neighborhood in west El Paso, Texas that hides a haunting past. Those who follow local lore or have more than a passing interest in the paranormal still know it and refer to it as "the Patterson House."

The home is the site of one of our city’s most enduring mysteries: the disappearance of Margaret and William Patterson.

They vanished so abruptly, their disappearance has given rise to much speculation since the couple was reported missing in March 1957 under very suspicious circumstances.

According to a post on the International Center for Unidentified and Missing Person website:

The house was found in disarray, with dishes unwashed, underwear and a pair of Mrs. Patterson's stockings on a bed, and other indications the Pattersons did not know they were leaving for a long time. Tommy, the yellow-and-white cat that was Mrs. Patterson's most precious possession, also was left behind. Their automobiles were left at their house. There was no sign of a struggle.

Theories on what may have happened to them have ranged from they were kidnapped to they were Russian spies who fled back to their homeland, or they were murdered and their bodies buried somewhere on the grounds or in the foothill of the mountain it butts up against.

In January of 2020, Leon Baker, owner and lead investigator with El Paso Ghost Tours, interviewed a former occupant of the house who is convinced the Patterson’s never left because their spirits still occupy their old house on Piedmont.

In 1972, Elizabeth and her family were the first to live in the house after the disapparence of the Pattersons according to Baker’s account. Her father, who worked with the railroad, was transferred to El Paso and knew nothing of the home’s haunting backstory.

Soon after moving in, Elizabeth noticed that something was wrong with the house. "I saw a cat sitting on the counter, his tail wrapped around his legs, moving slightly at the tip," she said. "He looked like he was waiting to be fed." The only thing that was out of the ordinary was that the cat had no real color, like it was behind a sheer veil. "I wanted to pet him, so I reached out, and he was gone. He just disappeared," she said.

She also recounted the time she saw a woman “wearing clothes you would see in the 50s” who “looked as solid as any other person” but looked as if “she was standing behind a sheer curtain.”

The family experienced other things they couldn’t explain such as shadows, footsteps, and certain smells that would waft through the house.

"My father had a great sense of smell, and he would complain that he could smell a cat in the house. He could smell pipe smoke, and the scent of a man," she explained.

They moved out after only 3 months.

Steinar Engeland via Unsplash
Steinar Engeland via Unsplash

In 2017 Henry Flores, who was the lead investigator of the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society at the time, shared some audio with me from an investigation the group had been allowed to conduct in the Patterson Home some years before.

Below are clips he provided that he believes sound like the distressed cries of a woman. Is it Margaret meeting her end? We report, you decide!

Woman's cry This was captured near the front door as they were setting up the equipment:

Woman’s cry Isolated and amplified:

Shriek/mournful cry

Shriek/mournful cry Isolated and amplified:

It's a fascinating unsolved mystery and the years that have passed has not made it any less intriguing.

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