I was given the book "Weird Texas" as a gift and was intrigued to find in it a story about Gail, Texas.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in Gail and went through all 12 grades of school there, graduating in 1962.
At the time I lived there, the school had a higher population than the town of Gail. It is (and I emphasize the word IS) a county school that brings in students from all over the county rather than just from the town of Gail.
I was rather surprised to read in this book that "There used to be a town in Texas called Gail", and that "-the town is no more", and "-the old Gail School remains an abandoned shambles."
According to the book, this was due to a girl committing suicide in the girls bathroom, followed shortly by the principal killing himself in his office.
I was surprised to read of Gail no longer existing, especially because only two days prior to receiving the book I had driven through Gail and saw the multi million dollar school still standing with green trees and a manicured football field, and strange beings that looked somewhat like people walking around. Could I have possibly seen a portal to the past? With the ghosts of what? Perhaps last year running around? Or did Gail meet its demise a few days after I passed through?
Now I will admit the town of Gail is nothing to grab anyone's attention, with a number of closed, shuttered buildings, (it was the same when I lived there) but there are within 10 or 20 the same number of people living in Gail as there was in 1962 when I left. Granted, not the same people, but the same number.
The school is now much bigger than when I attended. Originally, there was one 3 story brick building. By the time I was in 4th grade a cafeteria and large number of classrooms had been added. They also built a modern gym, and auditorium.
I came back in 1982 for my 20 year reunion to find even greater improvements, including computers in every classroom. Today the school continues to thrive with the help of the oil taxes from the county. The old brick building that students went to school in during the 30s still stands. It has been in use and improved continuously and was never left to ruins.
Right now there are 155 students in the school, the court house still stands improved from my time and still supports the necessary; judge, sheriff, county clerk, etc that most court houses have.
As far as the nameless girl that hanged herself and the unknown principal who shot himself. There has never been a suicide, or death of any kind on or related to the school. The school has never been shut down, the town has never disappeared, and if anyone tries to "negotiate the debris in the darkness" finding your way to the principal's office, or search for the old bathroom to find the hanging student, I'm sure you will get your excitement as you are arrested within minutes after setting off the alarm system.
I enjoy reading mysteries, and weird happenings, but it would be nice if the stories are based on at least some sort of fact, and that what is put out as fact was actually checked out. The authors claim to research the stories, somehow they missed this one.
They wouldn't even have to visit Gail, just a simple internet search turns up all sorts of information about present day Gail and the School.
After reading the completely fictional account of Gail Texas, I found myself losing interest in many of the other stories in the book. Now I don't know if they are based on `real rumors' or just made up on the spot.
It's hard to get excited about "true" stories when I can get just as much entertainment from Stephen King.
I'll give this book a two thumbs down for lack of accuracy.