A Look Back at the Haunting of El Paso’s People Emporium
Greetings boos and ghouls! With the Halloween season is in full swing in the Borderland, many are on the hunt for the perfect "Squid Game" costume, but I'm looking for some haunted places to check out!
While El Paso has some amazingly haunted locations, like the Plaza Theatre and, of course, El Paso High, I found myself on Yandell trying to figure out whatever became of the People's Emporium.
The People's Emporium was a costume haven back in the day. I don't remember the exact date it closed down but when it did, many were saddened.
The two story building on the corner of Yandell and Birch was an incredible display of all things spooky; it had books, costumes, gifts and occult supplies. Aside from the spooky items you'd find inside, the building seemed to come with spirits of its own. Many claim it was haunted, but no one really knows how the rumor got started; sure it's an old building in a historic district- but I wanted to know more!
So I reached out to local author, and ghost tour queen, Heather Shade of Lost El Paso Paranormal LLC, who unfortunately didn't get to do a ghost tour of the People's Emporium, but she did say this:
It definitely had a lot of rumors of hauntings! Some would claim to see floating lights or hazy figures moving inside late at night. Employees would tell of a spirit that liked to 'hide' among the rows of bookshelves. There were so many occult related and antique items in that building- any of which could have come with some form of paranormal attachment. The entire building had a very intense vibe, you could feel it as soon as you walked through the door. And I still get those vibes even today, when I pass by the old building. It was definitely an EP legend, in it's time...
All photos are courtesy of Ms. Shade and Lost El Paso Paranormal LLC, including this old business card!
I have to agree with Ms. Shade, there's something about that old building that when you're near it, you can feel like it's watching you- maybe its inhabitants are still there- waiting for you to drop by.
2021 KLAQ Halloween Parade