Location: Runge, Texas
Date of Encounter: 1970
Back in 1970 my (then) husband and I went to Runge to explore the abandoned Ruckman Mansion. We took two obedience trained German Shepherds with companion dog titles. When we got there the dogs refused to enter the house. We had to literally drag them in. They whined and whimpered, and kept their tails up under their bellies the whole time we were there.
The house was run down, but impressive. Huge stair cases made of Florida Cypress that had been carried in a wagon after the Civil War. Big rooms with big windows, and wooden floors that passed the test of time.
I went first, wandering thru the maze of the house. I found a small narrow stairwell leading to what appeared to have been the kitchen complete with a hand pump. As I was going down the stairwell into the "kitchen," I felt a hand placed heavily on my left shoulder. I said "what?" but walked on a step or two. When my husband didn't answer me, I stopped and turned around. I could still feel the weight of a heavy hand on my shoulder, but there was no one to be seen. My dog and I went quickly down the stairwell, and out a now non-existent kitchen door. Ten minutes or so later, my husband found me sitting outside under a tree, feeling like a scolded child. I swear I could almost hear Mr. Ruckman complaining about me wandering through his house and with a dog no less.
We heard that the Texas Historical Society purchased the house to restore it. I don't know. I never went back.
If anyone knows any more history on the old Ruckman house in Runge, or has "met" Mr. Ruckman, I'd love to hear about it. All I know is that he was suppose to have been very strict, and had seven kids. And I don't think he liked dogs in the house.