The Gonzalez Restaurant has been serving and feeding the Ballinger, Texas community since 1973.
The vibrant, festive restaurant offers up delicious and traditional Tex-Mex cuisine – a staple to any respectable Texan diet.
But great food is not all this restaurant is known for.
Good Food and Legendary Tales…
Updated 2/11/2020 – Gonzalez has also become a legendary haunted building.
Customers and employees alike have all claimed to have seen the apparition of a ghost wearing a classic cowboy outfit within the restaurant.
And many of them have theories as to who this ghostly figure is.
Rumor has it that a notorious outlaw once ran all over Ballinger, trying to flee the clutches of local law enforcement.
He eventually wound up at Gonzalez Restaurant, where police gunned him down inside the building.
The outlaw died instantly.
Now, the ghost of the outlaw, known as Norton by locals, is even more famous because he makes frequent appearances within the restaurant.
When he is not parading around in apparition form, Norton is known for making certain spots of the restaurant incredibly cold.
Visitors also claim he moves objects around whenever he wishes.
Today, people all over Ballinger and Dallas travel to Gonzalez in the hopes of not only getting a good meal, but of seeing the ever notorious ghost of Norton.
But every five people who wish nothing more than to see him, there is always one who would rather not.
When Courtney’s family decided to go to Gonzalez for dinner, she was anything but excited.
“Call me a wuss, call me a chicken, call me whatever you like…the idea of seeing a ghost completely freaked me out,” she said, nodding her head vigorously.
“I’m just not the sort of person who is going to go chasing after ghosts,” she huffed.
“I’m not a masochist.”
The Infamous Norton of Ballinger
“When I woke up with a fever that Friday morning, I was actually grateful…until my mother told me I still had to go.
I was angry, of course,” she said with a glare.
“But I told myself that it was going to be incredibly busy that night, and there was no way I would see a ghost.
“My fever seemed to peak as we waited for our entrees.
I stopped following the conversation and took to people watching instead.
And that’s when I saw him.
“There was an elderly man sitting on a bench towards the front, waiting for a table to be available.
And there was another gentleman standing behind him.
But the standing man couldn’t have been there, because he was halfway through the wall!” Courtney cried.
“I demanded my family to look at him…but nobody else could see the man standing up.
My mother took one appraising look at me and told me to go home and get some rest.
As I got up and said my weak goodbyes, I wondered if it had all been in my head…was my fever so high I started hallucinating?
“But as I passed the elderly man, I looked at him and he stared right back, looking startled.
‘He’s here,’ the man whispered, and seemed to shiver from head to toe.
It creeped me out so much, I practically ran to my car.
“Ever since then, I have boycotted the restaurant…
I don’t even want to be in Ballinger anymore.”
700 Hutchings Avenue