Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM:
Local band Dome Dwellers play to a small crowd in the living room of Two Bronze Doors under dim Christmas lights, surrounded by abstract paintings and sculptures. Two years ago, art curators Jonathan Foisset and Natalie Jean Vaughan searched all over Dallas for a space like this.
“Natalie was wanting to find a space of which we could live in and then work out of, which is actually really hard to find. And it just so happened that this house kind of appeared right in front of our face,” Foisset said.
Foisset and Vaughan had previously worked together at Nerve Gallery and Humano Exhibition. The two worked there with other artists but Vaughan said they were limited what they could do there. They wanted something more.
And they’d been to the cozy two-story house near Lower Greenville before to see a psychic for Vaughan’s birthday.
“Now, the psychic didn’t tell us that we were going to live in this house but we got our palm read, you know, we got our readings told and whatnot,” said Foisset.
He was skeptical. The psychic made some predictions about their future, like that Vaughan would end up traveling and that Foisset would become famous in Europe. But most of her predictions didn’t come true.
“We kind of moved on,” he said.
Not too long after the visit, the psychic skipped town. The house was up for rent and Foisset and Vaughan opened it up as an artist residency in 2012.
They named it Two Bronze Doors after the work of artist Brunelleschi at the start of the Italian Renaissance. And the couple hopes to have a Renaissance of their own here in Dallas.
The space has quickly become a core part of the local Do It Yourself or DIY art, music and poetry community where dozens of artists get exposure.
“It feels like it’s always open and that’s what we want. We want to have a neighborly feel, we want it to reach our neighborhood.”
And the house also might be haunted.
It all started when one of the art residents started hearing strange noises in the house, Vaughan says.
“She was getting a little freaked out and she got in contact with someone who put her in contact with Cold Facts Paranormal and we have some crazy EVP’s.”
EVP’s are electronic voice phenomena. And according to the Cold Facts investigation, there were six different voices, possibly ghosts, in the house.
Then Vaughan saw something – or someone.
“It was like 7 o’clock in the morning and I went downstairs to get a glass of water out of the kitchen and we have a laundry room and a mud room and so in the laundry room we have a refrigerator in there,” she said. “So I got the glass of water out of the fridge, poured my water and I was walking out and this man is just walking through the mud room and he’s about to go into the house, he didn’t notice me at all and so I just kind of gasped. Then he turns and he looks at me and just – poof – he looked horrified to see me though.”
Whether or not Two Bronze Doors really is a haven for ghosts, the old house, with its masonic architecture and weird past, is still a centerpiece for Dallas art and music.
So what does the future hold for Two Bronze Doors? Foisset said he’s not sure what will happen when the lease is up in December but for now, it’ll continue to be a home for local art and music – and the ghosts that possibly dwell within.