The Vision In “The Miracle Window” — 1931

by Paula Bosse

vision_corbis_1931Waiting for a message from God (click for much larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In the winter of 1931, a woman named Hattie Henderson made news when a “vision” appeared on her window shade twice a day. She interpreted the image — which was formed by shadows cast by the sun streaming through her window onto the shade — as a warning from God that “war, pestilence and other calamity” were on their way to wreak havoc. Word of the “miracle window” spread throughout the community, and soon thousands of people were flocking to the little house on Campbell Street to see the vision for themselves.

The photo above appeared in The Dallas Morning News on November 11, 1931 under the headline “Curious and Devout Negroes and Whites Look for Miracle,” above the following caption:

“More than a thousand curious and devout negroes, and a sprinkling of whites, congregated Tuesday afternoon at 3504 Campbell street, near the Greenwood Cemetery, in North Dallas, to witness the miraculous appearance of images on a drawn window shade. A small part of the crowd outside who were unable to get in are seen standing before the miracle window (to the right in the picture) and before the door to the house. Sister Hattie Henderson, whose husband is a preacher in the Holiness Church, reports the images have been appearing twice daily, at 8 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. each day since Oct. 19. She firmly believes they are divine warnings.”

An article, “Thousand Negroes Gather to View in Awe Warning Miracle at House Near Cemetery,” accompanied the photograph (click for larger image):

vision_dmn_111131avision_dmn_111131bDMN, Nov. 11, 1931

vision_corbis_detWaiting patiently….


Campbell St. is a short street that runs between the Jewish section of Greenwood Cemetery and the Freedman’s Memorial Cemetery. In 1931 it was in the large African-American community of “North Dallas.” The scene in the photograph took place in what is now a Walmart parking lot in the heart of “Uptown.”



Photo by an uncredited Dallas Morning News staff photographer; ©Underwood & Underwood/Corbis, found on the Corbis website, here.

Text and clippings as noted.

Map — with location of sacred window shade circled in red — from Google Maps.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.