Texas has a long, often bloody history, so it’s not surprising that it’s also got a lot of restless spirits. There are so many Texas ghost stories that it’s hard to pick the best, but we’ve narrowed down a slew of tales into a terrifying top twelve.
This list includes Texas ghosts, Texas urban legends, and haunted places in Texas. So what’s so scary in Texas? There are hotels, houses, bridges, and parks. There are jilted lovers and fallen soldiers, protective mothers and forlorn families. Oh, and abandoned insane asylums. Come on, you didn’t think we were going to compile a creepy places list without at least one abandoned institution, right? This group of stories is as big and diverse as Texas itself.
Looking for even more creepy ghost stories from Texas? Check out this list.
Bexar County Hospital Angel of Death
This hospital has two stories of the Angel of Death: one that’s all too real, and one that’s unproven, but still terrifying.
Here’s the true story: between 1977 and 1982, nurse Genene Jones killed at least 11 children at the hospital. She would inject them with poison, then “come to the rescue” and save them. Except many of them still died. Horrifying, right?
Now here’s the urban legend: the hospital experienced a string of odd deaths. The patients were dying in room order—first 201 would go, then 202, 203, 204. The nurses and doctors were very suspicious, especially when patients began talking about a nurse in an old-style uniform. They watched the security tapes and saw the patients talking to someone when no one else was in the room. They saw curtains close on their own, tracheotomy tubes get pulled out by an unseen force. They were puzzled, until the next room in order was left empty. Then the deaths stopped. There have been no more incidents since.
The Falling Body
The Cooper family had just moved into a new house in Texas. Before their first meal there, the father took a photo of his wife, his mother-in-law, and his two kids. Then, they sat down to eat.
They didn’t even see it until after they developed the pictures from the camera. The body, falling head-first on the left side of the picture. It hadn’t been there in real life—surely they would have noticed a falling body. So what was it that they caught on camera in their family photo? And if they hadn’t gotten a picture of it, would they have continued living with the spirit, completely unbeknownst to them? Some have tried to debunk the photo, but no one has definitively proven it’s a fake. Which story do you believe?
San Antonio Insane Asylum
It’s hard to even get a handle on the history of this hospital. The only thing that’s clear is that it’s been abandoned since at least the mid-‘90s. It’s rumored that it used to be an insane asylum, but the nearby San Antonio State Hospital has had an operational mental health facility since the early 1900s, so it’s hard to imagine why there would be another so close. Regardless, people who have ventured into the four empty buildings on this property have claimed that the place is very, very haunted.
Explorers have reported hearing screams, slamming doors, voices in the distance, cries for help. You name any creepy paranormal thing and people have experienced it here. It’s also heavily guarded by the San Antonio police, though no one can explain why they spend so much time patrolling abandoned buildings. Pictures and videos from inside show old medical equipment and papers strewn about. Whatever this place was, it’s safe to say that some shady stuff went down there.
The Donkey Lady
This legend dates back to the 1800s. The story goes that a family had settled down in San Antonio near Elm Creek. They were farmers and their horses and donkeys were crucial to their business. Somehow, the son of a wealthy merchant came into contact with one of their animals as he was riding past their farm on his horse. He taunted it and it bit him in retaliation. He began to beat it severely, and the family came running out of their house to see what was going on. They couldn’t persuade the man to stop hurting their animal, so they threw rocks at him until he rode away, swearing revenge.
He came back late that night with a mob of wealthy townsfolk. They set fire to the family’s cabin and stood guard outside to ensure that no one escaped. The father ran out, hoping to distract them so his family could escape, but he was shot immediately. Just when they thought that everyone inside had died, the mother came bursting out of the fire. She was burned from head to toe, still on fire, screaming. Her face was half melted. She wasn’t wearing any clothes.
The woman ran past the mob to a nearby bridge which spanned the creek. She dove, headfirst, into the water below. Her body was never found. It’s said that if you drive over the bridge, you can still hear her screams. Sometimes, her ghostly form appears and bangs on the passing cars. That’s how she got the nickname the Donkey Lady. Her ghost is so horrifically disfigured that it looks less than human. Animalistic, almost.