14 Nightmarish Ghost Stories From Houston, Texas

While Texas ghost stories abound, Houston ghosts specifically are an interesting and eclectic bunch, to say the least. The city has a little bit of everything going on, with its own collection of the angry dead beneath an old hospital and a battleship that somehow gained access to a crack in time and space. There’s even a bar with its very own night watchman, a ghostly hero named William! 

Sure, other cities in Texas have terrifying tales, like Dallas scary stories. But Houston's creepy stories are a strange mix of chilling, amusing, and in some cases, heartbreaking. Some of the best tales are gathered right here, ready to prove that nothing beats a good old-fashioned ghost story from Haunted Houston.

  • Prankster Orphans Haunt The Spaghetti Warehouse

    Prankster Orphans Haunt The Spaghetti Warehouse
    Photo: garrettc / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Don’t let the quirky name fool you because the Spaghetti Warehouse is widely regarded as one of the most haunted places in America. The building used to be a pharmacy until the pharmacist fell down the elevator shaft and died. His wife died a year later, supposedly from a broken heart. She’s been seen roaming the second floor of the now-restaurant.

    She isn’t the only one haunting the building - multiple spirit orbs have been photographed all over the place and things frequently go missing or get rearranged. Also, someone seems to like untying people's shoelaces. Waitress Patti Chapa says she witnessed her shoelace floating parallel to the floor, stretched out. Some think that it's the work of dead children, because there's an old urn cabinet upstairs that used to store the deceased charges of orphanages when they had no money to bury them properly. The disembodied voices of children can often be heard on that floor. 

  • The Old Jefferson Davis Hospital Is Built On Top Of A Cemetary

    The Old Jefferson Davis Hospital Is Built On Top Of A Cemetary
    Photo: Patrick Feller / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    The Jefferson Davis Hospital was plopped right on top of a Confederate cemetery. In other words, many of the graves still remain, though the headstones were removed. In fact, the building’s basement was actually built above ground (so all those human remains couldn't get in the way). The hospital sat vacant for decades and had a date with a wrecking ball, but plans changed and it was decided the old building would be transformed into artist lofts.

    The building was always been rumored to be haunted. Everyone believed the dead were angry about its construction and couldn't rest while it was sitting atop their graves. During its use as a hospital, patients, employees, and visitors all reported seeing ghostly figures roaming the hallways and they often heard disembodied voices. During the years of its vacancy, the Jefferson has attracted a plethora of urban explorers and ghost hunters. Many claimed to have heard screams, eerie howling sounds, and to have even captured spectral anomalies in photographs.

  • A Haunting Serenade Can Be Heard In The Julia Ideson Building

    A Haunting Serenade Can Be Heard In The Julia Ideson Building
    Photo: Alan Cordova / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The Julia Ideson Building is a public library located in downtown Houston that is reportedly haunted by a former caretaker. Back in the early 20th century, Jacob Frank Cramer kept watch over the building. He’d walk up and down the halls with his dog, Petey, and once he got to the top floor, he’d take a break and play his violin.

    Cramer lived on the property, in a basement apartment beneath the library, until he died in that very same space in 1936. But according to employees, Cramer still keeps watch because one can hear his footsteps and the sound of his violin.

  • The University Of Texas Medical Branch's Ewing Hall

    According to legend, the property now belonging to the University of Texas was once owned by a man who threatened to haunt his children if they ever sold it. Well, after he died, his daughter went ahead and sold the property, which became Ewing Hall. The thing is, right when Ewing Hall was finished, a face appeared on the fourth floor paneling on the side of the building facing the ocean. It allegedly resembles the former owner.

    The panel was sandblasted and repainted, naturally, but the image came back. Even stranger, it moved down a notch to the third floor panel. Once again, they removed the face, only to have it reappear one floor down. The face has settled in on the second floor panel and can still be seen there today.   

  • La Carafe Hosts Seances On The Second Floor

    La Carafe Hosts Seances On The Second Floor
    Photo: M&R Glasgow / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Built in 1866, La Carafe is one of the oldest bars in Houston. Locals and staff like complain that it is haunted. They’ve reported bottles flying off shelves, stomping footsteps, and glass breaking upstairs when no one is there. Also, several people have recounted hearing a child bouncing a ball around and seen the ghost of a former manager in the window.

    While there is some paranormal activity in the bar downstairs, most of the noise and chaos is heard on the second floor. Apparently, they host occasional seances up there, so it should come as no surprise that some unruly undead hang around the bar. 

  • Houston’s Brewery Tap Has Its Own Ghostly Hero

    Located downtown in Houston’s Historic District, the Brewery Tap is home to more than just good beer. Various spirits stick around the pub, the most famous of which is William. William worked at the brewery back when the building was the Houston Ice & Brewing Company. A large stack of beer kegs fell on him, killing him. Now, William hangs around the bar, flushing toilets, messing with the sinks, and even posing for photographs with customers.

    One night, William saved the life of a bartender named Cathy from a knife wielding prowler. Cathy was closing down the bar alone when William pulled out a chair and knocked it over in front of her. Cathy jumped back in shock and was suddenly able to see the outline of a man holding a knife lurking just outside the pub's window. She called the police and they arrested the prowler, but had William not stopped her, she could have been killed.