9 Haunted Texas Towns You Probably Want To Avoid

They say everything’s bigger in Texas: the food, the farms, and maybe even the ghost stories. The Lone Star State is home to multiple creepy towns haunted by spirits from local legends. Hotels, saloons, and even a former psychiatric hospital are the setting for these larger-than-life tales. There are nearly too many haunted towns in Texas to count, so this list breaks down only the truly terrifying ones - the ones with legends that have endured for decades or longer. 

While some spirits haunt with a menacing presence, other ghoulish ghosts are simply there to stir up some trouble. You may be too spooked to make it through these stories, but at the very least, you’ll know where not to go next time you visit Texas. Read on for an anti-travel guide to haunted Texas towns.

Photo:

  • Galveston Has Too Many Haunted Places To Count

    Galveston Has Too Many Haunted Places To Count
    Photo: Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Galveston has been called one of the most haunted cities in America. Some Galveston residents even call it the most haunted city in the nation because over 6,000 residents lost their lives in the Hurricane of 1900 (the deadliest storm in American history). These souls are said to haunt the island permanently. 

    Specific haunted places include Hotel Galvez, the Ashton Villa, and Tremont Hotel. Each of these hotels has its own unique stories and ghost sightings. For example, the "Lovelorn Lady" haunts the fifth floor of the Hotel Galvez. The ghost was once a bride-to-be, but she hung herself after she heard about the demise of her betrothed at sea

  • Granbury Is Haunted By Jesse James And - Perhaps - John Wilkes Booth

    This small town is home to a haunted opera house and a haunted hotel. These sites have creepy histories and a number of creepy ghost sightings. 

    Guests of the Nutt House Hotel have reported light paranormal activity, like hearing random footsteps and having their belongings tampered with or moved.

    The Granbury Opera House is said to be haunted by a tall, male figure dressed in all black. The ghost often recites lines from various Shakespeare plays, and some theories suggest that he is actually the ghost of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. This theory is warranted by the fact that Booth often performed at this venue as an actor. 

    Some residents even claim that Jesse James' ghost haunts Granbury since the infamous outlaw is buried in the town. 

  • Goliad Is Haunted By The Ghosts Of The Texas Revolution

    Goliad Is Haunted By The Ghosts Of The Texas Revolution
    Photo: Ernest Mettendorf / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Goliad may only have around 2,000 residents, but this small town is rich in history and creepy paranormal activity. Goliad is home to Presidio La Bahia, a fort built by the Spanish Army in the 1720s. Presidio La Bahia was the setting for a number of executions, battles, massacres, and torture interrogations throughout the Texas Revolution. 

    With this dark past in mind, it's no surprise that the fort's visitors have reported a number of ghostly sightings over the years. Specifically, visitors have witnessed cold spots and "smells of death" in the living quarters, the sounds of crying infants near the chapel, and the singing of a ghostly soprano in the museum. There are also sightings of a short friar who appears near the chapel doors and a woman in white who appears in front of the chapel searching the unmarked graves. Even those driving by the fort have seen ghostly figures along the nearby San Antonio River. 

  • Wichita Falls Is Home To A Former Sanitarium

    Wichita Falls is known to have quite a few creepy places in its vicinity. The town's most well-known stories involve a burned-down mansion and a former asylum. 

    The "Witch's Gate" is the site of a former mansion that was allegedly burned down in the 1970s. According to one local legend, after the patriarch of the family passed, the mother turned to witchcraft and went wild before burning the mansion down (with her two sons still inside). Another legend claims the two brothers were robbed and the thief set the house on fire while the brothers were still inside. Either way, the ghosts of the two brothers are said to haunt the site to this day.

    The White Sanitarium is now a private residence, but it was originally built as a mental hospital in 1926. Since the facility closed in the 1950s, people have reportedly seen a creepy looking woman in white roaming the grounds, lights flickering (while the electricity was turned off), and even "a group of men sitting around a table at night time playing cards." 

  • Jefferson Has Two Haunted Hotels

    Jefferson Has Two Haunted Hotels
    Photo: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    This East Texas town has been deemed one of the most haunted places in the South by a number of travel channels, and it is home to a few creepy sites, including the Jefferson Hotel and the Excelsior House. 

    When guests stand near or inside the staircase at the Jefferson Hotel, they tend to feel "taps on the shoulders and tugs at their hair." While inside the guestrooms, visitors report hearing loud knocks on the walls and headboards, creepy laughter from the hallways, and the opening and closing of doors. Guests have even been locked in and out of their rooms, and orbs have appeared in photographs taken inside the hotel.

    The Excelsior House is just as haunted since the hotel is home to both a headless ghost (on the second floor) and a creepy woman in black carrying a baby. The former ghost even spooked the famous director Steven Spielberg in the early 1980s!

  • Spring Plays Host To A Haunted Movie Theater And A Haunted Coffee Shop

    Spring Plays Host To A Haunted Movie Theater And A Haunted Coffee Shop
    Video: YouTube

    Spring is located just 35 miles north of Houston, and it's home to a haunted cafe-saloon and a creepy modern-day movie theater. 

    The Wunsche Brothers Cafe and Saloon was originally built in 1902. The establishment is still up and running, but legends say it's haunted by the original owner, Charlie Wunsche. His ghost is more playful than dangerous: he hides small items, holds doors closed, and he messes with electronics. He was last seen in 1984 by a server who spotted an "older gentleman dressed in a dark suit and hat sitting alone at a table." He vanished right before her eyes after she asked him if he'd like a cup of tea. 

    Spring is also home to a haunted movie theater. The creepy ghosts of a young boy and a tall man roam the complex. According to local legends, the two spirits perished in a nearby trailer park. The boy was slain, while the man was burned alive; now, they both haunt the local Cinemark.