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.
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.
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 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 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."