Brave Texas’ Scariest Attractions: From Haunted Landmarks to Abandoned Towns

Courtesy of Travel Texas

From spooky old roads to abandoned campgrounds, Texas has an expansive paranormal history for you to explore. Seek thrills and chase fears throughout the Lone Star State this spooky season with some of the most popular Texas haunted destinations.

Common ground for lost souls to wander, Texas is home to many haunted hotels. Most notably, Hotel Galvez in Galveston and the Driskill Hotel in Austin. Those that have braved a night on the fifth floor of Hotel Galvez have reported hearing footsteps running down empty halls and doors slamming throughout the night. The “Grand” staircase at the Driskill said to be haunted by a young girl chasing a ball that met her fate in 1887.

For “The Most Haunted Hotel in Texas,” head to San Antonio for the Menger Hotel. As the oldest operating hotel west of the Mississippi, the Menger is home to several resident ghosts. Former chambermaid, Sallie White, is a regularly sighted apparition, identified by her long gray skirt and bandana worn around her forehead. Currently under renovation, The Baker Hotel of Mineral Wells is haunted by a red-headed woman. Believed to be the late mistress of Mr. Baker himself, the “Lady in White” haunts her former living quarters on the seventh floor. Prior to The Baker Hotel closing, maids reported finding drinking glasses with lipstick on the rims when the room was unoccupied, and she’s often seen looking out the window from her suite.

Want to grab a drink with Casper? Visit La Carafe dive bar in Houston, TX. Believed to be the oldest bar in Houston, housed in the oldest commercial building, the former bakery opened in 1860. The seasoned bar was also a drug store and hair salon before becoming La Carafe in the 1960s. La Carafe maintains a ‘haunted’ atmosphere lit by candles and serves host to the occasional séance. Bartenders have reported bottles falling and sounds of children playing upstairs. Some even say an old manager lurks in the window.

If you’re feeling really brave, visit the abandoned Camp Lulu in Brownsville, TX. Legend has it a killer counselor’s spirit still roams the grounds. One visitor reported finding an old cabin full of dolls and when he turned to leave, he heard a small ‘Hi.”

Take a step back in history and visit, The Grove home in Jefferson, TX. Built in 1861, the “Stilley-Young House” named for its longest residents is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Texas Registered Historic Landmark. Residents over the years have recounted various paranormal activities including unexplained voices, disembodied steps, apparitions and objects mysteriously being moved.

One of the most infamous mysteries in the State of Texas is The Marfa Lights seen in Marfa, at the Western edge of the state. Accounts of red, blue, white lights and most commonly ‘glowing orbs’ began during the 19th century. Another mysterious light sighting is located in Saratoga, Texas on Bragg Road. Formerly part of the Santa Fe railroad, one legend behind the strange light is a decapitated railroad man searching for his head by lantern.

Texas’ most haunted can be a bit spooky for anyone younger than age twelve. For this crowd, a drive through Texas ghost towns or visits to noted attractions may be enough! Stay overnight at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX where guests of all ages can hear ghost stories and take part in a scavenger hunt across 100,000 square feet and eleven decks.

Remember The Alamo! Home to the Battle of the Alamo with thousands of causalities, the Texas landmark is considered one of San Antonio’s most haunted locations. Visitors and personnel have reported sightings of soldier apparitions and rally cries echoing across the limestone walls. Groups of 20 plus can schedule after hour tours for a truly haunting experience.

Another popular attraction is The Ghost Town in Terlingua. Proximate to Big Bend National Park, Terlingua is made up of decaying buildings and shafts abandoned by miners after the local mine flooded in 1946. Known for their over the top Dia De Los Muertes celebration, residents operate locally owned restaurants and dives, including The Starlight Theatre. The ghost town is known for its roadside attractions similar to those of Las Vegas, bestowing the town slogan, “Viva Terlingua!” Other abandoned towns in Texas include Carlton, Belle Plain, Barstow and Glen Rio. So empty, it’s sure to give you the creeps. Drive through to witness decayed settlements, including the Carlton Church of Christ.

Experience all levels of daunting thills and make sure to wear your running shoes as you journey through Texas’ most haunted.