I know, I know – it isn’t anywhere near October yet. But we’ve gotta start early if we want to see all the haunted places in Texas! Our state is so rich with history from war times and the like, it’s no surprise that we’re a hub for paranormal activity. From murderous riverside apparitions that steal your bones in the middle of the night to some of the bloodiest Texas Revolution battlegrounds, we’re taking you on a trip highlighting the absolute most sinister, creepy, bump-in-the-night places in all of Texas…if you think you’re brave enough.
Just like my previous road trip article, all the leg work is done for you. You don’t have to do any research for yourself, not even to look up directions or addresses. It’s all right
here…if you dare. So what are you waiting for?
1. Hotel Galvez (Galveston)
Your road trip begins on a dark, stormy night (well, maybe not technically, depending on where you're driving from - but the point is, you'll want to arrive at your first destination at night). You need some rejuvenation before the long day of thrills and chills ahead, so our first stop is a hotel. But not just any hotel - one of the most haunted in the entire state. You'll be staying in room 501, where a young bride-to-be hanged herself in the mid-1950s after her fiancee, a mariner, died at sea one fateful night. Many people have reported spotting her ghost, and you can be one of them...if you dare.
2. Bragg/Ghost Road (Saratoga)
Next we head to Saratoga to see one of the most infamous ghost lights in Texas: The Bragg Light. The road itself looks eerie no matter the time of day, with trees looming over it, beckoning to drivers to continue until they're engulfed into a dark abyss. It used to be a railroad used for logging, and legend has it that a brakeman lost his head in a tragic accident years ago and roams the area to this day searching for it. The mysterious orb is from his ghostly lantern. I have personally seen the light many times and cannot tell you its source. Swamp gas? Headlights? Or something more sinister? We may never know.
3. Jefferson Hotel (Jefferson)
By the time you arrive in Jefferson, it will probably be nighttime again - and you're in luck! The Jefferson Hotel is also one of the most haunted in the state. The amount of history harbored in this hotel pretty much guarantees paranormal activity. Since the 1800s, it has been everything from a cotton warehouse to a dance hall. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted with the heaviness of centuries of memories and experiences that occurred there. Given its previous status as a warehouse, you can assume that the machinery resulted in more than a few deaths due to carelessness. The spirits, though not necessarily vengeful, still roam the hotel to this day and have been spotted in nearly every room. Are you brave enough to do some ghost hunting?
4. Baker Hotel (Mineral Wells)
The Baker Hotel is easily the most haunted hotel in Texas - even The Travel Channel thinks so, because an episode of Ghost Adventures was filmed here! Unfortunately, the hotel isn't open for business, (for now, anyway - it's being resurrected) but that may be for the better. I don't know if you'd be able to handle the sheer amount of paranormal activity that goes on here. Throughout its years in operation, the Baker Hotel saw a plethora of guests and provided luxury services from spas utilizing the healing mineral water to 5-star meals and grandiose ballrooms. It's no secret that life was good here, so many of the spirits didn't die here but rather have decided to make it their home for the afterlife given that it represents a happy time in their life. One story, however, is more sinister. The mistress of the hotel's former manager centuries ago jumped from the seventh floor to her death because she was so distraught over the affair. Guests have reported smelling perfume and hearing the click of high-heels near the room she supposedly jumped from.
5. La Llorona (El Paso)
Next, we're taking a long drive out to El Paso, so you might want to stop for another night on the way. This desolate border city is rich with urban legends, and the story of La Llorona (which means "The Crier" in Spanish) is one of the most terrifying. Legend has it, a poverty-stricken widow with two children from Juarez, Mexico met a wealthy man who refused to marry her because he didn't want children. The woman, crazed with monetary lust, took her children down to the Rio Grande that divides the United States and Mexico, where she heartlessly stabbed them and threw their bodies into the river. She then ran to her lover's home, standing in a blood-soaked gown on his doorstep. When he saw her, he was horrified and terminated their relationship immediately. Grief-stricken as the knowledge of her loneliness set in, she drowned herself in the same river. Now, if you go near the spot of the river in El Paso where the drownings occurred, legend has it you can hear a horrific wailing in the dead of night followed by the appearance of an apparition wearing a white gown. Locals are warned against going near the river at night because if La Llorona finds you, she'll possess your body and force you to keep her company in her lonely watery grave for eternity.
6. Marfa Lights (Marfa)
From El Paso, we're headed out to Marfa to see the most famous ghost lights in Texas, possibly in the entire United States. Nobody has been able to pinpoint their source - some say they're merely headlights from the highway below. Will you find out for yourself, or will fear get the best of you?
7. Woman Hollering Creek (Seguin)
This story is almost identical to that of La Llorona, so if she doesn't make an appearance, you have another chance! This creek is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who drowned her children there and is condemned to walk its banks for eternity searching for them. Many have reported hearing her cries and even catching glimpses of her. Just don't get too close to the creek...you may encounter a ghostly hand rising up out of the water, pulling you in before you have a chance to escape.
8. Saintly schoolchildren (San Antonio)
This story, however eerie, is about a group of kind-hearted spirits that were born out of tragedy. A long time ago, a bus full of Catholic school students stalled on the train tracks at the intersection of Shane and Villamin roads. The bus was struck by a speeding train, and everyone but the nun was killed. The legend says that if a driver places his car on these same tracks, the children will push it uphill and out of harm's way. Countless skeptics have doused their vehicles in baby powder only for their worst nightmares to be confirmed. Are you brave enough for the experiment?
9. Presidio La Bahia (Goliad)
Our last stop is one of the bloodiest war zones in history. Many Texas Revolution battles occurred here including the Battle of Goliad and the Goliad Massacre. Many angry, troubled souls are trapped here, and their cries can be heard in the middle of the night. Witnesses have reported sightings of apparitions as well.
How creepily awesome does this road trip sound?! Are you as ready to pack your bags as I am?