Texas October 30, 2015
Meet 12 Ghosts From Texas And Hear Their Bone-Chilling Stories
Everyone loves a good ghost story to get their imaginations running wild, and what better time to share some than with Halloween right around the corner?! So, get your s’mores, blankets, and hot chocolate ready, and share some of these with your friends and family around the fire! (Or, you know, cuddled up on the couch; whatever you prefer.)
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1) La Llorona
While the story of La Llorona is told in many different parts of the world, it has roots in Texas, too. The people of El Paso know this legend very well, as they live right near the Rio Grande where Llorona lurks, searching for her two children.
The name Llorona translates to "The Crier," which fits her perfectly due to the wailing cries people can hear coming from the Rio Grande at night as she mourns the loss of her children.
She supposedly stabbed them and threw them into the river in order to get her wealthy boyfriend to marry her (he didn't want children). However, when she told him what she had done, he didn't look too impressed, but rather, terrified. She showed up to his doorstep still wearing her bloody nightgown to show him the lengths she would go to be with him.
She didn't get what she wanted, though, as he ended the relationship then and there. Some people believe that after the heartbreak of losing everyone she loved, she stabbed herself and drowned in the river, while others think a mob of angry people came along and drowned her themselves.
No matter which way she died, she still haunts the riverbanks, forever searching for her children, wearing a white nightgown. However, because of her unforgivable sins, she now has the head of a horse, not a human.
Locals warn visitors not to go to the river at night.
2) Donkey Lady
The story of the Donkey Lady resembles the legend of La Llorona very closely, except the Donkey Lady haunts the Woman Hollering Creek in Seguin, and possesses a donkey head instead of a horse.
She lost her children in a fire, supposedly ignited by her husband, and became terribly disfigured in the fire herself. In her state of rage and confusion, she continues to search the creek and nearby woods for her two children.
People say she has dark stumps, or hooves, where her hands and feet should be. One man even claimed that the Donkey Lady hurled herself on top of his windshield after he drove along a road near the creek.
3) Ghost of Bragg Road
While I have talked about this legend many times before, I couldn't possibly skip over it when talking about ghost stories!
The lights seen on this road are supposedly from a man's lantern as a he searches endlessly for his head after becoming decapitated in a railroad accident. A piece of metal from a train flew off the tracks, slicing off his head as he walked near the train.
While some people discount the lights as merely swamp gas, this doesn't stop people from traveling down this old logging road to catch a glimpse of the mysterious lights themselves!
4) Ghosts of Baker Hotel
Before the hotel closed its doors for good, people have claimed to see apparitions of two different ghosts: one of a bloody nude woman on the seventh floor, and that of a man supposedly killed in an elevator accident. The woman is allegedly the ghost of the hotel manager's mistress, and when their relationship started to turn sour, she jumped to her death from a seventh story balcony.
This hotel is one of the most haunted in Texas, even making it to an episode of the Ghost Adventures. The Baker Hotel is set to open again for business soon, so you might get a chance to meet these ghosts in person!
5) Ghost of Room 636 at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel
In 1965, a woman was brutally murdered at this hotel in Room 636. Ever since, guests have reported hearing odd noises coming from the room, as well as seeing an apparition appearing near the room's door.
6) Lovelorn Lady
The most famous ghostly tale associated with Hotel Galvez in Galveston is that of the Lovelorn Lady, who haunts the fifth floor, forever trapped inside after hanging herself due to the unbearable news of her husband passing at sea. The hotel looks creepy enough as it is, even without a ghostly presence!
7) Ghosts of Ashton Villa
Another ghost story based in Galveston, this three-story, elegant mansion built in 1865 and owned by wealthy businessman James Brown is reportedly haunted by two ghosts: those of Bettie Brown and Mathilda Brown.
Bettie, the oldest child, grew up quite spoiled, and was known by many as the "Texas Princess." Her ghost can be spotted in the Gold Room, which is the formal living room in the mansion. She also plays the piano from time to time, and many people on tours say they feel her presence throughout the house. Also, the chest of drawers in her day room reportedly locks and unlocks randomly, even though they key has been missing for years now.
In addition, her bed never stays made, becoming rumpled and messy multiple times throughout the day.
The younger sister, Mathilda, married Thomas Sweeney in 1884, and had several children with him. However, he was abusive, and this led to their inevitable divorce. Many believe the hauntings at Ashton Villa are tied mostly to Mathilda, as she was the nicer, more kind-hearted child who never left her home despite the abuse she endured.
Bettie, on the other hand, was a free spirit and left every chance she could get. Maybe that is why her restless spirit is confined there now.
8) Ghost Nun of the Loretto Academy Tower
One of the most historic, well-respected institutions in El Paso holds a bit of darkness as well, as Loretto Academy is associated with a ghostly tale.
Legend has it that a ghostly nun can be spotted in the tower on some nights, pacing back and forth. The nun was supposedly pregnant, and was locked away in the tower to hide her sins and live out her days in shame of what she had done. Other versions say that she killed herself in the tower to escape the embarrassment and guilt she felt from the pregnancy.
9) Ghosts of Devil's Backbone
Many stories have circulated concerning the Devil's Backbone, a beautiful yet eerily desolate limestone ridge that runs through the Texas Hill Country.
People passing by claim to hear ghost horses gallop across the land, and some have even seen the ghosts of Spanish explorers and Monks. No one can really explain all of the paranormal activity that occurs in this stretch of Texas, but it's quite a famous legend here, and there's even a 1930s style honky-tonk called the Devil's Backbone Tavern in the town of Fischer. The locals gather there to talk about the legend, and to witness the ghostly activity in the tavern, too.
Bartenders at the tavern report that the TV turns on and off mysteriously, and even changes channels sometimes. Because of the numerous paranormal occurrences at the Devil's Backbone, local author Bert Wall wrote eight books about it and was working on another before he died in 2010.
This bridge got its name from a legend about a black goat farmer who lived with his family near the bridge. Oscar Washburn, also known as the Goatman, had a good reputation in North Texas, although the Klansmen in the local government despised him.
After putting out a sign on the bridge saying "this way to the Goatman's," the Klansmen went to his house and kidnapped him. They then tied a noose to his neck, securing the other end on the bridge, and threw him over the side.
After throwing him over, however, they peered down, and, to their dismay, saw no one in the noose. In a panic, they killed the rest of Washburn's family.
Locals say that if you turn off your headlights while crossing the bridge, the Goatman will appear at the other side, and he might just come out and grab you or throw rocks at you!
11) Sarah Jane
Just like other tales we have told about the spirits of women haunting waterways, Sarah Jane supposedly dropped her baby in the canal, and now searches for it every night. She hung herself in a tree after losing her baby, and now wanders along the banks of the Neches River in Port Neches, trying to find her child.
12) Lady Of White Rock Lake
A well-known legend in the Dallas area, a 21 year old looking woman supposedly haunts the lake, wearing a soaked 1930s dress. She asks passersby if they can take her to her home on Gaston Avenue in Dallas, but during the car ride, she disappears suddenly, leaving the seat soaking wet.
The legend says that she drowned in a boating accident at White Rock Lake.
Which one of these ghost stories was your favorite? Share with us in the comments, and let us know what ghost stories you think should be added to the list!