Abandoned buildings are hauntingly beautiful. Whether fully intact or withering away from the elements, their remains tell stories of the life and memories that once existed inside the now empty walls. These 13 places in Texas closed their doors long ago, but they still stand as tall and proud as ever — maybe due to some paranormal presences keeping them alive.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Douget's Rice Mill (Beaumont)
Being from Southeast Texas myself, this one brings back countless memories of Halloween nights spent parked outside this rice mill telling stories about the gruesome fates met by some terribly unfortunate employees. If you gaze up into the open door at dusk, you just might see one of them standing in the threshold.
2. Baker Hotel (Mineral Wells)
By far the most well-known abandoned place in Texas, the Baker Hotel finally shut its doors in 1972 after its incredibly successful run, the heyday of which was in the '20s and '30s. Guests — many being celebrities —
flocked to Mineral Wells from all over to experience the healing power of its "crazy water." So much traffic was bound to result in a few tragedies such as the owner's mistress diving off a balcony after their affair had been discovered. She might reveal herself to you during a walking tour of the grounds, but if not, merely stepping foot onto the property is enough to make every hair on your body stand at attention.
3. Zedler's Mill (Luling)
Although the mill is now part of a community park that strives to reintegrate the values held by Luling's first settlers into the city today, there's no denying the eeriness of this place. Considering the rudimentary technology that existed back when it was operating, it stands to reason that a few lives were lost to the machinery. Since this is one of the few abandoned places in Texas you can actually go inside, maybe you'll catch a glimpse of some of them.
4. Stewart Mansion (Galveston)
What on earth would cause such an affluent family to abandon their beautiful home? They commissioned the elaborate murals on the walls, so clearly moving wasn't in the cards for some time. We should also point out that the mansion is located on an ancient pirate burial ground... could this mystery be the work of vengeful spirits exacting revenge on the people who stole their land?
5. Water Wonderland (Odessa)
Built in 1980, Water Wonderland served as a much-needed oasis in the hot, dry West Texas desert. After suffering a bankruptcy in 1994 and a lawsuit in 1996, the park once filled with childrens' laughter was left to decay into oblivion.
6. Rig Theatre (Premont)
Of all the places to abandon, movie theaters are some of the saddest. Many of us associate particular movies with certain events or phases in our lives, and seeing the places that created those memories being destroyed by the elements is extremely disheartening. In the small town of Premont, with a population of less than 3,000, there probably aren't very many activities to participate in even today — so you can imagine how this place was probably the primary hangout spot for youngsters in the 1950s. I wonder what stories and emotions are trapped inside those walls...
7. Mosheim School (Mosheim)
This K-12 school was built in the Roaring Twenties and never saw a graduating class of more students than you can count on your fingers. Although it never lived up to the grandiose expectations set forth by the town's residents, nobody has the heart to tear it down. There's just something sacred about old-fashioned schoolhouses that shouldn't dare be tampered with.
8. Dr. White's Sanitorium (Wichita Falls)
Severely mentally ill patients roamed the halls of this asylum in the mid-1900s — and they weren't confined to a single cell, which means their spirits are free to walk the entire building. Dr. White believed he was doing good work by allowing so much freedom, but he probably didn't have the afterlife in mind.
9. Tundra Village (San Antonio)
If a single abandoned home is creepy, then an entire neighborhood is absolutely terrifying. Plans for this subdivision fell through, and the builders left it to rot into the soil — but rumor has it plans might be in the works to restore it into what it was supposed to be!
10. Superconducting Supercollider (Waxahachie)
If completed, this scientific breakthrough would've been the largest, most energetic supercollider in the world. Unfortunately, budget problems forced a cancellation in 1993, and the physicists who worked on the project can only dream of what the finished product would've done for us as a society.
11. Woodmen Circle Home (Sherman)
Serving as a home to hundreds of children and elderly women between 1930 and 1971, Woodmen's Circle saved many lives while it was open. Unfortunately, it didn't meet building code requirements in the late 1900s and had to be shut down. Today, the 15-acre property has been left to decay, much to the dismay of residents who hate to see a building with so much potential being neglected.
12. Contrabando (Lajitas)
Built for use in the 1996 movie "Lone Star," Contrabando looks like a real West Texas ghost town. All that remains today is one singular building, but it's still absolutely worth a visit.
13. Bender Hotel (Laredo)
Laredo's first hotel, the Bender was built in 1913 and was the talk of the town with its impressive 50 rooms and grandiose balcony. It abandoned in the later years of the century, and in 2011, a paranormal TV crew visited the hotel and reported unexplained knocking and thumping — even in the daytime hours.