As Halloween gets closer, the ghosts come out to play each night. So to make sure you get your fill of Texas-sized thrills, visit these 13 spots in each part of the state where you’re sure to see something that’ll make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and send chills down your spine. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you’re in for a screaming good time!
Ghost Road – Saratoga, TX
Deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas, this creepy road off FM 787, once called Bragg Road, is now officially “Ghost Road” due to its mysterious happenings. Travel down it in the dead of night and turn off your headlights to spot the eerie glowing ball of light that appears and disappears down the road. Many have traveled this road, but no one can find an explanation for the lights. The most popular legend about the Saratoga Lights holds that a man was decapitated by a train when the Santa Fe line ran through the road in the 1900s, and now searches for his head with a lantern through the night.
Monkey Bridge/ Fuller Park – Athens, TX
Though Athens is full of adventure, it also has a darker side that’ll make you go bananas… Legend has it that a circus train was traveling through town when it violently crashed under Thunder Bridge (known to the locals as Monkey Bridge). The surviving monkeys escaped into the forest, but the ones who died in the accident supposedly still haunt the already-creepy overgrown area on West College Street. The legend goes on to say that the escaped monkeys were gathered up by Medford Fuller and kept in giant cages at Fuller Park, where he did unspeakable things and performed creepy rituals. The overgrown park is still there, where you can see the crumbling stone walls and — if you’re brave enough to explore the dark woods — even Mr. Fuller’s grave and the iron monkey cages.
USS Lexington – Corpus Christi, TX
Instead of Casper the friendly ghost, aboard the Lexington you might just find Charlie the friendly tour guide! Many folks have described meeting a very kind and handsome blue-eyed young man, dressed in uniform who happily gives tours of the lower decks. It’s not until these folks are informed that the Lexington doesn’t have tour guides that they are a little spooked. Charlie was an engine room operator who died in 1943 when a Japanese torpedo hit the ship, but even so, I hear his tours are “out of this world!”
Memphis Man – Lubbock, TX
One icy morning in Lubbock, a man stood waiting for the bus to arrive on Memphis Street. When the bus finally came, it slipped on the ice and killed him. People now say that when you drive north on Memphis Avenue in the dark of night, you can still see the figure of a man leaning against the light pole waiting for the bus at the corner of 66th St. and Memphis Ave. When you get closer, he disappears.
Marfa Lights – Marfa, TX
The Marfa Lights are less creepy and more mystifying. Each night around sunset, out in the distance on the horizon of the Chinati Mountains, these unexplained lights show up and disappear randomly. Like some sort of desert disco, they change colors, move around and flash on and off. They’ve been spotted since the 1880s, and explanations range from UFO’s to ghosts of Conquistadors in search of gold.
San Antonio Ghost Tracks – San Antonio, TX
One rainy morning, a school bus full of children stalled as it was crossing the tracks. A train came speeding down the track and the bus was unable to move out of the way, causing a terrible crash and killing 10 children. Now, legend holds that the ghosts of those children push stalled cars out of the way to safety. Park about 50 ft. before these tracks on Shane Road, put the car in neutral and turn the engine off. Without touching the gas, your car will travel uphill over the tracks. If you cover the back bumper with baby powder before crossing the tracks, you’ll supposedly find baby fingerprints on the bumper afterwards.
Anson Lights – Anson, TX
Just outside of Abilene, you’ll find yet another unexplainable phenomenon of ghostly lights. On a clear night, drive east on US 180 until you reach a cemetery. Take a right at the country road near the cemetery and drive until you reach a crossroad. Turn back around and face the way you came. Turn off the engine and flash your headlights three times and a strange glowing light will appear in the distance where there was none before. Legend has it that the light belongs to the spirit of a woman searching for her lost children.
The Grove – Jefferson, TX
While many know Jefferson as the “B&B Capital of Texas,” it is also known as the “Most Haunted Small Town in Texas.” If you’re in town and searching for monsters, then look no further than The Grove. Built in 1861, it is now the most haunted home in Jefferson. Among many disturbances like moving furniture and strange noises, many who visit have reported seeing a Lady in White walking around the front porch and disappearing into the wall of the house.
Catfish Plantation – Waxahachie, TX
At this restaurant in Waxahachie, your delicious fried catfish comes served with a side of ghostly encounters (and that’s not including the friendly ghost decor if you visit in October…) Rumors go that this house built in 1895 is haunted by past residents including a young man who likes to flirt with the ladies by brushing their shoulders or knees, and a woman named “Caroline” who can often be seen staring out the front window. Things happen so often that a sign at the front says “If you have a ghostly experience, please tell us.”
Presido La Bahia – Goliad, TX
If you’re really looking for a scream, sleep inside the old priests’ and officers’ quarters of Presido La Bahia, the Spanish fort where over 300 men were massacred within and surrounding the fort’s walls. At night, when the fort is empty, you can hear infants screaming and you might just run into a ghostly friar chanting Latin prayers as he paces the Chapel. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a woman dressed in white wandering around the fort.
We tried staying a night in the fort, and you can watch us scream like little girls here.
Susanna Dickinson’s House – Austin, TX
For a good dose of historical spook, visit the house-turned-museum of Susanna Dickinson, the only white female survivor of the Alamo. While on the grounds, folks have seen the curtains of the front windows part at the middle and even the spirit of Mrs. Dickinson, herself, wandering around the property.
Driskill Hotel – Austin, TX
With ancient wells underneath, stories of multiple bridal ghosts wandering through the hotel, and hallways that look like they’ve come straight out of The Shining, this 125 year-old hotel has plenty to keep you spooked. To truly experience a scare, stay in Rooms 525 or 429, which are rumored to be the most haunted spots in the hotel. People have even had encounters with Colonel Driskill, himself, who died in 1890 and now enjoys smoking cigars and watching traffic from “his room.”
La Carafe – Houston
As if visiting this dim, candle-lit tavern with towering mounds of wax everywhere weren’t creepy enough, you might just be served your drink by a ghostly figure. The bar, which was built in 1847, is known as Houston’s oldest building and tends to be haunted by old bartender, Carl Truscott, who died in the 1990. Folks often hear an eerie voice shout out “Last Call” at strange times, or see figures appearing in the front windows late at night. More humorously, many folks have also complained of having to wait forever for a bathroom that ends up being empty or someone brushing up against them in the tiny one room stalls.