Unexplained lights. Disembodied voices. Ghostly brides and cowboys. If you’re up for a good scare and you know where the ghouls hang out, a road trip through Texas can chill you to the bones. From haunted hotels to railroad tracks with a ghostly past, the Lone Star State has more than its share of spooky spots to make you scream.
1. Baker Hotel – Mineral Wells
Located in the town of Mineral Wells — known for its lithium- traced “crazy water” — this 14-story abandoned hotel is enough to give even the most seasoned of ghost hunters the heebie-jeebies. Reports of strange shadows, disembodied voices, and peculiar mists haunt the place. And with plans to reopen the hotel in the future, thrill seekers will have the chance to test their mettle.
2. Lost Cemetery of Infants — Arlington
Strange shadows, the sense of being watched, the feeling of tiny hands playing with visitors’ hair — these are the reports from UTA’s little-known cemetery for infants, previously known as the Berachah Industrial Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls. Once a refuge site for troubled or widowed young women, this accompanying graveyard was the burial place for stillborn and other infants. Disturbingly, visitors will notice gravestones with only first names, or anonymous markings that simply say “baby” or “Twins No. 6.”
3. USS Lexington — Corpus Cristi
Now decommissioned and open to the public as a museum, this old aircraft carrier saw several major battles in World War II. Visitors claim to have heard unexplained clanking of tools as well as disembodied voices, cries, and even screams. A ghostly man in uniform is said to walk the halls. But even without the otherworldly help, the Lexington puts on one heck of a haunted house come
4. Catfish Plantation — Waxahachie
Aside from serving up some frighteningly delicious fried catfish platters, this establishment embraces its haunted legacy. They even welcome paranormal investigators! Accounts of chiming, broken clocks seem to confirm the legends, along with eerie voices and sightings of a ghostly bride.
5. The Driskill Hotel – Austin
Visitors could catch a whiff of phantom tobacco smoke, as this site is said to be haunted by the ghost of founder Colonel Jesse Driskell, a cigar-puffing cattle baron who once lost his $400,000 fortune. He allegedly still enjoys his landmark hotel, and is kept company by the ghost of a four-year-old girl who fell down the grand staircase to her doom. A painting of her likeness is said to occasionally grin.
6. Stagecoach Road — Marshall
Forged by years of stagecoaches traversing the historic route in the pre–Civil War days, this “holloway” (a road sunken into the ground with steep banks on either side) is known for being spooky, and possibly haunted. A few otherworldly sightings surround the lore of Stagecoach Road, including a woman in a white dress. As legend has it, she was killed by the townspeople, and now walks the road in search of her drowned children.
7. La Carafe — Houston
It’s the oldest building in Houston, an official Texas landmark, and certifiably haunted. Bartenders have seen bottles inexplicably fall off shelves, heard the sounds of playing children upstairs, and spotted the ghost of an old manager lurking in the window. If that’s a little to spine-tingly for Houston visitors, there’s an array of bars and restaurants nearby, as well as the acclaimed Lancaster hotel.
8. Haunted Railroad Tracks — San Antonio
When an ill-fated school bus stalled on railroad tracks as a freight train plowed into it, ten children perished while the nun who accompanied them miraculously survived. But when she returned to the scene a few weeks later and parked her car on the tracks, awaiting another train to take her life, her car was moved inexplicably back to safety. When she stepped out of her car, shaken by the experience, she discovered tiny hand prints on her bumper. Fact or urban legend? You be the judge.
9. Stockyards Hotel — Fort Worth
Cowboys, Victorian women — and that’s just the ghosts! Historically, Stockyards Hotel is a boarding house turned brothel turned B&B. Some guests never truly checked out, as evidenced by the flurry of activity that allegedly takes place in the vacant rooms. Stop in and stay for a night—if you’re feeling brave, that is.
10. Marfa Lights – Marfa
How does one explain the strange multicolored lights that appear out in the fields of Marfa, Texas, at nightfall? Some say it’s just reflections of car lights and campfires. Others say there’s something more to the story. The fact is that nobody knows. Stop by the historic Hotel Paisano, then check out the Marfa Lights Viewing Area to see for yourself.
Of course, we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to possibly haunted places in Texas. A few runners up include the abandoned Hero’s Water World park in Odessa, the legendary Hollering Woman Creek in San Antonio, and the haunted Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Texas vacation rentals on Tripping.com.
Chris Keilman is a copywriter at Esurance, where he specializes in blog content that’s helpful and insightful. As part of the editorial staff for more than two years, he’s researched and written about a myriad of driving- and travel-related topics, from road-tripping to travel insurance to traffic laws.