The 10 Most Haunted Places In Austin
The Capital of the Lone Star State, Austin’s wild west history reads like an Ambrose Piece novel that was later adapted by Sam Peckinpah into an even more violent sequel of the Wild Bunch. It is savage tale brimming with valiant showdowns, dastardly knaves, brutal Comanche Indians, rough-neck desperados, under the table back-stabbing politicians, fugitive slaves and larger than life outlaws. Austin was the border, the fringe lands, where you came to start a new life while also disappearing from your former. It was the place where devils and saints sat down across each other and toasted to their No Man’s Land like lease on life. This was the neutral ground devils and saints called Purgatory.
Austin, a place of wickedness churned into being by good intentions.
Right off the bat, from the very first second the region was inhabited by European settlers the conflicts began. Bloodshed became the way of the land as Native Americans made life in this arid landscape a nightmare; mission after Spanish mission fastening themselves unto the spot by sheer will. Then, came the Texan War for independence from Mexico, a year-long battle that drenched the land with fallen soldiers and transformed the plains of Texas into a feast for carrion birds. The Nation, soon to be added State to the Union, had nothing but growing pains. Droughts and plagues, shoot-outs in the streets, cow poachers taking livestock and lives, Texas Rangers pushing Comanche warriors westward in ever more violent skirmishes, slave revolts, raided Land Offices and finally the onset of the Civil War.
“It was Hell,” said a cavalryman after going back to DC and giving Grant the skinny on Austin, “Mister President it is a festering pond of criminals and rascals with the potential to be one of the greatest cities in America.”
In the span of 30 years, a span mind you that was set into motion by war of Independence from Mexico, Austin endured over 20 different military campaigns in its region; The Red River Massacre, The Council House Fight, The Battle Of Plum Creek, the Travis County Slave Revolt, The Archive War, the Raids Of San Antonio, and a dozen more.
To this day, Austin is a striving community of desperados, of non- conformists, of patriots and folks – from all walks of life – that simply don’t take any s%&T from anybody. It is a place of burning passions and one whose very soul has a few inflamed spirits haunting its bullet-riddled body.
Top Ten Haunted Spots In Austin, TX.
10. The Driskill Hotel
This hotel is without a doubt one of the most famous and ghastly spots in Austin. The Driskill Hotel has garnered quite a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the whole of the Lone Star State. The presence of spirits is so prevalent that the staff even have handouts for guests, their very own game of Pokemon…
“Here you go, try to catch them all…”
Among the haunts that call this little hotspot their home, you can find the Hotel’s namesake, Civil War Colonel Jesse Driskill, a poker-playing fast drinking hombre who lost the deed to the property ‘cause of a bad hand. From spirits in the elevator shaft to fashion-savvy poltergeists – musician Annie Lennox reportedly had undead help in choosing an outfit to perform in when she stayed in the hotel. The hotel has it all.
Johnette Napolitano’s song “Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man” was inspired by events that took place at the Driskill.
9. Buffalo Billiards
A fixture on Sixth Street since 1861, the now funky bar was once a rather famous boarding house; which back in those Wild West days was street code for a brothel. The place was a battleground for hot tempers, fevered passions, and angry confrontations. It was, to sum it up rather quickly, the outlaw dive bar all other dive bars strived to be. It was sketchy, it was boisterous, it was one bad hand of blackjack away from devolving into the O.K. Corral.
That rattlesnake mean reputation and gun oil slick pedigree have earned the place its cabinet of curiosity. A stock room filled with booze, buffalo wings, urban legends, and haunts. The current everyday minutia of running a bar mixed in with the hijinks of pesky ghosts; pool cues moving about, glasses that were cleared appearing back on the tables, chairs being turned over, the jukebox blurring out Johnny Cash at odd hours, doors slamming on their own and a dozen other supernatural occurrences.
8. Texas Governor’s Mansion
Rebuilt after a fairly recent fire, the Governor’s Mansions is one of the oldest residences in the United States. The Mansion’s bones and the land it lays its scorched body has become a hotbed of supernatural activity.
In the layman speak of parapsychologists, “old means ghosts”, and this spot has the wrinkles to prove that theory right. One of the most famous spirits that seem to be a fixture in the place is Sam Houston, the President and governor of Texas when the State was an independent pseudo-nation.
Another throwback from those days, when the Union was still being cobbled together, is the ghost of a 19-year-old serviceman who shot himself after being rejected by the nice of then-Governor Pendelton Murrah.
7. Texas State Capitol
A lady in red who waltzes across secret stairwells waiting for her lover and tempting hot-blooded males. Orbs and will-o-the-wisps circling the dome at the stroke of midnight. The murdered revenant of Robert Marshall Law appearing by his old desk, half his cranium shot off. Growls and scrapes scaring the living daylights out of the night staff as they pass lock rooms.
The Texas State Capital is a treasure trove of the weird, the bizarre and the insane.
6. Oakwood Cemetery Annex
Oakwood Cemetery has the distinction of holding the grave of one of the very few survivors of the Alamo, Susannah Wilkerson Dickinson, that alone ought to be enough claim to fame… But it’s not.
The Cemetery has clawed its way into the annals of history not because of its distinctive and noteworthy residents, but that fact that these inhabitants refuse to stay put… as in six feet under and not partying around the cemetery grounds like its Spring Break for the undead.
The gates of the cemetery are locked at night right around dusk and only truly valiant trespassers decide to take an illegal stroll down this Walking Dead byway. Nonetheless, visitors can simply station themselves in the exterior, aiming their cameras through the fence and capture what can only be described as a poor man’s version of Micheal Jackson’s Thriller video.
5. St. Edward’s University
South Austin university is supposedly riddled with spooks, specters, spirits, and supernatural beings. A smorgasbord of the eerie that makes the students of the University feel as if they made a mistake and accidentally enrolled in Hogwarts.
The frequency with which the students come into contact with the ethereal and unknown is simply ridiculous. Apparitions haunt the hallways like its a gridlocked highway between the land of the living and the dead; shoulder to shoulder with coeds and frat students.
Wraiths like the student who fell to his death out a window in the Maloney Room. Specters like the hanged drama student in the Mary Moody Northern Theater. Ghost like the ground’s keeper who had a heart attack by the fountain.
4. Austin’s Inn at Pearl Street
Built by Judge Charles A. Wilcox in 1896, the grand mansion slowly devolved from a stately family home into a co-op housing development for slackers, drug dealers and the dregs of society. By the early 1980’s the now converted Austin Inn was nothing short than a halfway house in sad shape were yuppies came for their weekly nose candy.
The late 1990s saw a shift in the economy and gentrification hit the mansion like a sledgehammer. The building was bought, renovated and converted into a world-class boutique Inn with modern fixings. It was a complete makeover that did it’s level best to wash the grime and grit of the past century.
It succeeded in all… It simply couldn’t get rid of the pesky ephemeral inhabitants that just love a rent control space in the middle of Austin.
The place has been plagued by the apparitions of a crying and despondent woman on a rocking chair, of wailing babies, of loud bangs in empty rooms, of lights switching on and off.
3. Shoal Creek Indian Massacre Site
This is the sort of place that might as well come with a copy of Poltergeist and a yellow post-it attached to the Dvd’s cover:
“In case you feel the need for real-estate…”
In 1839, a man named Gideon White decided – despite the neighbors telling him he was off his rocker – a log cabin near the Shoal Creek. Why were the neighbors so adamant about it being a bad idea?
Well, the place was a religious center for the Native Americans and a holy place of rest for their people, in other words, it was an Indian Burial Ground.
By 1842, Gideon has lost most of his sanity and was constantly being assailed by all manner of supernatural occurrences. On that very year, the Natives decided that they had enough of the trespasser; they attacked and killed Gideon.
Gideon’s body, plus innumerable others are buried in this land. The region pot-marked with unmarked graves and massive burial sites.
2. The Littlefield House
The picture perfects spooky house. The picture you’d find next to the word “haunted” in a dictionary. Littlefield is your stereotypical Anne Rice house with a big vacancy sign that reads:
It’s an ornate Victorian mansion with a rather creepy aura and a plethora of ghost stories.
The proprietor of the Littlefield House, Alice Littlefield, experienced grave bouts of mental illness – schizophrenia and paranoia – and never left the house. She died and her lunatic off her meds’ ghost refuses to seek medical aid in the great beyond; she’s stuck in her little asylum at Littlefield.
1.Omni Austin Hotel Downtown
It’s unusual for a brand-new hotel to have ghost stories. It’s rare, but it happens.
Buzz has it that the entity that haunts this spot is the spirit of a man named, Jack. A depressed individual who committed suicide by jumping off a balcony.
His name remains in the computer log, proving he’s more than just an urban tale, because Jack shortchanged the establishment and never paid his tab. The staff says they can hear Jack in his room at night, and other guests visiting in nearby rooms have also described hearing him.