This popular Texas town is where many adventurous souls come to have a good time. And, with so many documented accounts of paranormal activity, it’s no wonder that one of the favorite pastimes of residents and visitors alike is investigating the city’s most legendary haunted places.
12. The Inn at Pearl Street
Built in 1896, the Inn at Pearl Street, was once the private residence of Judge Charles A. Wilcox and his family. Almost a century later, after years of neglect, the home was purchased by new owners who restored it to its former glory and opened a boutique hotel commonly known by locals and repeat guests as “The Pearl.” What the new owners did not anticipate was the presence of a couple of friendly spirits. Reports soon surfaced of strange noises, including disembodied footsteps and music, as well as an apparition of a woman floating in the halls to a chair where she rocks her twin boys to sleep.
11. Austin Tavern
This tavern, believed to have once been a sporting house, is said to be haunted by a young prostitute named Emily who was killed here along with her daughter in the 1940s. Reports include people being tapped, pinched and feeling as they are being watched by something unseen. Other reports include seeing hazy apparitions, feeling cold spots, and hearing the sound of footsteps and a phantom pool game.
10. Metz Elementary School
When this century-old schoolhouse was demolished and replaced with a more modern building in 1990, the demolition process did not go smoothly. Many of the heavy machinery operators reported that their machines would unexpectedly and inexplicably turn off during operation. There were also several reports of workers falling from ladders and tools that went missing during the rebuilding process.
Frightened workers at the site demanded an exorcism be performed after several within their ranks reported seeing children's writing mysteriously appear on classroom chalkboards and the appearance of ghostly children in the old building's restrooms.
9. The Omni Downtown
The Omni Downtown is a hotel that offers a pleasant and restful experience for most people traveling through the city of Austin. However, for some unfortunate individuals, it offers up something much more sinister—encounters with the ghost of a man named Jack who committed suicide by jumping off the balcony while staying at the hotel. Numerous guests and employees of the hotel have reported hearing his ghost moving around in the vacant room.
8. The Texas Governor's Mansion
One would anticipate that there would be countless stories attached to the Texas Governor’s Mansion, which dates back to the 1850s. What one might not expect is that these stories would include hauntings by former guests and residents of the mansion.
Two of the most notorious ghosts of the mansion were both former governors. Numerous people over the years claim to have seen the ghost of Sam Houston, whose ghostly figure is said to linger in the bedroom he once occupied while governor. The ghost of Pendleton Murrah, also a former governor, has also reportedly appeared inside the mansion and on the grounds.
The mansion’s most famous ghost story, however, is the tragic account of a young man in his teens who was courting Murrah’s niece. When the girl rejected his marriage proposal, the young man killed himself in his guest room in the mansion. Since his death, there have been frequent reports of paranormal activity in that room. People living in or visiting the mansion cite the room as a constant source of unpleasant noises, including moaning and the sound of someone gasping for breath.
7. Oakwood Cemetery
When looking for haunted spots, no ghost tour or paranormal investigation would be complete without including a cemetery. Established in 1839, the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin spans 40 acres and is the final resting place for more than 23,000 souls. Many people travel here with the hopes of seeing the ghost of General Sam Houston who is buried at the cemetery. Some have captured pictures of orbs at his grave and other graves in the cemetery.
6. The Texas Capitol
The Texas Capitol has had its share of people going in and out of the building since it was first built. Today, visitors and people who work in the Capitol are not the only souls to be found in the building, which is said to be haunted by a number of people. Some witnesses claim to have seen the ghost of Robert Marshall Love, who was killed in the building while sitting at his desk. Others report an apparition of a lady in red on the third floor who is said to visit a stairwell hoping to have a rendezvous with a man. Many people have also reporting seeing former Governor Edmund Jackson Davis stare at people from the first floor window until they move out of his line of sight.
5. The Walter Tips House
Built in 1876, this stately residence was home first to Walter Tips and his family, then later Theo P. Meyer, both successful businessmen in their own right. The house, which was moved to its current location for restoration purposes and now functions as a bank, is regarded by many as one of the top haunted sites in Texas.
The ghosts or spirits that reportedly haunt the house today seem to be very angry. It is said that when people approach the house, they get the distinct impression they are not wanted there.
4. St. Edward's University
St. Edward’s University, a center for higher learning that has educated many students over the years, has a history of spooky happenings and there are claims it is home to as many as three ghosts.
The ghost of a young man who committed suicide by hanging is said to reside in the Mary Moody Northern Theater. Witnesses report seeing his ghostly body hanging from where he perished and, despite not seeing the rope, many have heard the sounds of it creaking as it swung back and forth.
Premont Hall is said to be haunted by a former resident advisor who died in the showers. The slamming of doors and windows is one way this ghost makes his presence known. The unhappy ghost is also said to turn all the showers on simultaneously. The final ghost, found in Doyle Hall, appears to be that of a nun who also enjoys turning on the showers in the building.
3. The Driskill Hotel
Colonel Jesse Driskill built the now historic Driskill hotel in 1886. From the outside, the famous hotel is an amazing piece of architecture that has welcomed thousands of people through its doors during its 100- plus years. However, some of the people that stayed at the hotel never left, according to reports.
Feeling as though someone has brushed up against you is a common occurrence at the Driskill. There are those who state Driskill himself roams the hallways of his hotel, and occasionally employees and guests can smell the scent of his favorite cigars. A little girl also haunts the stairs and other common areas of the hotel and can often spotted holding flowers. But one of the creepiest locations in the hotel is Room 525. According to reports, two different brides committed suicide in the room, 20 years apart. The presence of the women is often felt in the unhappy room.
2. Shoal Creek Indian Massacre Site
When Gideon White decided to build a home in close proximity to Shoal Creek, many people told him it was not a good idea. Ignoring their advice, he built his log cabin in 1839.
Things were fine for roughly three years when, according to reports, White was killed by some Native Americans. People who have visited the area since his death have discovered many graves, including White’s and those of many people who died from yellow fever, cholera, and other tragedies.
With so many bodies buried in the location, it is not unusual to feel cold spots, hear strange noises, or see apparitions. Because of the high amount of paranormal activity in the area, people are not permitted to visit the creek after 10 p.m.
1. Littlefield House
Built in 1894, this beautiful, yet creepy looking home was where Major George Washington Littlefield and his wife lived without any children until they both died. Upon his wife’s death, the home was bequeathed to the University of Texas at Austin.
The house remains in the same location near the campus grounds and the university often uses the first floor of the building as a site for university events. The staff who work in the building say you can see Alice’s ghost roaming around the grounds and in the house, and some say you can hear Alice playing the piano at all hours of the night.
This wonderful list of Austin’s haunted spots was thoughtfully crafted by my friends at First American Title.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.