It’s Friday the 13th, folks. In the celebration of all that is spooky, we’ve compiled a list of the most haunted places in and around Houston as well as the grim tales that beseech them.
1. Rice Lofts (Houston)
Before it was the Rice Lofts, it was the Rice Hotel. In November 1963, it was where John F. Kennedy stopped in for a brief spell before his fatal assassination the following day.
Before the building underwent renovations, guests reported supernatural activity amounting to spheres of light, rattling of doors, and corporeal dancers in the ballroom. Since it became the high-rise apartment complex, the spirits are said to have taken their dance with death to the rooftop.
2. Hendley Row (Galveston)
Located in the Strand Historic District is the Hendley Market and Building – the oldest remaining commercial building in Galveston. As the town’s then tallest structure, it served as a lookout for Confederate soldiers during the 1850s and 1860s. In that time and in the years that followed, the area was rife with turmoil: the Battle of Galveston, yellow fever, and deadly hurricanes, all of which wrought havoc.
After the 1900 storm, the building operated as a morgue where in which residents would search for loved ones thought to have been lost or perished. Apparitions a soldier, teenage factory worker, a lady in white, as well as children playing are said to be spiritual residents of what was formerly Hendley Row.
3. La Carafe Bar (Houston)
La Carafe Wine Bar is a historic haunt housed in a building that’s stood for over a century and remains to be the oldest in the city of Houston. Here at La Carafe, stalagmites of wax pile up all about the bar indicative of its passage through time.
Built in 1847, and rebuilt in 1860 after its wooden framework was decimated by a fire, the building has been the home of a bakery, trading post, Mexican hair salon, and drug store before it became La Carafe in the 1960s. Since then, unexplained footfalls, loud noises, flickering lights, and a ghostly bartender named “Carl” have been reported in the tavern.
4. AI Engineering Building (College Station)
Where now stands the AI Engineering Building on the Texas A&M campus was formerly the Animal Industries Building. Back in 1959, its foreman, Roy Simms, was butchering a piece of meat alone in the basement slaughterhouse when a slip of the knife accidentally lacerated his femoral artery. Before help arrived, Simms ultimately bled to death.
Following the tragic accident, reports of strange noises, apparitions, phantom footprints, and misplaced objects came from those inside the bowels of the building.
5. Driskell Hotel (Austin)
We’d be remiss not to include of one the most widespread tales of haunting in the state of Texas. Located on 6th Street in Downtown, Austin, the Driskell Hotel is an opulent, Romanesque hotel that’s been in operation since 1886. While its history has its upsides – including the site of LBJ’s and Claudia Taylor’s first date – it also contains a macabre past of untimely demise, suicide, and sightings of the un-living, including the spirit of Colonel Driskill, himself.
6. The Hotel Galvez (Galveston)
Opened in 1911, a near decade after a hurricane devastated the area, The Hotel Galvez in Galveston has since experienced its fair share of the supernatural. Its most infamous guest perhaps is that of Audra. Back in the ’50s, Audra was a 25-year-old bride-to-be. Her husband, a mariner, oft left for seafaring voyages, wherein alone Audra would stay in Room 501 of the hotel. On one such voyage, a catastrophic storm capsized the husband’s boat. “All hands were lost” were the reports from the wreckage; overwrought with despair, Audra hung herself there in the hotel.
It would come to be that her husband survived the shipwreck, only to discover days later what had become of his wife. Since then, Audra’s ghost is said to wander the hallways of the fifth floor, leaving in her wake a hair-raising chill, a slamming of doors, and flickering lights.
7. Granbury Opera House (Granbury)
South of Fort Worth, Granbury is a quiet, historical town that (generally speaking) is left off the radar. Let it be known, however, that there’s more than meets the eye in this unassuming town. Home to the spiritually suspicious Nutt House Hotel and Oil Jail Museum, the town’s most arguably haunted residency is its opera house. Here, the ominous presence in question is said to belong to none other than John Wilkes Booth. So when visiting, be sure to keep your head on a swivel.
8. Yorktown Memorial Hospital (South Texas)
What could now easily be the setting of a new iteration of the Halloween franchise, the abandoned Yorktown Memorial Hospital 75 miles southeast of San Antonio is a grim, decrepit building that once served as a rehabilitation center for those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.
Opened in the 1950s, the hospital was run by the “Felician Sisters” – a Roman Catholic-based religious group – and abandoned in the 80s. Its caretaker has since reported apparitions, black phantasmic masses, as well as numerous sightings of red, glowing eyes. Additionally, a “scientifically based” ghost hunting team known as the Central Texas Ghost Hunters once visited the hospital, where they supposedly captured phantom organ music during their investigation.
9. Glenwood Cemetery (Houston)
On Washington Avenue, set upon a rolling grassy landscape is the century-old Glenwood Cemetery. While a portion of the cemetery features modest early headstones from its early German roots, a large part of the cemetery resembles that of a 19th-century burial ground.
Visitors are invited to stroll about and look upon the terraced gardens, ornamental iron gates, weeping angels, mausoleums, and monuments. Some of Houston’s most rich and powerful are interred in these grounds, such as George R. Brown, George Hermann, and Ross Sterling. Just as well, the historical cemetery is shrouded in stories of spirits, vengeful entities, and apparitions said to wander the grounds.
10. USS Lexington Museum (Corpus Christi)
During WWII, the USS Lexington saw 21 months in combat and participated in “nearly every major operation in the Pacific Theater“. In this timespan, Japanese broadcast radio referred to the carrier as the “Tokyo Rose”. However, after broadcasts reported that the ship had sank only to return on four separate occasions, they began to refer to it as “The Blue Ghost”. Since then there’s been hundreds of supernatural reports, particularly in the case of a helpful uniformed sailor named “Charlie”.