Texas Living

The 5 Most Haunted Places in Texas

By Patrick Reardon 10.1.19

With its sprawling Hill Country, bluebonnet-lined streams, and vibrant skylines, our beloved Texas boasts some of the most beautiful sights to see in the nation. Amid the countless beauties, however, lies an intricate history decorated with scandals, feuds, wars, and mysteries. For those involved, many of these Texan tragedies have yet to be settled — and their spirits will not rest until they are …

This Halloween, explore our guide to five haunted places in Texas and the tales of past Texans who still dwell among us today.

Courtesy of Renel Library

Goatman’s Bridge, Argyle

Old Alton Bridge was constructed in 1884 near a profitable goat farm run by the honest and kindhearted Oscar Washburn, whom his neighbors affectionately referred to as “the Goatman.” Bitter rivals in local government despised the Goatman’s success, and one ominous August evening, he was abducted from his home and hanged from Old Alton Bridge. When the murderers peered over the edge, however, the noose was dangling empty. Since then, the site has been known as Goatman’s Bridge, accompanied by the legend of its nocturnal guardian — a half-man, half-goat specter who haunts the surrounding forest.

Adolphus Hotel, Dallas

You’ve likely heard of the luxurious Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. It opened in 1912 under Adolphus Busch and has hosted guests such as George H.W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II. One guest, however, has yet to check out: In the 1930s, a woman was to be married in the hotel, but her fiancé never showed up. Heartbroken, she took her life that very night. Her spirit extended her stay, and the jilted bride has since been heard moaning on the 19th floor, tampering with the elevators, and playing her harrowing music box late into the night.

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Devil’s Backbone, Hill Country

There’s a panoramic view along Ranch Road 32, between Wimberley and Blanco: sweeping green hills speckled with cacti and divided by a long, rocky spine. It’s called the Devil’s Backbone and was once a stage for Western drama between settlers and Native Americans. Today, local ranchers have reported the ghost of a Native American herding cattle over the Backbone, while others have witnessed a group of tormented Confederate soldiers on horseback, thunderously galloping through the rolling Hill Country.

Courtesy of Flickr User TXRelicHunter

Woman Hollering Creek, San Antonio

Some say the chilling wails come from a mother who, in the throes of grief at her husband’s infidelity, drowned her children in the creek. Others say she drowned them after fierce Native Americans raided her home and murdered her husband, in order to save them from a more gruesome death. Still others insist that they hear the cries of La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman” from the popular Latin American folk legend that dates back to the ancient Aztecs. While several variations of the tale exist, the facts remain the same: Venture out by Woman Hollering Creek late at night and you may hear the sorrowful, foreboding howls yourself.

Photography by Jeff Lynch

Frio River, Hill Country

Many years ago, in the Frio River Canyon in South Texas, the lovely Maria Juarez had a dream. She would fall in love with a handsome vaquero, be married, and raise a beautiful family of her own. After years of waiting, Maria eventually met the man of her dreams, Anselmo, and the two fell deeply in love — much to the dismay of Gregorio, the husband of Maria’s sister. One sinister night, Gregorio demanded Maria leave Anselmo and love him instead, but the purehearted Maria refused and, enraged, Gregorio killed her. Her dream never fulfilled, Maria now takes the form of white wisps of mist on the Frio River and is known as the White Lady of Rio Frio, her gentle spirit comforting cold or lost children — the children she never had herself.

Still skeptical of Texas’ haunted history? Here are five more ghostly tales that might convince you otherwise.

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