Most Haunted Places in Austin, TX

Posted by in US Ghost Adventures

Austin is famous for its love of all things odd and eccentric. But its road to becoming a haven for the peculiar is littered with gruesome tales of a less forgiving time that left innumerable souls in its wake. Austin Ghosts takes you down the blood-stained road that harbors a demented past and introduces you to the spirits that help Keep Austin Weird.

From the infamously haunted Driskill Hotel to the nightly terrors of the Paramount Theatre, you’re about to embark on a journey where the strange and the ominous intersect, creating some of the nation’s most devious entities and otherworldly activity.

Ready to experience the most haunted places in Austin yourself? Take a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures, and let us take you right to them!

The Driskill Hotel

The Driskill Hotel is the audacious vision of Jesse Driskill, a cattle baron whose fortunes soared after supplying beef to the Confederate Army during the Civil War. With his pockets brimming with wealth, he ventured into the world of hospitality and commissioned the construction of the grand Romanesque Revival structure that stands proud to this day. 

From political rallies and opulent parties to the first date of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, the hotel has hosted luminaries and shaped the course of Austin’s social tapestry. 

 

Ghostly Encounters at the Driskill Hotel

 

The Driskill Hotel has become a hotbed of spooky activity, where apparitions and eerie occurrences have captivated the imaginations of guests and ghost enthusiasts alike. Among the most famous phantoms of the Driskill is the haunted bride: two brides, to be precise, each with a tragic tale.

The first, a sorrowful Victorian soul, wanders the halls in mourning attire, having taken her own life in Room 525 after her betrothed called off their wedding. The second bride sought solace in the Driskill after being jilted at the altar. She embarked on a lavish shopping spree, only to meet a tragic end in Room 525, where she took her own life in the 1990s. Guests have reported sightings of her carrying packages or a pistol down the corridor, disappearing into Room 525 without ever opening the door.

But it is not just the brides who haunt these hallowed grounds. A mischievous ghost child known as Samantha Houston is said to have met a tragic fate on the grand staircase. And then there is the lingering presence of Colonel Jesse Driskill himself. It seems the restless spirit of the hotel’s founder remains connected to the place he once called his own.

The Texas Governor's Mansion

Texas Governor’s Mansion is a place steeped in history and intrigue. As with many old and storied buildings, it is said to be home to a few lingering spirits. One of the most well-known ghost stories involves a lovelorn young man who fell for the Governor’s niece during Pendleton Murrah’s administration.

After being rejected and heartbroken, he tragically took his own life in his room at the mansion. Since then, guests and staff members have reported hearing cries, wails, and loud banging emanating from that room. It seems the ghost of the lovelorn young man continues to haunt the mansion, expressing his anguish long after his untimely demise.

 

Seal It Up!

 

In an effort to quell these disturbances, Governor Andrew J. Hamilton made the decision to seal up the room, hoping to keep the ghost contained. For years, this solution seemed to work, with the unexplained activity subsiding. However, during a renovation, the room was opened once again, and the hauntings resumed. The tormented cries of the young man still echo through the mansion, reminding visitors of his tragic fate.

But it is not just the lovelorn ghost who haunts the mansion. Two former governors, Sam Houston and Pendleton Murrah, are said to make their spectral presence known as well. Murrah’s spirit is described as moving about the mansion, casting a dark shadow and making his presence felt. Sam Houston, on the other hand, tends to confine himself to the room he once occupied as governor, his ghostly form wandering near the large mahogany bed.

More Ghosts at The Texas Governor’s Mansion

  • There is an entity that appears on humid days when the windows fog up
  • Witnesses have reported seeing hands and even a face pressed against the glass
  • Others have claimed to see its face with a wide open mouth in a haunting expression

The Littlefield House

The Littlefield House, located on the University of Texas at Austin campus, is a historic home with a rich history and a reputation for being haunted. The house was constructed in 1893 by architect James Wahrenberger and commissioned by George Littlefield, a prominent Civil War veteran, cattle rancher, and businessman.

The story of Alice Littlefield, George’s wife, plays a central role in the haunting legends surrounding the house. Alice was a talented artist and a vibrant personality. However, at the age of 65, she developed an unexplained “nervous condition” characterized by visions, delusions of doom, and paranoia. George had to restrain her and eventually placed her in a sanitarium for treatment.

After George died in 1920, Alice regained her mental health and resumed an active social life. She passed away in 1935 at the age of 88 and was buried beside her husband at Oakwood Cemetery.

 

Alice Comes Home

 

The Littlefield House’s ghostly activity is often attributed to Alice’s spirit. Residents of the dormitory named after her at the University of Texas claim to hear strange noises, singing and moaning. Students have reported experiencing unexplained protection or assistance in times of danger, leading to a belief that Alice’s ghost acts as a guardian angel.

Visitors have witnessed her gliding through rooms and gardens, exuding a sense of melancholy. In addition to her haunting, the house is also known for hosting an annual séance, where participants attempt to communicate with the spirits residing there, including Alice herself. 

The Austin Pizza Garden

The historic Austin Pizza Garden building has been a prominent landmark in Oak Hill since 1898. It has a rich history and has been in the family of the late Broken Spoke owner, James White. The building has a reputation for being haunted, with reports of lights turning on and off, doors opening and closing, and strange apparitions appearing.

Some believe that the spirit residing there is that of John Dudley White, a Texas Ranger who was killed in the line of duty in 1918. Paranormal investigators have captured audio recordings of ghostly words associated with the building’s history.

A particular incident adds to the Austin Pizza Garden building’s otherworldly reputation. One of the waitresses who worked there had an eerie experience while setting the table. She placed the silverware neatly and left a tub of remaining silverware nearby. As she briefly stepped away to fetch more napkins, she returned to find that everything on the table had been mysteriously turned over and set in disarray.

The Paramount Theatre

The Paramount, originally known as The Majestic, hosted the greatest vaudeville acts of its time. Legends such as the Marx Brothers, Katherine Hepburn, and the mesmerizing Harry Houdini graced its stage, leaving audiences in awe and delight.

But as time waltzed forward, the world changed its tune. Movies emerged as the new sensation, captivating hearts and minds across the land. The Paramount, ever the chameleon, adapted to the shifting winds and transformed into a movie house. 

 

Hauntings at The Paramount

 

Emily, a lady in a flowing white dress, is said to wander the mezzanine, believed to be searching for her long-lost husband. Some believe that her attachment to the Paramount stems from the plot of land where the War Department of the Republic of Texas once stood, right beside the theater. 

On the left side of the opera box, an elderly gentleman with a penchant for cigars and cigarettes makes his presence known. And then there is Walter Norris, the beloved cinematographer who departed from this world within the theater he loved. Mischievous in the afterlife, his spirit delights in meddling with the theater’s equipment, causing mischief and mayhem. The clever staff, however, has discovered his weakness – a sweet bribe of candy bars and soft drinks that appeases his playful spirit. It is now a tradition, my darlings, to honor Walter’s memory and keep the machinery running smoothly

The Clay Pit

The Clay Pit, also known as the Bertram Brick and Tile Company, was a brick manufacturing facility in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was established by Rudolph Bertram, a German immigrant, where Native Americans would barter with the white settlers. As time passed, the building expanded, evolving into a grocery store, general store, and even a saloon.

The Bertram Building held more secrets than met the eye. It boasted a network of underground tunnels, connecting it to brothels and other bars in the neighborhood known as Guytown, which earned a reputation as one of the Southwest’s most prominent red-light districts. Additionally, the basement of the Bertram Building housed an underground wine cellar and served as storage for molasses, gunpowder, and whiskey. In a surprising twist, even the Texas State Treasury used the building to store gold bars, protecting the state’s wealth from potential thieves.

 

The Scarlet Lady

 

Over the years, various accounts of unexplained phenomena have emerged, leading to claims that the Clay Pit is haunted. Some visitors and employees have reported experiencing unsettling feelings, unexplained sounds, disembodied voices, and apparitions of shadowy figures. 

One prominent ghost is that of the “Scarlet Lady,” a prostitute who met a tragic end in the basement of the building. Her murder remains unsolved, and her spirit lingers, seeking some form of redemption or revenge. Staff and patrons of the restaurant occasionally encounter her ghost, particularly in the basement, where she met her demise. Some experience whispered voices, a breath on their neck, or the sensation of a hand on their shoulder.

Texas State Capitol Building

Completed in 1888, the Capitol has witnessed numerous political decisions, debates, and moments of significance throughout Texas’ history. Tragic incidents, political scandals, and violent events have unfolded within its walls, creating an environment where ghostly experiences are believed to occur.

 

One of the most prominent stories revolves around the tragic death of a construction worker during the Capitol’s construction who allegedly fell from the dome while performing his duties. Some claim to have seen or felt the presence of this spirit, known as the “Ghost of the Capitol.”

 

More Hauntings at the Capitol

 

The restless spirit of a former senator who was murdered in the building is said to roam the halls, seeking justice or retribution for his untimely demise. Visitors and staff have reported unexplained sounds, eerie footsteps, and cold spots associated with this alleged haunting.

 

Local legends, personal accounts, and paranormal investigations have further fueled the belief in the Capitol Building’s hauntings. 

The Austin State Hospital

Originally known as the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, this institution was conceived in an era where uncertainty ruled the practice of psychiatry. It was born out of a global movement to revolutionize psychiatric care. The new approach sought to nurture the “insane” back to sanity, offering them support, care, and respite from the burdens of daily life. 

 

Between the 1950s and 1970s, the hospital engaged in a haunting practice. Brains extracted from deceased patients were stored for study. Over 200 brains found their way into this morbid collection, with some claiming they were obtained under dubious circumstances. In 1986, the hospital auctioned off these brains, but half vanished. 

 

Hauntings at The Austin State Hospital

 

The suffering endured by the patients of Austin State Hospital resonates within these haunted halls. Ghostly apparitions roam the corridors, none more haunting than the spirit of a young girl named Margaret, a young girl. Witnessed in fleeting moments, she wanders the premises, her presence accompanied by an overwhelming sense of sadness and the feeling of being watched.

 

Many visitors and staff members have reported hearing disembodied voices and whispers echoing through the empty halls. Doors are said to slam shut on their own, even in the absence of any physical force. Other unexplained sounds, such as footsteps, crying, and whispers, have been reported as well. 

 

The Tavern Bar

The Tavern Bar, nestled in the heart of Austin, boasts a captivating history that transcends its reputation as a mere watering hole. Once a clandestine establishment during the Prohibition era, it thrived as a grocery store by day and a haven of indulgence by night, offering libations, gambling, and a secret brothel. 

 

The Ghost of Emily

 

Amidst the mystique of The Tavern, a ghostly presence known as Emily lingers. Tragically departed during her bartending shift, her spirit manifests through spectral apparitions, unexplained footsteps, and peculiar phenomena.

 

Patrons speak of encountering her ethereal figure gliding through the rooms, while others recount mysterious taps, pinches, and an unsettling sense of being watched. Some claim to have seen her apparition, while others have reported unexplained footsteps, objects moving on their own, and flickering lights.