Texas is known for many things—cowboys, cowgirls, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, cows and ghosts. Ghosts? Yep. Ghosts. Whether you believe in spooks or not, what could be more fun this Halloween, than exploring some of the “haunted” spots in the Lone Star state? Let’s stop off at two of my favorite Texas cities, Fort Worth and San Antonio and see what we can scare up!
Now, before we get into this subject, there’s something you need to know about me. I’m a little bit of a… Oh, how can I put this? Well, I’m a yellow-bellied-lily-livered-chicken. There. I said it. So, if it’s all the same to you, let’s hold hands while we go ghost hunting. I’ve got the flashlight all ready!
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Haunt Texas
Fort Worth may be best known for its Stockyards, but it is also known for its hauntings! Ghost tours are big business in Cowtown! Here are a couple of the popular stops:
The Stock Exchange Building—The Stock Exchange was built in 1902, when the cattle industry was booming. Smack dab in the Stockyards, the Stock Exchange Building housed telegraph and post offices, railroad offices, commission businesses and four monstrous vaults. It is the current home to a few businesses, the Stockyard museum and, if the stories are to be believed, a couple of ghosts!
One of those ghosts is reported to be that of a little girl who died in an upstairs vault. While visiting her father at work, in the early 1900’s, she went exploring. Thinking she had trotted on home, her father didn’t become alarmed until he arrived home and found her gone. Her body was discovered the following morning. Security guards report that the ghost of a young girl can sometimes be spotted in an attic window. There’s even a story about a tiny handprint in the condensation on a window that is going to require you to hold my hand a little more tightly! I’m skeered!
Miss Molly’s B & B—Miss Molly’s Bed and Breakfast sits about a block west of the old Stockyards. This B & B has a colorful past! In 1910, it was a boarding house. During prohibition, it was a speakeasy. By the 1940’s, it was a bordello. When the government cracked down on prostitution, the building was sold. The ground floor became the Star Café and the upper floors became Miss Molly’s.
Good golly, Miss Molly! The building is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Texas. Manifestations have included:
- A young girl, looking to be about 8 or 9-yrs-old, has appeared to the owners of the B&B.
- A visitor reportedly awoke in the middle of the night, to see a seductive blond sitting on the edge of his bed.
- People report feeling cold spots and smelling perfume where they should just smell air!
- Toilets flush when no one is there and lights turn on and off.
- Someone is a big tipper because coins have appeared in rooms that were just cleaned.
Ballad of the Alamo Ghosts
San Antonio is not about to be outdone by Fort Worth. Here are my two favorite ghostly spots in San Antonio:
The Alamo—Remember the Alamo? Well, it’s hard to forget it with a bunch of Alamo ghosts keeping tourists on their toes! Franciscan Monks constructed the Alamo between the years of 1718-1724, but it gained its place in the history books in 1835-1836 when it served as the location for the legendary battle for Texas’ independence.The Alamo hauntings are said to have started soon after the Texans’ ill-fated stand. You can’t really blame the guys. I mean, they fought valiantly, only to end up in a mass grave. General Santa Anna ordered Mexican engineers to tear down the Alamo, shortly after the battle. That might have happened if ghostly hands hadn’t emerged from the walls to stop them. ¡Ay, carumba! When a loud, ghostly voice warned the engineers to stop tearing down the Alamo or face a terrible death, the engineers must have decided that it would be a shame to destroy such remarkable architecture!
Since that time, there have been reports of:
- Apparitions emerging from the Alamo’s walls to take evening strolls.
- Sounds of children’s laughter (believed to be the children who died in the Alamo) are often heard at night.
- Shaking furniture in the Alamo Hall is often reported.
- An apparition of a cowboy, dressed in 1880’s attire is frequently spotted in the Alamo Hall.
- Lights go on and off. Windows and doors open and close.
- An apparition has been spotted running along the top of the Alamo, looking for an escape route. (Now, where’d I put that flashlight?!)
The Menger Hotel—Constructed in 1859, the Menger Hotel is almost as steeped in history as the Alamo. It has been a destination of such folks as Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Mae West, Babe Ruth and Theodore Roosevelt. It’s also said to be a favorite spot of at least 32 different ghosts! Here are a few of the more notable spooks:
Captain Richard King, the original owner of the King Ranch, was especially fond of the Menger. It is said that he was so fond of it that he’s still there! Over the years, the ghost of Captain King has appeared to guests and hotel employees. It makes sense that he is usually spotted entering the King Suite. Old habits die hard, so he is said to go right through the wall, at the location the door used to be, prior to a remodel!
In life, Sallie White was a maid at the Menger Hotel. She must have been dedicated to her job because she didn’t let a little thing like the fact her husband murdered her prevent her from showing up to work! Sallie White is said to continue to walk the halls, carrying a load of clean towels to deliver to guests. She is said to wear a long, grey skirt, with a bandana tied around her forehead. I’m pretty sure I won’t ask for extra towels during my next stay at the Menger!
The Menger is in such close proximity to the Alamo that it is believed some of the battle weary ghosts made their way to the luxury hotel. Guests have reportedly spotted a man in a buckskin jacket and grey pants demanding to know, “Are you gonna stay or are you gonna go?” I would be gone before he finished his question!
Yellow (When It Comes To) Ghosts of Texas
Keep in mind that this could have turned into a blog series, but my heart wouldn’t stop palpitatin’. Happy Halloween, from a yellow-bellied-lily-livered-chicken! And remember, the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the haunted Texas!
Here’s a little video about the haunted Menger Hotel . . . enjoy!
Happy Trails, y’all!