Wander the Haunted Hotels of Texas

Written by Catherine Parker

August 18, 2021
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Get an unexpected delight with a stay at one of the haunted hotels of Texas. The best haunted hotels of San Antonio, Galveston, and Austin.

Boo! The haunting season lurks just around the shadowed corner. What better way to get a squeal or an unexpected delight than a stay at one of the haunted hotels in Texas—if you dare. Visit popular destinations such as San Antonio, Galveston, and Austin, and book a spooky room at a historic property for you and your beloved for a hair-raising good night.

The Alamo

The Alamo in San Antonio beckons visitors, both walking and floating, each night. Photo courtesy Pixabay

Haunted San Antonio Hotels

As the top destination in Texas, San Antonio draws visitors year-round from the Lone Star State and beyond. Packed with equal parts history and tragedy, downtown San Antonio offers 400 years of historical intrigue from the hallowed grounds of The Alamo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the hotels flanking its grounds. 

San Antonio is routinely ranked as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. and it is rumored that spirits linger at the downtown street corner sat night. In addition to haunted hotels in Texas, take a haunted walking tour of Downtown San Antonio with a guided ghostly tour, like Sisters Grimm Ghost Tour. 

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The haunted Menger Hotel in San Antonio - Haunted hotels of Texas

The Menger Hotel has overlooked the Alamo Plaza since 1859. Photo courtesy Menger Hotel

The Haunted Menger Hotel

One of the oldest haunted hotels in Texas, The Menger Hotel, was built in 1859. First operated in a 50-room limestone building. The Victorian three-story lobby is an original detail though The Menger underwent a Neoclassical redesign in 1909, adding Corinthian columns and a leaded glass skylight.

In 1887, its legendary Menger Bar opened, a replica from a London club complete with carved cherrywood details and a mirrored back bar. It is here that Theodore Roosevelt recruited men for his Rough Riders between drinks in 1898. 

Over the years, bartenders swear Teddy Roosevelt still beckons them for a drink after the last earthly patron has departed. A former president gets the top ghost spot, though dozens of spirits have checked in over the years. 

Located at 204 Alamo Plaza, across the street from the Alamo. Rooms from $150. 

The Menger Bar in a haunted hotel of Texas

Bartenders claim Teddy Roosevelt motions for a drink in this legendary bar. Photo courtesy Menger Hotel

The Sheraton Gunter Hotel

The corner of Houston St. and St. Mary’s has offered a hotel since the late 1830s. The Gunter Hotel opened in 1909 and was designed by a St. Louis architectural firm then went on to design the Hotel Galvez on Galveston Island.

In the 1930s, a talent scout set up a recording studio in Room 414 for a young blues musician. Originally from the Mississippi Delta, Robert Johnson recorded 16 tracks over three days for a blues album. It was rumored that Johnson had traded his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical gifts. Under a cloud of mystery, he died tragically in 1938. In 1986, Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnson’s influence over the blues and rock and roll genres earned him a posthumous Grammy Award as well. 

According to ghost hunters, the housekeepers at the Gunter clean the room in pairs and report the feeling of being watched.

Located at 205 E. Houston St. in San Antonio. Rooms from $150.

Galveston Beach, home to haunted hotels in Texas

Galveston offers beachy days and haunted nights. Credit: Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB

Galveston’s Ghostly Past 

Down on the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston shined like a beacon for industry and shipping over a hundred years ago. Then the sun went down on September 8, 1900. With little warning, the Hurricane of 1900 came ashore overnight. By dawn’s light, the survivors witnessed Galveston in piles of timber and brick rubble. An estimated 6,000 to 12,000 people perished in the hurricane, leaving a permanent scar on the island for a generation.  

Hotel Galvez in Galveston

The Hotel Galvez, constructed in 1911, replaced another popular hotel after a fire. The Galvez stands as a beacon of refinement ever since. Named after the city’s namesake, Bernardo de Galvez, it’s the Grand Dame of the Seawall.

The palm trees along its horseshoe drive sway in the Gulf of Mexico breezes. Inside the lobby, gracious appointments harken travelers to the golden age of travel. The Galvez Hotel tops the list for the best Sunday brunch in Texas.

The haunted Hotel Galvez in Galveston

The Hotel Galvez, constructed in 1911, features a palm-lined drive to welcome guests. Photo courtesy Galveston CVB

According to a local ghost hunter, the haunting of the Galvez is based on the Love Lorn Lady. She gazes, lovesick, from the Galvez for her fiancé, who was lost at sea. 

Located at 2024 Seawall Blvd. in Galveston. Rooms start from $200.

The Tremont House in Galveston

The current Tremont House is the third reincarnation of The Tremont House. This parcel of land is rumored to be the most haunted in Galveston. The first Tremont opened in 1839. The current hotel opened in the restored Leon and H. Blum building in 1985.

The Tremont House, a haunted hotel in Texas

The third incarnation of the hotel, The Tremont House resides in The Strand Historic District. Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB

The Tremont House is in the historic Strand and features a popular rooftop bar. It is a favorite among cruisers leaving the Port of Galveston.

According to local ghost hunters, the Tremont House is haunted by a mischievous young prankster named Jimmy. Jimmy often plays tricks by moving objects. If you knock on the elevator door, Jimmy might knock back. 

Located at 2300 Ships Mechanic Row in Galveston. Rooms start from $190.

Capital of Texas Ghosts

The legislature isn’t the only body of questionable intention in Austin. Over the years, spirits have held court in several downtown hotels.

Texas state capital building in Austin, Texas

Explore Austin, the capital city of Texas. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The Driskill Hotel

Col. Jesse Driskill, a cattle rancher, built The Driskill Hotel in 1886 with the goal of owning the finest hotel south of St. Louis. He sold the property after getting a double down with a drought and a harsh winter.

The haunted Driskill Hotel

The Driskill Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Austin and offers grand interiors. Photo courtesy of Visit Austin

Allegedly the Colonel himself haunts the halls. When he takes a ghoulish break, a pair of brides besiege the bridal suite. The grand staircase has a playful ghost, long gone after falling down the stairs chasing a ball. Room 525 and the fourth floor allegedly harbor the most paranormal activity, according to ghost hunters.

haunted hotels of texas

The historic Driskill Hotel was built in 1886 and is located on Brazos Street in downtown Austin. Photo by Raul Rodriquez via iStock by Getty Images

With spirits whiffing on the breezes of the Driskill, it hosted the Texas Governor’s Inauguration for decades.

Located at 604 Brazos St. at Sixth St. in Austin. Rooms start at $250.

Omni Hotel Austin 

Most think historic hotels are the only ones to harbor lost souls. Yet newer properties can be the forever home for disembodied spirits. Located downtown, The Omni Hotel Austin is a modern glass tower with 400 rooms and one lingering ghost. 

Rumor has it, a traveling salesman checked into the Omni Hotel after an endless day. At a low point, he took to the bottle then called his soon-to-be ex-wife. Unable to cope, he leaped out of his room. His spirit bounced up and walked back into the hotel to stay for eternity, adding one more haunted hotel in Texas. Located at 700 San Jacinto in Austin. Rooms start at $190.

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Exploring the Haunted Hotels of Texas

With fall comes the haunting season. There’s no better way to spend an evening or a weekend with that special someone than to walk through the pages of the past—with a ghost or two along for the ride. These are just a few of the best haunted hotels of Texas, each offering a touch of luxury for your body—and your soul.  Explore more haunted hotels with Wander With Wonder and discover more things to see and do in Texas.

Boo! With Halloween on the horizon, the haunting season lurks just around the shadowed corner. What better way to get a squeal or an unexpected delight than a stay at one of the haunted hotels in Texas—if you dare. Visit popular destinations such as San Antonio, Galveston, and Austin, and book a spooky room at a historic property for you and your beloved for a hair-raising good night. Each luxury haunted hotel offers a touch of luxury for your body—and your soul.

Wander the Haunted Hotels of Texas

Written by Catherine Parker

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel that’s driven her to visit all 50 U.S. states. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, she’s landed in nearly every North American airport at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, Catherine combines her love of the open road with visiting national parks, historic sites and cultural icons. Logging over 75,000 miles behind the wheel, Catherine has explored 41 of the 61 national parks so far. Loaded an over-packed SUV, she’s driven through the lower 48 and six Canadian provinces with her three kids. Catherine also contributes to print magazines, including Texas Farm and Home and her local newspaper, The Taylor Press. You can follow Catherine online at http://www.carfulofkids.com/.

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