Texas is known as the Lone Star State, bringing up images of cowboys and the wild west. What it usually doesn’t bring to mind are thoughts of the paranormal.
However, Texas haunted houses are plentiful and prominent in the southern state.
From the La Carafe in Houston to the eighteenth century Spanish fort in Goliad, the place is crawling with tales of spirits and unexplained phenomenon.
For example, in a place called Mineral Wells (a little west of Fort Worth), the Baker Hotel opened its doors in 1929…
The Baker Hotel
It cost over one million dollars to build, which was a considerable amount of money at the time and an extremely risky business venture considering that the stock market had just crashed.
Society’s elite came to the hotel for the cure-all mineral springs nearby and, possibly, to also partake in alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition.
When it eventually closed for good in 1973, many reported that they witnessed windows opening and closing on their own. There have also been reports of a boy in a wheelchair moving about the abandoned hotel, as well.
A popular and well-circulated story is of the Lady in White. The story goes that she maintained an affair with the hotel manager but, eventually, she threw herself from the balcony of the fourteen story building to her death.
Some claim that the stress of honoring the secrecy of the affair is what led her to end her own life.
The Lady in White reportedly stays to the seventh floor, where she once lived in one of the rooms. Those claiming to have seen her say that she is nude and bloody or wearing a white dress.
The woman’s red hair is a consistent aspect of the story and that is what is most noticed when people catch her staring out a window.
Maids also find her lipstick on wine glasses in her former living quarters, even when the room is uninhabited.
The La Carafe Bar
Another haunted site, this one right in the heart of Texas, in the La Carafe bar in Houston. This bar is believed to be the oldest known bar in the state, as it was built in 1866.
This bar was thought to be a popular watering hole for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, though the most popular ghost sighting at La Carafe is not a fallen soldier. No, the most popular ghost is a former employee named, “Carl.”
Carl, who worked as a bartender at the La Carafe, is usually witnessed looking out of a second-story window. According to some, his eyes can also be felt on you or he might even make a strange sound to alert unsuspecting patrons of his presence.
Most associate the unexplained footsteps coming from the second floor of the establishment as Carl making his way around, as well as the sudden and distinct cold spots that manifest without reason inside the building. Objects have even been witnessed moving without any visual explanation.
The Presidio La Bahia
During the Texas Revolution in 1836, at the Presidio la Bahia (a Spanish fort on the fringe of Goliad), arguably the worst massacre of the revolution was enacted. A total of 342 Texan soldiers were ordered to death by General Lopez de Santa Anna.
Paranormal investigators report seeing the aftermath of the Goliad Massacre, at an estimate of three days or so after the act may have taken place.
They estimate the time frame that they are seeing these apparitions by the state of decay the Texan soldiers appear to be in at the time of the sightings.
They are piled in the Quadrant, some of the soldiers being described as “not young enough to shave.” Doors bang repeatedly and rhythmically throughout the night, out of time with the wind or without any wind at all.
Apparitions are witnessed gliding through the fort and some claim they hear another unseen entity turning a lock.
Paranormal investigators even report the sound of approaching horses, their hoof beats drawing nearer and nearer to the courtyard in the middle of the night.
The state of Texas is wrought with the spirits of the long departed, whether they remain because they loved their job like Carl the Bartender or because their lives ended prematurely in the midst of a violent revolution.
Texas haunted houses are where some of the most vigorous and undeniable reports of paranormal activity emerge, as expected from a state that boasts that “everything’s big” there.