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San Antonio teems with spectral whispers and eerie occurrences that lure both thrill-seekers and history buffs alike. Bold visitors venture through the city’s streets, where echoes of the past manifest in the chilling tales and legendary hauntings. From the ghostly battles still raging at historic sites to the mysterious phenomena in contemporary locales, San Antonio invites you to uncover its most haunted secrets.
If you are doing any kind of paranormal investigation here, you might want to take a look at our ghost hunting equipment list. Locations like this get a reputation because they are high activity and you don’t need much to see for yourself.
San Antonio, Texas, boasts a tapestry of tales that could chill even the bravest of souls. With over 300 years of history, the city has become a hotbed for hauntings and spectral sightings. From the blood-soaked chambers of historic hotels to the eerie echoes of the Alamo’s past defenders, San Antonio’s spooky stories are as diverse as they are unsettling.
The Alamo stands as a cornerstone of Texan pride, but it’s also a place where the past refuses to rest. Witnesses claim to have seen the ghosts of fallen soldiers, with some even reporting the presence of a child wandering the grounds—perhaps a young victim of the infamous battle.
Terrell Castle, now a lavish wedding venue, hides a dark past beneath its opulent facade. The tragic suicide of its owner, Edwin Holland Terrell, after a harrowing battle with syphilis, has left a mark on the property. Guests whisper of ghostly encounters, suggesting that Terrell’s restless spirit still lingers within the castle walls.
The Sheraton Gunter Hotel harbors a particularly gruesome history in Room 636, where a chilling crime involving blood-soaked sheets and a fleeing suspect led to the room’s infamy. Today, the hotel’s blog recounts the tale, attracting those fascinated by true crime and the paranormal.
San Antonio’s urban legends also include the Ghost Tracks, where the spirits of children are said to push parked cars across the rails, and the Donkey Lady Bridge, where the disfigured specter of a woman seeks vengeance for her lost children in the woods.
The Emily Morgan Hotel, once a medical facility complete with a psychiatric ward and morgue, now serves as a haunted hotel where guests report visions of a nurse and unexplained chilling touches. The Menger Hotel is another haunted haven, where the spirits of a murdered chambermaid and the founder of the King Ranch, Capt. Richard King, make regular appearances.
San Antonio State Hospital’s troubled history of overcrowding and neglect has led to stories of tormented spirits haunting its halls. The Victoria’s Black Swan Inn is steeped in tales of apparitions from historical battles and personal tragedies, while the Dancing Devil of El Camaroncito reminds locals of a Halloween night when the devil himself took to the dance floor.
These are just a few threads from the rich tapestry of haunted history that San Antonio weaves. Residents and visitors alike tread carefully, knowing that in this city, the past is always just a whisper away.
I was strolling by the Alamo one night when I swear I saw a shadowy soldier just vanish into thin air. And man, don’t even get me started on that eerie feeling at the Donkey Lady Bridge—it’s like someone, or something, is always watching you.
In the heart of San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo stands as a testament to a turbulent past, its walls echoing with tales of bravery and the supernatural. Originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo’s story began as a humble mission church, later transforming into a fortress and symbol of Texan resilience. Its haunted history is as rich as the soil upon which it stands, soil stained with the blood of those who fought and perished there.
The Alamo’s most infamous chapter unfolded in 1836 when the Texas Revolution reached its boiling point. Under siege by Mexican forces led by General Santa Ana, a small band of Texian defenders, including the likes of Davy Crockett and James Bowie, made their stand within the mission’s walls. They fought tooth and nail, knowing full well that their chances were slim. The battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!” would later reverberate across the nation, a rallying point for the Texan cause.
Despite their valor, the defenders fell to Santa Ana’s overwhelming forces. The aftermath was grim; Mexican troops showed no quarter, and the bodies of the slain were treated with scant respect. Denied a proper burial, their remains were set aflame, thrown into mass graves, or discarded in the nearby river. This callous disregard for the dead sowed the seeds for the Alamo’s haunted reputation.
In the years following the battle, tales of ghostly defenders began to surface. Soldiers tasked with destroying the site claimed to have encountered diabolic figures wielding flaming swords, guarding the entrance to the Alamo. Others reported seeing a spectral figure brandishing balls of fire atop the barracks. These eerie encounters led many to believe that the spirits of fallen soldiers and old Franciscan monks stood sentinel over the Alamo, refusing to abandon their post even in death.
The Alamo’s spectral sightings aren’t limited to its ghostly guardians. Visitors and locals alike have reported numerous apparitions, including a blond-haired boy peering from the mission’s windows and a somber Mexican soldier wandering the grounds. Even the spirits of a father and son leaping from the Alamo’s rooftop have been cited, their actions believed to be a replay of their tragic final moments.
The presence of these restless souls is a stark reminder of the Alamo’s bloody history. It’s said that the mission’s walls still bear the weight of the past, with visitors often overcome by a deep sense of melancholy. Whispers of the long-departed and phantom footsteps serve as a haunting chorus to the Alamo’s tale of sorrow and bravery.
Today, the Alamo is not only a museum and a shrine to the heroes of the Texas Revolution but also a hotspot for those seeking to connect with the otherworldly. San Antonio’s ghost tours frequently feature the Alamo, offering brave souls the chance to encounter its spectral residents firsthand.
Whether one believes in ghosts or not, the haunted history of the Alamo is undeniably woven into the fabric of San Antonio’s heritage. The spirits that linger serve as eternal guardians, ensuring that the sacrifice of those who fought for Texas’s independence will never be forgotten. As the saying goes, the Alamo’s ghosts are the ultimate watchmen, forever reminding us to remember the Alamo.
I was walking by the Alamo late one night when I saw this eerie glow by the chapel door, and I swear it looked like a ghostly soldier was standing guard, just like back in 1836. It gave me the chills, but I couldn’t help feeling like those brave souls are still watching over the place.
San Antonio, Texas, often hailed as a city alive with history, also whispers tales of the supernatural. Its haunted hotels beckon guests with luxurious allure, only to reveal their spectral residents once the sun dips below the horizon. The Drury Hotels of San Antonio’s Riverwalk, for instance, offer not only a prime location for city exploration but also serve as a gateway to the ethereal realm. Guests report encounters with the inexplicable, suggesting that some visitors from bygone eras never checked out.
Adjacent to the historic Alamo Plaza, the Emily Morgan Hotel stands as a sentinel to the past. Once a bustling medical center, it now hosts a different kind of guest. Apparitions and orbs dance through the halls, and many who spend the night sense they share their room with unseen companions.
A stone’s throw from the Alamo lies the Crockett Hotel, entwined with the very soil where Texas’ fiercest battle raged. Rumors abound that the spirits of fallen soldiers linger, eternally marching through its corridors, a testament to the hotel’s bloody foundation.
In the heart of the city, The St. Anthony Hotel exudes old-world charm, but behind its opulent façade lies a haunting secret. A mysterious death in 1965 cemented its paranormal reputation, with guests often feeling they’re being followed by invisible eyes.
The Sheraton Gunter Hotel‘s history as a military headquarters sets the stage for its haunting. The echo of a brutal murder reverberates through time, replaying its gruesome tale to those attuned to the hotel’s haunted heartbeat.
Not to be overshadowed, the Hotel Gibbs harbors the echoes of the Battle of the Alamo’s fallen heroes. Elevators operate of their own volition, and ghostly moans pierce the silence, a chilling reminder of the hotel’s blood-soaked past.
The Holiday Inn Express, once Bexar County Jail, remains a bastion of torment. Paranormal phenomena are an everyday occurrence, with the hotel’s former inmates seemingly reluctant to leave the site of their incarceration.
Further afield, the Black Swan Inn and the Grey Moss Inn stand as outposts of the supernatural. The Black Swan’s fame has been bolstered by ghost hunting shows, while the Grey Moss Inn’s unexplained occurrences have driven guests to flee into the night.
Those who dare to explore San Antonio’s haunted side can join Ghost City Tours, the city’s premier tour company since 2018. From eerie tales to firsthand encounters, these tours peel back the veil between worlds, revealing a city as haunted as it is historic.
I stayed at the Emily Morgan Hotel and, man, I swear I felt someone watching me all night, even though I was the only one in the room. The Crockett Hotel gave me the creeps too; I kept hearing marching at night like ghostly soldiers were still on the move.
Spanish Governor’s Palace
The Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio, Texas, stands as a testament to a bygone era, its walls echoing with tales of yesteryear. While its name suggests regal origins, the palace was never the home of a Spanish governor. Instead, the edifice served as the comandancia, the captain’s quarters and office, within the larger Presidio San Antonio de Bejar. Despite the misnomer, the palace remains an enduring symbol of Spanish Colonial Texas.
The story of the Spanish Governor’s Palace is a tapestry woven with threads of history and spectral legends. The building, completed well before the date inscribed above its entrance, became a cornerstone of defense and administration in San Antonio. It bore witness to the ebb and flow of power, from the Spanish rule to the rise of an independent Texas.
However, the palace’s history is not just a record of political and military maneuvers. It also harbors a darker side, painted with the brush of tragedy and violence. The courtyard’s infamous “Tree of Sorrows” stands as a grim reminder of the thirty-five souls who met their fate at the end of a hangman’s noose.
But the palace’s ghosts are not confined to the courtyard. Inside its storied walls, visitors report chilling encounters with the otherworldly. A spectral lady in grey peers out of the windows, her identity shrouded in mystery as thick as the San Antonio fog. The echoes of children’s laughter—or perhaps their cries—reverberate through the rooms, weaving a haunting melody that tugs at the heartstrings.
Among the most poignant of these apparitions is the spirit of a young girl. Her tragic fate, sealed by a tumble down the well, left her bound to the very walls that were meant to protect her. There are those who say her tearful visage still lingers by the well, a silent sentinel of sorrow.
The palace’s phantoms are not silent, however. They make their presence known through cold spots that raise goosebumps on the skin and through disembodied voices that cut through the silence like a knife. Paranormal investigators have documented these occurrences, capturing evidence of spectral energy that lights up the night.
Today, the Spanish Governor’s Palace continues to draw visitors, both living and spectral. It stands proudly as a museum, its doors open to those eager to step into the past. The San Antonio Parks & Recreation operates the site, ensuring that the stories—both historic and haunted—remain alive for future generations to explore.
Whether seeking a brush with history or a dance with the supernatural, the Spanish Governor’s Palace beckons. It is a cornerstone of San Antonio’s haunted landscape, where the past is always present, and the spirits refuse to be forgotten.
I heard that in the Spanish Governor’s Palace there’s this ghostly lady in grey who shows up in the windows, and some folks even caught the sound of a little girl who fell down the well a long time ago. Gives me the chills just thinking about those spooky stories!
San Fernando Cathedral
San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas, stands as a testament to the city’s rich and storied past, its walls echoing with the whispers of history. Established by 56 Canary Islanders in 1731, the cathedral became the cornerstone of the community, a place where settlers sought solace and a sense of peace, much like the cathedral’s namesake, King Ferdinand III of Castille, who fostered harmony among diverse cultures.
Yet, the path to peace was fraught with bloodshed and conflict, particularly with the local Lipan Apache tribe. The Canary Islanders, originally lured to the New World with false promises of land and titles, found themselves in the crosshairs of indigenous resistance. The Apache launched relentless attacks, which only subsided when they sought a truce with the Spaniards in the face of a greater threat: the Comanche tribe. In a symbolic act of peace, the Apache buried their weapons, alongside a live white horse, at San Fernando Church, a gesture that gave birth to the idiom “burying the hatchet.”
The cathedral bore witness to major historical events, including the marriage of Colonel James Bowie, a hero of the Alamo, whose life was marred by personal tragedy when cholera claimed his family. It also played a pivotal role during the Texas fight for independence, with Mexican General Santa Ana using the cathedral’s tower to signal “no quarter” to the Texian defenders—a sign that no mercy would be granted should they refuse to surrender. This foreshadowed the tragic fate of the Alamo defenders, whose bodies were allegedly interred within the cathedral’s walls, a claim that fuels much of the haunted lore surrounding this sacred place.
San Fernando Cathedral, with its Colonial roots and French Gothic revival facelift, has become a beacon for the faithful and the curious alike. Over 5,000 people flock to its weekend Masses, and the cathedral hosts a plethora of baptisms, weddings, and funerals annually. Yet, it’s the spectral residents that draw the attention of ghost enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Visitors report chilling encounters with the apparition of a white stallion, thought to be the spirit of the Apache’s peace offering, and shadowy figures that suggest the presence of monks or other historical figures tied to the cathedral’s tumultuous past.
The walls of San Fernando Cathedral may hold more than just the echoes of history; they are believed to cradle the remains of both the high and lowly, from prominent Catholics to the smallest child. These interments within the church’s very structure lend a certain macabre charm to the tales of faces manifesting on the exterior walls, as if the past refuses to be buried.
In the active pursuit of its haunted history, the cathedral continues to be a touchstone for those who wish to delve into San Antonio’s ghostly heritage. Whether it’s the story of a ghostly figure captured on camera or the more frequently sighted ghostly monks, San Fernando Cathedral captures the imagination and invites visitors to step into a realm where history and legend intertwine.
For those brave enough to seek an audience with the past, a visit to the haunted San Fernando Cathedral is a must. It stands as a living monument, its foundations deeply rooted in the soil of San Antonio, a city that knows well the cost of freedom and the weight of history.
I was at San Fernando Cathedral one night, and I swear I saw the ghostly figure of a horse wandering around, just like the stories say about the Apache’s peace offering. It gave me the chills, but it was pretty cool to think I might’ve seen a piece of history come to life!
Haunted Railroad Tracks
In the heart of Texas, San Antonio’s haunted railroad tracks at the intersection of Villamain and Shane beckon the curious and brave. This eerie site near the San Juan Mission is steeped in a spine-chilling legend that has become an urban myth among locals and a magnet for ghost hunters nationwide. The tale revolves around a tragic accident from decades past, where a school bus met its doom on the tracks, and the young lives aboard were cut short.
The story has two main variations, both shrouded in the mists of time. According to one version, a bus full of students stalled on the tracks in the 1930s or 1940s, only to be struck by a speeding train, resulting in the loss of 10 children and the bus driver. Another, more haunting account, paints a picture of a nun driving the ill-fated bus. Plagued by mechanical failure, the bus became a sitting duck on the tracks, and despite her desperate efforts to restart the engine, the nun could only watch in horror as the train bore down on them, claiming the lives of the sleeping children.
Weeks after the disaster, the nun, consumed by guilt, attempted to take her own life at the very spot of the accident. As she waited for an oncoming train, mysterious forces intervened, pushing her car to safety. Upon inspection, she found children-sized handprints on the trunk of her car, a sign she believed to be from the spirits of her former charges, who had saved her life.
The legend has it that these ghostly children still linger, committed to preventing a repeat of their fate. Visitors to the tracks have reported their parked cars being nudged over the tracks to safety, leaving behind tiny handprints—an eerie testament to the unseen helpers. Some even sprinkle baby powder on their vehicles to spot these spectral signs more easily.
While the legend looms large, no historical records corroborate the tragic tale. Some speculate that the story might be a conflation of a real accident that occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1938. Nevertheless, the absence of evidence has not deterred the legend from growing, nor has it stopped the curious from visiting the site in search of an encounter with the otherworldly.
For those drawn to the supernatural, the haunted railroad tracks of San Antonio offer a chilling adventure. Whether witnessing the ghostly children’s protective acts or simply absorbing the heavy atmosphere of the location, it is an experience that touches the very soul of all who dare to visit. Ghost City Tours gives those intrigued souls a chance to explore this and other haunted locales in San Antonio, promising an evening filled with stories of the past that refuse to die.
I heard that if you park your car on the San Antonio tracks where a bus got hit long ago, ghost kids might push you off to keep you safe, and you’ll even see their little handprints on your bumper if you’re brave enough to check. Some folks say it’s all just a spooky tale, but it sure gives me the chills thinking about it.
Alamo Street Theater
The Alamo Street Theater in San Antonio, Texas, holds a storied past that continues to capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike. Originally built in 1912 as the Alamo Methodist Church, the building wore many hats before it became the talk of the town for its otherworldly residents. After the church closed its doors in 1968, the structure stood vacant, becoming a temporary haven for the homeless until Bill and Marcie Larsen’s fateful Sunday drive in 1976. Struck by the building’s architectural charm, the couple transformed it into a dinner theater, preserving its Tiffany-style stained glass window and pressed tin ceiling.
The theater quickly became known for more than just its productions; it was the first business in San Antonio to be bestowed with the South Texas Ghost Hunters Alliance “Officially Haunted” award. A variety of spirits are said to call the theater home, with over a dozen ghostly souls reported to linger within its walls.
One such specter is a gentleman donned in turn-of-the-century attire, believed to be a founding member of the original church congregation. His ghostly presence has been spotted where the church services once took place. Another is the mischievous Little Eddie, whose antics include moving objects, flicking lights on and off, and scampering up and down the aisles. His playful spirit is thought to be that of a young boy who succumbed to polio, finding freedom in the afterlife to roam the theater he loves.
The most prominent phantom, however, is Miss Margaret Gething, a charming socialite with ties to English nobility. After a stint in New York City rubbing shoulders with the likes of Clark Gable on Broadway, Margaret returned to her roots in San Antonio. Her continued fascination with the stage may be what anchors her spirit to the building. Alongside her, the ghost of her seamstress, Henrietta, is rumored to hold a soft spot for the theater’s costumes.
The theater embraced its haunted heritage by staging “In The Company of Ghosts,” paying homage to Eddie, Miss Margaret, and the other ethereal inhabitants. Mrs. Marcie Larsen, the theater’s former owner, was fiercely protective of the spectral tenants, insisting they were friendly and vowing to oust anyone who dared disturb them.
The tales of ghostly encounters are numerous. From spoons levitating across the kitchen to a plate being snatched from Mrs. Larsen’s hands, the supernatural occurrences have been witnessed by many. Little Eddie, in particular, enjoyed playing pranks on staff, like turning off ovens and pushing them into refrigerators. But when the day demanded seriousness, a firm word from an employee like Ms. Sotello often kept Eddie at bay.
Miss Margaret, too, had her theatrical quirks, with reports of her shushing rude audience members and occasionally singing out of turn. Despite her noble status, her spectral contributions to the theater were more suited to an audience member than a star under the spotlight.
The building, now repurposed as Frank, a gourmet hotdog establishment, still holds the whispers and shadows of its former glory. The Alamo Street Theater remains etched in the fabric of San Antonio’s haunted history, with Miss Margaret and Little Eddie perhaps still weaving through the echoes of past performances. Visitors and ghost enthusiasts are encouraged to explore the Ghosts of Old San Antonio Tour, offered by Ghost City Tours, to dive deeper into the theater’s enigmatic past.
I heard the old Alamo Street Theater in San Antonio is haunted by a fancy lady ghost named Miss Margaret who used to hang out with movie stars and a playful little boy spirit named Eddie who loves to mess with the lights and run around the aisles. They say if you’re there, you might catch a spoon floating by itself or hear Miss Margaret shushing folks during a show!
San Antonio State Hospital
The San Antonio State Hospital (SASH) stands as a testament to the tormented souls that once roamed its halls. Established on April 6, 1892, as the Southwestern Insane Asylum, this facility has borne witness to a tumultuous history peppered with scandal, death, and the echoes of the aggrieved.
Tales from the Shadows
Ghost stories cling to the San Antonio State Hospital like ivy to old stone walls. Employees and visitors whisper of unseen footsteps and phantom whispers, suggesting the restless spirits of past patients still linger, warning the living to tread carefully lest they share their fate.
The hospital’s past is marred by overcrowding and inhumane treatment, with tales of patients receiving less care than animals. It’s a history that would send shivers down anyone’s spine, making the hospital a magnet for those intrigued by the supernatural.
The March of Death
Newspaper accounts from bygone days recount a veritable “march of death” within the hospital’s walls. They tell harrowing tales of the vulnerable – from the young Chino Garcia, a bright spark extinguished too soon, to Raul G. Chapa, whose unexplained death still raises questions.
These stories have left an indelible mark on the hospital, making it a hotbed for ghostly encounters. The spirits of the deceased are said to loom over the property, a harrowing reminder of the institution’s dark legacy.
Legacies of the Asylum
The San Antonio State Hospital, once a self-sufficient community, has evolved over the years. It now operates under the Texas Department of State Health Services, its name scrubbed clean of terms like “insane” and “lunatic.” Yet, the specter of its past refuses to be banished.
Stranger than fiction events like the case of William I. Browne, who was wrongfully incarcerated for twelve years, add to the hospital’s chilling lore. His subsequent release only unveiled a further web of deceit and betrayal by his own kin.
Further adding to the hospital’s notoriety are accounts from veterans like Stephen S. Aldridge, whose vivid descriptions of cruelty inflicted upon the vulnerable paint a grim picture of life within the asylum’s walls.
Today, the hospital’s employees often speak in hushed tones about their eerie experiences. From the casual “I work there, it’s scary,” to the more ominous “There’s death around… We hear and see things,” the consensus is clear – the San Antonio State Hospital is haunted ground.
Despite advancements and reforms in patient care, the hospital cannot escape its haunted reputation, with stories of spectral sightings and unexplained phenomena continuing to surface.
The San Antonio State Hospital stands as a monolith to the tormented souls of its past. It’s a place where the walls whisper secrets of former patients, a beacon for ghost hunters, and a stark reminder of the long road mental health care has traveled. Whether skeptic or believer, one cannot deny the chilling grip this haunted hospital has on San Antonio’s dark history.
I swear, late at night when the halls get real quiet, you can hear the sad whispers of old patients, like they’re right there beside you. It gives me the chills every time I pass through.