No matter where you find yourself in the world, one thing is constant: everyone likes a good ghost story. That’s certainly true for the residents of San Antonio, Texas. Although the area is most famous for the legendary Battle of the Alamo, it also has more than its fair share of ghosts and supernatural hijinks. Read on to discover the most haunted places near San Antonio!
The building known as the Alamo began in 1718 as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. It later gained its current name after the famous battle that took place there in 1836. Although the site’s defenders lost the Battle of the Alamo, their story became a fundamental part of the Texan struggle for independence.
Many believe the infamous battle that claimed hundreds of lives has left a permanent, ghostly mark on the site. The first reputed sightings of ghosts occurred when the Mexican victors attempted to burn down the church. The frightening spectres of their dead enemies apparently turned them back. Ever since then, visitors have heard the ghostly sounds of battle, soldiers whispering, and phantom footsteps. Some report seeing a Mexican general wandering the grounds shaking his head. Others have seen a father leap from the rooftop with his small son in his arms.
The Alamo is open to the general public. For a more haunted experience, take the Ghosts of Old San Antonio Tour. The Alamo is located at 300 Alamo Plaza in San Antonio. For more information, call 210-225-1391 or check out thealamo.org.
The Spanish Governor’s Palace
The next item on our list of haunted places near San Antonio is the Spanish Governor’s Palace. This was originally a Spanish fortification in what is currently Texas. Its history dates back to the early 1700s, though no Spanish governor had ever lived there. It is currently a museum and historic landmark.
One of its most famous features was the Tree of Sorrows or the Hanging Tree. As the name suggests, government officials reputedly used this tree to hang at least 35 convicted criminals. Modern visitors often report seeing ghostly images of hanged men in the courtyard. Some observers have seen also strange lights at play in the area.
Besides these phenomena, some say that the ghosts of children still wander through the old fortress. One little girl apparently inhabits a bedroom while another sits weeping by the well in which she drowned. Finally, a woman who died at the fortress, the “Lady in Grey,” reportedly looks out at visitors from the windows.
Supernatural enthusiasts can experience this historic site through the Ghost Tours in San Antonio. The Spanish Governor’s Palace is located at 105 Plaza De Armas. For more information or to find out about general museum tours, call 210-207-7527 or visit the official website.
The Haunted Railroad Tracks Near Shane Road
One of the most haunted places near San Antonio isn’t a building, but rather a set of railroad tracks. The tracks lie just south of San Antonio at the intersection of Villamain and Shane. As the site of a reputed tragic accident that occurred many years ago, they still have a ghostly reputation among modern San Antonians.
The legend claims that a school bus full of children stalled on the railroad tracks during either the 1930s or 1940s. A train hit the bus and killed all the children. In some versions of the story, a nun was driving and was the only survivor. Later, she was guilt-ridden and parked her car on the tracks, hoping to die. However, the ghostly hands of the dead children pushed her car out of danger. Since then, many residents and visitors have tested the legend by parking their cars on the tracks and covering their bumpers with baby powder. Some claim that the children have pushed them to safety and left their handprints in the powder.
The haunted railroad tracks lie near the San Juan Mission at Villamain and Shane. Though it’s a public, unmonitored site open to visitors day or night, be aware that it’s still an active railroad crossing. Do not attempt to park your car in the path of an oncoming train.
The Emily Morgan Hotel
The Emily Morgan Hotel was once the recipient of a dubious honor. In 2015, USA Today listed it as the “third most haunted hotel in the world.” It began its journey in 1926 as the Medical Arts Building, a 13-story office space for medical personnel with advanced hospital facilities on the top floors. The basement also housed a morgue. It was only in 1984 that it evolved into the swanky Emily Morgan Hotel, named after a slave woman who helped the Texans gain their independence.
The hotel is the site of a number of recurring phenomena. Many visitors claim to be able to smell the antiseptic from the hotel’s hospital days despite renovations to the top floors. The fourteenth floor (which is actually the thirteenth) carries this odor most strongly. On the seventh, ninth, and fourteenth floors in particular, guests often experience ghostly touches and a sense of watchful eyes. Some guests have reported catching glimpses of hospital scenes or of nurses wheeling gurneys. Flashing lights, faucets turning on and off by themselves, and misbehaving elevators are all common occurrences. Perhaps most eerily of all, the elevators occasionally carry unwilling passengers to the basement, which still smells like the morgue it used to be.
Visitors wishing to experience the Emily Morgan Hotel for themselves can either take the nighttime Ghosts of Old San Antonio Tour or book a stay at the hotel. Visit this spooky location at 705 E Houston Street in San Antonio near the Alamo or call 210-225-5100 for more information.
The San Antonio State Hospital
The San Antonio State Hospital began as the Southwestern Insane Asylum in 1892. It was San Antonio’s first such center. It would suffer from chronic overcrowding over the following years and decades. By 1925, it gained its current name and slowly but surely modernized.
However, before this happened, the hospital was the site of many questionable practices that caused suffering to the mentally ill within its walls. Though it’s currently a modern hospital with modern practices, staff have reported seeing disturbing phenomena connected to its dubious past.
Because the San Antonio State Hospital is a functioning medical facility, haunted tours are not appropriate. Those in need of medical assistance will find the hospital at 6711 S New Braunfels Avenue. For more information about the hospital’s past, check out this history.
The Crockett Hotel
The Crockett Hotel wraps up our list of the most haunted places near San Antonio. Standing on the former Alamo battlefield near the Alamo itself, it’s had an eerie reputation since its opening in 1909.
Named after infamous Alamo defender Davy Crockett, the hotel is home to all kinds of strange happenings. Some visitors and staff hold that Crockett himself roams the halls of the hotel. Other people claim to have heard whispers in empty rooms, the disembodied sounds of footsteps and horses’ hooves, or sudden chanting. The elevators apparently often move of their own accord and visitors to the bar have witnessed items shifting by themselves. Supernatural enthusiasts speculate that the spirits of the doomed Alamo defenders may still wander the hotel grounds.
To experience the Crockett Hotel for yourself, visit it at 320 Bonham or call 210-225-6500 for bookings. Alternatively, check out their website here.
From the Alamo to hotels to former asylums, there’s an abundance of haunted places near San Antonio. For even more spooky opportunities, check out San Antonio Ghost Tours.
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Greg Meland
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- Ghost Tours in San Antonio by Ghost City, Available here: https://ghostcitytours.com/ghost-tours/san-antonio-ghost-tours/#