History

You Have to See These 5 Haunting Texas Ghost Towns

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Ghost towns are peppered across the Texas landscape. Many of them have incredible abandoned buildings. When you’re standing in these places, an unsettling dread comes over you while thinking about what these places were once like, and what happened that caused everyone to leave.

5. Toyah
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Photo: Jason Weingart

According to the Census, 90 people still remained in Toyah in 2010, but we didn’t see a soul the entire time we were exploring. The bank closed in the 1930s, and the grocery store shut down in the 40s. A tornado destroyed many of the structures in 2004. The abandoned high school towers over the town, built in 1912; it still stands.

4. Bartlett
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Photo: Savannah Weingart

Bartlett isn’t exactly a ghost town. 1,623 residents call this town home, but it is known for its late nineteenth and early twentieth-century architecture. There are two abandoned churches and plantation style homes within the town. Directors frequently use the town as it has appeared in movies “The Stars Fell on Henrietta,” “The Dalton Boys,” and the NBC television drama “Revolution.”

3. Bluffton
Bluffton Texas Ghost Town
Photo: Flickr/Merinda Brayfield

While the population of Bluffton is 269, the original site of the town is submerged beneath Lake Buchanan. The town was flooded when the Buchanan Dam was completed in 1939. The town began moving west several years earlier, forcing residents to abandon successful farms and orchards. In 2011, a severe drought brought lake levels so low it exposed the old town site.

2. Clairemont
Clairemont Texas Ghost Town
Photo: Jason Weingart

Established in 1892 as the county seat, the town declined by 1954 and today has a population of 15. In 1955, the courthouse caught fire, leaving only one story which is now used as a community center. The Old Clairemont Jail, built in 1895 still stands, open for those brave enough to enter.

1. Terlingua
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Photo: Jason Weingart

Texas’ most famous ghost town was a mining district near the Rio Grande. Mercury mining drew miners to the area, and the population grew to approximately 2000 in the late nineteenth century. When the mines closed in the 1950s, the community was rendered a ghost town. It has experienced a recent revival, becoming a tourist attraction and serving as inspiration for artists and adventurers.

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