5 Places to Meet Texas Hill Country Phantoms

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Tony Maples Photography


Known for its welcoming and friendly spirit, it is easily assumed that once you get to Texas, you don’t want to leave. The same goes for our “nearly” departed spirits. Almost gone, but not forgotten! You don’t have to dig too deep to have close encounters with them. Apparently, they like people and fun places. They like hanging around the same haunts as the rest of us. They love the Hill Country! San Antonio, Austin, and New Braunfels seem to have their fair share of ghostly guests. Meet some of the famous phantoms in Central Texas.

1. Spooky Happenings at the Emily Morgan Hotel.

Photo: Flickr/Scutter

The Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio was a cutting edge medical arts complex. It was a hospital as well as a crematorium. So it is no surprise to ghost enthusiasts that phantoms still inhabit the building. Hotel guests report ringing phones in the middle of the night. They answer and no one is on the other end. The TV and the lights turn on. A woman dressed in white appears and quickly disappears again.

2. Meet the Mistress of Littlefield House.

Photo: Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

The gorgeous Littlefield House in Austin is allegedly visited by its former mistress. Alice Littlefield was reportedly insane and seldom left the house. And Alice is apparently still there because people profess to have heard her on the piano or wandering aimlessly upstairs.

3. Have a Spine-Tingling Experience at the Driskill Hotel.

Photo: Flickr/John Rogers

The exclusive and renown Driskill Hotel in Austin has a few spine-tingling secrets behind its glorious facade. Witnesses report see-through images sitting in chairs or against the windows. They give accounts of chills, goose bumps, and bizarre sensations creeping along their arms and faces. Guests report sounds of people upstairs when no one is there. On the third floor hangs a portrait of a little girl holding a small bunch of flowers. Guests report that this little girl gives them a feeling of being lifted into the air by their heels! This feeling is so strong that their sense of balance is off for a few hours. Reportedly, a few too many imbibed spirits can also affect and unbalance that equilibrium.

4. Gruene Phantoms Come Out to Play.

Photo: Facebook/Black Swan Antiques

Flashes of “Beetlejuice“ may come to mind when you visit Gruene or Luckenbach. For two Texas towns that are usually on the ghost town list, these unearthly residents must know where to have fun, swing, and dance like no one is watching!

There have been varied accounts of phantoms, especially in the Gruene Historic District. Founder Henry Gruene’s youngest daughter lived in what is now the location of Black Swan Antiques and the place is said to be haunted. Several customers have reported that the weights on an antique English kitchen scale started bouncing without provocation. Employees have reported that they heard a bang, and upon investigating found that a 1920s minnow bucket seemed to have been thrown across the shop floor.

Two other reportedly haunted places are the Gruene Mansion Inn bed-and-breakfast and the Adobe Verde restaurant. But visitors take it all in stride and continue to enjoy the fun and friendly phantom welcome. Besides, Gruene, Texas is fun! It is home to the iconic dance hall, Gruene Hall. There is live music seven days a week, lots of dining and drinking places, river activities, and fun shopping escapades. Why would anyone want to leave?

5. Luckenbach is a Ghost Town (Literally).

Luckenbach General Store
Photo: Flickr/Gino

Even Luckenbach, Texas has apparition appeal according to the book “A Texas Guide to Haunted Restaurants, Taverns, and Inns” by Robert Wlodarski and Ann Powell Wlodarski. The Kung Residence built in 1858 is said to host a man in a blue shirt who seems to materialize out of nowhere. There have been reports of unexplained whistling, body-less footsteps climbing up the stairs, faucets turning on by themselves, and doors opening on their own.

It’s not surprising to conjure up a few ghosts as you drive along towards Luckenbach on that long, dark, lonely road leading up to it. But then you hear the sounds of live country music and see bright welcoming lights under the trees surrounded by picnic tables. And if those people are ghosts, they are having too much fun to haunt anybody!