Is this Painting in the Driskill Hotel Haunted by a Little Girl’s Ghost?

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The stories told about the historic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, are as varied as its guests. It’s been the host to many visitors, from presidents to rock stars and maybe even a few ghosts. Perhaps the strangest story of the Driskill is that of the haunted painting.

A number of notable works of art adorn the wall of the Driskill. The first painting that a visitor is likely to notice will be the 1890 portrait of Colonel Jesse Driskill. When you step into the hotel lobby, you’ll see it hanging over the mezzanine stairs. Don’t be surprised if you get the feeling that the old colonel’s eyes are staring back at you. Some guests find the colonel’s gaze a bit disconcerting, and perhaps that has something to do with the legend of a bullet striking the painting when a pair of Texas lawyers are said to have fought a duel there long ago. The artist behind this compelling portrait was William Henry Huddle, more famous for a painting of Davy Crockett that’s housed in the Texas State Capitol.

Is this Painting in the Driskill Hotel Haunted by a Little Girl's Ghost?

Photo: Facebook/Terri Beltran

Colonel Driskill opened the grand hotel in 1886. A compulsive gambler, he soon lost the property in a poker game only two years later. Driskill passed away in 1890, and some say that his restless spirit still wanders the halls of his lost hotel to this today. If you happen to catch a whiff of cigar smoke, it just might be the old colonel himself. He’s said to be especially fond of appearing to women.

Continuing on through the hotel, guests can enjoy a variety of less-unnerving paintings. Many of them showcase Texas cowboys and the Hill Country’s natural beauty. However, up on the fifth floor of the Driskill, you’ll find a painting that has a haunting reputation. The work is a modern replication by Richard King of an older painting by Charles Trevor Garland. The original painting was titled “Love Letters.” It shows a little girl holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a letter in the other.

Is this Painting in the Driskill Hotel Haunted by a Little Girl's Ghost?
Photo: Facebook/The Driskill

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