Every town has them— spooky stories and eyewitness accounts of supernatural encounters with “the other side.” With a history going back to the early 1800s, Austin has no shortage of its own ghost stories to induce shivers, goose bumps and sleepless nights. So if you’re brave enough, take a tour this October to some of the most haunted buildings in the Texas capital city:
Travis County Courthouse
1000 Guadalupe St
Strange goings-on have been reported for years in the Art Deco court house built in the 1930s. County employees and law enforcement officers have seen mysterious figures, heard chilling sounds, witnessed items moving on their own and felt that even in an empty room they were not alone.
Austin Pizza Garden
6626 West Highway 290
It’s no surprise this mainstay pizza joint is believed to be haunted after serving as an array of businesses since 1879. Employees and customers have reported seeing a ghostly woman in white who often appears in the stairwell. The staff often leaves a room only to see it in disarray when they return. And phantom footsteps are so common they barely notice them anymore. Lights and radios turn on and off, and doors open and close on their own. The empty lot behind the building is also known as a haunted hang-out for spirits not ready to leave this world.
Texas Capitol Building
1100 Congress Ave
This may be the most haunted building in Texas! With such a storied history from a Wild West state like Texas, the domed Capitol building, completed in 1888, has seen its share of drama and intrigue. The result is a multitude of ghostly sightings witnessed by politicians, state troopers and visitors. Spirits, strange mists, floating orbs of light, all come out to play and startle the unsuspecting! The spirit of a possible former governor or statesman has been seen looking out from his first-floor window. He’s pretty bold, according to witnesses who say he will give you a chilling stare and not look away until you keep on moving.
Inn at Pearl Street
1809 Pearl St
This 1896 home-turned-hotel was originally a private residence for Judge Charles A. Wilcox and his family. During massive renovations in the 1990s reports of the lights going on and off were reported. It wouldn’t be that strange if the power to the building wasn’t cut off during the work. Staff and guests also report hearing music and other noises with no obvious sources, and a chilling apparition of a woman carrying a child walking the halls or rocking in a chair.
The Littlefield House
2457 Whitis Ave
Now part of the University of Texas campus, this Victorian home and former residence of the renowned Littlefield family sure looks the part of a haunted house with its unique architecture and spires. Staff have reported seeing who they believe is the former mistress, Alice Littlefield, roaming the halls and grounds, moving items and even playing the piano.
700 San Jacinto Blvd
If you stay at the Omni maybe you’ll run into Jack, a former guest whose spirit reportedly has been seen by visitors and staff. Even guests in nearby rooms have reported hearing chilling wales coming from his room.
St. Edward’s University
3001 S Congress Ave
Ghost stories run rampant at St. Edward’s University: the specter of a nun in Doyle Hall turning on the showers; a ghostly form thought to be a former resident adviser at Premont Hall; and the spirit of a young man roaming Mary Moody Northern Theatre, spooking the drama students and actors with unexplained occurrences and sightings. Other buildings reportedly haunted include the Main Building, Holy Cross Hall, and Teresa Hall which is said to be home to a 12-year-old ghost named Danielle asking residents if they want to play with her. She can appear in a white dress or sometimes only her voice is heard.
The Clay Pit
1601 Guadalupe St
Now an Indian restaurant (and one of the author’s favorite!), the building was constructed in 1853 as a trading posts between settlers and Native Americans. Since then it housed various businesses and the owners’ families in an upstairs residence. It’s up there that some believe the spirit of a 5-year-old boy still lingers, unaware that he has passed on. Phantom parties also seem to frequently take place in the banquet room but end when someone goes to investigate.
The Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos St
Austin’s oldest and most well-known hotel may also be the most haunted. Several ghosts have been reported to share the halls and rooms with guests and employees: two brides who died in the same room exactly 20 years apart; the spirit of Mr. Driskill himself; a little girl sometimes heard laughing down the corridors; even President Lyndon Johnson watching election results from the mezzanine.