A mansion, a theater, some hotels, and even the Texas State Capitol building: what do these destinations have in common? They’re among the most haunted places in Austin, TX.
Believe Austin was only famous for being the capital of Texas and Live Music Capital of the World? Think again.
Regardless of what music is played on the streets with living heartbeats, Austinites know that the dead makes their own.
Here’s where to find the best of Austin’s ghosts and urban legends!
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Excited to hear more eerie tales and urban legends while in Austin?
This creepy Austin ghost tour will take you to visit some of the most haunted places in Austin and share the spooky legends associated with them!
Have kids with you but still want to explore? This family-friendly ghost tour is a great alternative for travelers visiting Austin with kids.
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The Most Haunted Places in Austin, TX
The Driskill Hotel
Built in 1886, it did not take long for the luxurious Driskill Hotel to gain a darker reputation–and there are many ghosts said to haunt the halls of this popular Austin hotel.
The original owner of the hotel, rancher Jesse Driskill, died less than four years after its construction. He is one of the ghosts who lurk in the hotel rooms.
Another is that of a would-be bride whose fiancé called off their engagement. She couldn’t bear living without him, so she took her own life with the help of a gun.
A child is also said to have died in the hotel after falling down the stairs.
He and another child are said to haunt its halls with former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Want to check into one of the most haunted hotels in Austin?
Stories of the Midnight Assassin
The stories of Austin’s Midnight Assassin may not be confined to one corner of the city, but no guide to Austin’s darker legends could be considered complete without including them.
While Whitechapel may be infamous for its rampaging Ripper, Austin is famous for its own Midnight Assassin–and in fact, in the late 1800s, some theorized that Austin’s Midnight Assassin and London’s Jack the Ripper were one and the same.
Dubbed the “Servant Girl Annihilator,” and America’s first documented serial murders, the murderer brutalized his victims–and was never caught.
Yet, these murders happened only three years before the Ripper murders. That alone will puzzle and torment the mind of any true crime enthusiast.
Want to learn more about the Midnight Assassin before visiting Austin?
This fascinating book by Skip Hollandsworth is well worth the read!
The Texas State Capitol Building
They say spirits haunt where they loved being most. Some of the deceased who loved the Texas State Capitol never left.
From murder to scandals that have happened there, it is said that three ghosts now reside there.
The first one is Robert Love, a State Comptroller assassinated for firing an employee.
The second is that of a lady in red who walks along the staircase.
And last, that of deceased Governor Edmund Davis, whose stare is unforgettable.
None of them say or do much more than appear as apparitions and chill the room.
Visit the capitol to chance to glimpse one of Austin’s famous ghosts!
The Texas Governor’s Mansion
Be elected Governor of the State of Texas, and you and your family will get to live in your own mansion.
However, there is a catch—the mansion is one of the most haunted places in Austin.
It has been said that the ghosts of a young couple caught in forbidden love are now prowling poltergeists.
Another is the nephew of Governor Murrah, who was rejected by the politician’s niece. Unable to handle the rejection of his spontaneous marriage proposal, he shot and killed himself.
Even the spirit of the famous Governor Sam Houston resides in the mansion, turning on lights and showing up with all the other ghosts.
If you want a glimpse into the luxury and spookiness the position affords, schedule a tour. You will be in for a treat!
Love cemeteries and their spooky vibes?
This one comes with a long history of grave robbing and disheartening treatment of the poor without money for a proper burial.
Even before the Spanish Flu swept through the city, the cemetery began to fill up. By the time it did, the cemetery was overflowing with bodies.
Today there are at least 25,000 bodies buried in the 40-acre cemetery.
When locals speak of the paranormal events that take place, they tell of orbs, feeling as though they are being watched, uneasy sensations, and odd EMF readings.
Considering how much death this cemetery has seen, we highly suggest you check it out for yourself if you’re looking for haunted Austin destinations.
The Clay Pit
Looking for a spooky place with some good grub to munch on while you are there?
If so, then The Clay Pit is where you should grab lunch when exploring urban legends in Austin.
Once a trading outpost for Native Americans to sell their goods, it was later sold to a capitalist with the last name of Bertram.
More than one of their children died, and the one who contracted typhoid fever is now seen and heard throughout one of the rooms upstairs.
No one can find the source to that or the sounds of the ghostly parties heard at night.
It is known that the building was a brothel and that a woman was likely murdered.
She, too, has been seen, felt, and heard, only exclusively in the basement.
The Omni Hotel Downtown Austin
This hotel made our list because of how fast this paranormal hotspot came to be known as one.
The day this hotel opened its doors, The Omni in downtown Austin was haunted. Why so fast?
This is due to a man named Jack, who never paid his hotel room bill.
He died of suicide from jumping from his balcony after reaching the end of his rope.
His tab is still on record in their systems, and only ghost hunters want to stay in his room or floor.
The reason is that people feel like they are being watched, touched, or hear ghostly yells from Jack’s room.
Book your stay in the haunted Omni Downtown Austin today!
One of the many bars that dot the city, the Milonga Room in the Buenos Aires Cafe has a total of four ghosts, the most prominent of which is Armando.
As a nod of thanks for his time and benevolent presence, the staff erected a shrine upon which they occasionally leave him a shot of alcohol.
Along with their own gifts, living patrons also leave offerings at his shrine.
All they ask of patrons is to refrain from taking anything from the shrine.
Every time someone has taken something, the bar has experienced bad luck.
So go out for a fun drink with friends and family, but remember you are in Armando’s home.
The Austin State Hospital
For those with a taste for the macabre, nothing is spookier than an old hospital–and it’s no surprise that this historic spot ranks among the most haunted places in Austin.
Formerly called a Lunatic Asylum, the oldest standing psychiatric hospital in Texas is haunted.
One would expect this building to no longer be in business, but this hospital is still running.
Thankfully today, they no longer carry on with the controversial and experimental treatments of the past.
Instead, they use modern methods of medicine to treat mentally ill patients.
And while the report of ghosts cannot be confirmed, it is known that human remains are likely still are buried on the property.
Why? Because they hastily removed the bodies that were present to a new location and history tells us any job done in haste is sloppy by nature.
Shoal Creek Greenbelt
In this preserved piece of nature, death is no stranger to its visitors.
People who died of disease during the Civil War were buried there, and while most bodies were moved years later, many were not found.
A cattleman and his family were murdered there by Native Americans.
And, a young woman was speculated to have been hit by a car nearby during an evening jog.
From moans to Native American shouts, and a spectral woman jogging at night, you never know what you will hear or see next if you visit Shoal Creek Greenbelt at night.
So if you are in the mood to visit a beautiful park and possibly feel or see something creepy, this is the place for you.
The Littlefield House
UT students and visitors visit this historic home to remember the humble beginnings of the University of Texas at Austin.
George and Alice Littlefield built and lived in the house while supporting the university throughout their life in Austin.
In their later years, Alice would go insane, thinking her husband was going to be assassinated.
Ironically, she regained her sanity through her husband’s natural death.
After her eventual death, it is said that people could hear all sorts of noises throughout the house and a dorm named after her. Rattles, moans, singing, and the like.
It is also said that she has saved the lives of many students who live in her dorms. Visit or attend UT to find out for yourself!
Mary Moody Northern Theatre
Need a reason to go to a haunted theatre? Then visit St. Edward’s University and get tickets to a production held at Mary Moody Northern Theatre. Visitors will be in for a treat and a spook.
The whole school is reportedly haunted, but the theatre building is considered to have more ghosts than anywhere else on campus.
The most notorious spirit of those known is that of a student.
A young man was under immensely stressful circumstances, unable to cope with them, and lacked support, so he hanged himself in the building.
Now reports of finding nooses, ropes, and hearing rope creak as it sways can be heard without explanation.
The Austin Pizza Garden
Originally built as a general store in 1879, this historic Austin building, with its traditional limestone exterior so typical of the Hill Country, went through many different businesses until it became a pizza joint in 1994.
Unfortunately, the Austin Pizza Garden permanently closed in early 2021–but who knows what this haunted Austin building will become next!
Whether a restaurant or dance hall, the resident poltergeist has made the building home.
The ghost has been seen walking around in white clothes, turning lights on and off, and throwing forks around.
Employees report feeling uneasy when they know they are alone and hear someone in boots walking around.
If you should ever visit and see someone in white, you just might have seen the fabled ghost of The Pizza Garden.
The Pink Palace
Retro music fans will not want to miss the opportunity to see this historical landmark that is also one of the most haunted spots in Austin.
While this home is now an exclusive club for those who can handle a very social scene, it was not always that way.
Back in the day, it was a boarding house for students who attended the University of Texas.
In her years as a Longhorn, Janis Joplin reportedly stayed here often.
It is said that she still haunts the Pink Palace because of how much she loved it.
A child who died in the early 1900s also haunts the mansion.
The most common paranormal occurrence is that of hearing the doorbell ringing when no one is outside.