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Halloween in Austin

Haunted Austin: Just in Time for Halloween

Austin can be a pretty scary place.

Between the countless bars, a slew of BBQ restaurants, and the 250 live music venues offering nightly shows—planning the perfect itinerary can be downright terrifying. An Austin getaway offers more than you can experience in just one visit.

Oh, and there’s the 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats that hang out underneath Congress Avenue Bridge. But the list doesn’t end there, we can’t forget the brunch crowds at Banger’s on a Sunday morning.

But, if you’re looking to explore “the other side” of Austin, here is a list of some of the spookiest spots in town.

Austin’s Most Haunted Places (and the Grisly Tales Behind Them)

Austin Ghost Tours offers guided excursions to downtown locations known for being haunted. Tours meet in the center of the lobby at JW Marriott Austin.

Or, you can take a self-guided tour and hit up these spots in your own time:

AUSTIN PIZZA GARDEN

6226 US-290 | Oak Hill | 9 Miles

Housed in the historic James A. Patton Building (built in 1879), this beloved pizza joint is home to John Dudley White, a Texas Ranger who was killed in the line of duty in 1918.

Over the years, countless employees (and a few patrons) have reported incidents of paranormal activity. Lights turn, doors open, objects move around, phantom footsteps on the second floor, and a few have claimed seeing an apparition staring back at them.

THE WOOTEN BUILDING

109 E. 10th St. | Downtown | 0.6 Mile

Located just steps from the Texas State Capitol, the Thomas D. Wooten Building was constructed in 1876 and commissioned as a medical office and hospital unit by Dr. Wooten himself. Wooten, a prominent Austin pioneer, reportedly administered the first smallpox vaccines in Austin during the 1881-1882 epidemic.

The building has been leased by different businesses over the years and it is rumored that the stairwell and second story skylight room are two hot spots for paranormal activity.

BUFFALO BILLIARDS

201 E. 6th St. | Downtown | 0.3 Mile

This iconic bar in downtown Austin was known as the Missouri Hostel during the Wild West Days of yore—a time when cowboys and horse-drawn carriages rode on single-lane dirt roads. Built in 1861, this historic building is dubbed as “Austin’s first boarding house” and was also rumored to be a brothel.

Over the years, many mysterious occurrences have been reported. An apparition, known among the staff as Fred, is an active ghost who pours his own drinks, unstacks barstools, and moves equipment around.

ST. EDWARDS UNIVERSITY

3001 S. Congress Ave. | 2.6 Miles

Mary Doyle, a widow who wanted a Catholic school established in Austin, donated her farm in 1872 for that purpose. Classes began in 1878 and over the decades those historic halls have seen many tragedies. Among many—a devasting fire, a deadly tornado that killed a student, a suicide in Mary Moody Theatre, and a fatal accident in Premont Hall.

According to student lore, Doyle Hall is home to a ghostly nun who turns showers on. An apparition has been seen swinging from its neck on ropes in the theatre where a young man hanged himself. In Premont Hall, it is said that a former Resident Advisor died after slipping in the shower. Students have reported hearing doors slam and faucets simultaneously turn on of their own accord.

OAKWOOD CEMETERY

1601 Navasota St.| 1.8 Miles

Just across the highway from the Frank Erwin Center and south-east of the UT Austin campus, you will find a 40 acre site with more Texas spirits than a UT tailgate.  Established in 1839, the Oakwood Cemetery is the oldest of five public cemeteries in Austin and was originally known as City Cemetery due to its official designation as the city’s burial ground in 1856.

With over 23,000 souls laid to rest here, it is no surprise to learn that this spot has earned a spooky reputation among locals.  Visit the cemetery late at night and you may run into Eula Phillips, a 17 year old woman who is believed to be a victim of one of America’s first serial killers, the Servant Girl Annihilator.  She is said to roam the cemetery at night, confused.

Even on a hot summer day in Austin, there have been reports of cold spots in the cemetery, an old man who wanders in broad daylight and then vanishes into thin air, reports of children playing among the headstones, and a general feeling of unease throughout the cemetery.

LITTLEFIELD HOUSE

302 W 24th | 2 Miles

In the heart of the University of Texas campus, you will find a charming Victorian style home nestled between the Texas Union and the Communications building.  Built in 1893 for Civil War veteran George Littlefield, the Littlefield home is one of many significant contributions to the University of Texas made by the Littlefield family, such as the UT Main Building, the Littlefield Dormitory, and the iconic Littlefield Fountain.

The Littlefield family called this residence home until 1935, when Alice passed away and left the home to the University, where it now serves as a meeting place for UT students and the official University Events office.  It is rumored that prior to her death Alice was locked in the attic for her own protection from Yankees when she developed mental health issues from fears of being kidnapped or murdered.  Students have reported sightings, noises, and bone chilling images in addition to the sounds of a piano they can hear being played by Alice.  Some even believe to have seen her face in a dusty window.

Students in Littlefield Dorm feel Alice’s presence where she has been dubbed “Aunt Alice” over the years due to her protective presence in the dorm where residents say she has been known to soothe and comfort occupants of the building.