Ghost Town map of Texas

You’ve seen them as you drive along lonely Texas highways, or tucked away in the odd corner of an otherwise urban landscape. They’re the bones of once-loved homes, cemeteries overgrown with weeds, even whole towns that time forgot. Ghost towns.

Texas ghost towns come in many shapes and sizes. Some were frontier settlements that died out; some villages whose residents tried and failed to build a way of life that matched their dreams. Other towns were born for reasons of expediency, then puttering out slowly or disappearing almost overnight.

To get into the spirit, this Halloween season, Texas Standard and public radio stations across the state are bringing these remains of civilization back to life. From October 23 through 31, we’ll take you to a failed French socialist utopia, a now-deserted boom town known for its murderous citizens, and all points in between.