October is more than halfway over, which means spooky season is in full swing. You can find a haunted house or pumpkin patch in just about every city in Texas, but what about real hauntings in the Lone Star State?
From abandoned hospitals to historic hotels, Texas has its fair share of haunted locations. Kristina Downs, director of the Texas Folklore Society and an assistant professor at Tarleton State University, joined the Standard to tell listeners about the most spine-chilling sites. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:
Texas Standard: When someone asks you about top haunted locations in Texas, what sites come to mind?
Kristina Downs: One that definitely comes to mind is the Menger Hotel, which is in San Antonio. It’s right downtown near the Alamo. It opened in 1859 and had a colorful history, and that’s led to some colorful hauntings.
What’s so spooky about it? It looks grand and beautiful.
It is absolutely beautiful. It was used as a hospital during the Civil War, which would have led to a lot of deaths there. There was also a fire there in 1924, which didn’t result in any fatalities, but added to the traumatic history.
There was a chambermaid named Sallie White who was murdered in the lobby of the hotel by her husband. According to the story, she actually ran to the hotel trying to get away from him, and he shot her in the lobby. The owner of the hotel paid for her funeral. Maybe that shows what a devoted employee she was, because she still is seen in the hotel folding laundry, carrying linens around – still very much acting as she would have as a chambermaid.