Dive in to the Ghosts of Buffalo Billiards in Austin, Texas
Buffalo Billiards began its life as the Missouri Hotel in Austin, Texas. It first opened back in 1861 by the Ziller family. They ran it as a boarding house and it was one of the most popular spots of the times. It was particularly known to be a hangout for cowboys. There are even rumors that it operated as a brothel from time to time.
With a history like that, its not surprising that its seen as a good-time bar. Nowadays, it operates under the moniker Buffalo Billiards and is still trying to keep those good times going. A modern-day pool hall, it still attracts the big crowds in Austin. The fact that its listed as haunted doesn’t seem to be hurting its reputation at all.
A Ghost Named Fred
Throughout the life of this building, there’s been many whispers about a spirit that lives there. The trouble is though – no one knows its name or anything about it. No one has been able to deduce who the spirit is or what causes it to hang around. The staff at Buffalo Billiards though, have decided to name it Fred.
Fred is a prankster, and his pranks are quite regular. He likes to throw himself parties in the after hours, with staff often finding unstacked chairs and open drinks throughout the bar the next day. He’s known to shake the bar stools of patrons and give them a little tap on the shoulder, most likely to get a rise out of them.
He is also reportedly responsible for breaking the exit signs on a few occasions. People have read in to that as a sign that he just really does not want to leave.
The Fox News Incident
Fred’s pranks and occurrences are a regular thing. Its led many people to investigate Buffalo Billiards to find out a bit more about him. In fact, he even managed to make the news on one occasion.
Fox News had sent a team to interview the staff and find out a little about him. One staff member in particular, Monica Ballard, was given her own microphone. She was the primary focus of many of the interviews. The news crew seemed a little disappointed in her though. She wasn’t able to tell them much about him aside from the fact that he exists.
That crew got a shock when they played back their footage and sound back in their station. They picked up a faint recording from Monica’s personal microphone. When she had been asked if she knew what he wanted an Irish accent replied, “All I want is a wee bit of attention”.
The crew worked over time to debunk that and try to find any explanation as to where the response came from. They couldn’t though. This has sealed the idea that Fred is a fun-loving prankster who wants to keep the party going.
The Staff Aren’t Scared
Restaurants, bars and hotels are a common place to find some supernatural happenings. This could be because of the energy that these places exude or maybe it’s the clientele they encourage. When researching some of these places though, one common thing that pops up is staff quitting over hauntings. A lot of staff just can’t handle it, and with sinister spirits – that’s fair enough.
That is not the case with Buffalo Billiards though. Ask any of the staff there and they will reassure you that Fred means no harm. They look on him as just another patron who treats the place like home. His encounters are of the friendly prank variety and show no sign of sinister motives.
There are even bartenders in the establishment who pour him a drink at the start of every shift. They see this a good luck sign, and also as a way to keep him happy and amused. Its been noted that he is particularly fond of beer, which the staff believes plays into his Irish heritage.
Is He Alone?
While its not as widely documented, some people believe that Fred may not be alone inside Buffalo Billiards. The stairs that lead up to the old hotel section are believed to hold a spirit. Many people who are about to start up those stairs have reported seeing a woman staring down at them.
They describe her as looking old-fashioned, with a flowy white dress. The dress itself has been described as looking like its from the Victorian era. There has also been reports of a similarly-described spirit being seen in windows from the outside. This usually occurs in the early hours of the morning.
As we mentioned, this is not quite as documented as Fred’s regular occurrences. Many believe that this woman relates back to the whispers of the buildings beginnings as a secret brothel. Its believed she could have been one of the women who worked there and that maybe her life ended in a tragic way.
Aside from her, children’s footsteps have also been heard throughout the building. Alongside this, children-sized handprints have also been found. They’re usually pressed into the felt of the billiards tables inside. This is particularly interesting as Buffalo Billiards has a very strict no kids policy for the premises.
A Place of Fun with a Side of Supernatural
Fred is obviously the main star at Buffalo Billiards. It seems likely from the above findings though that there are some other spirits keeping him company. That definitely places this establishment in the list of the most haunted places in Austin, Texas.
The fact that its haunted doesn’t make this a scary place though. In fact, Buffalo Billiards works hard to normalize the fact that spirit happenings do occur. They aren’t hiding anything, particularly when it comes to Fred.
They don’t dwell on it though. This is still a cowboy-style billiards bar where you can have a drink, play some games and have a laugh. If you’re ever in Austin – its well worth checking this place out. Just tell Fred we said ‘Hi’ and be sure to buy him a beer while you’re at it.
Interested in learning and hearing more more detailed encounters of the ghosts of Austin Texas? Click on over to our ghost tour information page and book your tour now.