Houston got its start as a town in 1836, just after the battle of San Jacinto won Texas’ independence from Mexico. Since then, it has experienced tremendous growth as well as heartbreak and loss. Through the years, Houston has seen a Texas-sized share of dramatic stories and possibly a few souls who stayed behind.
Top 5 Ghost Stories in Houston
1. The Story of The Battleship Texas
The Battleship Texas weathered two world wars before being anchored as a floating monument to those who served and died. Some say that more than the memories of these brave sailors have lingered on its decks. People sometimes hear strange noises from the engine room, and people have reported floating vapor in the halls. There are many stories of a young redheaded soldier, who is presumed to have died on duty, seen on the second deck.
2. The Eerie Old Jefferson Davis Hospital
In 1924, The Old Jefferson Davis Hospital was built on a site that already held a chilling history. It was once a burial place for plague victims, and it was later used as a cemetery for Confederate soldiers. Through the years, the hospital was also used as a psychiatric ward and a juvenile detention center. If the rumors are true, spirits from all these eras still haunt the building. There have been stories of screaming, moaning, and crying coming from empty rooms, and people have seen the shadowy forms of soldiers, patients, doctors, and nurses.
3. The Tragedy of 1900
In 1900, a terrible hurricane decimated the island of Galveston. Between 6,000 and 12,000 people died, and the entire island had to be rebuilt. In 1911, to celebrate the restoration of the island, The Hotel Galvez was constructed. Unfortunately, the spot it was built upon is rumored to be the burial ground for many of the victims of the hurricane, including an entire orphanage. Ever since the hotel’s opening, there have been whispers of strange events within its walls. Children have been seen wandering the halls, their laughter echoed in empty rooms, and small hand prints appeared on clean windows.
4. The Lovelorn Couple of The Spaghetti Warehouse
In downtown Houston stands an empty building that once housed the restaurant known as The Spaghetti Warehouse. It has been rumored to be the site of paranormal activity since shortly after it was built in 1912. A young man once fell down an open elevator shaft in the building and died, and his inconsolable wife died not long after. People claim to have seen the lovelorn couple wandering the building, searching for each other. There have been reports of floating objects and strange sounds, especially on the second floor.
5. The Library’s Night Watchman
The Spanish Renaissance-style Julia Ideson Building is a beautiful home for a library. Reportedly a night watchman still roams its floors 84 years after his death. Jacob Frank Cramer worked there for many years during his life and lived in an apartment in the basement. He often played his violin in the empty building at night, and his beloved dog Petey followed him as he patrolled the building. One morning the librarians found him dead, but it doesn’t seem that Jacob was ready to leave. In the years since, people have often heard unexplained footsteps, violin music, and the clicking toenails of his faithful dog.
A city with as much history as Houston presents many opportunities to experience the past and discover that the people of long ago may not be as far away as you think. Nightly Spirits offer walking tours of Houston seven days a week. We would love to introduce you to the true history of Houston and the fascinating people who walked its streets—and maybe still do.
Book a tour today and join us as we brush shoulders with the past.
Looking for more things to do in Houston? Get more ideas on what to do in the Houston Travel Guide.