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Photograph shot at dusk. Bats are flying around the top of a building with two pointed glass towers on top.
It’s Austin’s bats’ time to shine.
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Austin's most haunted places, mapped

Halloween is a good time to check in on the city’s ghosts

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It’s Austin’s bats’ time to shine.
| Getty Images/iStockphoto

Maybe it's the irreverence, the chance to wear silly costumes (as opposed to dressing up), the bestowal of several metric tons of sugar, the opportunity to scare the snot out of one another, or just one more excuse for a party, but Halloween has to be, hands down, Austin's favorite holiday.

The scary part is an important component of the revelry. Austin is a relatively young city, but as a sort of semi-frontier, political, and music town, it has had more than its fair share of rapscallions, shady ladies, gunplay, and the kinds of tormented souls that make for good ghost stories. For Halloween, we've collected some well-known haunted landmarks and their accompanying tales, in handy map form.

DId we miss your favorite haunted place? Let us know about it in the comments below or hit us up on the tipline.

In the meantime, enjoy/beware!

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Littlefield Home (LFH)

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This gorgeous and well-kept Victorian on the UT campus looks like it was made to be haunted. It's said that the ghost of Alice Littlefield, who lived there with her husband but had no children, roams both the home and the nearby Littlefield women's dorms. Some say that this is because she was either agoraphobic or imprisoned, while others see her as a benevolent spirit watching over the dorm's residents.

Austin's Inn at Pearl Street

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Originally the 1896 building home of Judge Charles A. Wilcox and family, the house was eventually occupied by a series of renters, including a housing co-op (it's in Slacker), and by the 1980s was in pretty sad shape It was purchased and renovated as an inn in the 1990s. The apparition of a woman carrying a child has been seen walking through the house or sitting in a rocking chair. Music, lights, and other noises also have been heard while the place was empty and even while the electricity was turned off—though, frankly, those could have just been some of the many dance parties held there during its modernity.

Oakwood Cemetery Annex

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If any Austin cemetery is haunted, it's this one—the city's oldest, it's big, rambling, and full of monuments with the patina of their tenure. It's full of Austin and Texas history—you will see the names of its residents on some of the surrounding streets, as well as in accounts of the Battle of the Alamo. The imprecise layout and big, looming trees, along with its antique qualities and relative lack of lighting can make it seem easy to commune with spirits of all ages there.

Texas State Capitol

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Texas politics tends to be scarier than most ghosts, but that doesn't mean the latter don't hang around the dome, doing what they can to enhance the terror. Several ghosts, orbs, weirdnesses, whatever you want to call them, seem to occupy the territory, including Comptroller Robert Marshall Love, who was shot at his desk there, and the proverbial Lady in Red, who haunts a secret stairwell where she met her lover.

Texas Governor's Mansion

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The Governor's Mansion, though substantially rebuilt after a fairly recent fire, is one of the oldest executive residences in the United States, and it has the ghosts to prove it. One is Sam Houston, who was both president and governor of Texas (until he refused to join the Confederacy), and one of the most persistent and famous is the putative ghost of a 19-year-old man who shot himself in one of the mansion's rooms after being rejected by the niece of then Gov. Pendleton Murrah. Rattling, moans, groans, and turning doorknobs can reportedly be heard coming from the small guest room to this day.

Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

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It's rare for a newer motel to have ghost stories, and that the one associated with the downtown Omni has a (sort of) tech element makes it that much more special. Rumor has it that the ghost at this hotel is the spirit of a man, Jack, who committed suicide by jumping off a balcony. Since he was unable to pay his tab, his name remains in the computer log. Night staff say they can hear Jack in his room at night, and other guests staying in nearby rooms have also reported hearing him.

The Driskill Hotel

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The Driskill is probably Austin's most famous haunted space, and is populated by so many ghostly presences that staff has a handout on them for guests. They include its namesake, Civil War Colonel Jesse Driskill, who had the place built and then promptly lost it in a card game, and Peter J. Lawless, who lived in the hotel from 1886 until 1916 (including during renovations); he can sometimes be seen checking his pocket watch when the elevator doors of the fifth floor on the hotel’s Historic Side open. Musician Annie Lennox reportedly had supernatural help with choosing an outfit to perform in when she was on tour and stayed in the hotel, and Johnette Napolitano’s song “Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man” is supposedly about this encounter.

Buffalo Billiards

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Buffalo Billiards has been a Sixth Street mainstay since 1999, but its history goes much farther back—to 1861, when it was a boarding house (and putative brothel). No word on whether or not its ghosts date back to then, but supernatural activity—the moving pool cues, glasses, and other things staff knows it had cleared—is supposedly a common current-day occurrence. Many attribute these things to a ghost named Fred, while others have reported seeing a woman in a white dress looking out the windows when the bar is not open.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

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The Moonshine Bar & Grill's reputation for being haunted seems to be largely based on its being one of Austin's oldest buildings, but customers have reported being tapped on the shoulder—and sometimes licked on the neck—by an invisible entity, as well as the occasional flying wine bottle. Austin's Ghost Tour starts here.

The exterior of Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill. The building has two floors and a balcony on the second floor.

St. Edward's University

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The hilltop South Austin university is apparently riddled with ghosts, spirits, and supernatural entities that encounter students with ridiculous frequency. Some of the most well-known are those of a young man who fell out of a window in the Maloney Room of the main building, trying to catch a painting the wind had blown out of the room, and the Mary Moody Northen Theatre, where the spirit of a student who hanged himself from the light grid above the stage leaves nooses and lets ropes fall from the area when no one else is up there.

Littlefield Home (LFH)

This gorgeous and well-kept Victorian on the UT campus looks like it was made to be haunted. It's said that the ghost of Alice Littlefield, who lived there with her husband but had no children, roams both the home and the nearby Littlefield women's dorms. Some say that this is because she was either agoraphobic or imprisoned, while others see her as a benevolent spirit watching over the dorm's residents.

Austin's Inn at Pearl Street

Originally the 1896 building home of Judge Charles A. Wilcox and family, the house was eventually occupied by a series of renters, including a housing co-op (it's in Slacker), and by the 1980s was in pretty sad shape It was purchased and renovated as an inn in the 1990s. The apparition of a woman carrying a child has been seen walking through the house or sitting in a rocking chair. Music, lights, and other noises also have been heard while the place was empty and even while the electricity was turned off—though, frankly, those could have just been some of the many dance parties held there during its modernity.

Oakwood Cemetery Annex

If any Austin cemetery is haunted, it's this one—the city's oldest, it's big, rambling, and full of monuments with the patina of their tenure. It's full of Austin and Texas history—you will see the names of its residents on some of the surrounding streets, as well as in accounts of the Battle of the Alamo. The imprecise layout and big, looming trees, along with its antique qualities and relative lack of lighting can make it seem easy to commune with spirits of all ages there.

Texas State Capitol

Texas politics tends to be scarier than most ghosts, but that doesn't mean the latter don't hang around the dome, doing what they can to enhance the terror. Several ghosts, orbs, weirdnesses, whatever you want to call them, seem to occupy the territory, including Comptroller Robert Marshall Love, who was shot at his desk there, and the proverbial Lady in Red, who haunts a secret stairwell where she met her lover.

Texas Governor's Mansion

The Governor's Mansion, though substantially rebuilt after a fairly recent fire, is one of the oldest executive residences in the United States, and it has the ghosts to prove it. One is Sam Houston, who was both president and governor of Texas (until he refused to join the Confederacy), and one of the most persistent and famous is the putative ghost of a 19-year-old man who shot himself in one of the mansion's rooms after being rejected by the niece of then Gov. Pendleton Murrah. Rattling, moans, groans, and turning doorknobs can reportedly be heard coming from the small guest room to this day.

Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

It's rare for a newer motel to have ghost stories, and that the one associated with the downtown Omni has a (sort of) tech element makes it that much more special. Rumor has it that the ghost at this hotel is the spirit of a man, Jack, who committed suicide by jumping off a balcony. Since he was unable to pay his tab, his name remains in the computer log. Night staff say they can hear Jack in his room at night, and other guests staying in nearby rooms have also reported hearing him.

The Driskill Hotel

The Driskill is probably Austin's most famous haunted space, and is populated by so many ghostly presences that staff has a handout on them for guests. They include its namesake, Civil War Colonel Jesse Driskill, who had the place built and then promptly lost it in a card game, and Peter J. Lawless, who lived in the hotel from 1886 until 1916 (including during renovations); he can sometimes be seen checking his pocket watch when the elevator doors of the fifth floor on the hotel’s Historic Side open. Musician Annie Lennox reportedly had supernatural help with choosing an outfit to perform in when she was on tour and stayed in the hotel, and Johnette Napolitano’s song “Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man” is supposedly about this encounter.

Buffalo Billiards

Buffalo Billiards has been a Sixth Street mainstay since 1999, but its history goes much farther back—to 1861, when it was a boarding house (and putative brothel). No word on whether or not its ghosts date back to then, but supernatural activity—the moving pool cues, glasses, and other things staff knows it had cleared—is supposedly a common current-day occurrence. Many attribute these things to a ghost named Fred, while others have reported seeing a woman in a white dress looking out the windows when the bar is not open.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

The exterior of Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill. The building has two floors and a balcony on the second floor.

The Moonshine Bar & Grill's reputation for being haunted seems to be largely based on its being one of Austin's oldest buildings, but customers have reported being tapped on the shoulder—and sometimes licked on the neck—by an invisible entity, as well as the occasional flying wine bottle. Austin's Ghost Tour starts here.

The exterior of Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill. The building has two floors and a balcony on the second floor.

St. Edward's University

The hilltop South Austin university is apparently riddled with ghosts, spirits, and supernatural entities that encounter students with ridiculous frequency. Some of the most well-known are those of a young man who fell out of a window in the Maloney Room of the main building, trying to catch a painting the wind had blown out of the room, and the Mary Moody Northen Theatre, where the spirit of a student who hanged himself from the light grid above the stage leaves nooses and lets ropes fall from the area when no one else is up there.