Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night? Ghosts, ghouls, spirits, ancient curses, and lost souls? With a long history that dates back to the colonial times, San Antonio is one city that has no shortage of supernatural activity. Of course, one of the bloodiest and most gruesome battles in American history, the Battle of the Alamo, took place right on San Antonian soil as Texas fought for its independence. The Alamo isn’t the only haunted location in the area, there are plenty more to explore including haunted hotels, churches, missions, museums, and much more.
Whether you’re a local, a tourist, or just passing through, don’t be scared to take a walk on the wild side as you explore the supernatural side of San Antonio on one of many guided or self-guided ghost tours.
If you truly want the full experience of “haunted San Antonio,” your best option would be to sign up for a guided ghost tour around the city. Expert guides will lead you around the city, sharing their insights on the history and legends of San Antonio. Here’s a few of the best ghost tours available in San Antonio:
Bad Wolf Ghost Tours
Bad Wolf Ghost Tours offers three unique experiences including their Haunted Pub Crawl, the Ghost Walk, and a tour of the Black Swan Inn. Aside from being the highest rated ghost tours in town, their three tours also provide a variety of experiences.
The Haunted Pub Crawl runs on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10pm. Tickets are just $20, and all participants receive drink specials at 3 out of 4 bars, in addition to free cover at every bar. The group meets at the Alamo to begin the tour, and everyone is provided “ghost detecting equipment to investigate the pubs and streets with.”
The second tour offered, the Ghost Walk, runs every night starting at 8pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. According to their website, “The Ghost Walk explores beautiful historic downtown San Antonio, Texas as we journey through the ancient grounds of the Alamo and along the River Walk to some of it’s oldest and most haunted buildings. Travel to the past and be regaled with stories of the Alamo City’s unique and tragic history, filled with battles, murders, rituals and more, along with the terrifying apparitions left behind.” The tour lasts no more than an hour and half and the walk is about 1 mile.
The last tour offered by Bad Wolf Ghost Tours is the tour of the Black Swan Inn. This haunted location has been featured on multiple paranormal television shows including Ghost Adventures, and is known for being one of the top 10 most haunted places in Texas. The tour runs every Friday night starting at 6pm, and the groups meet at 1006 Holbrook Rd, San Antonio, TX 78218. Tickets are just $20, and participants will have their chance to explore the ancient estate that has seen the “historic Battle of Salado, the Dawson Massacre, Murders, Suicides, Native American Rituals” and much more.
To learn more about all three tours and book your own experience, visit Bad Wolf Ghost Tours.
Other Guided Tours
In addition to Bad Wolf Ghost Tours, there are multiple other organizations who run haunted experiences around San Antonio has well:
- San Antonio’s Best Ghost Tour (Alamo City Ghost Tours): Offering two tours, including the Haunted House Tour and the After Dark Ghost Tour
- Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours: Offering lantern and candlelight tours through the streets of Old San Antonio, including dinner tours, a Haunted History Walk, Ghost Bus Tours, Valentine’s Day Tours, and private tours.
Haunted Spots for Self-Guided Tours
If you’re brave enough to dare and explore the haunted locations alone, be sure not to skip out on some of the paranormal spots around town. Visit San Antonio has provided a list of some of the most spooktacular places in the city:
- Bullis House Inn: An elegant Greek Revival mansion, now a bed and breakfast, was built from 1906 to 1909 for Indian fighter General John Bullis, who helped capture Apache Chief Geronimo. Today, Geronimo is among the spirits thought to inhabit the mansion.
- Menger Hotel: Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders he recruited at the bar weigh heavy is stories surrounding this landmark 1859 hotel. But there’s also the mysterious Lady in Blue, who roams the halls; murdered chambermaid Salie White, who is usually carrying towels; and King Ranch founder Richard King, who died in the hotel in 1885; and many more.
- Sheraton Gunter Hotel: One of the city’s most venerable hotels since opening in 1909, the Sheraton Gunter abounds in mysteries, including an unsolved crime, a blood-soaked bed and reenactments of a famous murder. Among the common sightings is an apparition in a long white dress.
- St. Anthony Hotel: Many celebrities have stayed at the stylish St. Anthony, which also opened in 1909, but few as eccentric as the wraith of a woman in a veiled black hat, or the woman in a white ball gown who appears on the former roof garden, and an unexplained whistler.
- Southwest School of Art & Craft: The school’s lunchroom, called the Copper Kitchen, is housed in the refectory of the old Ursuline Academy, which was built in 1851 for an order of French nuns. Sounds suggesting spirits of the founding sisters scurrying after young charges have been reported. Male instructors have felt chastised for using profanity. Punchbowls have been turned over in the chapel, which is now used for receptions.
- Grey Moss Inn: Once a frontier stagecoach stop on the road west of San Antonio, the Grey Moss Inn also sees its share of spirits. The most prevalent is Mary Howell, the restaurant’s original owner. Mary is said to still take an interest in the management of the property, showing her displeasure in many ways when things aren’t to her liking.
- The Alamo: Established in 1718 as the city’s first Spanish mission, the Alamo harbors ghosts of heroes who fought in a bloody standoff and subsequent funeral pyres in 1836 when Mexican troops overran barricaded Texans. Most spirit sightings date from the late 1800s, but current-day psychics report detecting apparitions of Mexican soldiers in their uniforms. There are tales of John Wayne returning to commune with Alamo defenders from time to time. And, of course, there’s Davy’s ghostly fiddle wailing at the walls.
- Colonial Missions: Not to be outdone by the Alamo, three more 18th-century missions also reportedly have otherworldly occupants. A dark-robed priest, sometimes headless, haunts Mission San José. A wolf-like animal with dangling chains and an Indian man appear at San Francisco de la Espada. An Indian man has also been seen in the chapel at San Juan de Capistrano. Another mission, Concepción, seems to be ghostless.
- Spanish Governor’s Palace: The palace, finished in 1749, once housed officials of the Spanish Province of Texas. Strange sounds are said to emanate from a courtyard well, in which a young servant girl is alleged to have drowned. Bones of an infant were discovered in a chapel wall during restoration. Unexplained noises and “cold spots” are reported by caretakers.
- Witte Museum: Dating to 1926, this museum’s many artifacts from the city’s past may encourage spirit encounters. The presence of Ellen Quillin, the museum’s first curator, is taken for granted by many. The museum’s library is said to be her favorite spot, though the attic is the scene of most alleged encounters, with “bony hands” and the like.
*Information gathered from Visit San Antonio.