Did you know San Antonio has a haunted castle? While castles aren't something you'd necessarily associate with Texas, ghosts certainly are. People who live in San Antonio or visit it frequently know the city is alive with spirits. And while there are famous historical haunts like the Alamo, the places people live, sleep, and stay also have their fair share of ghostly activities. So, if you'd like to encounter a ghost in San Antonio, you can find plenty of creepy places to stay or visit.
Terrell Castle (The Lambermont)
Every castle needs a ghost for some added ambience and authenticity, and Terrell Castle, also called The Lambermont, is no exception. Built in 1894, Terrell Castle was the crown jewel of the locally prominent Terrell family. Lawyer and Ambassador to Belgium Edwin Terrell commissioned an architect to build his family home in San Antonio patterned after some of Europe's beautiful castles. The Terrell family lived there for nearly two decades, but it wasn't always a happy home. Terrell suffered from syphilitic dementia and attempted suicide--he shot himself in the head but lived for over a week before he succumbed to his injuries.
When the castle was converted into military family apartments, there were additional tragedies. Perhaps occurrences like these are why the Lambermont is haunted. Among the reports of activity include the sounds of children playing when none are present. People also report hearing footsteps in hallways, and objects randomly fly through the air.
The Menger Hotel was built adjacent to San Antonio's most haunted hotspot, the Alamo, less than a quarter century after the massacre that occurred there. In fact, the hotel sits on land where the battle raged, a skirmish in which nearly 2,000 men were killed or injured. So it's no surprise that such an event could leave behind a lot of residual energy, including restless spirits.
Some of Menger Hotel's permanent residents are believed to be the ghosts of people who died in the battle. Other entities are thought to be those of former employees and guests, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who is said to wander the halls. Most of the ghostly activity seems to be of a residual rather than an intelligent nature, but there are also reports of poltergeist activity in the hotel kitchen.
Victoria's Black Swan Inn
Victoria's Black Swan Inn, also known simply as the Black Swan Inn, is a stately Greek Revival plantation home in the heart of San Antonio. It was built in the 1860s on the site of the Battle of Salado Creek, a military skirmish between the Texan and Mexican armies in 1842. More than 60 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. The property went on to become a dairy farm, and then a plantation home known as White Gables.
Throughout its history, the inn has seen plenty of tragedy including deaths from cancer, suicide, and murder. Today, it appears the remnants of this tragic history remain. Guests and staff have had a host of paranormal experiences, from seeing spirits and hearing noises, to more active, poltergeist style activity such as lights that turn on and off by themselves.
No longer an inn, but an event space, the Black Swan Inn is known as one of Texas's most haunted locations--it has even been featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures. The inn has leaned into its paranormal reputation, so you can visit, tour, investigate, and even spend a night there, as the inn offers these activities to curious guests.
Another landmark hotel built right next to the Alamo is the Crockett Hotel, and like the Alamo, many believe a lot of its activity is related to the battle that once raged on the land where it sits. But to say that every spirited activity that occurs there is battle-related may be short sighted. For besides being the site of that battle, the Crockett Hotel has a decidedly odd history--Odd Fellows, that is.
In the early 1900s, the International Order of Odd Fellows opened a hotel and fraternal lodge there, offering a place to stay for travelers and a site where they could conduct secret fraternal meetings and rites. By the late 70s, the Odd Fellows had moved on, and the building went through a few owners before it became the luxury hotel it is today.
Much of the hotel's ghostly activity probably comes from the Battle of the Alamo. Staff believe Davy Crockett, for whom the hotel is named, remains and interacts with guests. It's likely other spirits are here as well, although none so famous as Crockett. Haunted happenings include staff and guests hearing the sounds of whispering and chanting. Ghostly footsteps walk up and down the halls. Apparitions appear and disappear. Doors open and shut on their own. The elevators are rumored to be haunted; apparently they go to floors the guests haven't pressed the button for instead of dropping them off where they'd like.
Spanish Governor's Palace
Built in the 1700s as the home for the Spanish presidio captain, the Spanish Governor's Palace is really more of a fortification that was called Presidio San Antonio de Béjar. It was built to protect the Spanish governor and settlers from French invaders, with whom Spain was fighting for dominion over the territory. The presidio served as a home and offices for presidio captains over the years, until it was abandoned and fell into ruin. Recognizing its historical significance, the city completed restorations on the palace in the late 1920s. Today, this National Historic Landmark serves as a museum instead of a home, where visitors can come and learn about the history of the region.
Visitors and staff see ghosts both inside and outside of the palace. These include both indigenous people and colonialists in their respective period garb. Other reports include cold spots that fill anyone who wanders through them with foreboding. There's also a ghost rope that some see in the hanging tree (called the Tree of Sorrows) where justice was meted out for decades. Spirits of young children also roam the grounds, and a Lady in Gray mysteriously appears and then disappears as quickly as she came.
San Antonio's Haunted History
San Antonio has long been considered one of the United States' most haunted cities. So if you're looking for evidence of ghosts when you're in town, it's likely you won't walk away disappointed. With haunted homes, hotels, inns, and other historic sites, intrepid explorers who want to encounter a ghost in San Antonio have plenty of opportunities to do so.