Halloween is upon us, and with it a chance to tell stories of ghosts and other inhabitants from beyond the veil. We've already looked at some of the best haunted locations that you could road trip to in the state. Today we take a brief glance at some of the most famous ghosts as well.
Emily The Austin Tavern in Austin is home to a famous and very active specter known as Emily. Like many of the ghosts of Austin, she is rumored to have originated in the days of speakeasies and Prohibition, when times were loose and violence was commonplace.
Legend has it that Emily was a waitress at the bar during this period, and that she was killed in a bar fight that turned riotous. Now servers and patrons say that she pinches them, knocks over glasses, and just all and all creates a ruckus.
During some renovations a pair of ladies shoes were found under the floorboards. The shoes are now kept in a display case on the second floor, and people believe they must have belonged to Emily.
Anna and Joshua The Ott Hotel in Liberty was built to accommodate the oil boom, and ended up being one of the most haunted sites in Texas thanks to the many people that have come through and stayed in the turbulent time. Countless guests have reported slamming doors, mysterious footsteps, and figures at the end of their beds.
The most famous of all these are Anna and Joshua, an arguing set of geists that have a nasty reputation. In 1930 Anna was having an affair in the hotel when Joshua came and began knocking on doors looking for her. Finding Anna, he argued with her until shots rang out and they both fell dead from one single bullet. No one knows the identity of the shooter. Now the two endlessly bicker in the halls of the Ott.
This story continues on the next page.
Charlie Wunsche Less tragic and frightening is the shade of the son of the founder of Spring , Charlie Wunsche. He and his brothers built the Wunsche Bros. Cafe & Saloon, and after he died his spirit is still rumored to be there.
Charlie rarely appears in person, and there are less than a handful of sightings of the man himself. He prefers to play tricks, especially during renovations. Nozzles from soda machines will disappear, doors will stick as if they were jammed, and strange shadows sometimes creep on the wall of their own accord. Nonetheless, the staff finds their ghost to be a protective spirit and welcome his presence.
Alice Littlefield Sitting right in the middle of the University of Texas Austin campus is a Victorian house that is both peaceful-looking and slightly ominous. This is the Littlefield Mansion, where Alice Littlefield worked tirelessly to better her community. It is said she continues to work in her own way even from beyond the grave.
There are two kinds of ghost stories involving Alice. The first is likely complete bullshit. Some say that she was locked in the attic later in life and restlessly paces the floor. You can also see her face in a hard to reach turret window. Considering that she was being honored at banquets up to the last two years of her life, this seems highly unlikely.
The students of the Littlefield Dormitory say that it's there that Aunt Alice roams, and believe her to be kind and protecting instead of mad and strange. Considering that Littlefield, whose own attempts to have children ended in tragically young deaths of her babies, put nearly 30 nephews and nieces through college as gifts this seems the more likely spectral manifestation.
Drago The Devil's Backbone along State Highway 32 is a beautiful stretch of hill country. It is also haunted as all get out, with legends stretching back into Native American folklore. Some are terrifying even for ghost stories, such as the specter who is supposed to suddenly appear on the hood of your car while driving.
More common is Drago, a Native American ghost who can be seen herding cattle through the area. Where he comes from and where he is going no one knows, but his is a common figure among the ranchers of the hill country. There are no reports of Drago interacting with people or causing trouble, just a lone, strange mystery in the middle of nowhere here in Texas.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.