Welcome to #TravelTuesday on Spooky Little Halloween. My summer is looking a little more bleak than normal this year. Instead of filling the weeks with road trips, beach trips and lots of summer reading, I’m spending a lot more time doing responsible adult things while I anxiously wait for fall to arrive.
So I’m doing the next best thing: every Tuesday for the next four to six weeks, I’ll be sharing lists of spooky and haunted places around the globe that I would love to visit. Let’s hope it chases away my summer blues.
And where better to start than my hometown, Houston?
When I started working on this post, I already know a few landmark spots around the city that are labeled as haunted. The Spaghetti Warehouse and Rice Lofts downtown, some of the older cemeteries around the city to name a few. But I was surprised when my research turned up a high school in my own district and a legit haunted mansion in south Houston.
From the well known to the unknown, here are 8 haunted places in Houston I may or may not be brave enough to visit >>>
Spaghetti Warehouse – 901 Commerce St.
We’ll start with the classic. The Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Houston is a well known spot for hauntings – so well known that it often gets included on “most haunted in America” lists.
The story goes that the building that now houses Spaghetti Warehouse was once a pharmacy. One day the pharmacist was killed when he fell down the building’s elevator shaft. But it isn’t just the pharmacist who haunts the building. His wife died one year later of a broken heart and joined him in haunting the space.
Hauntings and peculiar happenings mostly occur on the building’s second floor, which is only used for special events. Visitors have captured orbs in photos at the restaurant and tables are said to rearrange themselves in the restaurant. Unknown voices are heard early in the morning or late at night, according to staff.
If you like a side of the other world with your pasta, it’s definitely a spot to check out.
Glenwood Cemetery – 2525 Washington Ave.
Glenwood Cemetery is one of Houston’s most historic cemeteries, with more than 60 acres of monuments and mausoleums. It was established in 1871 and is the resting place to some of the city’s most notable figures, including mayors, governors, businessmen and a number of Houston namesakes.
Oh, and it’s also just 10 minutes away from the Spooky Little Apartment. Convenient!
One would expect a cemetery to be a haunted spot. But the thing that makes Glenwood so interesting is it’s rumored to be haunted by a former caretaker, Leona Tonn. Glenwood is adjoined with Washington Cemetery, which Leona looked after until her murder in 1977 – a murder that remains unsolved to this day.
Julia Ideson Library – 500 McKinny St.
Back in late February, I was downtown and happened to snap a photo of one of the original Houston Public Library buildings. I posted it on Instagram, noting how spooky it looked with bare trees in the dead of winter. Little did I know it is actually haunted.
Library caretaker Jacob Frank Cramer enjoyed spending his free time strolling the library halls, playing the violin and spending time with his dog, Petey. In 1936, Jacob passed away alone in his bedroom, located in the basement of the building. Visitors say Jacob and Petey haunt the library now. Employees have reported eerie violin music and the sound of Petey scampering up and down the marble hallways.
Jefferson Davis Hospital – 1101 Elder St.
Jefferson Davis Hospital was built in 1924…right on top of Houston City Cemetery. Some sources report up to 6,000 Civil War soldiers as well as yellow fever and plague victims are buried in here. When the hospital site was selected and excavation began, human remains quickly turned up. As a result, the hospital’s basement was built above ground to not disturb the burial site.
Even so, it sounds like you’re inviting the spirits in when you knowingly build on to of a cemetery, if you ask me…
Once built, the hospital offered a number of services, including housing psychiatric patients. Jefferson Davis Hospital had a short life and closed in 1939. By 1985 it was completely abandoned. For the next 19 years, visitors brazen enough to ignore no trespassing signs described shadowy forms, the feeling of being watched and even catching whiffs of sterilization solutions.
In 2004 work began to restore the building. By 2013 the space had been turned into the Elder Street Artists Lofts which offers subsidized apartments for local artists. (Think there’s a space for rent for a writer like me?)
Cypress Springs High School – 7909 Fry Rd.
This one hits a little too close to home. Cypress Springs High School is exactly six miles from my home in the school district where I grew up. It was built in 1998, just as I was entering high school at another school a few miles away. While I had never heard this story before, a poll of my friends on Facebook shows I’m in the minority.
While I’m not 100% sure I believe this particular urban legend, the story goes that a construction worker died on-site during the build when he fell into the foundation being laid. For reasons unknown (and why I don’t quite believe this one) his body was deemed irrecoverable, and the school was built on top of him.
Students and staff have reporting hearing weird noises in the bathrooms, cold spots in the theater and phantom footsteps on the catwalk above the stage. High school kid stories or legitimate haunting? I’ll let you be the judge.
Witch’s Grave – 6801 Franz Rd., Katy
Much like the high school, I’m not sure I completely believe this next spot is haunted. But it sure is a fun urban legend. Out in one of Houston’s suburbs is the Katy Magnolia Cemetery, home to the 150-year-old Witch’s Grave. At one point a 200 pound sphere sat on top of her grave, but it was removed by local police in recent years to discourage kids from visiting.
Legend has it that if you visited the grave and read the inscription, looked away and then looked back, the sphere would have fallen out of place or vanished completely. It’s also said people saw the sphere float or glow. Those who read the inscription are said to have bad luck the rest of their lives.
As Joan Whetzel notes in her summation of the site, there is no definitive proof the woman laid to rest here was, indeed, a witch. The cemetery where her tomb is located is also only 100 years old.
I still think it makes for an interesting story, especially when you factor in the ominous tone of the inscription:
Remember me as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you soon shall be
Prepare for death and follow me
Patterson Road – Hwy. 6 and Eldridge Rd.
This is another haunted spot that hits close to home and is a story my dad has shared with me a few times over the years. Out in west Houston near the Addicks Reservoir is Patterson Road. The road runs parallel to parks and the Farm and Ranch Club, but it is also rumored to be the site of a Civil War battle.
I’ve heard a very different variations of the story over the years. Some say if you simply drive down the road, you will begin to hear strange tapping on your car. Others say you must park on a bridge close to Eldridge Rd. at night with your lights off, and tapping will be heard on the back and sides of your car.
I’ve driven the road and never heard notable tapping myself, but one thing is for sure – driving Patterson Road has always given me an uneasy, creepy feeling.
Minnetex Mansion – 3015 Fuqua St.
Of all the creepy places in Houston to visit, this site might take the cake. It’s also the one I’d recommend the least when it comes to exploring.
Houston has some interesting and seriously scary mansions in it’s history, but in 2014, the Minnetex Mansion became the spot for Halloween night. Word spread quickly through social media that a party was being hosted here and garnered attention as being haunted.
The 11,640 square foot mansion, built in 1950, sits on five acres of land in south Houston just inside the Beltway. It was a long-time home to vagrants and vandals. In 2008 it was put on the market. The price went from just under $500,000 to barely over $250,000 in a mere seven months before it was purchased by investors. One month after the sale, a man was found beaten to death in the front yard.
Since then, the home has continued to sit vacant. Photos on Swamplot.com show an indoor pool full of pitch black water that’s so creepy, it’s enough to keep me away. There’s also stories of rancid smells, guard dogs and more.
Oh, and the video linked above? Check out the far right window on the second story. I’m not saying that’s definitely a ghost, but…it’s definitely something.
Which haunted Houston place on my list would you visit?
These picks only skim the surface of what my hometown has to offer in the way of haunted places. I look forward to sharing more as this summer’s #TravelTuesday series continues.
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