The paranormal world is all around us, we just have to know the right places to look.
Fortunately, Houston is full of spooky stories, gruesome history, and seriously scary haunts. These are no haunted house experiences. Each of the 7 Historic Haunted Places on this list has a record of real paranormal encounters, and if you’re lucky, yours could be the next.
So grab a flashlight and a friend—you won’t want to visit these haunted spots alone.
- Map of the Most Haunted Places in Houston
- 1. Haunted Restaurant or Marketing Ploy: McIntyre’s Downtown (formerly Spaghetti Warehouse)
- 2. Houston’s Grand Haunted Hotel: The Rice Lofts (formerly The Rice Hotel)
- 3. The River Oaks of the Dead: Glenwood Cemetary
- 4. Shh! The Spirits are Reading: The Julia Ideson Building
- 5. A Highly Haunted History: Hendley Row
- 7. The (Paranormal) Playground of the Southwest: Hotel Galvez
- 8. Doorway to the Spirit Realm: Hermann Park
Map of the Most Haunted Places in Houston
1. Haunted Restaurant or Marketing Ploy: McIntyre’s Downtown (formerly Spaghetti Warehouse)
This iconic building in the historic Market Square of Downtown Houston might have a new facade, a new name, and new clientele, but rumor has it that the Spaghetti Warehouse ghosts are here to stay. Once closed due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the newly renovated party hangout, McIntyre’s, has chosen to keep this building’s haunted history hushed—and I can see why!
Legend has it that in the early 1900s, an employee fell down an elevator shaft to his death. The loss was too much for his grieving widow and she, too, perished shortly after. The pair now haunts their final resting palace, rearranging furniture, creating cold, clammy breezes, and playing pranks on patrons.
Locals looking for a side of boos with their booze should head to the second floor, where the most shocking spirit encounters have occurred.
- Address: 901 Commerce St., Houston, TX 77002
- Website: McIntyre’s Downtown
2. Houston’s Grand Haunted Hotel: The Rice Lofts (formerly The Rice Hotel)
Ever wanted to live in a haunted building? Yeah, me neither… But if visiting the most famous (and haunted) Houston hotel is on your bucket list, I suggest making friends with one of the current tenants of these transformed lofts.
Opening in 1913, the building has a history leading back to the founding of the City on the Bayou—and the Republic of Texas itself. It is the site of the first capital of the Republic and was, at one point, the largest hotel in Texas. In its heyday, the hotel hosted six presidents and several other celebrities including Perry Como, Tommy Dorsey, Clark Gable, Mick Jagger, Liberace, Groucho Marx, Shirley Temple, Will Rogers, and Laurence Welk.
The most famous of these stays was President John F. Kennedy, who spent his last night here before his fated trip to Dallas-Fort Worth. Hotel-goers now claim to have experienced cold spots, rattling doors and beds, orbs of light, and a presence centered around where JFK’s room was located. There have also been reports of ghost couples on the dance floor in the grand ballroom, and since The Hotel’s residential renovation, the ghostly dancers now occasionally appear on the roof.
- Address: 909 Texas Avenue Houston, TX 770025
- Website: The Rice
3. The River Oaks of the Dead: Glenwood Cemetary
We couldn’t have a list of haunted locations without at least one cemetery on the list! This must-visit garden cemetery also happens to be one of the most beautifully landscaped cemeteries in the country! Steps away from the bustling Buffalo Bayou, you almost forget that you’re in the highly-haunted neighborhood of the (dead) rich and famous. Many influential people were laid to rest here, including esteemed politicians, famed business magnates, and legendary Houstonian “royalty.”
Ghost hunters report high electromagnetic fields within the cemetery’s iron gates. And there are claims that the original owner, who was himself the victim of an unsolved murder, still haunts this beautiful cemetery.
- Address: 2525 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
- Website: Glenwood Cemetary
4. Shh! The Spirits are Reading: The Julia Ideson Building
A quiet library makes the perfect setting for experiencing paranormal sounds—like a lonely violin and the light-hearted pitter-patter of its resident ghosts.
If you listen carefully, you might hear the notes of a romantic Strauss waltz echoing through the hallways of the Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library, followed by the light steps of its resident paranormal dog. These sounds belong to the library’s former caretaker, Jacob Frank Cramer, who died in the library’s basement apartment in 1936, and his loyal German Shepherd, Petey.
And if you happen to find sheet music scattered on the floor, you can thank Cramer for his gift.
- Address: 500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77002
- Website: Julia Ideson Building
5. A Highly Haunted History: Hendley Row
For the most haunted paranormal hot spot on our list, you’ll have to make the day trip to Galveston (although you may want to stay somewhere other than Hotel Galvez, the next location on our list).
Hendley Row was built before the Civil War by W. Hendley & Co., one of the largest business houses in Texas in the 1850s, and is the oldest commercial building in Galveston. Over the years the building has been used as both a Confederate stronghold and a morgue— and has the poltergeists to prove it. Allow me to introduce you to three of its most famous:
- The Lady in White is a woman in a tattered, Victorian-era dress who is often seen pacing the streets, going up and down the stairs, frantically searching, and crying in distress.
- You might also catch a glimpse of the building’s most active ghost—a disheveled little boy who frequently runs around the building, along with other children said to have perished in the Hurricane of 1900.
- The last ghost is one you should pray you don’t see, as he is almost always a bad omen for whoever glimpses him. This young, gruesome-looking boy died in a factory accident when the building still served as a cotton mill in the mid-1800s. Tragically, one staff member who saw him learned that same night that her sister had been killed in a horrific car accident.
- Address: 2010 The Strand, Galveston, TX 77550
- Website: Hendley Market
7. The (Paranormal) Playground of the Southwest: Hotel Galvez
Before its reputation for haunted happenings, this historic hotel was once nicknamed “The Las Vegas of the South,” hosting celebrity guests such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, serving as a WWII Coast Guard Facility, and even acting as a Temporary White House for FDR.
Despite its famous patrons, the Hotel is now more well known for its guests who once checked in and never checked out. It’s the home of Galveston’s Love Lorn Lady, a seaman’s fiancee who spent many a night at the hotel, awaiting the return of her love. Upon hearing the news that his ship had sunk at sea and that no man survived, she hung herself in Room 501 and now wanders the halls, awaiting his return.
She is not, however, the only spirit that haunts the Hotel’s historic halls. The Hurricane of 1900 killed over 10,000 Galveston residents, including all the inhabitants of a local orphanage. The Hotel Galvez was built atop the mass grave of these 90 children and ten nuns who perished—a possible explanation for the phantom children who have been spotted running around the Hotel.
- Address: 2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550
- Website: Hotel Galvez
8. Doorway to the Spirit Realm: Hermann Park
By day, Hermann Park is filled with joggers, families, and school children on field trips, but by night, restless spirits roam empty trails.
The Park’s location in the Hospital District dates back to the Civil War, meaning that many people have died and been buried here. Paranormal experts claim that the Park’s moonlight supplies energy for the ghosts to become active in the evening hours. You can even take a ghost tour throughout the park and learn the spooky stories the paths have to tell.
It’s even said that the famous Sam Houston statue archway acts as a doorway to the spirit realm. I’ve been to Hermann Park many times and have personally never experienced any paranormal activity… then again, I’ve never walked under that archway at night.