Get to know SA: Haunted hot spots


Photos by Ethan Pham, The Paisano

Raquel E. Alonzo

Looking for a few places to go ghost hunting this Halloween? Then I’ve got a few places I recommend you check out.

The Haunted Railroad Tracks located not too far from the San Juan Mission at Shane and Villamain Rd. is a well-known haunted site. Local legend has it that a school bus of about 10 children collided with a train somewhere between the 1930’s and 40’s. If you put your car in neutral and dust your back bumper with baby powder, the ghosts of the children with push your car over the tracks and when you check your bumper, you can see their fingerprints. This site has been mentioned in various ghost hunter shows and is one of the most speculated places due to lack of record of the train incident even happening. If you plan on going on Halloween night, be cautious of police. Because this site is near the missions, police are on the look-out for trespassers.

If you want to spend the night at a haunted hotel, The Menger Hotel at 204 Alamo Plaza is the place to go. Built in 1859, this hotel has a long history of hauntings from rather friendly ghosts. Sally White, a chambermaid at the hotel in 1876, was staying at the hotel to get away from her husband and later that night he attacked her, leaving her so injured that she passed two days later. Sally continues to perform her duties in the Victorian wing at night carrying a load of clean towels for guests.

Captain Richard King, former owner of King Ranch, had his own personal suite at the hotel and he passed away in his room in 1885. He can be seen walking through the wall, prior to the remodeling of where the door used to be, in the “King Ranch Room.” Both staff members and guests have reported on many occasions various ghosts they have seen within the hotel. The hotel has a reported 32 supernatural entities that walk the halls of The Menger Hotel.

Donkey Lady Bridge is another historically haunted site for San Antonians. Legend has it that a woman who was disfigured by a fire haunts the bridge located off of Applewhite Road on the South Side. Her husband started a fire in their home, killing their two children in the process. When her face had healed from the fire, she looked similar to a long faced donkey and to this day, she can be seen in the eerie forest around the bridge.

The Black Swan Inn is a gorgeous house that was built in 1867 on top of the grave site of those who died in the Battle of Salado of 1842. This building has been said to house the spirits of those who died in the battle (and honestly, people need to stop building houses over grave sites; talk about rude).

The Gunter Hotel located at 205 E. Houston St. has a story of a murder that occurred in Room 636 in 1965. Walter Emerick murdered a woman in the room and soaked the bed with blood. The blonde woman has never been identified, but she still haunts the hotel. Additionally, Emerick killed himself in the St. Anthony Hotel at 300 E. Travis St. when police came to arrest him.

According to USA Today, The Emily Morgan Hotel at 705 E. Houston St. is the third most haunted hotel in the world. Originally a medical arts building, this site was repurposed into a hotel in the 1920’s. The hotel guests have complained about phones ringing in the dead of night, TV’s and lights flickering and have seen a lady in white roaming the halls. Even the manager has reported unexplained phenomena. When she went back to the hotel after dinner, their bathtub was filled with blue water. There has been talk of ghosts on the 12th and 14th floors of the hotel which served as a surgery floor and a crematorium respectively.

A few honorable ghost mentions include The Chinese Graveyard, located in South San Antonio, where if you turn off your car with the windows down then quickly turn it back on, you will see the spirits of the graveyard; Woman Hollering Creek, located on the far East Side near exit 591 of I-10, where the infamous La Llorona haunts the creek, lures men by her beauty and takes children that walk in the night; and of course, The Alamo with about 850 deaths from the battle, there are multiple ghost stories to go around.

Be safe this Halloween and happy ghost hunting, y’all.