Everything’s bigger in Texas, probably because Texas is pretty big itself. I’ve already done an entire video covering just some of the hauntings in the state’s capital city of Austin. Now, we’re moving on to another major city in the Lone Star State. Let’s talk about five creepy haunted places in Houston, Texas.
1. The National Museum of Funeral History
Sitting at 415 Barren Springs Drive, the National Museum of Funeral History was established in 1992 by a founder who wanted to “educate the public and preserve the heritage of death care,” according to their official website. The museum boasts 16 permanent exhibits, including The History of Cremation, 19th Century Mourning and a 9/11 tribute. They’ve also hosted haunted house attractions in the past, seemingly embracing their unusual and morbid legacy.
And in an institution associated with death, it’s no surprise that people have reported strange occurrences there. One woman claimed to see a coffin shake violently as she walked by. People say they’ve heard noises coming from other coffins in the museum, mostly whispering and crying. Most of these events occur in the museum’s Coffins and Caskets of the Past exhibit.
Admittedly, the reported hauntings here are limited, especially for a building so closely linked to death. But if you ever visit this location, I bet you’ll be looking over your shoulder quite a bit.
2. Rice Lofts
This apartment building in downtown Houston has quite the history. On November 21, 1963, president John F. Kennedy made a brief stop at the what was then the Rice Hotel. The next morning, he was famously assassinated in Dallas. Cold spots, rattling doors and orbs were all spotted in JFK’s old room, along with reports that the bed would move on its own. People also claimed to wake up with their sheets covered in blood.
In 1977, the building was closed by court order after being deemed a fire hazard. It was re-opened as Post Rice Lofts in 1998, and sold and re-named The Rice in 2014. After the building became apartments, people claimed to see ghost dancers on the roof. These dancers were often spotted in the ballroom during the building’s hotel days, so maybe they simply migrated up.
3. The Battleship Texas
Commissioned in 1915, the USS Texas would go on to see service in both World Wars, including the famous D-Day invasion. It was decommissioned in 1946 and is now docked at San Jacinto in La Porte, just east of Houston, where it serves as a museum for combat related items.
During its time at San Jacinto, visitors have reported all sorts of ghostly encounters. A strangely shaped vapor, unusual whispers, and apparitions, included a red headed sailor ghost, have all been spotted. Like many locations associated with war, the Battleship Texas was likely the spot of many violent deaths. Are these the spirits of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, still sticking around in the world of the living?
In 2019, it was announced that the ship was set to be moved from Houston due to a low visitor rate. As of October 2021 this hasn’t happened yet, and no date or location have been announced. The ship has also been closed for repairs for quite some time, but it was temporarily re-opened for the 4th of July weekend in 2021.
4. Kingsgate Village
Houses aren’t the only residential buildings that have hauntings attached. The Kingsgate Village Apartments have at least two ghost stories associated with them.
The first is of a young woman who killed her cheating boyfriend at the complex. It’s not clear just when she died herself, but residents report seeing her walking around the area, still wanting to exact revenge. Though, frankly, she already killed the guy — I’m not sure what more she wants. A “hazy white figure” and screaming and crying in the middle of the night are both attributed to her. At least, I hope the screaming and crying is her and not a living woman being attacked!
Another ghost said to haunt the grounds is that of a little girl named Ruth. One former resident claimed to encounter and even befriend this girl, who would always be wearing the same clothes and said she didn’t go to school. One day, when the former resident didn’t see her friend Ruth anywhere, she knocked on her apartment door — only to encounter Ruth’s father, who said his daughter had been dead for years. There’s no worldly explanation for this, but the woman never forgot her friend Ruth.
5. Magnolia Cemetery
In the suburban city of Katy, Texas lies Magnolia Cemetery. At first glance, it appears to be a relatively ordinary place — at least for a place that holds dead bodies. But one particular grave has some pretty interesting paranormal legends attached.
Barbara Snyder, who died in 1911 and shares a grave with her son-in-law, was rumored to be a witch. An inscription on her gravestone includes the creepy line “prepare for death and follow me,” which has seemingly fueled the legends. As the story goes, if you read the inscription out loud and look away, then look back, a sphere monument on top of the grave will fall off. Other versions say the sphere floats and glows before falling, or that reading it would also curse you with a lifetime of bad luck. Black cats are also said to congregate around the grave, and one woman claimed the witch’s spirit followed her home, appearing in mirrors every time she looked into one.
So was Barbara Snyder a witch who curses anyone who so much as reads the inscription on her grave? Probably not. A 2017 article on chron.com says inscriptions like this may appear unusually morbid in 2021, but were pretty much par for the course at the time. Still, if you ever find yourself in the area, feel free to leave a coin in the spherical indent on the top of Ms. Snyder’s grave — for good luck.
Check back for part 2, coming soon! In the meantime, head over to the corresponding YouTube video and let me know if you've had a paranormal experience in any of these places.