TEXAS (KFDX/KJTL) — If you’re a thrill seeker searching for the spookiest spots to get in the Halloween spirit, don’t overlook some of the most ghoulish locations in your own backyard.

While ghost towns aren’t necessarily haunted and typically refer to once active communities that have been abandoned by most residents, these Texas towns offer a glimpse into the chilling pasts of departed Texans.

Though this is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the ghost towns the sprawling state of Texas has to offer, each of these historical towns was hand-selected, researched, and rated on just how haunting their histories are.

Towns have been rated on a ghastly scale of 1-5 ghosts, with 1 being the least spooky and 5 being the most spooktacular.

North Texas

Belcherville — Montague County

Known for: A booming trading center at the turn of the 19th century, Belcherville was established in 1886 as a land colonization scheme by the Belcher brothers. Plots sold for $25 to $150 per piece, and the city retained its post office until 1954.

Prime population: 2,000+

Why spooky: A large fire destroyed much of Belcherville’s business areas, causing the town’s initial decline. While no one knows what exactly caused the flames, surviving tales detail how one side of town was originally burned by opposing occupants. In an act of vengeance the following night, the initial victims allegedly burned down the still-standing side.

Spooky Score: 👻 / 👻👻👻👻👻

Source: Ghost Towns of Texas by T. Lindsay Baker

Fort Griffin — Shackelford County

Known for: Named after a nearby military post, his town garnered quite a reputation in its heyday in the late 1870s as it was often called one of the roughest and most violent places of the Texas frontier. A hotspot for saloons and gambling, this fort reportedly represented the “lowest classes of society.”

Prime population: 300-400

Why spooky: Even Fort Griffin’s flowing stream on a nearby meadow has a harrowing history: Collin’s Creek was named after a settler who was murdered in cold blood by a band of unknown, hidden assailants for his “buried treasure.” It is unknown if the killers ever found the treasure.

Spooky Score: 👻👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Source: Ghost Towns of Texas by T. Lindsay Baker

South Texas

St. Mary’s of Aransas — Refugio County

Known for: While the town’s prime was shortlived, flourishing from 1850 to 1886, St. Mary’s provides an integral look at Texas’ rich history. Mostly known for its lumber production and a few notable residents, including Clara Driscoll, the “Savior of the Alamo,” the town fell victim to Union troops at the start of the Civil War who burned down much of St. Mary’s.

Prime population: 5,000

Why spooky: While it may look picturesque, don’t be fooled: the gulf’s dangerous reefs hide secrets of wrecked ships, and the shores of St. Mary’s are said to be littered with wreckage and bodies of fallen sailors. The town further suffered in 1886 when a severe hurricane damaged much of the town, and before that damage could be repaired, another hurricane struck the once-thriving town. Due to the irreparable damage, only two homes remained as of 1948.

Spooky Score: 👻👻👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Sources: Travel South Texas, Texas State Historical Association


Mobeetie — Wheeler County

Known for: Considered the “mother city” of the Panhandle, this lively city moved locations a few times over its comparatively long history. Mobeetie had a packed Main Street, complete with two hotels, a blacksmith shop, several saloons and more, and it had plenty of gamblers and prostitutes to generate additional income. The town suffered at the end of the 19th century and was replaced by New Mobeetie in the early 20th century.

Prime population: 500

Why spooky: Old Mobeetie suffered after the nearby fort was abandoned in 1890 when attempts at a new railroad failed, and its demise was secured when a tornado took seven lives and leveled most buildings. The old area’s only remaining remnant is a crude flagpole.

Spooky Score: 👻👻👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Source: Texas State Historical Association

Adobe Walls — Hutchinson County

Known for: What was originally a large trading post-turned-ranching community beginning in 1843, Adobe Walls was a prime location for frequent battles between Natives and settlers. Occupation of the town was sporadic as hostility and tensions were high between the two groups. From 1940 until 1970, the town reportedly had a population of 15.

Prime population: 200-300

Why spooky: The land has a haunting history: from constant battles to Natives killing travelers’ livestock and settlers destroying Natives’ homes with explosives, Adobe Walls was notorious for death and destruction. The Second Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874 amplified this bloodshed with approximately 74 casualties. Now, the town’s history is denoted by only a small, green sign.

Spooky Score: 👻👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Sources: Texas State Historical Association, Texas Monthly

Central Texas

La Lomita — Hidalgo County

Known for: After a land grant was awarded in 1767, several Texans came into possession of the La Lomita property over the next century. When Oblate priests finally took possession in 1861, the famous La Lomita Chapel, which is said to be haunted, was built as a meeting place for local priests. While the chapel is deteriorating in present-day Mission, Texas, visitors can still walk through the once-popular church.

Prime population: <100

Why spooky: After facing significant damage in 1933 from a hurricane, the La Lomita Chapel is reportedly the site of frequent sightings of spirits, primarily that of a faceless nun, suspended in mid-air while praying. Others have reported random flashing lights late at night and the spirit of a man who stands on the balcony and watches passersby with his arms extended.

Spooky Score: 👻👻👻👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Sources: City of Mission, Texas Escapes

West Texas

Terlingua — Brewster County

Known for: A thriving town for just over a century, Terlingua was home to hundreds of laborers and had multiple businesses. A successful mining town, primarily of quicksilver, Terlingua was clearly segregated, and this was heightened when mine owner Howard Perry’s mansion built in 1910 loomed over the town’s west side. Deemed the “Chili Capital of the World” in 1967, Terlingua is gaining back its population and possibly losing its ghost town title.

Prime population: 1,000

Spooky Score: 👻👻/👻👻👻👻👻

Why spooky: Hundreds upon hundreds of graves decorated with flowers, beer cans and more will greet those who visit the ghost town. While the town is lively during the day with its fair share of tourists, it hosts a large population of the dead as well.

Sources: Texas.Gov, Texas State Historical Association

Belle Plain — Callahan County

Known for: The first unofficial seat of the county, one early reporter in for the Fort Griffin Echo in 1879 described Belle Plain as a place that “we do not know of a more pleasant or beautiful place or one with brighter prospects for a prosperous future.” Likely named for the first child born at the townsite, Katie Belle Magee, Belle Plain prospered with Belle Plain College and several stores and saloons, employed several with 11 lawyers and four physicians and served as an exporter of wool, hides and cotton.

Prime population: 300+

Why spooky: A once thriving town, Belle Plain’s decline came when the new county seat was named as Baird, Texas, and after the severe west Texas droughts dealt a severe blow to the college. In 1897, there were only four families left in Belle Plain, and it is now a total ghost.

Spooky Score: 👻/👻👻👻👻👻