San Antonio’s Strange Tales of the New Old West

San Antonio has a long history of bloodshed, and it is of no surprise to local historians that the place manifests an enormous level of paranormal activity.  At sunset the street lamps buzz on and the tourist nightlife comes alive from every corner of the city, but deep in the recesses of shadow enveloping several of the haunted locations in the surrounding area, something stirs beyond the realm of human explanation.  San Antonio is a town with a life of its own.  And some say there’s quite a literal interpretation to that statement.  With over sixty confirmed haunted locations within its boundaries, some of the old west walks, if not lives, there today.

Tro Bridge located just outside the city limits, northwest of San Antonio in Bexar county is one of several eerie haunts visitors have claimed caused them to make contact with the other side.  The bridge allegedly hosts several spirits who will, if you attempt to cross it at night, grab your legs.  Visitors have been terrified by the sensation of grabbing hands as they pass through the area, and as a result only paranormal enthusiasts or those who don’t know or believe the legends ever visit there anymore.

The Camberly Gunter Hotel, located just off East Houston Street was the site of a grizzly murder in the 1960’s when a man murdered a woman in cold blood in one of the hotel rooms.  Though the room was completely drenched in the woman’s blood, no body was ever found.  The murderer later checked in to the Menger Hotel in San Antonio where he vanished.  Did he escape the city with his life?  Or did vengeful spirits track him down?  The room where the murder took place has been restored, and occupants often will see a spectral woman in the room and hear strange unearthly sounds in its vicinity.  A picture of her hangs in the lobby.

And of course The Alamo is quite possibly the most famous haunted location in San Antonio, known for its historic significance during the Texas Revolution.  The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 lasted thirteen days and became a symbol of freedom and bravery for Texans and the world.  But some of those who spilled their blood during the battle still reportedly wander the hallways and stalk the grounds.  General Andrade once declared it his mission to destroy the legendary building, and sent one of his Colonels to do the job.  The colonel returned to his camp one night telling his troops a tale quite out of character for him.  He said he approached the building, but just as his men were marching up to the front doors, suddenly they burst open and six ghostly demons erupted from the building’s mouth holding flaming sabers up and screaming, “Do not touch the Alamo.  Do not touch these walls.”  The General, unimpressed, went himself to destroy The Alamo, but was also intercepted by demonic figures who screamed and jeered at the general.  Beyond them he could see a figure far too large to be human holding aloft balls of fire in its hands.  The Cenotaph at the Alamo bearing pictures of the defenders’ story bears this image.  It is said that the flames that consumed the bodies of the Alamo defenders gave life to a powerful spectral entity that stalks and defends The Alamo from vandals and intruders.  Also reported to haunt The Alamo is the ghost of a woman who was struck by lightning while walking with a friend of hers.

Those who have visited San Antonio and have an eye for the unusual have reported with some consistency that it is definitely a noteworthy place, and a must-visit for seekers of the paranormal.  Maybe visitors to The Alamo and other locations will be drawn not only by historical interest, but also a desire to make contact with the other side.