The Ghosts of Austin, Texas
by Fiona Broome
“…Spell-binding stories backed up with historical data and loads of photographs… recommended reading.” — Margaret Byl, Paranormal Investigator and writer
Looking for more information about the ghosts of Austin, Texas, or Fiona Broome’s book about haunted Austin? You’re at the right website.
The following are some of Fiona’s notes about Austin and nearby haunts.
Here’s the photo from the book cover, in more detail:
This picture was taken around dawn, and the sun had barely cleared the horizon behind me. This is not a flash photo, and it was a normal Texas morning in Columbus City Cemetery. There was no dust, and that’s not an insect, either. As you can see from the photo (or if you visited the cemetery), there are no reflective surfaces to cause a lens flare.
I lightened the picture slightly (but did not alter the contrast or anything else) so you can see the orb and cemetery features more clearly.
That’s an extraordinary anomaly, and it’s one of many from that cemetery.
The following photo was taken the same morning, pointing in the opposite direction. This isn’t a flash photo, either, but it has no orbs. Nevertheless, I think you can see why I like researching at Columbus, Texas. It’s downright eerie.
Of course, Columbus is one of many locations in my book, The Ghosts of Austin. The main focus is on Austin, and it offers a wealth of haunted sites.
Oakwood Cemetery is among my favorite public haunts. It’s a large cemetery near downtown Austin, Texas. If you’re ghost hunting in Austin, plan to spend several hours there.
It’s surrounded by a fence you can see through. So, even after dark, you may get some great ghost photos and other evidence. (However, the neighborhood is mostly residential. Please be respectful of their privacy.)
At any cemetery — including Oakwood — I look for grave markers with messages like this one:
“And never suffer me to be separated from thee” is a lovely sentiment. It’s also the kind of inscription that can indicate tragedy or at least deep unhappiness. Both are red flags that can suggest a haunting.
The marker, above, is one of many at Oakwood featuring emotional inscriptions.
Here’s another grave to look for. It’s a very damaged crypt. Any time you see a grave like this, check it for EMF, cold spots, EVP, and photographic anomalies.
Here’s a similar, damaged grave in that same cemetery. Where’s the body or the coffin? (Hopefully, it was moved to a safe location, or reburied in the ground beneath the open crypt.)
No matter where the body is, when you see an open grave like this, it’s a place to investigate with care.
The next photo features an odd family plot at Oakwood Cemetery. I understand the convenience of a low-maintenance gravesite. However, this cement-covered plot is so unusual, I look at and wonder, “Are they trying to be sure everyone stays in their coffins?”
In general, always look for unusual graves. (I talk more about this in my book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries: A How-To Guide.)
For example, these two shell-covered graves stand out at Oakwood Cemetery.
The headstones are worth researching. Here’s one to look into, if you’re planning a trip to Oakwood.
I’m pretty sure it says, “M. Julia, wife of M. R. Reagan, & daughter of M. F. Bailey. Died July 23, 1861. Aged 26 years.” (Double-check the actual stone to be certain. The photo isn’t clear and I may be misreading it, especially her parent’s surname.)
So, you’d be looking for records of a woman born around 1835, who married Mr. Reagan around 1855 or so, and died in 1861. I’d start with death records for that date, and also check the 1860 census. It looks like her husband died September 30, 1865, so that’s another lead you can pursue.
Additional information at this website:
Austin, Texas is very haunted
The Ghosts of Austin, Texas: Who the Ghosts Are and Where to Find Them lists over 130 ghosts and haunted places in or near Austin, Texas. These include:
- The Driskill Hotel
- Shoal Creek… and its curse
- The Texas Governor’s Mansion
- Austin’s former “red light” district
- And over a hundred more, eerie, haunted locations in Austin, San Antonio, and nearby cities and towns.
The Ghosts of Austin, Texas by Fiona Fitzgerald Broome
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
- Published: 15 June 2007
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764326805
- ISBN-13: 978-0764326806
- Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pound
- Available from Amazon.com