I recently did a ghost tour with Haunted ATX…we went to some of the most haunted spots in Austin – check it out!
A Bit More About The Haunted Sites in Austin
Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
Built by a group of early settlers in 1853 as a trading post. It was a business where white men and Indians could carry on their trading. In 1872, O.R. Bertram purchased the building to house his family as well as his dry goods business. Bertram’s General Store occupied the premises for the next eight years. The first floor continued to be used as a store with the saloon in back. The second floor became the Bertram family residence, with a parlor in front and bedrooms in back.
The building continued to serve as a general store in the 34 years following Bertram’s departure. During the 1880’s the State Treasury was stored in the building’s wine cellar along with barrels of gunpowder, molasses, wine, and whiskey. The wine cellar is famous for its double-arched construction inspired by the medieval castles and monasteries of Europe.
Starting in the 1940’s a series of restaurants occupied the property. The first was the Old Madrid Café, followed by the Old Seville, the Old Toro-all popular hangouts for UT students throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.
In 1977, the building opened as the Red Tomato Italian restaurant and remained for several years. Currently now known as The Clay Pit. Serving Indian cuisine.
The most frequently reported manifestations are that of the sounds of a party going on in one of the upstairs banquet rooms when no one is in the restaurant. Also, in the 1800’s, Bertram’s five-year-old son died from typhoid fever while quarantined in his upstairs bedroom. It is believed that the tiny child remains in his old home, perhaps not understanding that he passed on.
The Driskill Hotel
The Driskill Hotel, opened on December 20, 1886. It was the second tallest building in Austin for many years, the State Capitol Building being the first. Within four months of the Grand Opening, Jesse Driskill was bankrupt and lost the hotel in a high-stakes poker game to J.M. “Doc” Day. The Driskill Hotel closed its doors in May 1887. . Three years later, Driskill died, flat broke.
The Driskills first ghost is that of Jesse Driskill. He makes his presence known by smoking cigars and turning bathroom lights on and off in several guest rooms on the top floors of the hotel. The daughter of a U.S. Senator haunts the grand staircase leading from the mezzanine down to the lobby. According to hotel lore, the senator was visiting Austin to participate in a political event at the hotel. His unattended four-year-old daughter was playing with a ball near the staircase when she slipped, and fell, and died on the marble floor at the bottom of the stairs. Late at night, the front desk staff has heard the child bouncing the ball down the steps as her giggling echoes through the empty lobby.
During the 1940’s a young woman who planned to marry and spend her honeymoon at the hotel met a tragic end by her own hand. After her fiancé canceled the wedding at the last minute, she hanged herself in her rose-filled room. Known as one of the Driskills more active apparitions, many employees and guests have witnessed the sad woman pacing the hallways of the haunted fourth floor traditional side in her wedding dress.
Bride #2 was a Houston socialite engaged to be married in the early 1990’s. When her fiancé had second thoughts and called off the wedding, the young woman took a trip to Austin to recuperate from her shock and depression. She booked Room 29 on the haunted traditional side and went on a weeklong shopping spree with her ex-fiancé’s credit cards. The young woman was last seen coming out of the fourth floor elevator, arms full of bags and packages. Her body was discovered three days later when housekeepers became concerned that she hadn’t left the room to eat. She was found lying in the bathtub, having shot herself in the stomach through a pillow. She is seen most often during October wandering the hallways in a modern wedding gown and with a gun in hand.