Come on boys and ghouls! It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip. This week's stop is Austin and our special guide is Gerry Bartlett author of the Glory St. Clair series.
Keep reading for a chance to win a fabulous Keepin' It Weird Austin, TX t-shirt!
The Glory St. Clair series is set in Austin, Texas so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Gerry Bartlett. Let's see what terrifying places Gerry has planned for our tour.
Austin's Top Five Spooky Places
The Driskill Hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts. The saddest to me is in room 525. There two young women committed suicide on their honeymoons. This was on the same day, twenty years apart. It’s said you can see them in the mirror of the bathroom there. Hmm. Think I’ll pick another floor. Even Colonel Driskill, the cattle baron who built the grand hotel on Austin’s Sixth Street (yes, right down from my heroine Glory St. Claire’s vintage clothing shop), is said to haunt the hotel. His cigar smoke sometimes lingers in the air even though Austin doesn’t allow smoking in public buildings now.
The Congress Avenue Bridge is home to one of the world’s largest urban bat colonies. So naturally Austin holds a Bat Festival every year. This is one reason I set my Real Vampires series here. With a town that has the motto “Keep Austin Weird” how could I resist? The stream of bats emerging at sunset every night during the summer is scary to me. Could there be a few vampires among them, enjoying the flight? I don’t want to know, do you? The bridge is very close to Sixth Street too.
Traveling around Austin you’ll still see some of the Moonlight Towers, built in the 19th century after a serial killer terrorized the city. The Servant Girl Annihilator preyed on housemaids asleep in their beds who he then dragged outside to mutilate and kill with a knife between 1884 and 1885. The killer was never captured and some say he could have been the person who three years later showed up in London and began operating as Jack the Ripper. Perhaps the towers shed too much light on his bloodthirsty habits and that’s why he left Austin. Creepy for sure.
Buffalo Billiards is also on Sixth Street almost across from the Driskill Hotel. It was built in 1861 and was rumored to begin life as a boarding house and maybe brothel. Cowboys had a good time there. Now the employees are convinced it’s haunted—by children and a woman in Victorian dress. Ghost hunters went in to search for evidence. They heard voices and footsteps. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that. There’s a YouTube video if you’re interested.
Finally I couldn’t resist a funny one. There’s a Home Depot in Austin near my brother’s house. No, I didn’t bother with a picture since they all look alike to me. Seems the garden center there is haunted. A girl posted a story claiming her father, who was an amateur carpenter, died in his home workshop leaving the family in serious debt. They couldn’t afford a big funeral, just cremation. When it came time to dispose of the ashes, they decided to leave Daddy where he loved it most—in Home Depot. So they sneaked into the garden center and sprinkled him around the plants where he wouldn’t be noticed. Since then, a bald man with a beer belly has been sighted strolling the aisles out there. When you try to ask for assistance, he vanishes. Oh, well, guess Daddy’s happy. He spent a lot of time there in life and he left the credit card bills to prove it.
Thank you Gerry for giving us such a haunting tour of Austin!
To learn more about Gerry Bartlett and her books, please visit her website and don't miss our Q+A with Gerry Bartlett here at From the Shadows. You can add the Glory St. Clair series here on Goodreads.
Readers, was this your first visit to Austin? Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Austin, Texas?
What did you think of Gerry Bartlett's picks for spooky places?
Now for a giveaway!
Paranormal Road Trip: Austin, Texas Giveaway
The author is giving away a Keepin' It Weird Austin, Texas t-shirt to one lucky winner!
To enter, please leave a comment on this post and include your email address so we may contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the US/CA/UK mailing addresses. Giveaway ends Monday, October 27, 2014 midnight EST.
Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited San Diego, California with S.J. Harper. Next week we'll be traveling to Tokyo, Japan with Steve Bein.
Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!
if you dare!