Monday, October 13, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Austin with Gerry Bartlett


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!

44 comments:

  1. My 14 year old daughter and I will be visiting Austin in March.. Can't wait to check out some of these places! I love things like this. Also love Gerry Bartlett-she rocks! Thanks for all ya'll do! amanda.heard01@gmail.com.

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    1. That sounds like an amazing trip. I hope that you and your daughter have a fabulous time.

      Thanks for stopping by From the Shadows! :)

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  2. What an awesome haunted your! Loved that a few of these places are close to our very own Glory St. Claire! Keep up the great work Gerry! Can't wait for the next book! rschwindt92@yahoo.com

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  3. They all sound like interesting places. I personally like the Home Depot :) kellybenon(at)neo.rr.com

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  4. Never heard such interesting facts about Austin, the Home Depot one did make me laugh pretty good. There's a lot of guys that spend a good amount of time there!

    randomness.stephalicious@gmail.com

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  5. The Home Depot is also near an old cemetary. Could be that ghost has friends from there. You never know what you'll find when you research. Love the Internet!

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  6. I keep wondering how many people actually buried daddy in their own backyard. :-/ Oh I do like ghostie stories like this. Austin isn't the only weird place. LOL

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    1. forgot my e-mail: books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  7. Looks cool . I need some castels :)

    that book looks cool

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  8. Some spooky places

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Each week I'm learning about so many amazing spooky places. :)

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  9. i live in Austin, and trust me it is weird.. always. So surprised to find out all about all these hunted places, so cool!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Paranormal Road Trip, and confirming Gerry's take on Austin. Now I *really* want to visit. :)

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    2. your welcome! and you should! Texas is awesome c: vvasquez.cofo2014@gmail.com

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  10. Cannot wait to visit Austin! Great article! And Gerry is an AMAZING author! catherinescrook@gamil.com

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  11. Interesting read! And an additional 5 places to wait for Ghost Hunters to visit to allow me to see them up close, if not personally, and share them with my husband! = )
    Gemmie66@gmail.com

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  12. I lived in Houston for years and had the pleasure of visiting Austin several times. It is a beautiful picruresque city rich in history. Gerry Bartlett is a wonderful woman/author. I have been a fan of her series since its beginning and have had the honor of meeting/seeing her on several occassions. I recommend her series to everyone! alliegreen0609@yahoo.com

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  13. Gotta love a ghost tour with a bit of humor!! I could see my hubby spending his time in the hereafter at Home Depot....if they added a fishing pond!!
    ScarltsMmy@aol.com

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  14. Gotta love Gerry! Ravenwood_nm@hotmail.com

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  15. I'm from the hill country and I didn't know about the moonlight towers, very cool. thtsmymonster@aol.com

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    1. I learn something each week from these Paranormal Road Trip posts. So many spooky places and snippets of intriguing history.

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  16. I lived in Austin my jr yr of high school. I never knew about the paranormal connections and cannot wait to go back and explore for myself ;-) Jes7997@hotmail.com

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    1. I've never been, but it sounds amazing! :)

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  17. My entire experience with Austin is through Glory St. Claire, courtesy of the imagination of Geary Bartlett. This little paranormal tour just gave me a little more insight into the person.... Vampire.... that is our Glory. (also makes me want to visit another haunted city.... I am from Savannah, GA and we have our share of paranormal) ssimons1022@gmail.com

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    1. If you're from Savannah, you should read our Paranormal Road Trip to Savannah with J.D. Horn (author of the Witching Savannah series).

      Paranormal Road Trip Destination Savannah: http://www.fromtheshadows.info/2014/09/paranormal-road-trip-destination.html

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  18. My entire experience with Austin is through Glory St. Claire, courtesy of the imagination of Gerry Bartlett. This little paranormal tour just gave me a little more insight into the person.... Vampire.... that is our Glory. (also makes me want to visit another haunted city.... I am from Savannah, GA and we have our share of paranormal) ssimons1022@gmail.com

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  19. Thanks, everyone! I have loved Austin ever since I went to UT/Austin for my degree in Elementary Ed. Now I go at least once a year to visit my brother who lives there. Love the hills since Houston area where I live is flat land.

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    1. Thank you Gerry for stopping by, and for taking on this spookalicious tour of Austin. :)

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  20. Ahhh, Austin. I'd love it there if it weren't for the heat. I have an ex that lives there, so I'd visited him a few times and was there for a job interview too. Missed out on the bridge and the bats, unfortunately. I was kind of distracted by Sixth Street (I think that's the name, where a ton of bars are). We went into one that had a shark tank in the floor. Super cool. And I can't forget Kerbey Lane. Their queso is *amazing*. It is a pretty odd place, though. The company I interviewed with had a bunch of people down, and we did a bus tour of the area. There's a guy that has a lawn FILLED with those lawn flamingos. And I saw segway Santas once :) Oooh, and the Gypsy Picnic. And Bananarchy! Think Arrested Development banana stand but times 1000x :) I really like that city :)

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    1. Aaand I got distracted. That Home Depot story (which is what I *meant* to comment on) is hysterical. I kind of feel bad for any ghost stuck in a retail store. So many cranky people.

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    2. With something called "Bananarchy" AND ghosts, I have to go. :)

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  21. These were fantastic! My mom lives close v to Wimberley, I'll have to ask her if she knows any stories. ekpickard@gmail.com

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    1. If she has any spooky stories, please come back and share! :)

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  22. Great to learn about the supernatural haunts in Austin! Sounds like it would make a great spot to visit. Amez1974@gmail.com

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    1. I love learning about new spooky places each week. Austin sounds like a great place to visit in real life. :)

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  23. Need to add Austin TX to the must see list. ksnyder22@msn.com

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    1. Yes! Unfortunately for my wallet, my list is growing with each week's Paranormal Road Trip post. :)

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  24. I have never been to Austin and would love to go. Sad thing is I would expect to to see Glory standing by her shop. Lol! Keep up the great work Gerry!
    Phumphrey79@gmail.com

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  25. I have never been to Austin and would love to go. Sad thing is I would expect to to see Glory standing by her shop. Lol! Keep up the great work Gerry!
    Phumphrey79@gmail.com

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    1. Don't you love it when an author makes their characters that believable? :)

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  26. I love the addition of something like Home Depot, not all haunting sites have to be old

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  27. urban bat colonies and a bat festival?! Way too cool

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