By Sharon Kurtz ~
Looking for a spooky getaway close to home?
Recently named Best Historic Small Town in America, downtown Granbury is brimming with historical interest, small-town charm, and, of course, ghosts.
Less than a 90-minute drive from Dallas, this North Texas gem is an authentic Texas adventure rich with history, colorful characters, and ghostly experiences. It’s a perfect fall day trip.
Founded in 1887, Granbury was the first city in Texas to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has more than 40 historic Texas landmarks. The picturesque Town Square includes buildings dating to the 1800s surrounded by welcoming shops, restaurants, galleries, and more.
Such a storied past comes with a high probability of paranormal activity. In fact, Granbury has attracted ghost hunters from across the state.
Ghastly tales, haunting stories, and ghostly encounters
On a recent Saturday, I strolled toward the square in the early evening twilight. I felt a flutter of anticipation as we approached a loosely gathered group across from the imposing 1891 Hood County Courthouse. The clock tower lent an air of suspense as we waited for the start of the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour.
Brandy Herr, our guide and author of Haunted Granbury, warned us of possible eerie sightings as she delved into the devilish history of Granbury’s most haunted locations.
Prepared for a scare, our intrepid band set off for an hour-long ramble as she regaled us with Granbury’s frightening and mysterious past.
Legend has it that John Wilkes Booth escaped to Granbury after assassinating President Lincoln. His spirit now haunts the Opera House, living out his dastardly crime day after day.
In Granbury’s old jailhouse, ghosts of inmates past haunt their cells and leave messages for unwitting intruders. The historic Hood County Jail Museum contains dozens of restless spirits. Herr explained that paranormal groups have investigated the old jail cells and collected audio recordings of one man growling, another slamming a cell door, and a woman yelling, “Leave!”
The faceless girl at Market on the Square likes to play games with employees by moving objects or appearing in photographs, while six-year-old Audrey, the spritely resident ghost at the Langdon Center, loves attention.
“Granbury may be where Texas history lives,” Herr said, referring to the town’s motto. “But we prefer to say it’s where Texas history never left.”
Her stories, and so many more, make it easy to see why the ghosts never want to leave.
The Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tours occur on Friday and Saturday nights, at 7:00 and 9:15p.m. Take the later one if your bedtime allows. When the square is dark with flickering lights and looming shadows, it’s the perfect time for a haunting. And with any luck, you’ll catch a glimpse of a ghost or two.
Find out more information and book a getaway at VisitGranbury.com.