Lights, legends and the living dead: 3 historical Texas sites with a spooky past

Prada art installation in Marfa, Texas
Prada art installation in Marfa, Texas (

As Halloween approaches, many Texans are eager to be spooked.

Across the Lone Star State exists haunting sites including lights, legends and the living dead.

Here are three places in Texas with a spooky history to know about:

1. Marfa Mystery Lights Viewing Center

According to KVUE, visitors to West Texas have spoken of glowing lights in the sky during late hours along US-90 between Alpine and Marfa for more than a century.

In 2003, the city of Marfa collaborated with The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to create the Marfa Mystery Lights Viewing Center, providing an open area and binoculars for stargazers.

This site inspired Texas author James Bunnell to write “Strange Lights in West Texas, Hunting Marfa Lights” and “Seeing Marfa Lights: A Viewer’s Guide.”

2. Lake Worth

Lake Worth is said to be haunted by the 1960s tale of the Goatman.

According to KVUE, a crowd of people at Lake Worth in July of 1969 claim to have seen a seven-foot, 350-pound creature running across a cliff and throwing a tire over the edge.

The creature is described as hairy, horned, half-man and half-goat covered in scales.

This legend of the Goatman created inspired a play and a short book.

“The Lake Worth Monster of Greet Island, Fort Worth, Texas,” written by Benbrook’s Sallie Ann Clarke, has parts included in the Tarrant County Historical Journal website.

3. The Johnson House

“The Johnson House” is one of many buildings said to be haunted in Austin.

The house built in 1858 by Charles Johnson was lived in by generations of the Johnson family.

Since 2018, the home has been open to the public and used by the American Legion, acting as a non-profit rental facility helping out veterans, according to KVUE.

Many staff members say the family members have never truly left their home and claim to feel a presence at times in certain rooms of the house.

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