By: Lindsey Kasprzak
Nothing to be afraid of here: I just survived a Ghost Hunt weekend with a girlfriend in San Antonio! Now, if you don’t believe in ghosts or spirits, do you think I could prove you wrong from our experience this weekend? Probably not, but hear me out as I share my experience.
What made me pick San Antonio for my special, once a year ghost adventure? Well, not only is San Antonio a great, historical place to visit, but with that history comes restless sprits—or so they say.
Of course, exploring a haunted town isn’t complete without staying in a haunted hotel, which is why we decided to stay at the Menger Hotel. Now there are many “haunted” hotels in San Antonio, but this one is a little special because it’s been around since 1859 and Teddy Roosevelt stayed there during his Texas campaign.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by friendly hotel staff eager to share their ghost stories. I asked if we could have a room in the original part of the hotel, and Stephanie our front desk clerk was happy to oblige. She also handed me a little brochure that was full of all the hotel’s ghost tales. They included the time employees were getting the banquet room ready for a wedding party, and as they were leaving the room, 20-plus wine glasses started falling off the table!
As a guest, you won’t even need to read all the stories as you might see the soldier in full uniform at the hotel bar after hours. Or perhaps you’ll just have a nightly visitor in your room, sitting quietly on your bed. Either way you might end up roaming through the hotel late at night to see if you see or hear anything. Just remember to wear your mask while ghost hunting, because while ghosts don’t carry Covid, the hotel does enforce its rules.
Once we got unpacked and freshened up, we headed to the Riverwalk to get our margarita on. My recommendation for great service, yummy food, and delicious drinks is Republic of Texas Restaurant. We went to many different restaurants on the Riverwalk, but Republic of Texas had the best service and drinks. Here’s a helpful tip: If you want breakfast, you’ll need to look above the Riverwalk. We did find one place open on the Riverwalk, but the food and drinks were unimpressive.
Once we had our fill of margaritas, we headed back to our room to put our walking shoes on for that night’s ghost tour with Sisters Grimm. Now, San Antonio has many different tours to choose from, but I wanted to see things outside the city, so we took the Sisters Grimm bus tour, and we were not disappointed. Our tour guide, James, was full of so much history and event facts that I was impressed he could remember it all.
We started out at the Menger Hotel where James told us stories of Sallie White, the chambermaid killed by her common-law husband. He regaled us with the story of Mr. King (yes, that King of the King Ranch), and how he can be spotted on a second floor balcony dumping his chamber pot over to get someone’s attention!!
Next, we loaded up on the bus and headed to a local graveyard where James pointed out burial sites of San Antonio’s most influential people. I learned more local historical information than I ever could have imagined. I did manage to snap a very odd picture of a monument that turned out differently than any other photos taken while I was there. Some may say I got a picture of many active spirits, and some people—like my husband would say I was shaking the camera. I’ll let you decide for yourself!
We left the graveyard and asked the spirits to stay put—we didn’t want any hitchhiking ghosts! We then headed to a building that once housed a brothel where I snapped a picture with an odd green light. Now, most ghost hunters would call it an orb. I will tell you this: something told me to take a lot of pictures in that one area, and that’s when the little green light showed up. Got the chills? No?! Well, let go to the next stop.
Next was the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, where I’ve stayed many times and never knew its haunted history, but what I learned was eye opening. Let’s just say don’t stay on the sixth floor unless you want to see some woman bleeding to death on your bed! Yup, you read that right. The story of the woman who was murdered there was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. So, will I ever stay there again? Actually, yes. It is a beautiful hotel in a prime location, and most of the time you can get a great deal on Priceline. Just make sure you’re nowhere around room 621!
After our tour we headed back to the Menger for a nightcap from the hotel bar where you can see a bullet hole in the wall, along with a rough rider’s uniform in a display. At this time because of Covid, we could purchase our drinks but were unable to enjoy the bar area. We took our drinks outside to the beautiful courtyard and had a nice visit in some rocking chairs.
As we finished our drinks, we decided to walk around the hotel to perhaps catch something on video. Well, I think the hotel was still a little busy with guests out and about, and we were disappointed not to catch any supernatural activity!
We headed back to our room and quickly fell asleep. Maybe it was the comfortable bed, or maybe it because our bedtime is normally 10 pm, and it was past 2 am, but we both were lights out. So, did we have any experiences during the night? Not that I could tell you but what I will tell you is, the walls in an old hotel are paper thin so please keep your neighbors in mind when you’re up late at night!
Overall, San Antonio is a great place to visit, either with the family or a fun overnight girls’ trip. Either way, there is plenty to do and a great deal to learn.