I grew up near Grapevine, but I didn’t know about the Night Watchman Ghost Tour until recently. The 90-minute walking tour of Historic Downtown Grapevine includes one glass of wine and a guided walk up and down Main Street. On a recent, slightly chilly Saturday evening, (with a glass of merlot in hand) I waited with 18 other guests at Grape Vine Springs Winery for the event to start.
Our tour guide was a vivacious woman named Sly. There was never a dull moment that evening as she cracked jokes, recounted stories, and bantered with the guests—several of whom were visiting from out of state. We didn’t have to walk far to reach our first supernatural stop.
Nearby at The Designer’s Rack, Sly shared that the store’s owner, Maggie, has experienced regular ghost sightings. The mischievous spirit likes to hide Maggie’s glasses, Sly said. Most of the hauntings on Main Street seem more playful than potentially harmful. Standing in the Town Square Gazebo, Sly recounted the origin story of the city’s name, previously called Grapevine Springs. Several decades ago, there was a mental hospital that later became a middle school. As the story goes, the school was forced to close because students kept hearing voices and scratching sounds in the hallways.
One block north, at Messina Hof Grapevine Winery, lights turn on and doors open mysteriously, according to the staff. As our group traipsed along, we passed Palace Theater where a spirit named Suzy likes to turn on the stage lights late at night. At Farina’s Winery & Cafe, guests have heard loud footsteps from invisible visitors, and on one occasion, a group of young women sighted a paper towel roll levitating in mid-air. The night ended back at Grape Vine Springs Winery where the conversation revolved around the night’s exciting tour.
Denton is home to one of North Texas’ most legendary ghost stories. Goatman’s Bridge (officially Old Alton Bridge) was the scene of a lynching in the late 1930s, according to local legend. The spirit of the murdered victim, a goat herder, still haunts the bridge. Knocking on the steel bridge three times at midnight or turning off your car lights supposedly summons this vengeful specter. Locals often report glowing eyes and sightings of the goatman nearby. October 17 – 21, Becky Vickers, a self-described professional ghost hunter, will lead guests through Goatman’s Bridge. The guided tour includes a visit to a cemetery and the “haunted woods.”
Cowtown Winery is a full production winery located in the Stockyards National Historic District that also hosts guided ghost tours most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The 90-minute walking tour includes stories of paranormal activity and a detailed accounts of past bordellos, shootouts, hangings and other colorful bits of Cowtown’s history. Back at the winery, you can order Wine-A-Rita slushies, (a local favorite) hot spiced wines, or fruit-infused variants.
Historic architecture, shopping, dining, festivals and fascinating stories merge at Historic Granbury Square. Year round and every Friday and Saturday evening, you can take The Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour where several haunts await. You might encounter the spirit of John Wilkes Booth in the Granbury Opera House. Or you might see the spirit of Audrey Gordon, who passed away at the age of five and is said to haunt the Langdon Center. The Hood County Jail Museum is believed to house the ghosts of several former inmates. The guided tour meets at the Nutt House Hotel on Bridge Street.
Meet the ghosts of Old Town Lewisville with local psychic, Cindy! They’ve been known to have several encounters on their tours and will give you the tools to look for paranormal activity with ghost meters, pendulums and divining rods. Revisit the past and walk the path of those who came before! With a history dating back to the 1800s, this area is filled with stories and supernatural activity. Gateway Ghost Tours meets on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. on the porch of Tierney’s Cafe & Tavern, one of the oldest buildings in town.
With a history dating back to 1850, Waxahachie is known for being a historic Texas town, but most don’t know its haunted past. On this two-hour walking tour, you’ll learn about the history of Waxahachie’s iconic buildings (such as the tragic love story behind Ellis County Courthouse’s stone carvings) as well as tales of spooky sightings around town. You may even see a few sightings yourself! Reserve your spot online and meet them at the northeast corner of Waxahachie Courthouse Square Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. to get in some steps and enjoy this town’s haunted history.
Featured Image, Night Watchman Ghost Tour