Yes, there are kooky costume shops and goosebump-inducing haunted houses in Austin. But sometimes you've got to get out of town to get appropriately creeped out.
If you’re truly a fan of Halloween, you can’t beat a jaunt to a new haunt in a neighboring town. Here are some ideas for where you can get your spook on this fall.
In the Bayou City, start your haunted excursion at Glenwood Cemetery, which spans more than 60 acres and serves as the resting place of many famous Houstonians, including mayors, governors and even aviator Howard Hughes. The cemetery is said to be populated by various ghosts — you never know who you might meet. glenwoodcemetery.org
Next, head for a drink at La Carafe, which was built in 1866 and is believed to be the oldest bar in Houston. Rumor has it that the dimly lit bar is haunted by a former bartender. An old cash register clicks on its own sometimes, too, and music plays at will. facebook.com/La-Carafe-107567809270676
RELATED: Houston delights: Enjoy new art, food, outdoor fun in the Bayou City
Finally, stop in at the National Museum of Funeral History, located near George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Here, you'll find an ode to the macabre, ranging from an exhibit on hearses through the ages to extensive memorabilia from U.S. presidents' funerals. The museum is currently showcasing a special exhibit called "Icons in Ash" that features memorial portraits made with the cremated remains of the deceased by artist Heide Hatry. The motto at this museum? "Any day above ground is a good one." nmfh.org
Want more? Get a guided tour of Houston's haunts with Houston Ghost Tours, houstonghosttour.com/tours.
One of the most popular places to stay in Galveston is also considered one of the most haunted: Hotel Galvez. In particular, the hotel is known for its room 501, where a female guest supposedly hanged herself after learning of her husband's death. Dubbed the "lovelorn lady," she is said to be seen and heard often on the fifth floor — investigators have even claimed to capture her on camera. The hotel offers ghost tours of the property; check the website for details. hotelgalvez.com
RELATED: 8 fun things to do in Galveston
For a full immersion into the scarier side, book a tour with Ghost Tours of Galveston, founded in 1999 by Dash Beardsley, nicknamed "the ghostman of Galveston." Tours may touch on everything from Galveston history to modern reports of paranormal activity on the island. ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com
It’s been deemed “the most haunted hotel in Texas” and been featured on everything from “Ghost Adventures” to “PBS Strange Town.” Now, in addition to touring the historic Magnolia Hotel in Seguin, you can spend the night, too. The property, which was built in 1840, has a long history in Seguin. It was initially a two-room log cabin and was transformed into a hotel in the 1850s. In 1874, it was home to serial killer Wilhelm Faust, according to the hotel. It had fallen into disrepair and was included in the “2012 Most Endangered Places in Texas” list before owners Erin and Jim Ghedi purchased the property with a goal of restoring it and eventually turning it into a museum. The hotel now offers reservations for its restored two-bedroom suite on Monday-Thursday nights; maximum of four guests. “Warning, not for the faint of heart!” the website says. “Our spirits have been known to come forward ... so please be aware.” The hotel also offers ghost tours and is hosting a free open house Oct. 26. hauntedmagnoliahotel.com
It's not Halloween until you've toured a haunted house, and if you're looking for a unique one, head up the highway to Georgetown for the Nightmare on Jail Hill Haunted House, held Oct. 18-19 and 25-26 at the Old Williamson County Jail at 312 Main St. The jail, which held prisoners from 1889 through 1990, is said to be haunted and was even featured on the show “Ghost Hunters.” No children under 8 permitted. hellogeorgetown.com/nightmare-on-jail-hill-haunted-house-georgetown-texas
For a fully family-friendly event, head to the ninth annual Boo Bash on Oct. 27 that will feature trunk-or-treating, a DJ and more. downtowngeorgetownassociationtx.org/Boo-Bash-.html
Presidio La Bahia in Goliad was constructed by the Spanish Army and was the site of both the Battle of Goliad in October 1835 and the Goliad Massacre in March 1836. It’s said to still house the spirits of angry and hurt soldiers whose screams you can sometimes hear, as well as sounds of cannon fire and banging on the walls. For a true scare, stay the night at the Quarters, a two-bedroom apartment inside Presidio La Bahia. You can even walk the grounds at night. presidiolabahia.org
There's something about the wide-open skies and wide-open roads of West Texas that seem to hypnotize people. You visit once and this small town about six hours from Austin draws you back like a magnet. One of the most popular, and most unexplainable, reasons to visit Marfa is to see the famed Marfa lights, glowing orbs that seem to magically appear along the desert horizon. Sadly, you can't predict when to see them. visitmarfa.com/marfa-lights
RELATED: A beginner’s guide to visiting Marfa
While you're in Marfa, enjoy the eerie solitude as you snap a selfie in front of Prada Marfa, or contemplate what lies beyond our planet at the nearby McDonald Observatory.