A city as old as San Antonio is bound to have a few ghosts roaming the streets. From the San Fernando Cathedral to those famous railroad tracks at Shane Road, a variety of spooks, souls, and specters are rumored to make nightly appearances at our many historical stomping grounds. But we like to do our ghost hunting with a full stomach.
This month's Where to Eat takes us to the shadowy corners of Alamo City’s most haunted restaurants for some tricks and more than a few treats. Now these are the kinds of chills we could get used to.
Strange noises — from chains rattling to children laughing — are a constant at this Tex-Mex classic, and not just from rowdy guests. Much of it is thought to be the work of Beatrice, a slightly cranky spirit who is known to throw the odd object or two during one of her otherwordly fits. But pay her no mind. After drinking your second margarita, even the foulest of spirits won’t kill your vibe.
Colonial Room Restaurant at Menger Hotel
The Menger has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, with a crowded population of 32 entities ranging from chambermaid Sallie White to Captain Richard King, the namesake of the famous King Ranch. The suites and downstairs restrooms are particularly rumored to be humming with the paranormal, but you’ll find us spending most of our time at the Sunday brunch buffet loading up on lamb shanks.
Grey Moss Inn
Although many mysterious things are at play at this particularly paranormal Helotes hot spot, the star of the show is former owner Mary Howell. Legend says she kept managing her inn long after death. If you visit, be on your best behavior. Mary has been known to scratch customers who threaten her beloved restaurant. Luckily, dishes like a fine pepper steak and chorizo-stuffed quail are up to her standards.
Market on Houston at Sheraton Gunther
This posh spot filled with contemporary furnishings and bright lighting is not the typical environment one thinks of for things that go bump in the night. But two '20s flappers, nicknamed Ingrid and Peggy, are believed to roam the halls, eternally arguing. The only thing that might make them put differences aside is the Market on Houston menu filled with farm-to-table offerings like buttermilk-brined fried chicken and wild mushroom risotto. The 180-bottle wine cellar might help, too.
Oro Restaurant and Bar at the Emily Morgan Hotel
Long known for its sightings of apparitions and phantom elevator rides, this hotel was once a medical center in the early 1900s, complete with a psychiatric ward and a morgue. The building itself adds to the spook factor with Gothic Revival architecture and plenty of gargoyles. But the menu isn't scary at all. On a recent visit, the table favorite was a chorizo-crusted Chilean sea bass with Texas sweet corn pudding and charred tomatillo salsa.
The St. Anthony Club at the St. Anthony Hotel
This luxury hotel is famous for far more than just its decadent decor. Back in the day, the St. Anthony Club was a playground for San Antonio’s elite, some of whom opted to keep partying in the afterlife. But the jazzy space is just as well known for its other spirits — Texas inspired cocktails like the tequila and pineapple sipper Mayan Firefly or the ominously named The Last Cocktail with gin, rosemary, and pear.