The Forgotten Towns of Texas: 5 Hauntingly Beautiful Ghost Towns

Texas, a state known for its huge vistas and rich history, has abandoned communities that conceal mysteries. These spectral reminders of the past arouse interest as well as sadness.

This article explores five eerily gorgeous ghost towns located throughout the Lone Star State. Every town has a story to tell, from the ghostly alleys of Shafter to the lonely lanes of Terlingua.


Originally named Karlshafen and then renamed Indian Point, the location is on Matagorda Bay in Calhoun County. It served as a deep-water harbor and the primary landing place for European immigrants arriving by ship during the Mexican-American War.

In 1847, the region saw the opening of its first post office, and the following year, stagecoach service was introduced, linking the expanding region with the rest of the state.

After changing its name to Indianola in 1849, Indian Point soon rose to prominence as Calhoun County’s county seat. Indianola was home to more than 5,000 people in 1874, when it was also Texas’s second port and the Morgan steamship line’s terminal.

History aficionados can still see the old cistern, the site of the first courthouse, and the town monument, among other relics from the once-thriving neighborhood. Inkwells, clay pipes, porcelain dolls, medicine bottles, and other items from that era have all been preserved.


The little towns of Study Butte, Terlingua, and Lajitas are nestled in the lowland desert between the national and state parks. At the foot of Study Butte are the remnants of the Mariscal Mine.

The Forgotten Towns of Texas: 5 Hauntingly Beautiful Ghost Towns

Three distinct villages in this region have been called Terlingua; the present one was established in the late 1800s following the discovery of quicksilver. Rich businessman Howard Perry constructed a home with a view of the town in 1906.

Numerous of the old mining buildings have been converted into bars, restaurants, and little shops, and several of the smaller rock formations have been made into homes for the desert residents of Big Bend.

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Old Bluffton

Bluffton, or rather, modern Bluffton, is located in Burnet County about an hour’s drive northwest of Austin. Lake Buchanan typically covers Old Bluffton to a depth of thirty feet.

Before the Buchanan Dam project brought power to the Texas Hill Country, it was home to roughly fifty families in the 1800s. The town was submerged after the dam was finished in 1937 due to flooding and a string of storms that filled the lake far faster than expected.

Not until 1984, after a particularly bad drought in Texas, did Old Bluffton rise above the waters of Lake Buchanan. When the lake is low, the remnants of houses, tombstones, a bank, and the town’s hotel can be seen, all of which were preserved during years of submersion.

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The oldest town in Reeves County, Toyah, is located in West Texas, close to the convergence of I-10 and I-20. In the late 1800s, it served as a railroad hub for the Texas & Pacific Railroad after serving as a rancher trading station.

The Forgotten Towns of Texas: 5 Hauntingly Beautiful Ghost Towns

The community never recovered after many families left during the Great Depression. Less than 60 people live there now, compared to a peak population of 1,052 in 1910.

While many historic structures have been destroyed by floods or demolished, a few remain and are worth seeing from a ghostly perspective, such as the town’s high school and several other former businesses.

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Indian Gap

Between Priddy and Pottsville in Hamilton County, approximately two hours south of Fort Worth, sits the little, deserted village of Indian Gap. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the town was a thriving community.

However, it soon fell into abandonment, leaving behind just the deteriorated buildings and the columns of the schoolhouse.

The Indian Gap Baptist Church is still in operation and has a small congregation that gathers on Sundays and Wednesdays, if you’re interested in attending church in an abandoned town.

To Conclude

Texas’s ghost towns whisper tales of a bygone period, from the quicksilver mines of Terlingua to the booming port of Indianola. Every area provides a window into the state’s colorful and varied past, such as the sunken houses of Old Bluffton or the isolated church in Indian Gap.

Therefore, Texas’ ghost towns are calling to be visited by the inquisitive traveler or history enthusiast.

Put on your boots, seize your camera, and set out to explore these historical relics, where the majestic past of the Lone Star State comes to life and history hangs in the breeze.

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