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The Haunted Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas

Updated on May 8, 2011

The Driskill Hotel in located on the corner of 6th and Brazos Streets in downtown Austin, Texas. "Colonel" Jesse Lincoln Driskill, a Missouri-born cattle baron made his fortune from providing beef to the Confederacy during the Civil War. He built the hotel in 1886 at a cost of about $400,000 which was a huge sum of money to spend on a hotel. Unfortunately, he built it a bit too upscale for the area at the time. He then lost it in a poker game shortly thereafter.

The hotel was built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style with arched windows, spacious balconies and exceptional ornamentation. The hotel has a beautiful corner entrance with large floor-to-ceiling arched doorways.

 

The Majestic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Tx
The Majestic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Tx

The Driskill Ghosts

The ghosts said to haunt the Driskill include Jesse Driskill, a small child, Mrs. Bridges, Peter J. Lawless, two brides who died tragically, and a few others.

Jesse Driskill is said to be fond of smoking his cigars in guests' rooms and playing with their bathroom lights.

The small child is the 4 year old daughter of a U.S. Senator who was playing with a ball near the grand staircase and tripped and fell down the stairs to her death. Her giggles and the bouncing ball are said to be heard on the staircase. There are also cold spots reported on this stairway.

Mrs. Bridges is a former front desk employee from the early 1900s. Even though she didn't die at the hotel, she still visits the area where the front desk used to be. She is clothed in Victorian dress and seems to be fussing with the flower arrangements where they used to sit. She is seen only at night and usually accompanied by the smell of roses.

Peter J. Lawless lived in the Driskill hotel from 1886 to 1916. His occupation was selling tickets for the railroad. He even stayed at the hotel during periods when it was closed. He is usually spotted on the 5th floor near the elevators. When the elevator doors open, he checks his pocket watch. Housekeeping reports having trouble keeping room 419 tidy. Often after vacuuming, they find footsteps across the carpet, the bed covers ruffled, dresser drawers opened and report the feeling of being watched or followed.

Tragic Bride #1 is the most active ghost at the Driskill. She was a bride who was supposed to be married at the Driskill, but her future husband called it off the night before. She hung herself in her room. She is usually seen on the fourth floor walking the hallways in her wedding gown. I found this part interesting. She is most often spotted by guests who are at the Driskill to attend a wedding or bachelorette party. It is considered good luck for brides to see the ghost before their weddings.

Tragic Bride #2 is a great story that I'll let the hotel narrator in the video below tell you. He has a great way of telling a story.

Hotel elevators randomly go up and down with no one on them and no one operating them. Guests have reported being pushed out of bed. Other guests have reported their furniture being moved during the night.

Singer Annie Lennox, while staying at the Driskill on a concert tour, laid out two dresses on her bed prior to an appearance. After her shower she found one of the dresses put away. Johnette Napolitano, the lead singer of alternative rock group Concrete Blonde wrote a song about the experience called "Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man".

Hotel staff have reported hearing noisy guests on elevators and corridors only to find no one there, lights being switched on and off, water running in the sink or tub, and doors opening and closing. A gentleman wearing a tuxedo is often see walking through doors with only the scent of cigar smoke left behind.

Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man

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    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 

      7 years ago from Southwest

      It's funny but I have stayed there several times and had not heard of the ghost until now. Great Hub.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you Ron, Realtorcards, Johnvegan and Matthew!

      I wish I could help you out more Matthew. Perhaps a visit to the hotel? I'm sure the staff is pretty versed on the history and sightings and would willingly share the information.

    • profile image

      Matthew 

      7 years ago

      I'm doing research on the haunted driskill hotel, hoping someone can guide me to a site?

    • realtorcards profile image

      realtorcards 

      7 years ago

      Neat hub!

    • profile image

      Ron 

      7 years ago

      Some of the old 19th century courthouses of Texas are Richardson Romanesque. Thanks for this interesting hub. I very much enjoyed reading it.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you so much Michelle for sharing your experience at the Driskell. Sounds like fun to me!

    • profile image

      michelle 

      7 years ago

      my husband and i stayed at the driskill back in nov 2010 for two nights just for the heck of it and because we love the paranormal. well as it turns out the paranormal loves us too. we had some odd paranormal experiences. we stayed two doors down from the room where one of the brides killed herself.now neither my husband or i are prone to getting vertigo but walking down that hall way to the elevator we both got the strangest feelings of kind floating up and then being jerked down.we both felt it but didn't say anything to the each other until we got home. i had not felt that sensation before nor have i felt it since the visit.

      also the jacuzzi that was in the room messed with us, shutting off at random times while in use. and we got a couple pictures with some nice orbs in them.

      all in all it was a great weekend that we hope to repeat soon. oh and if you ever get to go try their artichoke poppers from their cafe they are awesome.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks GmaGoldie and JohnBarret. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • JohnBarret profile image

      JohnBarret 

      7 years ago

      I love visiting haunted places and love reading this. Thanks for sharing such great information.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Have bookmarked this for tonight for simply haunted fun! Thank you!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      I'm glad you enjoyed it EventsYouDesign. I find paranormal acitivity fascinating as well!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      8 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      I like this hub. I am always fascinated by paranormal stuff. I have not witnessed anything, but I know paranormal activity occurs.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you Ralwus! if you liked this one, you should check out my hub about the haunted hotels in San Antonio. Within a few days of me posting it, someone had stayed in one and came online to see if anyone else had experienced what he and his wife had and found my hub. He relayed his experience in my comments section. Very spooky stuff!

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      8 years ago

      Oh I enjoyed this soo much KCC, I do love a good spook story. Thanks for sharing this with us. x

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      I love the part where the narrator says that "maybe folks like Texas better than heaven". How true. I'm with you, I live in Leander and think I would like to stay at the Driskoll, but those suites are for cattle barons! Whoa!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Sure! I'd love it! Thanks rsmallory!

    • rsmallory profile image

      Rebecca Sue Mallory 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      KCC-great hub! I write for The Examiner as their Austin Museums Writer and am planning an article on the Driskill myself for it's historical contribution to the city of Austin. Can I link your article?

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Alekhouse, isn't the Driskill grand? I am aching to stay there. Because I don't live that far away from Austin, it's usually just been easier (and cheaper) to drive home. I think taking one of the Austin ghost tours would be fun. One of them includes the Driskill on its tour.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      KCC, I live in "Old Louisville" Ky, third largest preservation area in the country. We have seven major kinds of architecture here and one of them is Richardsonian Romanesque. These old mansions are amazing and beautiful, made of heavy stone work, etc.

      I really enjoyed this hub, partly because I've spent a lot of time in Austin and visited this hotel, and also because, although I'm not big on ghosts, your stories were facinating. Thanks for an enjoyable read.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      I hope you got to watch the video, particularly the one of the male narrator at the Driskill hotel. He tells the story so well of Tragic Bride #2. I know, Candie, I learn something everytime I write a hub. Research, research, research.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Fascinating! I didn't know there was a "Richardsonian Romanesque style"! OOh and ghost stories! Cool hub!

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