From folklore and hearsay, to hauntings and unexplained occurrences, you don’t have to look hard for someone with a spooky San Marcos story… 

Thompson Island Bridge

Probably the most well-known spooky San Marcos tale revolves around a soldier who had a promise to keep. Legend has it that a Confederate soldier patrols the Thompson Island Bridge, fulfilling the promise he made to his brother to return home from war. The soldier seems to appear mostly when America is at war.

A lesser-known unsettling story is that of the Nightmare Man. A businessman coming to town to open a restaurant on the island went by foot over the bridge to wander around the piece of property. While walking across the bridge, he felt strange cold spots. Knowing the story of the Confederate soldier, he brushed it off and kept exploring. As the sun began to set, the businessman started to hear strange, faint growling sounds and felt like he was being watched no matter where he was on the island. Just as he was walking back across the bridge, he felt, yet again, like he was being watched. When he turned around he noticed a human-like being in the bushes. The businessman hastened to his car and went home, finally feeling secure. Yet when he fell asleep he dreamed he was back on the bridge, in the same situation and the river turned into flames. Needless to say, there is no restaurant on Thompson Island.     

The Gery Witches

Local folklore tells a story of a mother (Genevieve Gery) and her daughter (Isabelle) living along the San Marcos River between 1682 – 1691. The Gerys were charged with blasphemy, heresy, witchcraft and consorting with the devil. The women were taken from their trial to the place of execution where they were burned and hanged – a gruesome end. Locals have supposedly heard the wailings of a woman near the San Marcos River headwaters, the suspected location of the Gery’s ruined cabin, since the days of San Marcos de Neve (1809-1812). It is believed their remains were interred near Eddie Durham Park since many have claimed to see their ghosts wandering the area nearby.

Texas State Scaries

Old Main opened in 1903 as Texas State’s first building and is the focus of a story of a student who never left. A young female student supposedly jumped (or was pushed) from the open third-story balcony and passed away. Some versions say she jumped when her boyfriend died while serving in the military and she couldn’t live without him. Students and faculty have reported paranormal activity ever since. Some report seeing a young woman wearing white walking around the third floor or rushing to class with her books in tow. Others say they’ve heard strange noises and have had technical issues while in the building at night.

Across campus in the Texas State theatre building, there is a legend of a man named Ramsey. Ramsey apparently hung himself, has been seen there and is often blamed for turning the lights on and off by themselves. Some believe that since the building is round and surrounded by water, it is a magnet for paranormal activity and ghostly inhabitants. 

Gary Job Corps

From phantom nurses who whisper in your ear and smell like peppermint, to lockers opening by themselves and personal objects being moved during the night, Gary Job Corps is the focus of too many strange stories to write!

Cry Baby Cemetery

Residents who live near the San Pedro Cemetery (or who have illegally visited the cemetery after visiting hours) have said they hear babies crying, hence the nickname Cry Baby Cemetery. Local folklore warns of cars stalling for a while before starting back up and the eerie sound of multiple babies wailing. Sadly, the cemetery has been vandalized over the years with many damaged or missing headstones, leaving a forlorn feeling for those who visit Cry Baby Cemetery.

The Pike House

A boy’s dormitory, WWI barracks, Military Academy, hospital, Baptist Academy and finally, Phi Kappa Alpha “Pike” fraternity house before being abandoned – The Pike House has served many purposes. Local tales are focused around several different “occurrences” that revolve around the looming house and its complicated history.  

One of the more infamous stories that revolve around the house is the story of fraternity hazing gone too far. According to legend, a new pledge died from the hazing and the rest of the pledges were told to write the events in a book. The books were then burned and nailed to the wall of the room where the pledge died. Rumor has it, if you went into the abandoned house, you could find not only the pledge’s books burned and nailed to the wall, but caution tape, old fraternity memorabilia and bloody hand prints to boot. Doors slamming, apparitions, creepy noises and unexplained activity ran rampant in the house. The Pike House was burned down by two arsonists, drawing a large crowd to the scene, in 2007.


Do you have a spooky San Marcos story? Share it with us in the comments!