Ghostly Trails: A Guide to Haunted El Paso’s Hidden Gems

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 9 December 2023
  • Time to read: 17 min.

El Paso feels very much like a halfway house, straddling the boundary between two nations and two cultures, blending the modern with echoes of a rich and tumultuous past. This unique border city, basking under the vast Texas sky, is steeped in a history that whispers of revolutions, old-world traditions, and a tapestry of multicultural influences.

But beneath El Paso’s sunlit facade and vibrant streets lies a lesser-known, shadowy realm: a collection of haunted locales, each steeped in tales of the paranormal and unexplained. From the haunting corridors of the De Soto Hotel to the mysterious lights of Concordia Cemetery, El Paso’s haunted places are a curious blend of the city’s diverse heritage and lingering spirits, where the echoes of the past seem to reverberate through the present, inviting those with a penchant for the eerie to explore its more ghostly and enigmatic side.

With more than 60,000 people buried at the Concordia Cemetery, it is considered by many as the most haunted location in El Paso. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions, hearing unexplained noises, and feeling an eerie presence. The DeSoto Hotel in Downtown El Paso is another popular spot for paranormal activity. The hotel has been in operation for more than a century and is rumored to have guests who checked in but never left.

From headless men roaming through the desert to children who help stranded motorists, there are many spine-chilling tales of haunted places around El Paso. Whether one believes in ghosts or not, it is tough not to get spooked when alone and hearing a bump in the night. In this article, we will explore some of the most haunted places in El Paso and take a closer look at the paranormal activity that has been reported in these locations.

History of Haunted El Paso

El Paso, Texas has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the 1600s when it was established as a Spanish colony. Over the years, the city has seen its fair share of violence, conflict, and tragedy, which has led to many reports of paranormal activity and haunted places.

One of the most well-known haunted figures in El Paso’s history is Joseph Magoffin, a prominent businessman and politician who lived in the city during the mid-1800s. Magoffin was known for his lavish parties and extravagant lifestyle, but his death in 1893 was shrouded in mystery and rumors of foul play. Many believe that his ghost still haunts the Magoffin Home State Historic Site, which was once his family’s residence.

Another notorious figure in El Paso’s haunted history is Charles Richardson, a notorious outlaw who was killed in a shootout with law enforcement in 1878. Richardson’s ghost is said to haunt the site of his death, which is now known as the “Richardson House” and is a popular spot for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.

El Paso’s history is also intertwined with that of Mexico and New Mexico, which has led to many reports of haunted places with ties to these regions. One such place is the Concordia Cemetery, which is the final resting place for many former El Pasoans, including Buffalo Soldiers, Texas Rangers, and John Wesley Hardin, a notorious outlaw who was killed in the city in 1895.

Overall, El Paso’s haunted history is a fascinating and complex topic that continues to intrigue and captivate visitors and residents alike. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, there’s no denying the city’s rich and diverse history, which has left an indelible mark on the landscape and the people who call it home.

Famous Haunted Locations

El Paso is home to many haunted locations that have gained notoriety among paranormal enthusiasts. Here are some of the most famous haunted places in El Paso:

Magoffin Home

The Magoffin Home, a historical site nestled in El Paso, Texas, whispers tales of its past through its aged walls. Built in 1875, this adobe structure was the residence of Joseph Magoffin, a prominent figure in El Paso’s development. The legend around the home isn’t your typical ghost story; it’s entwined with the rich history of the region. Joseph, a civic leader and entrepreneur, played a key role in transforming El Paso from a frontier town to a thriving urban center. The house, reflecting Territorial style architecture, has witnessed generations of the Magoffin family, encapsulating a blend of Mexican, American, and Indigenous cultures.

Magoffin Home - Credit VisitElPaso
Magoffin Home – Credit VisitElPaso

Paranormal tales surrounding the Magoffin Home often pivot on benign, yet intriguing experiences. Visitors and staff have reported unexplained occurrences, like the sound of footsteps in empty rooms or the sensation of being watched. One story recounts a volunteer noticing an elderly woman in period attire, presumed to be a fellow reenactor, only to find no such event was scheduled that day. Another incident involves a staff member hearing children’s laughter in the nursery, despite the house being empty. These stories, while not overtly terrifying, add a mysterious allure to the home, compelling guests to ponder the lives and legacies of those who once inhabited it. The tales are less about fright and more about the enduring presence of the past, as if the Magoffin family’s spirit continues to oversee their beloved home and the evolving city around it.

Concordia Cemetery

Concordia Cemetery
in El Paso, Texas, is more than just a resting place for the dead. It’s a mosaic of history and legend, stretching across 52 acres. Established in the mid-1800s, it’s the final abode for over 60,000 souls, including gunslingers, pioneers, and even a buffalo soldier. Among its famous residents is John Wesley Hardin, a notorious outlaw whose grave is a focal point for ghostly tales. The cemetery reflects El Paso’s diverse cultural heritage, with distinct sections for different communities, including Mexicans, African Americans, Mormons, and Jews. This diversity extends into the supernatural realm, with each section harboring its own unique stories and apparitions.

Concordia Cemetery
Concordia Cemetery

Paranormal activity at Concordia Cemetery is as varied as its inhabitants. Visitors often report eerie sensations, unexplained chills, and the feeling of being watched. Some have heard whispers in languages they can’t understand, believed to be the lingering spirits of those interred there. A frequent story involves sightings of shadowy figures near Hardin’s grave, sometimes accompanied by the faint sound of gunfire, harkening back to his tumultuous life. Another chilling tale involves a woman in white, often seen wandering near the cemetery’s older sections, disappearing when approached. These stories, while unnerving, offer a glimpse into the past, making Concordia not just a graveyard but a bridge to the rich and tumultuous history of El Paso and its varied communities. Each ghostly encounter is not just a scare but a whisper from history, beckoning the living to remember those who came before.

Fort Bliss

Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post located in El Paso, Texas, is steeped in a history that dates back to its establishment in 1849. Originally meant to provide protection following the Mexican-American War, it has grown into one of the largest military complexes in the United States. Over the years, it has been a witness to numerous historical events, including the Indian Wars and World War II. The legend of Fort Bliss is not just about its military significance; it’s about the lives and experiences of the countless soldiers who have passed through its gates. These stories, spanning over a century, create a rich tapestry of heroism, sacrifice, and, as some believe, lingering spirits of the past.

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Paranormal stories surrounding Fort Bliss often involve sightings and experiences that defy explanation. One of the most talked-about specters is that of a cavalry soldier, sometimes seen riding through the older parts of the base, only to vanish into thin air. This apparition, believed to be a soldier from the Indian Wars era, is often described as looking lost, perhaps still on patrol duties from long ago. Another eerie tale involves the old hospital, where people have reported strange noises, unexplained cold spots, and the feeling of being watched. These occurrences are particularly chilling given the hospital’s history of treating soldiers from various wars. Some speculate that the spirits of soldiers who didn’t make it home are still lingering, perhaps unaware of their own passing or tied to the place where they last felt alive. Fort Bliss is a site where history and legend intertwine, with each paranormal tale adding another layer to its rich and complex narrative.

Gravity Hill

Gravity Hill is an urban legend that is said to be located on Thunderbird Dr. in El Paso. According to the legend, if you park your car at the bottom of the hill and put it in neutral, it will roll uphill. Some people believe that the hill is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who died in a car accident on the hill.

Plaza Theatre

The Plaza Theatre in El Paso, Texas, stands as a regal symbol of the city’s cultural heritage. Opened in 1930, this historic venue was designed in a lavish Spanish Colonial Revival style, complete with intricately detailed mosaic tiles, ornate ceilings, and a starlit dome, creating an ambiance of an old-world courtyard. The theatre was a hub for entertainment, showcasing films and performances that drew crowds from across the region. Over the years, the Plaza Theatre has seen its share of glory and decline, eventually restored to its former grandeur in the early 2000s. The legend of this theatre is not just in its architectural beauty or cultural significance, but also in the whispered tales of its past patrons and performers, whose presence some believe can still be felt today.

Paranormal stories of the Plaza Theatre often evoke the glamour and mystery of its heyday. Theatre staff and visitors have reported unexplained phenomena that hint at ghostly residents. One such tale involves the sighting of a dapper gentleman, dressed in 1930s attire, seen in the lobby or walking up the grand staircase before disappearing. He’s thought to be a former patron or performer, still lingering in the place he loved. Another eerie account tells of strange sounds heard in the empty theatre, like distant applause or music, as if echoes of performances long past are replaying themselves. There are also stories of sudden cold drafts, flickering lights, and the feeling of being watched, especially in the balcony area, a favorite spot during the theatre’s golden years. These ghostly experiences, whether real or imagined, add a layer of intrigue to the Plaza Theatre, making it a place where history, art, and the supernatural seem to converge, creating a timeless allure for those who visit.

El Paso High School

El Paso High School is a historic high school that was founded over a century ago, in 1916. It has seen its fair share of death and ghosts. The most famous and tragic ghost story here involves a young girl and a suicide. Visitors have reported hearing footsteps, seeing apparitions, and feeling cold spots.

University of Texas El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), with its distinctive Bhutanese-style architecture, stands proudly in El Paso, Texas, as a beacon of education and culture. Founded in 1914 as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy, it has evolved into a major public university, offering a unique blend of American and Bhutanese influences in its design, a homage to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The legend of UTEP is not only in its academic achievements but also in the folklore that has grown around its historic buildings and sprawling campus. These tales are woven into the fabric of the university, adding a mystical dimension to this seat of learning.

Paranormal stories at UTEP often revolve around its oldest buildings, where students and staff have reported unexplained occurrences. One notable tale centers around the haunting of Cotton Memorial, one of the original campus structures. Here, people have reported seeing ghostly figures in the windows and hearing unaccountable footsteps and whispers, particularly late at night. There’s also the legend of a spectral woman seen wandering near the old dormitories, her presence accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature and a feeling of melancholy. These stories, while not necessarily menacing, contribute to a sense of mystery and history that envelops the campus. Whether these tales are figments of imagination or echoes of the past, they add an intriguing layer to the university’s rich heritage, making UTEP not just a center for academic pursuit but also a repository of local lore and legend.

Albert Fall Mansion

The Albert Fall Mansion in El Paso, Texas, encapsulates a blend of grandeur and infamy. Home to Albert B. Fall, infamous for the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, this mansion symbolizes both the pinnacle of success and the depths of disgrace. Fall, once a powerful political figure, found his legacy tarnished by corruption. The mansion, with its imposing architecture, stands as a silent witness to this dramatic historical episode.

Legend has it that the mansion is haunted by Fall’s spirit, perhaps lingering in a state of unrest. Visitors have reported eerie sensations, unexplained cold drafts, and fleeting shadows, suggesting a paranormal presence. Some even claim to have seen a spectral figure resembling Fall, wandering the halls as if unable to leave behind his once-grand abode. These tales of hauntings contribute to the mansion’s mystique, making it a site where history’s echoes seem to reverberate through its corridors.

Old Southwestern General Hospital

The Old Southwestern General Hospital in El Paso, Texas, harbors a rich history intertwined with tales of the paranormal. Established in the early 20th century, it served as a critical healthcare facility for the region. Over the decades, this hospital has witnessed countless moments of life and death, joy and sorrow, healing and suffering. Its walls have absorbed the stories of patients, doctors, and nurses, making it a repository of human experiences. As with many hospitals, the intense emotions and events that transpired within its walls have given rise to legends and ghost stories, adding a mysterious aura to this historic institution.

Paranormal experiences at the Old Southwestern General Hospital are varied and chilling. Staff, patients, and visitors have reported unexplainable occurrences, such as lights flickering, strange noises, and eerie sensations. One common tale involves the sighting of ghostly figures in the hallways and rooms, believed to be the spirits of former patients or healthcare workers. These apparitions are often described as appearing lost or confused, perhaps echoing the emotions they experienced in their final moments. Another spooky account includes the sound of unexplained footsteps and whispers in empty corridors, as if the echoes of the hospital’s past are still resonating in its abandoned spaces. These stories, whether rooted in fact or folklore, add a haunting dimension to the Old Southwestern General Hospital, making it a place of intrigue and wonder for those fascinated by the intersection of history and the supernatural.

Monteleone’s Ristorante

Monteleone’s Ristorante in El Paso, Texas, is not just known for its Italian cuisine, but also for its intriguing paranormal reputation. This family-owned restaurant, with its cozy and traditional ambiance, has been serving up dishes and ghost stories for years. The building, rich in history, has transitioned through various incarnations before becoming the beloved eatery it is today. The charm of Monteleone’s Ristorante extends beyond its menu, as it is shrouded in tales of the supernatural, making it a unique and mysterious spot in El Paso.

The paranormal activity reported at Monteleone’s Ristorante adds a layer of intrigue to the dining experience. Staff and patrons have shared stories of unexplained occurrences, such as objects moving on their own, mysterious shadows, and sudden cold spots. One popular legend involves the sighting of a ghostly figure in the kitchen, believed to be a former chef or owner, still lingering in his beloved restaurant. Another eerie tale recounts the sounds of faint, unidentifiable music and laughter, as if remnants of a bygone era are replaying within its walls. These supernatural experiences contribute to the mystique of Monteleone’s, making it not just a place for a meal, but a venue where the past and present merge, offering guests a taste of history along with their Italian dishes.

Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, is more than a burial ground; it’s a tapestry of local history and lore. Established in the late 19th century, it’s the final resting place for many of El Paso’s early settlers, prominent figures, and everyday citizens. The cemetery reflects the rich cultural and historical diversity of the region, with graves that tell stories of triumphs, tragedies, and the everyday lives of the people who helped shape El Paso. The legends of Evergreen Cemetery are deeply rooted in the city’s past, intertwining the tales of its inhabitants with the broader narrative of the area’s development.

Paranormal stories abound in Evergreen Cemetery, with visitors and caretakers reporting unexplained phenomena that spark the imagination. Some speak of seeing shadowy figures wandering among the tombstones or hearing whispers and footsteps when no one else is around. One notable tale involves a ghostly woman in Victorian attire, often seen near older graves, her presence evoking a sense of melancholy and longing. Another eerie account is of lights appearing over certain graves at night, with no apparent source, as if signaling a connection between the living and the dead. These tales, whether grounded in reality or conjured by the mystique of the cemetery, add a layer of intrigue and mystery to Evergreen Cemetery, making it a place where history and legend, life and death, exist side by side in the collective memory of El Paso.

Kennedy Brothers Memorial Apartments

The Kennedy Brothers Memorial Apartments is a historic building that was built in 1916. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who died in a tragic accident. Visitors have reported hearing her whispers and seeing her ghostly figure.

These are just a few of the many haunted locations in El Paso. Visitors should be respectful and mindful of the history and folklore associated with these places, and should not trespass or disturb any of the sites.

Haunted Tales and Legends

El Paso is home to many haunted places, each with its own tales of paranormal activity. From ghost stories to urban legends, there is no shortage of spooky folklore in this city.

One of the most well-known haunted places in El Paso is the Concordia Cemetery. With over 60,000 people buried there, it’s no surprise that there are many ghost stories associated with this cemetery. Visitors have reported hearing voices, whispers, and footsteps, as well as seeing mist and ghostly figures.

Another haunted location in El Paso is the Plaza Hotel. Built in 1930, the hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman named Elizabeth. Legend has it that Elizabeth was murdered by her husband in room 305, and her ghost now haunts the hotel, appearing as a misty figure in the room.

The Toltec Building is another location in El Paso with a spooky reputation. Built in 1910, the building was once home to a brothel and is now said to be haunted by the ghosts of former residents. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises and feeling a cold breeze, even on warm days.

El Paso High School is also rumored to be haunted. Legend has it that a student died in the school’s auditorium during a performance and now haunts the area. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises and feeling a presence in the auditorium.

Finally, the Fire Station 11 in downtown El Paso is said to be one of the spookiest spots in the city. Firefighters have reported seeing ghostly figures and hearing strange noises throughout the building. One bed in the station is so haunted that firefighters refuse to sleep in it.

Overall, El Paso is a city filled with haunted tales and legends. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, these stories add to the city’s rich history and culture.

Ghost Hunting in El Paso

El Paso, Texas is a city with a rich history and many stories to tell. For those interested in the paranormal, El Paso is a hotspot for ghost hunting and exploration. The city has a variety of haunted places, including restaurants, hotels, and even a high school.

Ghost hunters can start their exploration at the De Soto Hotel, which has a reputation as a paranormal hotspot. The hotel has been around for over 100 years and has seen its fair share of guests come and go. However, some guests have never left. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling cold spots throughout the hotel.

Another popular spot for ghost hunters is Monteleone’s Ristorante. While it may seem like an unassuming Italian restaurant, the history of the building tells a different story. The building was once a funeral home, and some believe that the spirits of the deceased still linger. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises, including the sound of footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own.

For those looking for a truly eerie experience, El Paso High School is a must-visit. The school has a reputation for being haunted, with reports of ghostly apparitions and strange noises coming from the auditorium. Some believe that the spirits of former students and faculty members still roam the halls.

Ghost hunters can also take a tour with Sun City Ghosts, El Paso’s #1 rated ghost tour. The tour takes visitors to some of the city’s most haunted locations, including Fire Station 11 and the Wigwam Museum.


While El Paso seems like any other bustling city with its vibrant culture and rich history, it holds within its bounds an array of places each steeped in fascinating legends and paranormal lore. From the historical halls of the Magoffin Home and the mysterious corridors of the Old Southwestern General Hospital, to the solemn grounds of Evergreen Cemetery and the enigmatic ambiance of Monteleone’s Ristorante, these sites are not just landmarks but repositories of stories that blur the lines between the past and the present. They invite us to explore a side of El Paso that is seldom seen but often felt – a side where history whispers through the walls and legends come alive in the shadows. These tales, rooted in the city’s diverse heritage, remind us that every corner of El Paso has a story to tell, one that may just exist beyond the realm of the known.

In this way, El Paso is a city where every street, building, and corner has the potential to reveal a new mystery, making it a truly unique and captivating place to discover. If you’ve visited any of these legendary locations, we encourage you to share your experiences. Did you feel a chill at Evergreen Cemetery? Catch a glimpse of something unexplainable at the Old Southwestern General Hospital? Or maybe you encountered the mysterious chef of Monteleone’s Ristorante? Your stories add to the rich tapestry of El Paso’s paranormal narrative, inviting others to explore and experience these intriguing sites for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most haunted places in El Paso?

El Paso is known for having several haunted places, but some of the most well-known locations include Concordia Cemetery, Magoffin Home, and El Paso High School. Other notable places include the De Soto Hotel, the Wigwam Museum, and the Plaza Theatre.

Have there been any reported ghost sightings in El Paso?

Yes, there have been numerous reports of ghost sightings in El Paso. Many people have claimed to see apparitions, hear unexplained noises, and feel a presence in various locations throughout the city.

What is the history behind the haunted places in El Paso?

Many of the haunted places in El Paso have a rich and often tragic history. Concordia Cemetery, for example, is the final resting place for many former El Pasoans, including John Wesley Hardin, Buffalo soldiers, Texas rangers, John Selman, and Jesuit priests. The Magoffin Home, on the other hand, was built in 1875 by Joseph Magoffin, a pioneer and mayor of El Paso. The home was lived in by family members for 101 years before becoming a State Historic Site.

Are there any tours available for exploring haunted places in El Paso?

Yes, there are several tours available for exploring haunted places in El Paso. Some of the most popular tours include the Downtown Ghost Tour, the Concordia Cemetery Ghost Tour, and the Magoffin Home Ghost Tour.

What precautions should be taken when visiting haunted places in El Paso?

When visiting haunted places in El Paso, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety. This includes bringing a flashlight, wearing comfortable shoes, and staying with a group. It’s also important to respect the property and not trespass or vandalize any locations.

Are there any famous ghost stories associated with El Paso’s haunted places?

Yes, there are several famous ghost stories associated with El Paso’s haunted places. One of the most well-known stories involves a young girl who committed suicide at El Paso High School. Many people claim to have seen her ghost wandering the halls of the school. Another famous story involves a woman in white who is said to haunt the De Soto Hotel.

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