Presidio La Bahia: Echoes of History and Tales of the Supernatural

  • By: Sharon Hawkins
  • Date: 8 August 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.


Presidio La Bahia, located in the ancient town of Goliad, Texas, is a living witness to the region’s turbulent past. With its rich history and architectural grandeur, this iconic Spanish fort has experienced centuries of victories and tragedies.

However, stories of paranormal encounters and haunting apparitions have become an inseparable part of Presidio La Bahia’s mystery, alongside the echoes of history. Step into the fort’s sacred grounds and embark on an enthralling trip that combines the realms of history and the occult.

History of Presidio La Bahia

Presidio La Bahia, a Spanish fort near Goliad, has a long history that dates back to its establishment in 1721. Initially located along the Guadalupe River, it was later moved to the banks of the San Antonio River in 1749 to protect it from Karankawa attacks. The fort served Spain and later Mexico before falling into the hands of Texian forces during the Battle of Goliad.

Under Colonel James Fannin’s command, Texian troops stationed at La Bahia attempted to provide support to the Alamo but arrived too late, as the Alamo had already been captured. On their way back to La Bahia, Fannin and his troops were forced to surrender to Mexican General Jose de Urrea, who then ordered their execution.

Presidio La Bahia
Presidio La Bahia, Credit: joshlmcdonald

Presidio La Bahia was restored in the 1960s and is now a National Historic Landmark. It is operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, with its chapel serving as a community church. The fort offers visitors a comprehensive overview of its rich history spanning over three hundred years, including annual reenactments that showcase its significant contribution to the legacy of Texas.

Tales of the Supernatural

Presidio La Bahia is not only renowned for its historical significance but also for its tales of the supernatural. Over the years, visitors and staff have reported chilling encounters and unexplained phenomena within the fort’s confines. Some of the notable paranormal experiences include:

The Phantom Drummer

Witnesses have claimed to hear the rhythmic beating of a phantom drum echoing through the fort at night. The source of this haunting percussion remains a mystery, evoking images of long-departed soldiers or spectral guardians forever etched in the fabric of Presidio La Bahia.

Apparitions and Ghostly Figures

Over the years, numerous reports have emerged, detailing encounters with apparitions and ghostly figures within the fort’s historic halls. Witnesses have described chilling experiences with spectral soldiers, clad in Spanish military uniforms, who seem to materialize fleetingly, as if trapped in an endless loop, reliving their duty-bound existence from times long gone.

These ghostly manifestations add an extra layer of mystique and intrigue to Presidio La Bahia, further fueling its reputation as a place where history and the supernatural intertwine. Visitors and historians alike are left captivated by the ghostly remnants of the past that linger within the fort’s walls, as they bear witness to the ethereal echoes of a bygone era.

Eerie Voices and Whispers

Many who have ventured within its walls have reported hearing enigmatic whispers and disembodied voices echoing through the corridors. These ethereal sounds seem to defy explanation, originating from empty rooms or concealed corners where no living presence can be found. The cryptic nature of these voices adds an additional layer of intrigue to the fort’s already haunted reputation.

Visitors find themselves drawn into contemplation, pondering the restless spirits that may still wander within the fort, their whispered messages carried on the unseen currents of time. The echoes of these enigmatic voices serve as a chilling reminder of the unseen forces that linger, inviting all who dare to explore to delve deeper into the mysteries held within Presidio La Bahia’s historic confines.

Presidio La Bahia
Presidio La Bahia

Unexplained Cold Spots and Temperature Changes

Sudden drops in temperature and localized cold spots have been experienced by visitors, even in areas where no logical explanation exists. These chilling areas are believed to be the result of supernatural energy, heightening the sense of otherworldly presence within the fort.

Pop Culture & Media Coverage

Presidio La Bahia, a historic fort located in Goliad, Texas, holds a critical place in the state’s history. Known as one of the most fought-over fortifications in Texas, its tales of bloody battles and rumored ghostly sightings have helped it gain a distinct status in pop culture and media.

The presidio’s haunted history has been showcased in paranormal television programs such as “Ghost Adventures,” where the team explored and documented alleged supernatural occurrences within its storied walls.

The historical importance and eerie tales associated with Presidio La Bahia are featured in the book “Haunted Texas: A Travel Guide” by April Slaughter, further spotlighting the fort’s ghostly lore and historical significance.

Today, Presidio La Bahia continues to be a must-visit site for history enthusiasts, ghost hunters, and tourists. Its appearances in pop culture and media reaffirm its place as a captivating nexus of history and the supernatural.

Preservation Efforts and Historical Significance

Presidio La Bahia’s historical significance has spurred efforts to preserve its architectural integrity and rich heritage. Restoration projects and ongoing maintenance ensure that future generations can appreciate the fort’s cultural importance.

By embracing the tales of the supernatural alongside its historical narrative, Presidio La Bahia offers a unique experience where visitors can immerse themselves in both the triumphs and the mysteries of the past.


Presidio La Bahia stands as a gateway to a bygone era, where echoes of history intertwine with the ethereal. Explore the fort’s time-worn walls, contemplate the spirits that may linger, and let the rich tapestry of the past unravel before you.

Whether you seek a glimpse into Texascolonial heritage or wish to delve into the enigmatic world of the supernatural, Presidio La Bahia promises an unforgettable journey through time and the realms of the unexplained.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Presidio La Bahia in Goliad

Q1: Where was Presidio La Bahia founded?

It was established at 217 US-183 Hwy, Goliad, TX 77963.

Q2: When was Presidio La Bahia constructed?

Presidio La Bahia was constructed in 1749, serving as a Spanish fort during the colonial era.

Q3: What role did Presidio La Bahia play in history?

Presidio La Bahia played a significant role in the struggles for independence, witnessing battles and sieges that shaped the region’s history.

Q4: Are there reports of paranormal activity at Presidio La Bahia?

Yes, Presidio La Bahia is known for reports of paranormal encounters. Visitors and staff have witnessed ghostly figures, heard unexplained voices, and experienced chilling phenomena.

Q5: Who is the Phantom Drummer, and what is their significance?

The Phantom Drummer is an unexplained phenomenon where witnesses hear the rhythmic beating of a drum within the fort. The origins of this haunting drumming remain a mystery, adding to the fort’s supernatural allure.

Q6: Are there sightings of apparitions and ghostly figures at Presidio La Bahia?

Yes, numerous reports have emerged of spectral soldiers dressed in Spanish military uniforms appearing within the fort. These apparitions suggest the lingering presence of the fort’s historical inhabitants.

Q7: Have there been reports of eerie voices and whispers within Presidio La Bahia?

Yes, visitors have reported hearing whispers and disembodied voices, often coming from empty rooms or dark corners. The nature and origins of these voices contribute to the fort’s enigmatic atmosphere.

Q8: Are there any preservation efforts in place for Presidio La Bahia?

Yes, preservation efforts are undertaken to maintain the fort’s architectural integrity and historical significance. Restoration projects ensure that future generations can appreciate and explore the fort’s rich heritage.

Q9: Can visitors explore Presidio La Bahia and experience its historical and supernatural elements?

Yes, visitors are welcome to explore Presidio La Bahia and immerse themselves in its history and the mysterious tales of the supernatural. However, specific access and guided tours may vary, so it is advisable to check with the fort’s management for current visitation information.

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