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Spooky San Antonio: The Haunting on Hot Wells

In honor of Haloween, Her Campus TAMUSA is showcasing a haunted San Antonio series highlighting all the scariest locations throughout the city! Enjoy these stories from our writers! –From the HCTAMUSA Team


The Hot Wells Hotel and Spa was once a thriving hot spot for socialites in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It drew in hoards of folks from all over the world with the rumored healing powers of its 104-degree sulfur water. The rich and famous would soak in the multitude of baths and swimming pools that the Edwards Aquifer fed into hoping to cure any illness they had. The grand Victorian resort’s reign of fame ended after a series of fires over a hundred years. After decades, the remaining piles of rubble laying on the southside of San Antonio, Texas were somewhat assembled again and opened to the public in 2019.


I first stepped foot onto the Hot Wells grounds on a sticky summer night in 2016. At the time, the property had just recently been purchased by Bexar County and was being reconstructed. As I walked about the dozens of caution signs with only my little iPhone flashlight, I began to feel uneasy. Brushing it off as just being in the woods in the dark, I quickly called the adventure off and headed back to the main road. It wasn’t until early 2020 that I visited again. This time, I went in broad daylight. Oddly enough, I still felt some creepy vibes but was too eager to see the ruins to pay any attention to it. I explored for a good half hour, finally wrapping up my exploring after hearing unexplainable terrifying sounds coming from the brush surrounding the spa. It was a sort of screeching I had never heard before and I could not imagine any animal making. Whatever it was, I did not really want to find out.


Months later, I happened upon stories of hauntings of Hot Wells. That explained the odd occurrences during my visit and maybe even why there were security guards for a pile of rubble. I looked back at all the photos I took, searching for any orbs or strange figures lurking around. Much to my disappointment, I did not find anything out of the ordinary. I do not exactly trust that a phone camera would have picked up much though. I once visited an abandoned hospital and while my phone was perfectly fine and that camera did not capture anything, my DSLR camera picked up various dark spots, malfunctioned, and quickly died. There are stories of women in the windows of the wells, which are inaccessible as the rooms are boarded shut, paranormal investigators have captured voices of women during electronic voice phenomenon readings, and psychics have detected male presences. Maybe it’s those sad souls who were not cured after visiting the spa or restless spirits just excited to see some new faces at the location after so many years alone. Though I can not definitively say that the spooky sounds I heard or the uneasiness I felt was paranormal, I will say that this is surely a place to put on your list of Halloween adventures this year to investigate for yourself!