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The Spookiest Tall Tales in Texas

This Halloween, read the scariest tall tales in the Lone Star State.

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There’s no way to know if the Marfa lights are real—and that’s what’s so great about them.
Photo Illustration by Darren Braun

In a state as old as Texas, there are bound to be supernatural occurrences and gruesome deaths throughout its history. At our own peril, Texas Monthly has sought out creepy tales of Satanic cults and eerie lights for decades. So this Halloween, indulge yourself in some candy and good ol’ fashioned Texas gore.

A Kiss Before Dying
A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, a gun, and a kiss have Odessa High School students spooked over fifty years later. Plenty of schools in Texas are haunted by creepy spectres and bad grades, but there’s something particularly ominous about this tale of young love turned sour.

The Truth Is Out There
In a vast stretch of desert in West Texas, wanderers journey to Marfa to shop at the lone Prada store and to witness the Marfa lights. No one knows where the glowing orbs came from or why they are here, but that very mystery makes them spectacular.

Possessed by the Devil
Two mysterious deaths plus one small town in Texas can only mean one thing—satanic cults. Has the devil come to Childress?

The Innocent and the Damned
A daycare can be the perfect place to turn children into Satan’s slaves. At least, that’s what parents in an Austin suburb believed happened to their children.

The Work of the Devil
In the college town of Matamoros during spring break in 1989, students partied and drug dealers kidnapped people in order to perform the deadly, twisted rituals of black magic.

Seeing the Light
College students drive miles to witness the Anson light, which could be a flickering recollection of a mother’s love—or something much simpler.

Fear Factor
Everything’s bigger in Texas—and sometimes, the deaths are too. We dare you to take a look at the scariest places in Texas haunted by some of the state’s most troubled souls.

Evil
Hopping from train to train, from town to town, a man strikes at night, brutally murdering Texans on the stretch of I-10 from Houston to San Antonio. The Railroad Killer was coming, and the people of Weimar were terrified.

G-G-Ghost Stories
Do you remember the story about the goat man of Lake Worth? How about the hair-raising tale of the fiddling janitor? If you see a bright orange light next time you drive along I-35, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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