Stay Overnight at a Haunted Fort


The Quarters at Presidio La Bahia is located just outside Goliad, TX.  It was the scene of one of the most horrifying acts during the Texas Revolution.  Following the surrender of 342 Texans General De Santa Anna ordered the massacre of all the Texan soldiers.  There is certainly a good amount of dark history that would lend its self to a paranormal sighting or two and would make for the perfect scene in a documentary.  In fact an episode of “America’s Most Terrifying places” will feature this location during the show’s next season.  For two hundred dollars you can spend the night in one of the rooms and experience it for yourself.  I’ve never been to Goliad or heard of the Quarters so I can not speak to the paranormal claims myself.  Below is the official article:

Guests who stay overnight at The Quarters in the Presidio La Bahia (Fort of the Bay) near Goliad have a wide range of reactions. After all, it is central to one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of the Texas Revolution (1836), as well as to its Spanish and Mexican Colonial pasts. ( “A treasure…the stars and moon at night were awesome,” said the McKenzies of Plano, TX.  “One of the most unique places we’ve ever stayed…serene and moving…surpassed all expectations.” penned the Bergens of Calgary, Canada.  “An astonishing place. Love the ghost tales, but had no visits. Keep it sacred,” admonished The Sparks Family of Driftwood, TX.  The Quarters at the 289-year-old National Historic Landmark, one mile south of Goliad on U.S. Hwy. 183 (77A), were previously used by officers and later by priests. In fact, the bastion, over which nine different flags have flown, is now owned by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria.

The two-bedroom apartment along the Presidio’s west wall, next to the newly refurbished Museum, accommodates four persons in one of the most historic – and eerie – lodgings in America. Just how spooky is it?  The Travel Channel will air a one-hour feature this fall on the Presidio, an episode in its series “America’s Most Terrifying Places.”  Paranormal researchers also have stayed overnight with mixed results, and eyewitness accounts of apparitions, both day and night, have been documented.   There is no question, however, that at least 342 Texans who had surrendered to the Mexican Army were massacred just beyond its eight-foot high walls. Under orders from Gen. Lopez de Santa Anna, the Texans’ commanding officer and the wounded from the Battle of Coleto Creek were summarily executed inside the fortress’ Quadrangle.

Tragic History . . . Pastoral Present

The Presidio, considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in America, dominates a bucolic, hilltop setting a few hundred yards from the San Antonio River. In the spring, a plethora of wildflowers color the hillsides. The fort attracts about 35,000 visitors annually, including more than 5,000 for its Living History reenactment program held the closest weekend to March 27.  “The area now known as The Quarters was originally used by officers – Spanish, Texan and Mexican,” explained Newton M. Warzecha, Director of the Presidio since 1991. “After the restoration, it was housing for priests.  “Although it has private entrances, The Quarters adjoins the museum and sits across the courtyard from Our Lady of Loreto Chapel, in continuous use since the 1700s and one of the oldest churches in America,” Warzecha noted.  “Our guests enjoy the extensive museum displays by day. After closing, they are free to roam the 3½-acre Quadrangle and church courtyard; to stand atop the three-foot thick parapet walls and beside the historic cannons, and to enjoy the sunset or to have their own private star parties and picnics,” he said.

The Foulston Family of South Wales, U.K., wrote in the Presidio guestbook: “As we watched the stars, we remembered that (Col. James W.) Fannin had been executed outside, just where we sat,” beneath the anacua (sugarberry or “sandpaper”) trees.

“Darkness brought strange flickering and half perceived movements in corners. Was it just the mechanical whir of the air conditioning or were those dimly heard voices in the night? Supposed ‘footsteps’ on the roof brought other imaginings. Just a bird? An owl hunting and finding its prey?”  Nightly stays at The Quarters cost $200.

Marketing the fact that a location is haunted is not a new strategy.   It works just as well as it ever has, it’s a strategy that will always bring people.  However with the enormous amount of paranormal television programs this marketing strategy has seen a recent growth in my opinion.  While doing some research for a documentary I interviewed a former worker for the Winchester Mystery House and he claimed that it was not haunted at all and in fact was just brilliant marketing.  The Quarters could very well be a haunted location; however the creditability of that haunting should always be in question.

Will Butt