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21 Ghost Towns In Texas [MAP]

    ghost towns in texas

    If you’re searching for ghost towns in Texas we’ve got you covered! Below are 21 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Texas along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

    We rate ghost towns in Texas based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

    • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
    • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
    • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
    • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
    • Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
    • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.


    1. Terlingua

    29.32022, -103.61361
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Jasperdo – flickr.com

    History:

    The sun-drenched streets of Terlingua, Texas are lined with decrepit adobe buildings. The businesses are full of quirky West Texas character. Originally left a ghost town during the 1940s, Terlingua has evolved into a haven for artists, outsiders, and those seeking solitude. This small town is also home to the world’s most famous chili cook-off.

    Thanks to the community Terlingua is one of the liveliest and most popular ghost towns in Texas.

    What’s Left?

    If you’re visiting Terlingua, make sure to visit the cemetery downhill from the town. This historic cemetery contains modest wood crosses and monuments honoring early-twentieth-century residents. There are even monuments commemorating the 1918 influenza epidemic. You’ll also be able to sample local cuisine and buy art in the town’s gift shop. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this small town’s charms.


    2. Toyah

    29.32022, -103.61361
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Nicolas Henderson – flickr.com

    History:

    In 1881, Toyah was a bustling town with many houses, saloons, shops, schools, hotels, and lumberyards. The town reached its peak population of 1,050 people by 1910. However, by 1980, it had a population of only 160. Over the years, the town has slowly deteriorated due to time and a lack of visitors. Explorers can find various historical artifacts still standing throughout the Toyah region.

    What’s Left?

    If you’re looking for a unique place to visit in the heart of the American West, Toyah may be the place for you. This small town, located in the state of Texas, was named for native Americans and is now a largely abandoned ghost town. The area is home to a historic cemetery and abandoned high school. You can also view the ruined city’s abandoned cars, which are still parked along the road.


    3. The Grove

    31.27305, -97.525
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    The town was founded in 1859 and was named after a grove of Live Oak trees that stood near the center of the town. In its heydey, the town boasted a post office, two general stores, a saloon, and a sheriff’s office. Today, the town is a museum piece.

    After a major flood destroyed the town’s economy, a resident turned the general store into a museum. Over the years, he collected antiques and other items that he displayed in his museum. These efforts helped bring tourists to The Grove. His museum is filled with different artifacts and has been rented out by movie producers and used in numerous films and TV series. 

    What’s Left?

    The Grove is located just two hours from Fort Worth on Farm to Market Road 1114. It’s easy to find, with camera-ready buildings and friendly locals. 


    4. Independence

    30.31916, -96.34638
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    Independence, Texas is an unincorporated community in Washington County, located twelve miles northeast of Brenham. Founded as a colony of Anglo-Americans in the early 1830s, Independence grew into the Baptist religious and educational center of the Republic of Texas. Today, Independence remains a predominantly Christian community, with approximately 7,000 residents. A quick look at the town’s history shows how its population has grown over the years.

    Independence was founded in 1839, but was not incorporated until 1872. The town’s population declined in the 1880s after city leaders refused to grant a railroad right of way to the Santa Fe Railroad. It was also not a good location for Baylor University, which moved to nearby Waco. In the 1880s, Independence had a population of 140. The town still retains its historical sites and Baptist church, though.

    What’s Left?

    Despite the town’s affluence during the Republic, Independence has kept a number of historic buildings from its 19th-century peak. The Texas Baptist Historical Center, which commemorates the town’s rich and illustrious history, is a prime example of these structures. The town also boasts the home of Judge J.P. Coles, one of the original “Old Three Hundred” of the Austin Colony, as well as the Houston-Lea Family Cemetery. In fact, Independence is home to several National Register-listed historical buildings.


    5. Lobo

    30.81402, -104.75298
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    Lobo is a long-abandoned town located on Highway 90. It was once a thriving cotton farming town, but the cost of irrigation made it unprofitable for residents. While there are a few residents still living there, many buildings remain vacant. The town was once a thriving Mexican trading post during America’s westward migration. In addition to being located in Texas soil, it also had a good supply of fresh water, which made it attractive to travelers.

    What’s Left?

    Lobo has numerous abandoned buildings scattered in the area. Today, it’s considered semi-abandoned due to a small but resilient few that call this desolate stretch of land home. Of all the ghost towns in Texas, Lobo is one of the most underrated, so check it out if you’re nearby.


    6. Indianola

    28.51194, -96.48747
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    During the Civil War, Indianola was occupied by Union and Confederate forces, but soon recovered from both. It was soon on its way to rival New Orleans. After the war, New England and New York ships began arriving in Indianola and bringing ice during the cold months. Shippers in the area soon saw brisk business in canned meat. Live cattle hides were also exported. While the city grew during the Civil War, it still suffered from hurricanes in the late 1800s.

    Although Indianola became a town in 1853, the city’s roots were laid three miles north of Powderhorn Bayou. Originally known as “Indian Point,” the settlement was a port on Matagorda Bay and was settled by German immigrants in the 1840s. The German name Indianola derived from the word “indian,” meaning “wave”.

    What’s Left?

    Located on the shore of Matagorda Bay, Indianola is a ghost town that lies within the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Victoria, Texas. Formerly, this small town was the county seat of Calhoun County. Today, Indianola is an abandoned industrial city and part of the Victoria, Texas, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city has little to offer visitors, other than a few ruins and great sunrise.


    7. Catarina

    28.34554, -99.61337
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: mlhradio – flickr.com

    History:

    Catarina, Texas, is a census-designated place in Dimmit County, Texas, United States. The population was 118 at the 2010 census. Catarina is located approximately six miles southwest of Dimmit City and six miles north of Catarina, Texas. The nearest major city is Dimmit City.

    What’s Left?

    There are a good handful of abandoned buildings and old structures to explore. However, the real star of the show is the old hotel and restaurant that sits abandoned in the center of town.


    8. Helena

    28.95361, -97.82305
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Norm Lanier – flickr.com

    History

    The town traces its history to 1852 when Thomas Ruckman and Dr. Lewis Sumpter Owings settled here. Originally called Almita, the town was located on a long-established road between San Antonio and Goliad. Lewis S. Owings named the town after his wife Helen. Ruckman served as the town’s first postmaster.

    What’s Left?

    Helena, Texas, is located 70 miles southeast of San Antonio in Karnes County. This small town was the county seat from 1854 to 1894 and was known as the toughest town in the country during the mid-19th century. Today, the town is a solitary, abandoned ghost town that still piques visitors’ interest.


    9. Oakland

    29.60141, -96.83138
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Oakland was a popular little town in the late 1800s and thrived until around the 1940s. During its peak, the town had a church, blacksmith shop, school, and multiple stores. Despite falling from glory, the town is still hanging on with about 100 current residents.

    What’s Left?

    There are numerous remains of the original town along with new structures scattered throughout. The town still has its own post office, meaning it’s not dead yet!


    10. Newgulf

    44.40666, -117.31138
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Newgulf, Texas is a town located in Wharton County, Texas. Originally, the town was built on the Boling Dome, an underground rock structure that is around five miles across and contains significant amounts of sulfur and petroleum.

    At one point, Newgulf had a single four-lane avenue lined with businesses. There was a small cafe, two dry-goods stores, a grocery store, a barbershop, a tailor and cleaning shop, a movie theater, and three garages. The town’s economy started to decline in the early 1960s, when Texas Gulf Sulphur Corporation built new plants a couple of miles away. As a result, Newgulf’s population began to decrease, and the company had to sell empty houses in the town.

    What’s Left?

    The town has very little left of its original architecture, and most of the homes have since been demolished or abandoned. While the town has almost no infrastructure, the area does still contain many landmarks and businesses. For example, the Newgulf Elementary School and golf club are still operational.


    11. Eliasville

    32.95983, -98.76534
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The unincorporated community of Eliasville is located in Young County, Texas. The community was established in 1869 and is located along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River near Texas Farm Roads 1974 and 3109.

    The first school in Eliasville was a subscription school three-fourths of a mile south of the community. The first school was a rock structure with a teacher named Wylie Jones.

    Another one was built in 1880 by the Donnell brothers. However, this mill was destroyed by floodwaters. Later, another water-powered grist mill was built near the town. The fourth school was a brick structure that was located south of Eliasville along Graham highway.

    What’s Left?

    Today there are many ruins to explore in town. However, the most picturesque spot to explore is the old mill located right along the Clearfork river.


    12. Glenrio

    45.81852, -116.76905
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Previously known as Rock Island, Glenrio, Texas is a small, unincorporated community located on the former U.S. Route 66. The city sits on the Texas-New Mexico state line. The city is home to many historic buildings and is home to an active elk herd. The town was founded in 1886 and has been home to many people since then.

    Unfortunately, it began to fade when the interstate was built, and by the late 1980s, the population had plummeted to less than two. In honor of the historic landmarks and the film’s famous Pontiac, temporary chain-link fences were erected around the town’s most famous attractions.

    What’s Left?

    Now, Glenrio is one of the few ghost towns in Texas you must see long Route 66. I’ve personally explored Glenrio during my trip out west is easily one of my favorite ghost towns in Texas.


    13. Medicine Mound

    34.19487, -99.59471
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Founded in 1909 by the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad Company, Medicine Mound once boasted 22 buildings and a population of five hundred. By the early 1930s, the town was virtually a ghost town, with only a few structures standing. A 1933 tornado wiped it off the map, leaving no trace of the town. The town is one of many in Texas that are now largely abandoned.

    What’s Left?

    Thankfully a museum was erected to preserve the memory of Medicine Mound. Four of the markers are related to the town’s agricultural industry and the area’s sanitation project during the 1930s. One of the markers displays a dominoes table that once served as a community meeting space. There are also several displays of old photographs and newspapers, including a photograph of a high school class.


    14. Barstow

    31.46124, -103.39378
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Nicolas Henderson – flickr.com

    History:

    The ghost town of Barstow, Texas, is no stranger to history. The town was founded in the late 1800s by George E. Barstow, a pioneer in irrigation and a fruit grower. Its planned community included many small fruit farms and was centered around the town of Barstow. It even had its own schools, church, newspaper, bank, Masonic lodge, and power plant. Unfortunately, all of these buildings are now abandoned.

    What’s Left?

    Once thriving with farming and irrigation, Barstow, Texas was a prosperous community. After the Pecos River broke in 1904, the town’s economy crumbled. Today, Barstow is only a ghost town with dilapidated buildings and legends of the old west.


    15. Bluffton

    30.82073, -98.49142
    Status: Barren

    Photo Credit: rebeccabphotos.com

    History:

    Normally submerged under 20 feet of water, Bluffton is now a ghost town. After the Depression, people in the area talked about building a dam. But a New Deal project in Texas would flood their land, killing the local population.  It was home to a population of about fifty people, though by 1937 the dam submerged the town. The new town was built seven miles away, but Old Bluffton is still submerged under the lake. It’s a surreal place to visit if you are looking for an authentic ghost town experience.

    What’s Left?

    Today, the rusty oil tanks and old gravestones are tourist attractions. Explorers can find various ruins along the waterfront, with the dusty cemetery being the main attraction.


    16. Gilliland

    33.73147, -99.68342
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Mike Krzywonski – krzphoto.com

    History:

    This small town is located in Knox County and was first settled in 1871. The town had a population of fifty people in 1925 and grew to 120 people by 1947. The population of Gilliland consists of a single school, four businesses, and a church. Despite its small population, Gilliland has a haunting beauty.

    What’s Left?

    Today, not much is left of Gilliland, as it’s basically a small cluster of buildings along an old intersection. While it’s not the most interesting ghost town in Texas I think it is still worth exploring if you’re nearby.


    17. Sherwood

    31.28136, -100.79543
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    Sherwood, Texas is an unincorporated community in Irion County, Texas. The town has a population of 73. The former Irion County Courthouse, built-in 1901, serves as the community center. The post office closed in 1974 officially sealing its fate.

    What’s Left?

    Today there are various homes scattered around the town. While there are a lot of abandoned buildings and historic structures, there’s still plenty of life in the area.


    18. Thurber

    32.50793, -98.41579
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The Thurber ghost town is located in Erath County, Texas, 75 miles west of Fort Worth. Historically, Thurber was the state’s largest producer of bituminous coal, with a population of over ten thousand. Although it was a ghost town in the 20th century, this Texas community is worth exploring.

    What’s Left?

    The coal mines of Thurber provided the area’s residents with fuel, and the town was home to miners from Poland and Italy. The coal deposits were once thought to be inexhaustible, but they still hold millions of tons of coal. While the town no longer employs many people, the brick plant and general office remain. The town’s bricks can be seen in the Fort Worth Stockyards today.


    19. Burkett

    31.99597, -99.22561
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: James Johnston – jamesjohnston.info

    History:

    The city of Burkett, Texas, was incorporated in 1908. During the 1920s, the small town had a post office, a community center, two churches, a gas station, a barbershop, and a cemetery.  The town was named after William Burkett, the first postmaster.

    It was first referred to as Pleasant Valley, but the post office rejected it as the name. The first settlers in the town were the Allens and Golsons, who settled the area in the 1870s. The Allens, who operated a dry goods store in 1880, were among the first to settle here. Other early settlers included Audas, Cochran, Harris, and Wright. The town’s economic base is agriculture, ranching, and oil products. There were a total of thirty residents in Burkett in 1980. The population is currently thirty-two, down from thirty-five in 1990.

    What’s Left?

    Today the town’s population is dwindling but the area still has a handful of active residents. Explorers can find a few historic buildings to photograph, and some friendly residents along the way.


    20. Carlton

    31.91796, -98.17255
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    Located 85 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Carlton is a quaint little town with a rich history. Carlton was a thriving community thanks to its proximity to major railroads, and its cotton production and transportation routes once made it an important city. Today, the town is mostly a ghost town, with many of its structures long abandoned. The town was incorporated in 1877, and by 1879, it had a population of more than 160.

    What’s Left?

    Despite the town’s long history, residents are now looking for new ways to make it a vibrant town. Of all the ghost towns in Texas, Carlton is one of the most modern on our list. If you love abandonment, maybe check on Carlton in a few years.


    Go out and explore!

    That concludes our list of ghost towns in Texas, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

    If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.