13 (mostly) abandoned ghost towns in Texas (+map!) (2023)

last update onDecember 16, 2021 byPreeya Bhakta

In every classic Old West stereotype, there is a scene of a weed rolling across the dirt or gravel of an abandoned ghost town.And it's not just a movie stereotype: There are real-life abandoned Texas ghost towns in almost every region of the state.

The unpredictability of the oil industry, the railroad industry, the mining industry, the agricultural industry and much more has resulted in abandoned cities in Texas left and right.

(Or, to be exact,aboutabandoned – it is worth clarifying that many of these places still maintain a very, very small population).

These Texas ghost towns are an interesting mark in the history of the Lone Star State, and you can often find many of them preserved for the occasional visitor passing through.

If you want to step back in time and get a feel for the 19th century Texas lifestyle, consider visiting one of these abandoned Texas ghost towns.

Not sure which Texas ghost towns are near you?

We've included a map of all Texas ghost towns at the end of this blog post to help you find them!

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Cool Texas Ghost Towns to Visit


Lobo is an old abandoned town along Highway 90 with a growing population of 15 people!

Nearby, Van Horn is probably the closest place to stock up on fuel and food before heading into this barren part of Texas.

In the 1800s, the future ghost town of Lobo was the only source of water for miles.

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This propelled the town to fame and it slowly became a very popular stopping point as settlers migrated west.

Lobo gets its name from the Mexican wolves that once roamed the land, it is now more or less frozen in time.

The entire town was put up for sale in 1980 for $60,000.

In 2001, three German buyers bought the town for $20,000 and have been working to revive it as a place for artists to draw inspiration.

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If you happen to be visitingBig Bend National Park, a brief visit to Terlingua is definitely worth it!

The town is still held together by a handful of companies and there is a definite desire to preserve the history in this area.

The resurgence in tourism from visitors looking for the offbeat atmosphere and glamping opportunities near Big Bend has also helped - indeed, these days we'd call Terlingua perhaps a semi-ghost town, despite being widely regarded as one of the best. famous Texas ghost towns.

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The desert lifestyle has pushed most people towards the big cities, but for those who are still close to the city roots, they want the city to be a warm and inviting place, but one that also has a lot of character of its own. .

A big chili festival takes place here every year, which turns into something of a festival.

Consider it Coachella with a meaty tomato twist! Trading and mining companies here also keep this ship afloat.

If you want a unique travel experience, Terlingua should definitely be on your list!

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If you load your car and leaveRota 66heading into New Mexico, you'll find the abandoned town of Glenrio, Texas.

In the early 1900's, a railroad ran through this town, and slowly, small farmers began to cultivate the surrounding land.

The historic district is listed on the National List of Historic Places.

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Slowly but surely people left, but the buildings and vestiges of a bygone time were left behind.

In fact, The Grapes of Wrath was filmed here!

If you've read the book, you'll know how well this terrain fits as a setting for the corresponding film.

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Barstow was named after a transplant from Rhode Island in Texas.

The town emerged in the late 19th century and had a brief flash of fame before turning into one of Texas' many abandoned towns.

George E. Barstow, the town's namesake, was a leader in the irrigation industry.

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He was honored at the 1904 World's Fair for his agricultural expertise with grapes.

Laterthat same year, a dam broke in a nearby area and nearly flooded everything in the vicinity.

Several public offices, homes, schools and some private companies were left behind.

Some are hopeful that one day business will flourish again and the vines that are left behind will flourish again.

13 (mostly) abandoned ghost towns in Texas (+map!) (5)Cowboys in Barstow, TX circa 1900, from SMU Central University Libraries, unrestricted, via Wikimedia Commons


When people think of ghost towns in Texas, they rarely — if ever — think of a beach town.

Indianola is located near the Gulf of Mexico, and as part of the pack where it is located, the city has been devastated by hurricanes several times.

To some extent, it was almost more difficult to keep the city alive due to the terrible damage sustained by hurricanes.

READ THE FOLLOWING 10 Best Beach Towns in Texas

Originally, several European immigrants chose to settle in this city, but due to disease, climate and poverty, the city was never able to prosper.

After a particularly devastating hurricane in 1886, the city was unable to rebuild and its remains were left behind.

The only thing worth mentioning is the Zimmerman Cemetery.

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If you're a fan of Baylor University, Independence should be a place you're familiar with.

The university was founded in Independence and was also home to another legendary Texan.

Sam Houston and his family resided in this city in the mid-19th century.

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That era was one of unabated wealth and growth.

The cotton industry was flourishing and technology was slowly but surely transforming the land.

Now you can take a bike tour or church tour of this historic Texas town.

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The city of Catarina was established as a gateway to a railroad.

Legend has it that the town was named after a woman who was killed during a standoff near the area in the 1700s.

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Fast forward 200 years and the town had a post office, schools and a full-fledged community.

Unfortunately, lack of access to water and a weak economy forced the city's downfall.

There haven't been more than 100 residents in at least 30 years, making it one of Texas' semi-ghost towns.

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Billy Hathorn in the en.wikipedia,CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Toyah used to be the site of several springs; in fact, the town is named after a Native American word for "running water."

While railroads were being built and used as the main means of transportation, Toyah was quite popular.

It is one of the oldest villages in the municipality and is very popular for commerce and livestock.

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The economy continued to function for some time due to the discovery of some oil fields.

He also gained fame through Amelia Earhart, who visited Toyah in 1928 while flying across the US.

Unfortunately, like many other small towns, the area saw a huge population drop after the Great Depression and today has only around 100 residents.

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The Buchanan Dam is a large and beautiful structure that was built in the hill country.

He skilfully sieves the waters of the Colorado River, and although most towns died from lack of water, Bluffton had water in abundance.

Rising waters and subsequent flooding drowned Bluffton and surrounding towns.

As the drier years that followed forced water levels down, the remains ofthe city was discovered.

Now this is where you can drive four wheelers or watch birds.

Despite a complete change in things to do, the city never fully regained its population after being discovered.

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Mount of Medicine

Medicine Mound gets its name from its varying elevations.

This land was sacred to the Comanches and is about as rural as it gets when looking for abandoned towns in Texas.

Even at the height of its population, Medicine Mound, Texas was home to only about 500 residents.

It started out as a small village when settlers started arriving.

Although the Great Depression had a strong effect on the city's decline, a fire in 1933 was the last straw.

Since then, a few buildings remain, but the four native mounds that gave this city its name still survive.

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M Lenhardt,CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Gilliland was originally known as Coyote, similar to other ghost towns; this area also started as a village for new settlers.

Several Norwegian families moved in the late 1800s from nearby areas.

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Coyote was renamed after a district judge when the first post office was established, who formally changed the name to Gilliland.

The city was never heavily populated due to its location; eventually the residents gradually dwindled and now less than 200 remain.

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Eliasville is named after the first store owner in town.

In the late 1800's this town started out as an area for a few farms and ranches. Eventually this infrastructure led to a cotton gin and a flour mill.

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In due time, the city began to grow rapidly due to the oil boom.

Sadly, just a few years later, some of the historic buildings burned to the ground in a huge fire.

As business declined, residents began to leave, and Eliasville never fully recovered.

13 (mostly) abandoned ghost towns in Texas (+map!) (12)Eliasville, Texas, circa 1918, from DeGoyler Library SMU Central University Libraries, Unrestricted, via Wikimedia Commons


The population graph of Sherwood, Texas has gone up and down over the centuries, but its minuscule population makes it a borderline Texas ghost town!

Sherwood originally started out as a country residence in the late 19th century.

There was a courthouse and post office established to carry out commercial operations both privately and for the government.

A nearby town called Mertzon began to grow faster and push people away.

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Eventually, the city steadily declined in the late 1900s, the population was under 50.

By the turn of the 21st century, the number had grown again, nearly tripling to 150.

While this is still considered minuscule compared to the large metroplexes we see now, there may be more to come for this tiny Texas ghost town!

Who knows, maybe one day Sherwood will become a hub again and the once lucrative businesses there will regain their luster.

Texas ghost town map

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