The Navarro Historic Site is not just one the more interesting places in San Antonio it may be the most haunted per square foot, sporting four ghostly residents within it’s confines.
The historic site itself is located at 228 South Laredo which may sound easy to find with just the address but it is far from easy. South Laredo is actually split up into three different sections that don’t run in accordance with each other and can cause some confusion if all you do is set out with a map. Trust me, call the site first and get directions you’ll thank yourself for it later.
The house was built by Jose Antonio Navarro. Navarro was born in San Antonio in 1795 and played an important part in early Texas history. He studied law and in 1821 was elected mayor of San Antonio and began his first contact with the Stephen F. Austin colony to the north.
Navarro was a major political figure in both the Mexican Congress, to which he was elected but refused due to turmoil, and the legislature of the State of Texas and Coahuila. In 1836 as a representative of Bexar County at Washington on the Brazos he helped draft the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. He was only one of two native born Texans to sign the Declaration of Independence, the other being his uncle, Francisco Ruiz.
Navarro died in his home in San Antonio on January 13th, 1871, he was 76 years old. His is the first ghost said to haunt the are of this state historic site. His is said to be an affable ghost, not moving around much and relatively harmless. The others are the ones who you need to watch out for.
The second ghost is said to be the ghost of a slain Confederate deserter who was hiding out at the house. The house, after Navarro’s death, had become both a bar and a brothel. The area of the house and the are around it was one of the most famous red light districts in all of Texas.
The reason behind the deserter’s murder and the events that led up to it are unknown, but it is known that he was stabbed repeatedly and the corpse was more than a little gruesome. He is the most violent and unreasonable of the ghosts and a terrible one to behold. One can only guess that it’s because of the violent death that he suffered.
The guide on the afternoon that I visited told me of a lady psychic who visited the historic site a year earlier to “read” the area. She passed through the front two sections of the house proclaiming that there was nothing there. When she got to the kitchen she reacted strongly, almost hysterically. She said that she could see him, “the one who was stabbed was right there in the corner” she exclaimed and, as my guide put it, left the premises in a hurry.
The third ghost is that of a bartender brutally shot by a shotgun in a bar brawl in the early part of the 20th century. This ghost is seemingly almost as quiet as the ghost of Navarro, he never seems to notice the living people in the room and goes about his business.
The last and final ghost is the one that makes the locals avoid the place at night. My tour guide confided in me that some of the older people walk by in front and tell the workers that the place is haunted. None of them will stop, none of them will go inside, all of them believe.
That ghost is of a prostitute killed in her bed in the upstairs of the building where the tour starts. They say that sometimes you can hear noises from the upstairs as if there’s a struggle and then a loud thump, which they say is the sound of the poor girl’s body hitting the floor. Her screams are what the neighbors hear, her screams and moans echo through the night, keeping them awake, keeping them away.
The guide couldn’t confirm any of the ghosts, oh, he said that he knew about them, but he hadn’t seen any. He did relate the story of another park attendant who was attempting to spend the night in the main house.
He was preparing for bed when he got the overwhelming sensation that he was being watched. He left the house and exited into the courtyard. Turning to look back at the house he noticed a face in the upper window looking down into his, then it was gone. The guide was gone almost as fast.
The upstairs of the main house is merely an attic with no space for a normal person to stand. The windows are nothing more than a vent for the heat of the house to escape during the long summer days. Was it a ghost looking down upon him or just a neighborhood kid? Well the neighbors won’t go near the place, and there are no entrances up to the small attic, they were boarded up long ago.