INTERACTIVE: More 'spirits' than Hurricanes haunt San Antonio's Pat O'Brien's

Take our interactive ghost tour and explore the haunted history of Pat O'Brien's.

 

Pat O'Brien's in downtown San Antonio is home to more "spirits" than those at the bar.

KENS 5 digital reporter Stacey Welsh got a tour of the bar, restaurant and banquet rooms from Alamo City Ghost Tours and a Pat O'Brien's manager.

Click through the bubbles in the interactive map above to explore the many spirits living within that guests and employees have encountered.

Read on to learn more about the haunted history.

Haunted downtown San Antonio

"They say that downtown [San Antonio] is the most haunted area in Texas."

J.R. owns Alamo City Ghost Tours and serves as a tour guide for downtown visitors.

He's pictured above sipping a famous Pat O'Brien's Hurricane.

"We've been doing the ghost tours downtown since 1996. Alamo City Ghost Tours has been in business since 2004," he said.

J.R. said he had his first experience with paranormal activity when he sensed an other-worldly presence at his grandmother's house in Miami when he was 8 years old. After that, he said he started getting into ghost hunting.

"From reading different historical stories, it got me interested. I stumbled across a few ghost stories and I started doing more research here. There's a lot of different spirits from people who seem to be haunting the downtown area," he said.

The building that currently houses Pat O'Brien's on South Alamo Street used to be a pharmacy. J.R. said stories of hauntings there started surfacing around 2001.

"Some spirits I think are left behind. Some I believe return by choice," he said.

The boy in the window

Employees and guests of Pat O'Brien's have reported sightings of the spirit of a little boy upstairs, especially in upstairs windows.

Alamo City Ghost Tours and bar manager Jak Vicars said they have seen what appear to be children's hand prints in upstairs windows. They can't explain this phenomenon.

"I think they're from the little boy that haunts the building that they call Timmy," J.R. said.

Vicars said he has seen glass bottles fall to the floor from one of the upstairs bars, also with no explanation. He said this has happened in the same room where hand prints appear in the windows.

Guests have also previously pointed out seeing a little boy sitting alone on an upstairs windowsill, according to Vicars.

"When it was used as a pharmacy, a family did live [there]. It could be from that time. He could have died in that building," J.R. said.

Piano music

Some claim they've heard the piano in the downstairs bar playing on its own.

J.R. demonstrated the sound.

"It's not like a melody. It's sporadic keys," he said.

The man in boots

"Nobody ever sees anybody. It's just a feeling of being looked at and being watched," J.R. said of the supposed spirit of a man walking the Grand Promenade banquet hall.

Employees setting up for events in the hall have reported strange activity when it's quiet.

"It's like a large man in heavy boots is walking around, and there's nobody here. It's not just step, step. It's like somebody is walking after them. All of a sudden it just stops and disappears. That's happened quite a bit," Vicars said.

J.R. and Vicars said the unknown spirit seems to be wearing boots and has a "heavy presence."
However, it's not clear where this spirit comes from.

"I think when you give a spirit a name, that's just because you want to name it. I don't believe that you truly know who that energy is," J.R. said.

The tunnel

The passageway leading from the Pat O'Brien's entrance on South Alamo Street into the restaurant is also said to be haunted.

"There's been a lot of different murders right where we're standing. Right here in this opening, people have died. [Some] froze to death right here," J.R. said.

He said before the location became Pat O'Brien's, the area used to be an alleyway.

"Right up until the time that they started turning it into Pat O'Brien's, they enclosed it. Before that you could walk right there from the street," he said.

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