The Ghosts of Victoria's Black Swan Inn
The haunted Holiday Inn Riverwalk, which used to be the old Bexar County Jail

The Haunted Black Swan Inn

Victoria’s Black Swan Inn is said to be one of the Top Ten Haunted Places in Texas.

(With an introduction like that, need I say anything else?)

The History of Victoria's Black Swan Inn

Black Swan Inn’s land has ties back to a Native American tribe from 5,500 BCE; centuries later, it became the site for a battle between the Texans and the Mexican armies in 1842. The battle was another attempt by Mexico to reclaim the territory it had lost after the Battle of San Jacinto, but like the others since 1836, it was a failure.

Thirty-five years later, German immigrant Henrich Mahler founded a dairy farm on that same land, purchased for $2,220 in 1887. The house’s history takes an interesting turn, as after Mahler’s wife passed away, he followed suit two years later from lovesick grief. Not long after, the Holbrooks and Woods families purchased the property; the wives were sisters, and the whole lot of them set up shop.

After a renovation, they nicknamed the house the White Gables. And, when Jolene Woods married Hall “Park” Street, they then took over White Gables entirely. Unfortunately, tragedy struck Jolene at the tender age of thirty-eight. She died of cancer, and her husband took the loss of his wife incredibly hard.

So hard that on August 5, 1965, he hung himself from the poster of his bed with a belt. Although there was talk of Park Street’s death having been the result of a murder, authorities officially ruled it as a suicide. Is it Park Street who is still haunting the Black Swan Inn, or perhaps the elderly Mrs. Woods—Jolene’s mother—who died of old age in her room at the property?

The Ghosts of Victoria's Black Swann Inn

There’s a strong chance that both Park and Mrs. Woods are both haunting Victoria’s Black Swan Inn. Guests have reported seeing apparitions all throughout the property, but especially in one of the upstairs bedrooms. There, the spirit of a young woman if often spotted, seated on the bed. Those lucky enough to catch sight of this female ghost often liken her to a young Mrs. Woods, although her final resting place was actually in one of the downstairs bedrooms. It’s in that room that many experience an overwhelmingly oppressive heaviness.

Other paranormal phenomena at the Black Swann Inn include notable dips in temperature, unexplainable noises and lights that are often turned off and on at random. But perhaps the most unnerving spectral presence at the property is that of a man who has been spotted stalking angrily all over the house. Rumor has it that he is the ghost of Hall Park Street. Is he perhaps looking for his beloved wife Jolene, whose spirit is also said to haunt the Inn? Dressed in a white gown, this female spirit roams the property aimlessly, but the two never seem to meet.

Even in death, it seems that their love remains on separate tracks.

At Victoria’s Black Swan Inn, it’s no secret that the ghosts are just as active at the property as the living. There is the spirit of a child, who acts out only when living children are around—then, the spectral boy is known to pull pranks and throw tantrums.

Today, the Black Swan Inn is more of a event venue than Inn, but it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area. And, if you happen to run into one of the property’s many spirits in the interim, just remember that it’s unlikely that they’ll follow you home . . .

Visiting the Haunted Victoria's Black Swan Inn

As one of the Top 10 Haunted Places in Texas, there's no better place to stop by for a visit than the Black Swan Inn. Sit down, have a drink and perhaps ponder all that has come before you ... but don't forget that, despite beautiful beautiful, the Black Swan Inn is haunted. And not all of its ghosts are particularly friendly.

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