Austin Ghost Tours has been researching and investigating Austin’s haunted history for over 25 years. Our goal is to provide both a superior customer experience as well as educate and inform the actual truth about ghosts.
Jeanine Plumer and the tour guides are all published authors on Austin history. Our stories are original, backed by research, and are often based on personal experience and first-hand accounts. We are passionate about exceeding your expectations.
We love our customers and welcome your feedback and suggestions. Use our Contact Us page to tell us what we’re doing right, what services or experiences you would like to see us offer, or how we may improve.
Meet Our Staff & Tour Guides
Jeanine Plumer - Owner
Initially, when I decided to start a walking tour company in Austin, my intention was to give tours about Austin’s unique history – historic downtown walking tours. While researching the old buildings downtown, the building occupants would mention with surprising frequency unexplained events taking place that they attributed to a … ghost. I would nod my head and pretend to listen, but really, I had never thought about ghosts in my life. Still, every now and then on a tour, I would mention that the building dwellers believed they had a ghost. When I mentioned that, the people in the tour group invariably lit up with interest. It became obvious: they wanted to hear ghost stories! It was then I decided to collect Austin’s ghost stories and create a ghost tour.
Of course the first question to ask is who is haunting the building? It came to my attention that pretty much everybody believed their ghosts came into existence through some sort of drama. Each suicide or murder seemed to be over lost love. Every building was at one point either a brothel or bordello, a speakeasy or gambling hall. Austin’s colorful famed gun fighter Ben Thompson was haunting every bar in the city. What ended up floating around with the ghosts were lots of urban legends, no real facts.
I decided that if I was going to tell these stories, I was going to tell the real story. After all, we don’t REALLY know what is happening, but perhaps by telling the truth I would stay on the good side of the spirits.
What I discovered, of course, changed my life. Whatever you want to call these energies – ghosts, spirits, or souls – they seem to be remnants of people who have lived, died and continue to reside. Why they choose not to leave, or whether they’re unable to, we don’t know.
What you believe is your choice, but I can tell you without a doubt, there is something happening around us everywhere, barely discernible, but very much there. After interviewing thousands of people, it is clear what ghosts can do is astonishing. They can turn lights on and off along with televisions, cell phones, fire alarms, and water faucets. They can open and close doors, windows, and shades. They can move objects of all sizes, make phone calls, move furniture, knock on doors, ring doorbells and even talk to you. These occurrences are just some of the phenomena taking place in Austin’s buildings populated by the living and other-worldly beings. Point to ponder: a majority of people who have an experience that they believe to be a ghost do NOT feel fear.
When researching who these people might have been in life, I soon discovered that the residual energies that remained were not famous Austinites, the infamous, or those who were “bigger-than-life” in any way. The spirits that remain are regular people like you and me. It is the woman who was widowed at a young age and opened a millinery shop on 6th Street to support herself and her children. Every morning for much of her life she sent her kids to school and went downstairs to open her business. Some part of her spirit is still doing that. It is the man who began working as a porter at The Driskill Hotel at age 16, the fourth generation in his family to do so, tending to guests into old age – and beyond. It is the woman who entered the Confederate Women’s Home when she was 65 years old and died there at the age of 90. Every day for 25 years she walked the hallways – and still does today.
My concluding belief is that most ghosts remain because of life. The life they lived makes a stronger imprint than the process of their death.
Author of Haunted Austin
Monica Ballard – Guide, Researcher, Investigator
Monica started with Austin Ghost Tours as extra-seasonal help in October of 2005, gradually learning more tours and helping with research throughout her first year. By the following October, she was full-time, and on Halloween night, captured her first EVP beside Waller Creek. “Attention!”, the voice demanded. From that point on, Monica’s curiosity about the paranormal became insatiable. Since then, she has represented Austin Ghost Tours and its affiliated production company Haunted Texas as writer, on-camera personality, and guest speaker throughout and outside of Texas, presenting the company’s interactions and evidence of the “other side.” She has been featured on national and local TV and radio shows, including Biography/ Discovery/ Travel Channel’s “My Ghost Story.” She collected stories for a year and chronicled them into her book, True Haunted Tales of the Driskill Hotel. When asked why she has stayed with Austin Ghost Tours for so many years, Monica responds that she has grown to respect the company’s constant quest for the truth, founder Jeanine Plumer’s unwavering generosity, and the sense of adventure she feels before every road trip, every investigation, and every tour. “Extraordinary interactions happen consistently,” Monica says, adding with a wink, “Sometimes you just need the right guide to point them out!”
Dr. John "MadMan" Maverick - Guide
John of House Maverick, First of His Mane, the Untrimmed, King of the Vandals and the First Magicians, Khal of the Great Ghost Tour, Wielder of Chains, and Maker of Monsters.
The Areas Of My Expertise: magician • tour guide • maker of monsters • entrepreneur • storyteller • actor • writer • teacher • adventurist • alchemist • gun slinger • bibliophile • martial artist • web developer • inventor • collector of deadly things • calligrapher • photographer • knife thrower • bartender • fire-eater • theologian • bullwhip artist • philanthropist • rain forest explorer • barista • designer • gastronomist • carpenter • scientist • optimist • freethinker • metalworker • fortuneteller • spiritualist • dreamer • snappy dresser
-7th Generation Texan 3rd generation Austinite
Author of the book The Spirits of 6th Street: Austin’s Most Haunted Path
“Doing his part to ‘Keep Austin Weird'” -Austin American-Statesman
Alexandra White - Guide
Alexandra is a full-time professional tour guide, taking folks through cities all across America and Canada. In her spare time, she dabbles in Shakespeare, writing, swing dancing, and admiring Austin’s street art.
She’s spooked by ghosts, but like any of her fears, such as heights, she meets them head on, whether that be parachuting out of a plane or conversing with the spirits of the dearly departed. As a wise woman once said, nothing in life is to be feared; only understood.