Historic San Antonio home filled with ghosts, spirits

Victoria’s Black Swan Inn site of paranormal activity, strange occurrences

SAN ANTONIO – It’s one of the most historic sites in San Antonio, but it’s also one of the most haunted.

In our next stop for “A Haunting in South Texas,” we visited Victoria’s Black Swan Inn.

The house sits on the land were the Battle of Salado was fought between Texas and Mexico.

It was originally built in 1867 and has had many high-profile owners since then.

Currently, Jo Ann Rivera lives there with her two kids. She and her mother moved into the house in 1987.

The house is very old and carries with it an eerie feeling.

Once a skeptic, Rivera said she did not think the place was haunted after she was told it was.

Almost immediately after moving in, strange things started happening, Rivera said.

Doors would start to open by themselves and Rivera woke up several nights in a row to a man standing in her room.


(If you do not see a slideshow above, click here for a direct link.)

Rivera said that spirit is one of many that haunts the property. Others have been more aggressive.

“I used to be in this hallway and hear a voice tell me, 'Get out, get out,' just really aggressive and I would literally run and slam the door and lock it," Rivera said.

The night digital journalist Adrian Garcia and I visited, it had just rained and it was the birthday of Rivera’s late mother.

Her mother passed away in the house several years ago but her spirit is still there, Rivera said.

(Click here to visit KSAT's "A Haunting in South Texas" section.)

The San Antonio Paranormal Society joined us on our visit and took us around the property to conduct EVP sessions.

As we were standing around the main entrance of the home, we noticed our equipment began to shut down. We went through several new batteries quickly.

Rivera said there is so much energy in the house that it will drain batteries very quickly.

Guillermo Fuentes, director of the San Antonio Paranormal Society, conducted the first EVP session inside Rivera’s mother’s room.

We did not hear or see anything but the audio equipment would later pick up the laughter of a little girl.


(If you do not see a video above, click here for a direct link.)

We then walked into a room that Rivera refuses to enter. When cleaning the closest years ago, she said she felt a dark presence hovering over her and looked up to see a black hole.

She believes the place is a portal. A friend of hers later turned the closet into a pyschomanteum.

The last time Rivera was in there with a friend, they experienced something that can’t be explained.

Another hot spot on the property is the milk barn located in the back of the house -- another place Rivera no longer enters.

The spirit who haunts this location is not very fond of men but interested in women.

Reports are that the ghost inside is that of a man and he will physically attack men and inappropriately touch women.

The night we were inside, nothing happened, but a week later Adrian and I would go back to get video of the place during the day. We were outside the building when we started to hear noises coming from inside.

It sounded like someone was moving things around. Adrian went inside but found no one.

Many guests have entered Victoria's Black Swan Inn, doubting ghosts exist, but those who don’t believe better think again.

“Don’t ask for things you don’t want to have happen, because that’s usually the people who get the most activity," Rivera said. "The most encounters.”

(Click here to visit KSAT’s “A Haunting in South Texas” section.)

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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