The Terlingua Ghost Town

Hillside ruins in the Ghost Town.

This is not some abandoned movie set or a fabricated tourist trap. This was a real mining town that went bust and the miners walked away, leaving their homes behind.

Today you'll find a ghost town made up of decaying buildings, mine shafts, tall tales, ruins, crotchety old-timers, a three-legged dog, too much cactus, and semi-friendly rattlesnakes. It's been slightly revitalized with rustic Texas lodgings (graciously updated), world famous chili fixin's, an internationally acclaimed restaurant (we're Mexico adjacent), and -- perhaps most importantly -- a fully operational saloon/bar.

Painting showing the layout of the Chisos Mining Company.

Once a thriving cinnabar mining operation, when the market for mercury crashed everyone limped away except for the local critters. You're welcome to explore the ruins -- the fossils are free -- and stop by the original Chisos Mine company store (now The Terlingua Trading Company) and visit the old-timey Starlight Theatre.

The old company store and theatre are still going strong.The original Terlingua jail.

You'll probably spend some time in the old jail, too -- because that's where the rest rooms are.

Ruins in the Ghost Town.Terlingua Ghost Town sign.Sign for Walking Tour.Sign for the Mansion.Ruins at the Ghost Town.Ruins of home.Inside a ruin.Exterior of the Perry Mansion.

There is an authentic boot hill cemetery with real dead people, both long term and recently departed. A stroll through this picturesque graveyard makes the history of the area come alive -- if not the ghosts.

Visitors to the Terlingua Cemetery.

Or, stop by around sunset on the 'Day of the Dead' and light a candle for the ages, sit around the campfire, and relax under the stars. (Terlingua has a lot more stars than you see at home.)

Entrance to the Terlingua Cemetery.The Day of the Dead in the Ghost Town. Candles in the cemetery.Campfire in the cemetery.The cemetery by candlelight.