O. Henry Museum

I first learned about the O. Henry Museum on Austin’s ghost tour, as it is rumored to be haunted. I know of the classic author but had no idea he used to live in Austin. Apparently his former house gets checked on a lot by police officers because the sensors inside the house sets off an alarm, assuming there is an intruder. When officers search the house, no one is present. Sometimes they’ll find the front door opened and unlocked, even though there is an officer manning the front of the house and no intruders are around — and the door was definitely locked and closed before they had entered the house.

Having visited the Dickinson Museum next door, we stopped by O. Henry’s house as well. O. Henry is the pseudonym for writer William Sydney Porter, and he lived in the small rustic house before getting arrested for embezzlement. Famous for his short stories, with witty and charming characters and surprise endings, the author’s popular comic series with antihero Cisco Kid was turned into a TV series in the mid 1900s. I’ve read one of the short story starring the Cisco Kid in The Caballero’s Way and enjoyed it not only for the story, but mostly for its American Frontier setting, with its parley and western slang, which I find amusing, and also for the much-appreciated surprise ending.

The house is rumored to be haunted by O. Henry’s wife, who died of tuberculosis in their bed. And the furniture seen inside the house, including the bed and even the wallpapers, are all original.

Being a free museum, it’s worth visiting if you’re a fan of O. Henry, if you’re a literature nerd, or if you simply want to see the house.

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