There's something deliciously creepy and thrilling about metaphysical events that defy explanation, but I also love stories with a strong historical narrative. Austin's best-known haunted bars fit this description perfectly.

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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

People line up outside 6th Street bars on Sept. 12.

More than 200 Austin bars have recently reclassified as restaurants, bypassing Travis County health rules that keep bars closed amid COVID-19 concerns.

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After six weeks of oscillations, the local trend line in new COVID hospitalizations seems to be pointing more decisively upward.

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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe will not allow area bars to reopen, citing a recent increase in COVID-related hospitalizations in the area.

"I cannot in good conscience allow bars to reopen at 50% capacity at this time," Biscoe said in a statement issued on Wednesday. "The risk to our public health is too great, especially now that students of all ages have returned to the classroom."

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Starting next week, Gov. Greg Abbott will allow Texas bars to reopen at 50% capacity indoors in counties that choose to opt in and where COVID patients account for no more than 15% of hospitalizations.

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(Office of the Governor)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that restaurants and other businesses can expand their capacity to 75% starting on Monday in most parts of the state.

In most of the state, businesses that had been limited to 50% capacity—including retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, libraries, museums and gyms—can move to 75% capacity starting on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday. Bars must remain closed.

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(Mugshots/Facebook)

Longtime Austin bar MugShots—known for its iconic photo booth and photos lining the walls—has closed its doors after 18 years of operation. Like other Austin businesses, it fell victim to the pandemic.

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(Christin Rowan/Nightcap)

A sign outside Nightcap bar and restaurant in July pushes to let establishments re-open.

Bars with food trucks and other ways to sell and serve food—including food prepared off-site and sold on premises—will be able to get a permit to reopen under a new rule approved Tuesday during a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission emergency meeting.

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