Take a Historic Ghost Tour on Galveston Island – Place of Deadliest Storm in US History
Galveston’s Ghostly History to Draw Thrill Seekers This Month
The season for thrills and chills is here and Galveston Island’s ghostly history makes it one of the top destinations in the state for “haunted” exploration. From a 105-year-old “haunted” hotel to Galveston’s storied harbor, cemeteries and Victorian mansions, this month the island will be bustling with visitors seeking to be spooked by numerous ghost stories that stem from the country’s deadliest natural disaster and other tragedies.
Galveston has many sites that are considered haunted, including an 1867 building that served as a morgue after the 1900 Storm – still the deadliest storm in U.S. history having killed an estimated 8,000 Galveston residents. The building now houses Haunted Mayfield Manor – a year-round haunted house attraction in downtown Galveston. The haunted house embraces the spooky history of the building’s past while providing guests with a psychologically thrilling experience.
Also embracing its reported haunting is the island’s 105-year-old Hotel Galvez, which has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories andon the Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab for its paranormal significance. The hotel, which offers special ghost tours during October, is said to be haunted by a “Ghost Bride” who reportedly has been seen in room 501 and in the hotel’s west turret. Legend has it that the bride hung herself in the west turret during the mid-1900s after hearing reports that her fiancé had died at sea. Tragically, her fiancé eventually returned to the hotel looking forward to a marriage that would never be.
The Galveston Historical Foundation, which manages many of the island’s well-preserved historical sites and Victorian mansions, also offers ghost tours throughout October. Many of the island’s historic places have ghost stories attached to them as Galveston has been home to epidemics of disease, war, fires, storms and many merciless pirates, including the infamous Jean Laffite whose lavish and lawless den of thieves was the island’s first European settlement.
“Many, many people have lived and died by these waters, and perhaps some of the dead still reside here,” said Dwayne Jones, executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation. “We invite our guests to listen to the stories and decide for themselves. But you don't have to believe in ghosts to know that the dead are a presence on this island.”
Galveston is also home to the nationally recognized paranormal expert Dash Beardsley, who offers ghost tours in the island’s cemeteries, downtown district and other parts of the island year round. Visit www.ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com for information on Dash Beardsley tours.
Ghostly Galveston Attractions 2016
Haunted Mayfield Manor
Date: Year round
Location: 2312 Harborside Drive
Broadway Cemetery Tours
Date: October 15
Time: 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
Location: 4201 Broadway Avenue
Haunted Harbor Tours Onboard the Seagull II
Date: October 21-22, 27-30
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Price: $15 adults, $12 youth, Free for 5 and under
Location: Pier 22 (22 and Harborside Drive)
Info: The narrated exploration of spooky corners and tragic sites in and around Galveston’s storied harbor takes place onboard aboard the 50-foot passenger boat, Seagull II, and continues throughOct. 30 with departures from the Texas Seaport Museum. www.galvestonhistory.org
Ghost Tours at Ashton Villa
Date: October 27-31
Time: 8:15 p.m.
Location: 2328 Broadway Avenue
Info: The public is offered a rare set of tours through this 1859 building. Join your guide for an unprecedented tour of the home as you hear about the early days of Galveston’s formation and exceptional life, and possible after-life, of the home’s Miss Bettie Brown. www.galvestonhistory.org
Lanternlight Tours of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace
Date: October 28-29
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: 1402 Broadway Avenue
Info: Experience Bishop’s Palace in a whole new light! This special tour lets visitors explore the National Historic Landmark and see how this architectural gem takes on a completely different look in the night. www.galvestonhistory.org
1838 Menard House Séance
Date: October 29
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: 1605 33rd Street
Info: Join Sharon Michelle as she guides a group of 12 guests through the spirits of Galveston’s oldest home, the 1838 Michel B. Menard House. A natural born psychic Sharon first started using her many gifts over 40 years ago, since then the spirit has continued to guide her and add to her knowledge and abilities. www.galvestonhistory.org
Menard House Trick or Treating
Date: October 31
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: 1605 33rd Street
Info: Galveston’s oldest residence opens its doors for one night of ghostly fun. Bring your kids by for treats (and a few surprises) to the 1838 Michele B. Menard house, located at 1605 33rd Street. Free for all, be sure to bring your ghost hunting equipment! www.galvestonhistory.org
Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour and Dinner
Date: Tuesdays-Fridays throughout October
Time: 6 p.m.
Price: $45 per person plus tax and gratuity (includes three-course dinner; advance reservations required)
Location: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard
Info: In celebration of “ghost season,” Hotel Galvez & Spa hosts weekly ghost tour-dinners during the month of October. The ghost tour-dinner is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as well as Fridays (overnight package only). During the tour, staff guides participants through the ghostly past of the hotel, which is then followed by dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill. The one-hour public ghost tour is only available as part of the dinner package. Friday night tour dinner packages are available exclusively as part of an overnight ghost package. Advance reservations are required.
Hotel Galvez Audio Ghost Tours
Location: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard
Info: Hotel Galvez offers a free audio tour app for smart phones. Guests and the public can enjoy 25-minute history tours and 20-minute ghost tours year-round.
Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston
Date: Fridays/Saturdays Year-round
Price $20 adults/ $15 children 10 years old and younger (toddlers free)
Info: Galveston Paranormal Expert Dash Beardsley offers the island’s most popular haunted tours, including “Original Ghost Tour on The Strand,” “Restless Spirits Tour,” Secret Society Cemetery Tour,” and the “Jack The Ripper Mystery Island Tour.” For details, visit www.ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com
Zombie Apocalypse Hike
Date: Fridays in October
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Galveston Island State Park, 14901 FM 3005
Info: Every Friday evening in October experience a family friendly hike while preparing for an apocalyptic event! Hikes begin at the Galveston Island State Park nature center and then lead you through the park to find a variety of items for survival.
Movie Nite on The Strand: Labyrinth
Date: Oct. 1
Location: Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand
Info: Free outdoor showing of the film “Labyrinth” in which teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother (Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David Bowie). For more information, visit www.galveston.com.
Date: Oct. 30
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard
Info: Trick-or-Treating, Creepy Crafts and Costume Contest for Kids plus $5 admission to Moody Gardens attractions if a member of your group is in costume. For more information, visitwww.moodygardens.org.
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.