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The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of Galveston Island, Texas... Read more.
|Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mary Beth Bassett
Public Relations Director
Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Take a Historic Ghost Tour on Galveston Island –
Place of Deadliest Storm in US History
Galveston’s Ghostly History to Draw Thrill Seekers This October
GALVESTON, Texas (Sept. 5, 2018) – The season for thrills and chills is quickly approaching and Galveston Island’s ghostly history makes it one of the top destinations in the country for “haunted” travel. From a 107-year-old “haunted” hotel to Galveston’s storied harbor, cemeteries and Victorian mansions, this October 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 107-year-old Hotel Galvez, which has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories and on 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 hanged 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 2018
Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston
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
Haunted Mayfield Manor
Location: 2313 Harborside Drive
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.
Movie Nite on The Strand: Hocus Pocus
Date: October 6
Location: Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand
Info: Free outdoor showing of the film “Hocus Pocus” in which a teenager accidentally frees a coven of evil witches from an abandoned house in the neighborhood. For more information, visit www.galveston.com.
Fall Sunset Cruise Onboard the Seagull II
Date: October 19-20, 26-27, 31
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Price: $20 adults, $17 youth, Free for 5 and under
Location: Pier 22 (22nd Street and Harborside Drive)
Info: The narrated exploration of spooky corners and tragic sites in and around Galveston’s storied harbor takes place aboard the 50-foot passenger boat. www.galvestonhistory.org
Full Moon Tour of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace
Date: October 24
Time: 8 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 moonlight. www.galvestonhistory.org
Silent Film “Phantom of the Opera”
Date: October 26
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street
Info: An annual Halloween tradition, pianist Rob Landes reprises his specially created, totally improvised musical score for the showing of Lon Chaney’s 1925 silent film masterpiece, The Phantom of the Opera. Come in costume if you dare! www.thegrand.com
Ghost Tours at the 1859 Ashton Villa
Date: October 26-27, and 31
Times: 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Location: 2328 Broadway Avenue
Info: 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
Date: October 28
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard
Info: Spooky fun will include free trick-or-treating at various locations throughout the complex, creepy crafts, face-painting and a costume contest for guests in the Garden Lobby with prizes for the best costume. Families with a member in a Halloween costume will receive a discount and pay just $5 per attraction per person to Moody Gardens. For more information, visit www.moodygardens.org.
USS Cavalla –A Haunted Sub Experience & Trick or Treat
Date: October 25-26 and 31
Time: 6:30-10 p.m.
Price: Regular Museum Admission - $10 Adults, $5 Child/Senior/Military (Parking is $6)
Location: 100 Seawolf Park Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77551
Info: Halloween haunts meets historic lore at this exciting new event offered by the Galveston Naval Museum where visitors can take a haunted tour of USS Cavalla followed by a trick-or-treating tour through USS Stewart. For more information, call (409) 770-3196 or visit www.americanunderseawarfarecenter.com.
Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour Dinners
Date: Tuesdays through Thursdays in October
Times: 6 p.m.
Price: $65 per person
Location: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd.
Info: During the month of October Hotel Galvez & Spa offers its popular ghost tour dinner weekly to guests. The hotel’s resident ghost expert/concierge takes participants on a 1½ hour tour through the hotel’s ghostly past which is followed by three-course dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill. Priced at $65 per person (inclusive of tax and server gratuity), the public ghost tour is only available as part of the dinner-tour package. Tours take place at 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays in October. Advance reservations are required. For ghost tour dinner reservations, call (409) 765-7721.
Lantern Light Tours of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace
Date: October 26-27, 31
Times: 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8p.m., 8:30p.m.
Location: 1402 Broadway Avenue
Info: With lantern in hand, explore the nooks and crannies of Galveston’s beloved Bishop’s Palace. Learn about the history of the Gresham family and the house itself with a rare guided tour of the 1892 masterpiece. 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
Sailors Superstition Tour on the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa
Date: October 31
Time: 2 p.m.
Price: $12 adults, $9 youth, Free for 5 and under
Info: From bananas on board to whistling up a storm, this special hour-long guided tour will delve into the supernatural world of nautical know-how. www.galvestonhistory.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.