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ghost of galveston

by Lisa Lee Harp Waugh

Many times over the year people ask me what I know about the famous ghost face on the outside wall of the building and if it has any paranormal significance.


Photo of the haunted Face on Ewing Hall. Photo by Greg Harmon taken in 2004.

A demonic or ghost's face appeared years ago on the side of one of this buildings of UTBM long ago, and has survived every attempt to remove it including a hurricane or two and even actual sandblasting.

Many believe this to be the work of poltergeist or real paranormal activity. For it has been painted over several times in the last 20 years but it always returns very quickly and even more defined and pronounced each time.

The building strange haunted image is off limits to the public, but the face is clearly visible from the opposite side of the harbor. but with trying to view this image comes a great warning.

People who research the paranormal as well as just the curious have died trying to see this - it's not worth your life - don't risk it!

Accept the fact that it exist and leave it alone is what many locals will tell you straight on. Including the founder of the Galveston ghost tour Dash Beardsley.

"The property it sits upon is State property and access is restricted - you will be arrested if you try to visit it." Tells Dash when people ask him about the actual location or those who ask him on the tour where they can find ghost face that many want to see.


A good close friend of mine that I know from living in Houston in the late 1990's came to visit my home today just out of the blue. And it was none other them Mary Greigo, from Galveston Island Texas. Mary worked at one time at UTMB The University of Texas Medical Branch hospital in Galveston. And if you ask her she has many tales also of others who believe they are haunted by ghosts. But she too will state that "The strange very real Galveston haunted ghost face many say is a cursed, and from my personal experiences with it I believe to just to look upon it will surely make it haunt you with bad luck if you seek it out!"

Mary worked at the Galveston Hospital and has over the years had many paranormal experiences herself. But none as frightening as when she lived in an very haunted building on the Strand. Many claim its location on Galveston, Island has been haunted for many years but it was not until the ghost showed themselves in 2008 that it really scared the tenants to be living in the most haunted hotspot in Galveston.

I have not seen my friend dear sweet Mary in about 8 long years, and you know that's too long for best, best friends not to see or speak to each other. And on this visit she had a real frightening paranormal experience to tell me.

As many of you already know, hurricane Ike blew through Galveston a few years ago and it has taken that long for some years for some of us to regain and reconnect those lost friendships the great storm has so severed.

Hurricane Ike was the third costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States. It was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

It was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, as it started as a tropical disturbance near Africa at the end of August.

On Sept. 10, U.S. President George W. Bush made an emergency declaration for Texas in advance of Hurricane Ike, making more federal help available for preparations and evacuations.

On Sept. 11, forecasting models began to show Ike making landfall just south of Galveston. City Manager Steven LeBlanc late Wednesday issued a mandatory evacuation order for the low lying west end of Galveston Island. Later, the mandatory evacuation order was extended to the entire island of Galveston, as well as low-lying areas around Houston, Texas.

Sept. 11, at 8:19 p.m. (CDT), the National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston, TX issued a strongly worded bulletin, regarding storm surge along the shoreline of Galveston Bay. The bulletin advised that residents living in single-family homes in some parts of coastal Texas may face "certain death" if they did not heed orders to evacuate.

Reports said as many as 40 percent of Galveston's citizens may have not paid attention to the warnings.

It was feared to be much the same in Port Arthur, and it was predicted that low-lying areas between Morgan City, Louisiana and Baffin Bay, Texas, particularly those areas east of Ike's projected eye landfall would experience the greatest damage from storm surges of up to 20 feet (6.1 m). Waves at sea were expected to be higher, up to 70 feet (21 m) according to computer simulations.

Ike made its final landfall near Galveston, Texas as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with Category 5 equivalent storm surge, on Sept. 13, 2008, at 2:10 a.m. CDT. Hurricane-force winds extended 120 miles (193 km) from the center.

During the months right before this time, my friend Mary rented a apart flat in a very very old building in Galveston, it was as she was told one that went through the original hurricane year ago, and withstood its wrath. It is supposedly so haunted is also a featured highlight on the Ghostman, Dash Beardsley's fantastic haunted number 2 ghost tour in America.

Mary started telling me this weird and wild haunted story of her horrifyingly encounters about her brief time in this apartment flat that terrified her to the near point of actual real insanity.

She said that the front door had one of those swinging bar locks on it. The first night at her new flat, she went out to have some nightly fun in Galveston on the Strand and hit a few great hotspots.

On her return later that night, she tried to unlock her door, with no success. So, thinking that the buildings superintendent had changed the locks for some reason, she found him and asked him what was going on. He said he had no idea, but went up with her and tried himself to unlock the door with no success.

Since her beautiful furnished flat was on the 5th floor of the building, the super ended up crawling along the dangerous balcony and going through a window, and found that the swinging lock was locked, of course from the inside!!!

To make a long haunted story short, this happened several more times to Mary, and the super ended up taking the lock off the door all together.

Mary did not think much more about it, until other strange things started to occur. and app of which were as she described that of poltergeist activity to the nth degree.

She was baby sitting her sisters loving pet bird, and she said the bird who was normally a very calm bird, just went berserk in this flat, and she could not keep it there anymore.

At the time that hurricane Ike was brewing way out in the gulf, very strange things started happening. Mary came home from work several times, with a destroyed flat. The high strangeness started out one day wit just all of the cushions on her couch all scrunched like as if by human hands had done this, and there would be great puddles of water in the middle of the hardwood floors, where no source of where the water should be or could have come from.

Mary, who is a very extra tidy person, would clean it all up.

As the dangerous storm came near the Texas coast, Mary had made a decision to stay in the flat, if Ike came a shore her way, since the building had made it through the biggest Great Storm of 1900 hurricane of Galveston before. But the ghost or poltergeist had other plans, it wanted Mary out.

The water facets suddenly in the days prior in the flat would come on and go off on their own accord. Mary would come home to puddles of water on the floors, in weird places where water shouldn't be or would need to be carried to. The cushions and pillows throughout the flat would be all scrunched up, and all the collectable priceless statues and expensive figurines that she had would all be facing towards the door, even if they were in other rooms.

So Mary called up her sister, who is a ex-nun of the Catholic faith. She told her sister in a panicked state about everything that was happening, and her sister called one of her old nun friends that had the "gift" as they call it.

The nun told her to get a man of the cloth either to come bless the house, or move out immediately. She told her the ghost was a shadow man, and he was trying to protect Mary and get her to move before the hurricane came.

So Mary went to Austin during the hurricane to ride the storm out as so many others did at the time. Her apartment made it through Ike with no real problems, but the first two floors of the building did not. They were flooded and destroyed by the intense waves and currents that the title surge produced.

So Mary moved out a soon as she could after the hurricane and moved to League City. She finally moved back to her hometown of Galveston not too long ago, but this time she made sure there were no protective poltergeist or ghosts roaming around!!


Ashton Villa

Ashton Villa on Broadway (I-45 South becomes Broadway). The ghost of one of the Brown daughters, Bettie, supposedly visits the Gold Room and the second floor landing. but many paranormal investigators say this is not true.

Many who have seen or encountered her ghost say that Bettie's sweet perfume will haunt you as you explore the house or the area. Those that have witnessed it say it smells like violets with a touch of lilac and heavy B.O.. And those who have smelt it say it follows you for many hours afterwards. But to date those that have investigated the ghost to a deeper level say that this ghost only turned up in the last 7 years. And is not Bettie but that of a house servant and freed slave woman they called Mama Sweet Aggie Pearl.

Ashton Villa was built in 1858-59, the first of what many call or deemed as Galveston's beautiful old Broadway "palaces," as well as the first brick house to be built in Texas.

The artistic and eccentric Miss Bettie Brown was mistress of the manor, and her life-size paintings still adorn the showy Gold Room for many years and this is why some reported falsely that it was her ghost that haunted the great house.

When the villa was almost razed in 1970, Galveston Historical Foundation led a campaign to save it, and now manages it as a house museum. Note: Ashton Villa is closed until further notice since Hurricane Ike you will be arrested if you try to enter on your own.

Ashton Villa was built by James Moreau Brown, beginning in 1859. The family occupied the house by 1861. and they were said to have owned many slaves.

Major General John B. Magruder, who became the Confederate commander of military forces in Texas on November 29, 1862, gave the recapture of Galveston top priority. And many tell that his army arrived on the steps of the great house one day to take command and tell it's owner to free it's slave captives post haste.

At 3:00 am on New Year's Day, 1863, four Confederate gunboats appeared, coming down the bay toward Galveston. Soon afterward, the Rebels commenced a land attack. The Union forces in Galveston were three companies of the 42nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel Isaac S. Burrell.

The Confederates captured or killed all of them except for the regiment's adjutant. They also took Harriet Lane, by boarding her, and two barks and a schooner. Commander W.B. Renshaw's flagship, U.S.S. Westfield, ran aground when trying to help Harriet Lane and, at 10:00 am, she was blown up to prevent her capture by the Confederates. Galveston was in Confederate hands again although the Union blockade would limit commerce in and out of the harbor.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Location: Galveston County

Campaign: Operations against Galveston (1862-1863)

Date(s): January 1, 1863

Principal Commanders: Colonel Isaac S. Burrell and Commander W.B. Renshaw, U.S.N. [US]; Major General John B. Magruder [CS]

Forces Engaged: Companies D, G and I, 42nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the Blockading ships [US]; four Confederate gunboats and district of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona troops [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 650 total (US 600; CS 50)

Mr. Brown was born in New York State on September 22, 1821. He was the youngest of 16 children. After running away from home, he was apprenticed to a brick mason. He left New York around 1838, lived in New Orleans only then after arriving in Galveston sometime in the mid 1840s. In Galveston, he opened a hardware business and became quite prosperous. By the mid 1850's he must have been deciding to build a more substantial house than the one he was living in on Market St. In 1855 he purchased a slave named Alek, who was also a brick mason. In 1859, Brown purchased the lots on Broadway for $4,000. The house building began.

The house that Brown choose was similar to that found in a architectural pattern book that was published in 1851 by Samuel Sloan, a Philadelphia architect. The design was that of an Italianate villa, with wide overhanging eaves and ornate cornice brackets. Brown changed some elements of Sloan's design, but kept the basic square symmetrical shape, departing most in the addition of the dramatic wrought iron veranda. The veranda probably came from the firm of Perot and Wood of Philadelphia, who supplied the fence and gate.

Five children were raised by James Brown and his wife Rebecca Ashton Stoddart Brown. They were John Stoddart (1848), Moreau Roberts (1853), Rebecca Ashton, known as Bettie (1855), Charles Rhodes (1862) and Mathilda Ella (1865). And several slaves.

In this house, the most dominant figures are the daughters, Bettie and Mathilda. Bettie was a rather independent woman for her generation. She never married and was a rather accomplished amateur artist at a time when women were allowed to dabble in painting china, but were not to cross over that line to actually paint seriously. Much of her artwork is on display in the house. Though some will tell you it is her sole ghost that haunts the location many others who are well informed Ghost Hunters will tell you it is certainly not her by any means!

Mathilda was the youngest child and came back to Ashton Villa in 1896 after she divorced her cruel husband Thomas Sweeney. She returned to live in the house with her three children. All of which are said to have encountered the ghost of her father and that he is the ghost that haunted house wanting her to leave. There is even a tale stating that she had the property blessed 3 or 4 times but to no avail. Strange things often happened to her and her children constantly. From the heavy doors slamming in their faces to loud knocks and raps.

Several séances were said to be held during this time to chase him away but the stories whether true or not often say he scared the séance mediums so bad they ran from the house screaming and giving up the trade of calling up ghost forever. Though one psychic séance medium is thought to have suffered a serious stroke while trying to call up the ghost. But whether this is truth or not no one knows for sure.

Mr. Brown lived in the house until his death on Christmas Day, 1895 at age 74. Mrs. Brown died in 1907. The house went to Bettie, who lived here until her death in 1920. And during this time in the months before her death she often told others that the ghost of her father haunted her by day and night er whole life as she was afraid to leave the house because he told her that if she did he would make sure that she never had peace.

Mathilda inherited the great house to her dismay promising to keep their fathers ghost secret and to never leave it or allow any one who moved in to tell it's haunted secrets. and on her death leaving it to her daughter Alice in 1926.who carried on the tradition of being haunted by the ghost.

The house was sold to the Shriners, who used it as offices until 1970, they often told of the old mans ghost that stole important papers and once chassed a robber from the building. And when the house was taken over by the Galveston Historical Foundation, who opened it to the public in 1974. A strange often told tale tells of the ghost kicking the head of the historical group square in the pants as he left the building.

Bolivar Lighthouse

Point Bolivar Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse in Port Bolivar, Texas, that was built in 1872. It served for 61 years before being retired in 1933, when its function was replaced by a different light. But many ship or boat captains have reported seeing it's strange haunted light glow in the night. and this especially happens when there is a violent storm or hurricane.

It was reported that though all electricity was out in the area during Ike that many say they saw the old light houses strong ghost light mysteriously glowing through out the storm. Many witnesses also report that on very foggy nights it will glow steadily and it's fog horn will sound with a spooky other worldly echo.

The current lighthouse is at least the second structure at the site. The first lighthouse was built in the mid 1850s and was pulled down during the Civil War so that Union warships could not use it as a navigational aid. During the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the lighthouse served as a shelter for at least 125 people, saving their lives. It is where they say many hundreds upon hundreds bodies of the dead came to rest.

It also survived another hurricane, in 1915, where winds of 126 miles per hour were recorded.

The first lighthouse keeper, H.C. Claiborne, retired in 1918, after witnessing those two storms, and was replaced by a Captain J. Brooks. In 1947 the lighthouse was sold and, although still standing, is not open to the public.

The 1970 film My Sweet Charlie, starring Patty Duke and Al Freeman Jr. was filmed at the lighthouse and adjacent caretaker's house many locals believe they were spooked by the ghost. The Texas haunted lighthouse is adjacent to the Houston Audubon Society's Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary.
A often told but untrue story is that of a supposed young man who killed his parents by strangulation in the lighthouse. His ghost has been seen through the windows, and he has been known to chase visitors away. But the truth is the ghost that many say haunts the structure is that of H.C. Claiborne come back to protect those that need his help.

Many believe the ghost boy story was made up by a local paranormal investigator from Houston just to get attention for the location not knowing the full story or ever investigating the location or questioning locals.

1838 Michel B. Menard House

Located at 1604 33rd Street in Galveston, Texas.

One of the founders of the City of Galveston, Michel B. Menard arrived in Texas in 1829. He was born near Montreal in 1805 and entered the fur trading company of John Jacob Astor at the age of 14. Menard arrived in Nacogodoches in the 1830s and began speculating in Texas land. Because land was only granted to Mexican- born Texans at that time, many of Menard's land deals were made by Juan Seguin, a Mexican citizen who eventually fought under Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto. Seguin purchased 4,600 acres at the eastern end of Galveston Island on behalf of Menard in December 1836. With this claim, Menard formed the Galveston City Company with Samuel May Williams and other prominent Texas businessmen in 1838. Galveston was incorporated a year later.

The house, built in 1838 and the oldest on the island, is in the Greek revival style. The furniture and furnishings, with few exceptions, all date from the first half of the 19th century (1800-1850s). They are of the federal, empire, regency, Biedermeier, and William IV styles, as interpreted by American, English, French and German artisans. Carpets, drapes and upholstery fabrics are reproductions appropriate for the period 1830-1850.

Michel Menard died in 1856 and his descendants occupied the house until 1879. Tales of his actual ghost haunting the house started before he was even put into his grave.

In 1880, the house was bought by Edwin N. Ketchum. Ketchum was police chief during the 1900 Storm. The Ketchum family owned the home until the 1970s. And it is the actual ghost Edwin N. Ketchum that is said by many to haunt the house by the beliefs of many local psychics and paranormal investigators. This ghost they say loved his prized player piano. And often though no piano was in the house at the time the later owners would hear him playing it loudly in the night.

He would only stop the ghost music when you called his name. Those that have worked on renovating the grand house were often asked about a female ghost believed to be that of Clara but to this date no one has seen or felt her presence, though many web sites tell stories tell that she died falling down the stairs and that she once haunted the location.

Many psychics claim that her ghost was never there and that the stories of her ghost or apparition were all fabrications just contrived by the locals to scare away the kids from breaking into it in the time it was vacant. This because during the early 1990s, the house was in such disrepair the stairs were dangerous to ascend, it was threatened with demolition by the City of Galveston.

The current owners purchased the house and spent years researching, repairing, and reconstructing it.

Many psychics who explored the house fully all speak of only a single male ghost that haunts the house. And they feel he alone has been the only ghost to haunt the location through out all time. His vibration one psychic said is so strong that other ghosts would flee from him because they knew he was so powerful.

Through a partnership with Galveston Historical Foundation, the house is operated as a museum and is available for private events.

William C Skinner House

1318 Sealy in Galveston. Is said to be haunted by no less then 5-6 ghosts. But to this date no paranormal investigation has turned up a single ghost or paranormal activity. Many believe the ghost are just shy or it is a story that was contrived to drum up business.

The Hotel Galvez

Located on Seawall Blvd. is the oldest hotel on the island. One room, and many say it is room 505, is supposed to be haunted and most people how stay in that room, do not stay overnight. The ghost here is said to be very dreadful to see. For she returns each night after flinging herself from the metal stairs right out side the door. But of late many paranormal investigators have debunked the actual ghostly hauntings and a presence. they say the real hauntings occur on the second floor and in the emergency stairwell.

It also home to a very haunted painting of Governor Galves himself and a strange old ghost photo that hangs in it's fine halls.

Most just feel incredibly uncomfortable there. You can also smell camellias not gardenias as some tell often in and around the long hall leading to the room at times. There are two other ghosts there but no one seems to know much about them except one is called Mrs. Ethel. She is known for feeling men's butts and slapping woman very hard if they are with their husbands and dare to look at another man.

And the other ghost is just called Sandy. They who have called the ghost to appear tell that if you call out Sandy's name anywhere in the hotel day or night the ghost will come and give you a cold chill. But to summon Sandy you must call out the name on the top of your lungs in a high loud yell three times.

Luigies Italian Food

Employee's have seen the ghost of Louise and other figures also who are said to haunt the location. Some stories tell of of a smart white apron white blouse and black dressed waitress type lady with bright red hair that they call Peggy. Often many tell of seeing her as a real person and hear her cursing profanity as she walks down the stairs.

Another ghost here is that of Old Man Sam, a strange smelly ghost that often farts loudly and SMELLY. And this is the horrible ghost that is known to trip people as they enter or leave or go to the restroom.

Many restaurant severs bus boys often will fall constantly or stumble and drop your food as that bring from the kitchen to your table. This is why if you are there you will hear many breaking plates and glasses through your visit some tell. And often they tell the cook or just tell others that the ghost tripped them.

Old Sam the ghost is known also to steal tips from tables, credit cards from wallets and purses and the check from the table before it can be paid.

The Bishop's Palace

1402 Broadway Street is a very haunted hotspot in Galveston. The actual street outside of the building that stands there is more haunted then the actual house many will say with 100% commitment. the once former owner Walter Gresham's ghost is said to patrol the street day and night and will often scratch or punch a seedy looking character if he feels they are up to no good.


ghost tour of galveston island

When in Galveston Take the best ghost tour in Texas!

Founded in 1999 by Creator and Mastermind Dash Beardsley, Ghost Tours of Galveston IS Galveston Island's first, foremost, and best in Texas original most haunted historical walking tour.

This unique two hour tour combines history, mystery, ghost stories and legends taking you on a journey into Galveston's richly unknown past. Come view the Island as you have never before. Even if you don't believe in spirits now, you may very well change your mind after walking the brick lined streets of The Strand

Sites you'll see include:

  • A railroad museum where a headless apparition is reported to still haunt the old railroad yard area.
  • A former bank building haunted by a murdered Police officer.
  • The civil war ghosts that haunt an old infirmary and building that was used for housing during the 1850's and 60's.
  • Haunted hotels & restaurants.
Cameras are encouraged, as some have actually captured ghostly phenomena that were discovered after the film was developed! However, video cameras and tape recorders are not allowed.

The tour takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours and is wheelchair friendly.




The American Ghost Hunters Society is currently accepting new members all across the country for our network of ghost hunters, ghost writers and ghost enthusiasts.

The American Ghost Hunters Society is currently accepting new members all across the country for our network of ghost hunters, ghost writers and ghost enthusiasts.

We Investigate all types of Paranormal and Unexplained Phenomena through Research and Documentation

LISA LEE HARP WAUGH, Founder Of The Ghost Hunters Of America is a America necromancer in the 21st century. She is by what may call a real conduit to the world of the dead. She dressers in ceremonial white robes, draws magical circle and triangles s on the floor and commands spirits from Heaven, Hell and all places in between to appear before her and communicate with the living. As a teenager growing up in Marshall, Texas she studied heavily The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish and The Grand Grimoire, the Malleus Maleficarum and anything she could get her hands on by the great by Eliphas Levi, John Dee and the great beast, Aleister Crowley.

This is an adults only web site. If you are under the age of 18 or 21 depending on your states laws use your back button to leave now. The entry, viewing & use of this web site is governed by the terms & conditions, these can be viewed Here.


"Your One Stop Paranormal Resource Center"


Gina Lanier

Also read: Is It Really Paranormal? Questioning The Unknown Side Of Ghosts And Demonic Possession - With tales of being raped or beaten by ghosts, to stories of even a ghost giving a person a loan of some cash. I ask myself do these things really happen? -- Ginalanier.com






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