Ghosts Of The Coast: Local Haunted Places

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, most people enjoy a good ghost story. Here are a few for your enjoyment. We have the good (or bad) fortune to live in one of America’s most haunted areas. There are numerous ghost tours in the Houston and Galveston area, as entrepreneurs vie to earn a buck off the disembodied. Some of them are expert, some are just entrepreneurs.
The original paranormal investigator of area hauntings is the “Ghost Man”, a local musician who has conducted a casual tour of haunted locations in Galveston for many years. CNN/Today listed him as one of the top 5 “Ghost Tours” in the US, but he just laughs about it and says he does it as a hobby. Television appearances of the Ghost Man and his descriptions of hauntings indicate more interest in the history and identity of ghosts, than in the manifestations themselves. For our skeptical purposes, that worked out just right. The Ghost Man was not our primary source, but he was a lot of help in gathering background for this article, especially the Island locations. There are many more hauntings than we can list. These are the ones we have the most information about:
GALVESTON ISLAND:
The “Face” On The Wall: The scariest haunted location on the Island is simply referred to as “The Face”. You may have seen the story about it on Unsolved Mysteries. There is a building located on UTMB property that was constructed in 1972. Shortly after the building was completed, a man’s face appeared on the masonry in the center of the west side of the building. UTMB asked the original contractor to sandblast the masonry to remove the evil-looking visage, and it was done. Pete Klein was paid $100 to remove the face, and lost several times that amount after having to rent equipment and purchase a new compressor. An employee quit halfway through the job, saying he couldn’t look at the face. Klein finished the job himself. The face was gone. However, within a couple of weeks, the face reappeared on another panel of masonry on the same wall. Some say it was the same face, some say it wasn’t. All say the faces were similar though. Reports say that several efforts at removing the image again only served to make it even clearer. The only attempt to remove the second face that we can document happened in 1993, when maintenance workers sandblasted the face on two successive days with no results. Their efforts were prompted by the death of a nursing student. She and a friend had parked their car on Harborside Drive to get a look at the face, which had become something of an attraction. While they sat there, the car slipped out of gear and rolled backwards into the bay. One of the girls died. The face is still there. It is inside a fenced area with “No Trespassing” signs, and UTMB will not allow anyone near it. Some have said the face is that of pirate Jean LaFitte, because it faces his old homesite. Others believe a different story. Before the building was constructed, the lot was inhabited by a homeless man who had once been a sea captain. When construction began, he was evicted from the site by UTMB security. The contractors then bulldozed his shack and all his possessions into the bay, to level the site. Having lost the memorabilia of his lifetime, including a family and children overseas, he soon drank himself to death, swearing vengeance and vitriol. Some believe it is his face on the wall. A psychic hired by a television station in the 1990′s visited the site and began babbling hysterically on live television about bodies being buried nearby. Paranormal investigators say the haunting at this location is evil and dangerous, and advise people not to visit.
Ashton Villa – has been called the most haunted place in America, because there has been so much well-documented supernatural phenomena there. Most of the haunting has to do with Bettie Brown, eccentric daughter of a wealthy businessman. Poltergeist-like activity has been reported, including locks opening and closing and switches turning on and off. Bettie was an unusual woman for her time, a liberated, artistic, and attractive woman who smoked cigars and drove wildly through Galveston in her automobile.
Market Building – The old Trolley Station Market Building on the Strand has a long history of apparitions, dating back at least to 1900. The ghost of a young girl plays with a ball and sings songs in the back stairwell. Civil War era soldiers have been seen in the windows. A loft inside the gift shop on the first floor has cold spots that defy all logic.
Haunted Hotels: Shortly after the Galvez Hotel opened in 1910, a honeymooning couple engaged room #500. The man was killed by a car while carrying luggage up to the room. The bride killed herself with a derringer after hearing that her new husband had died. Since then, room #500 has been the scene of many reports of a woman crying.
The Tremont House Hotel also has a haunting, dating back to 1871, when a hotel called the Belmont occupied the site. In that year, a salesman staying at the Belmont won a large sum of money gambling nearby. When he returned to his room, he was robbed and killed. Although he was killed on the fourth floor, it is the bar area downstairs that has been most active, with glasses jumping off shelves and similar paranormal events.
THE MAINLAND:
Haunted High Schools: Clear Creek High School in League City is a location where several people have reported spectral forms sitting in a gazebo outside the band hall and auditorium. The gazebo commemorates students who have died while attending the school. The auditorium at LaMarque High is also said to be haunted, particularly the fifth and sixth rows, where a janitor working on a ladder fell to his death in 1979.
Haunted bridge: In 1956, a young man who attended Texas City High School decided to join the Air Force to avoid accepting responsibility for a local girl’s pregnancy. After boot camp, he returned for a few days leave before reporting to San Antonio. The girl, who had given birth to a boy only a month before, heard that the young airman was partying with friends at an old iron bridge that still exists on FM 519 in Hitchcock. She borrowed a car and took the infant to the site. She confronted the man and tried to get him to hold the baby, but he refused to take the child. The hysterical woman threw the infant off the bridge, where it died. Witnesses have reported hearing the sound of a baby crying at the location.
Accident Victim on Hwy 146: There is an apparent haunting of Highway 146, directly north of the Dickinson Bayou Bridge. The junction at the foot of the bridge is probably the most dangerous in Galveston County. Numerous wrecks and several fatalities have occurred there over the years. A slender woman with dark hair has been seen beside the road by motorists, particularly at night or in the evening. Several persons report pulling over to offer a ride, only to find she had vanished. The possible identity of this ghost is not known.
Girl Scout Camp: Seabrook’s Camp Casa Mare – Two campers fell into an old well and were trapped in 1986, and one of them suffocated. It has since been covered, but many report they still hear someone screaming and clawing to get out.  Also, the dorm nearest to the shore is a site where poltergeist activity has been reported. Lights and showers turn on and off and campers report hearing things.
As I said at the start, there are many more hauntings in the area. The hauntings by 1900 Storm victims are numerous and well documented.  Ghosts seem to get tired of haunting places after a few years, and move on. This is why we hear no reports of ghosts of the cannibals who once lived here, or even of their victims.
As for me, I will continue to haunt the local clubs. There is nothing spooky about the “spirits” I prefer to investigate – they are found inside of whiskey bottles…     (GATOR)

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