Ghosts of Galveston

Hello, everyone! Happy Friday! I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween and have a relaxing weekend ahead of you.

This past weekend, a few very dear friends and I took a Halloween getaway to Galveston. It was a wonderful trip.  I actually hadn’t been to Galveston in eight years.  Back then, I hadn’t thought much of it.  In fact, I had been very quick to say that Galveston was disappointing, that it was ugly, that it wasn’t a “real beach.”  That was probably more due to the fact, however, that I wasn’t happy with my life or with myself at that particular point in time.  It’s amazing what your own personal outlook can effect the way you experience life.

Well, eight years and a 110% attitude improvement later, I am here to say that Galveston is GORGEOUS.  Not only that, it is filled with history, small-town charm… And ghosts.  In fact, those ghosts are what drew us there in the first place.

My mentor and fellow author, James William Peercy, first came up with the idea for a ghost-hunting excursion to Galveston back when he decided to write a new paranormal book.  Soon, we had a small group investigating local haunted hotspots.  Down in Galveston, James, along with his lovely wife, Claudette, our friend and poet Susie Clevenger, and her artist husband, Charlie, and I met up and toured several locations where ghosts have been reported.  I will be writing up a separate piece to be featured on our new website.  I don’t have access to the URL just yet, but we call ourselves the Signal-Man’s Keepers.  And we have our reasons.

I can’t say for certain that I encountered any spirits on our trip, but I can tell you that I learned so much about Galveston itself.  From Pelican Island to Fort Travis to the Storm of 1900, the entire island is crawling with history.  I truly never knew just how much it had to offer.

Pelican Island was, perhaps, one of the greatest highlights of our time in Galveston.  Once an immigration holding point for those in quarantine, the island now serves as home to the USS Cavalla, a submarine, and the USS Stewart, a destroyer escort.  These vessels served in World War II and are truly a wonder to behold and explore.  It’s hard to imagine that sailors once lived and fought and even died on these ships and ships like them.  It’s a very moving experience and I highly recommend a visit.

Our history tour continued with an exploration of Fort Travis, a fort first established in 1836 to protect the Galveston Harbor.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I was never much of a history buff in school.  That would be my dad and my sister.  But actually seeing these places really makes me appreciate everything that history has to offer.  I guess I’m more of an interactive history nerd, because I could explore places like Fort Travis all day.  They’re fascinating.

James, Claudette, and I were also fortunate enough to participate in a real paranormal investigation, first of a local church that survived the 1900 Storm, and then the Ashton Villa House.  It wasn’t a tour.  It was a real life wander through the house and try to communicate with the spirits that still exist there.  It was an eerie and exhilarating experience.  The Ashton Villa House is renowned as one of the most haunted buildings on the island, and I will admit to feeling like I was being watched.  We also had several spikes on James’ EMF detector.  But there was something about the church.  Now, days later, I still can’t quite put my finger on it.  Perhaps it’s because I was raised in a church that my grandparents helped establish, so I feel a bit of a connection to old and beautiful places of worship.  I don’t know.  I do know it was a wonderful experience and one that I will not soon forget.