Dare To Visit The Haunted Side of Galveston in 2021

Galveston, Texas - home to the deadliest storm in U.S. history - welcomes thrill seekers this spooky season.

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 110-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.

Cemetery ghost in Galveston

I once doubted the haunted nature of Galveston. Surely, ghosts don’t roam island streets and hotel hallways. All that changed one recent afternoon during lunch at what is now the Grand Galvez. While among some writers and some hotel staff, I noticed the knife on my bread plate vibrating out of control. I checked for shaking legs under the table. Nope. I checked overhead to see if the fan could cause this movement. Nope. And, our conversation at the time centered around the haunted stories that abound at this site. So, now I’m a believer.

Grand Galvez Hotel | Halloween | Visit Galveston
Galveston Haunts
Haunted Grand Galvez

Whether you’re a doubter, believer or someone on the fence, it’s the season for thrills and chills in Galveston. The island’s ghostly history makes it one of the top destinations in the country for “haunted” travel. Chief among them is the island’s 110-year-old Grand 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.

Explore Galveston's Haunted Grand Galvez

Galveston has many other 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.

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. This year, visitors can enjoy Haunted Harbor Tours in Galveston Bay and Galveston Ghost Stories in the city’s oldest home, the 1838 Menard House.

Many, many people have lived and died by these waters, and perhaps some of the dead still reside here. 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. Dwayne Jones, executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation
cemetery tour in Galveston
Galveston Haunts
Haunted Cemeteries

Historic cemeteries are a big draw for visitors seeking the supernatural. Indeed, Galveston has been described as a cemetery with its own beach. Several companies offer tours of the oldest burial places on the island. And there are several tour operators offering haunted tours throughout the island.

Galveston Cemetery Tours

Ghostly Galveston Events, Attractions & Tours

Haunted Sub & Safe Trick-or-Treat at Scarewolf Park

Date: Oct. 29 & 30
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $10, $25
Location: Seawolf Park (Galveston Naval Museum)
Info: Join us for a family-friendly, Haunted House (Submarine) and Safe Trick-or-Treating Event. Tickets are $10 for all participants at the Naval Museum or $25 for 2 haunts which includes a shuttle to and from Haunted Mayfield Manor in Downtown Galveston. Trick-or-Treating around the museum and candy are included in either price.

Ghost Walks and Cemetery Tours

Date: Oct. 8, 15, 23, 29
Time
: 6:30 p.m.
Price:
Tickets start at $15
Location
: Varies
Info
: Author and historian Kathleen Maca takes visitors through Galveston’s historic cemeteries introducing them to colorful characters from Galveston’s past including murder victims, movie stars, military men and women and more. More info.

Haunted Sunset Cruise Onboard the Seagull II

Date: October 22, 29 and 30
Time
: 4:30-6 p.m.
Price
: $25 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. More info.

Galveston Ghost Stories at the 1838 Menard House

Date: October 22, 23, 29 and 30
Time
: 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Price
: $45
Location
: 1605 33rd Street
Info
: Historic Galveston Island is no stranger to strange stories and occurrences. Tour the 1838 Menard House, the oldest home on the island, and learn about some of the island’s most haunted history. More info.

Mariners Masquerade Party Onboard the 1877 Elissa

Date: October 29
Time
: 6-9 p.m.
Price
: $75
Location
: Pier 22 (22nd and Harborside)
Info
: This special outdoor costume party welcomes guests to the Galveston Historic Seaport with cake, food, Saint Arnold beer, dockside music and more. More info.

Movie Night at the 1838 Menard House

Date: October 30
Time
: 6:30 p.m.
Price
: $10
Location
: 1605 33rd Street
Info
: Take in a frightful feature movie on the grounds of Galveston’s oldest house. Guests are encouraged to bring their blankets and chairs. Craft beer, wine and water will be available for purchase and a food truck will be on-site. More info.

Menard House Trick or Treating

Date: October 31
Time
: 5-6 p.m.
Price
: Free
Location
: 1605 33rd Street
Info
: Bring your kids by for treats (and a few surprises) to the 1838 Menard house, located at 1605 33rd. GHF staff will provide pre-packaged treats to visitors from the home’s porch. More info.

Boos Cruise on the Bayou

Date: October 30
Time
: 8 -11 p.m.
Price
: $99 + tax
Location
: Moody Gardens Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, 1 Hope Blvd.
Info
: Adults 21 and over are invited to come out dressed to impress for this haunted evening cruise. Ticket includes the cruise, hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets. More info.

Grand Galvez Ghost Tours

Date: Thursdays and Fridays year-round
Times
: Thursdays at 5 p.m., Fridays at 4 p.m.
Price
: $25
Location
: 2024 Seawall Blvd.
Info
: The Grand Galvez will offer ghost tours through this property voted the #1 Haunted Hotel in Texas. Concierge Melissa Hall will lead the 90-minute tours through the hotel’s ghostly past. More info.

Grand Galvez Ghost Tours + Dinner

Dates: Wednesdays in October and on Halloween Night, Oct. 31
Time
: 6 p.m., dinner follows the tour
Price
: $69; $79 Halloween Night
Location
: 2024 Seawall Blvd.
Info
: The Grand Galvez offers its popular ghost tour dinners every week on Wednesdays. 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), this public ghost tour is only available as part of the dinner-tour package. Tours take place at 6 p.m. and reservations are required. For ghost tour dinner reservations, call (409) 515-2154. More info.

Grand Galvez Audio Ghost Tours

Date: Year-round
Time
: N/A
Price
: Free
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. More info.

Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston

Date: Year-round
Time
: Varies
Price
Tickets start at $20 for adults/$15 children 10 years old and younger (toddlers free)
Location
: Varies
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 more. More info.

Galveston Experience Company

Date: Year-round
Time
: Varies
Price
: Tickets start at $27 for adults
Location
: Varies
Info
: The Galveston Experience Company offers several haunted tours around the island – in cemeteries and through the historic downtown. There’s also a self-guided Ghost Hunt guests can participate in on their own schedule. More info.

Haunted Mayfield Manor

Date: Year-round
Time
: Varies
Price
: $10
Location
: 2313 Harborside Drive
Info
: More info.

Historic Galveston Ghost Tours

Date: Year-round
Time
: 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m.
Price
: $20
Location
: 24th and Sealy
Info
: Historic Galveston Ghost Tours are led by members of academia and are designed to educate, entertain and scare participants. An added bonus is a tour of Galveston’s fabled Red Light District illuminating the area’s scandalous history. More info.

Galveston Lantern Tours

Date: Year-round
Time
: Varies
Price
: Tickets start at $15
Location
: Varies
Info
: Tour guides Spooky and Hurricane Alicia lead tours through the downtown district, with added options including dinners and brunches complete with haunted hurricane history story times. More info.

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Mary Beth Bassett Director of Public Relations

Mary Beth is the Public Relations Director for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Galveston Park Board. She handles CVB public relations efforts for Galveston and manages the Austin, national and international markets. An Islander by Choice, she and her family moved to Galveston from Colorado in 2005.