The Hotel Galvez stems from the age of the gilded resort hotels. It glories in the magnificence of a wealthy island and was designed to attract tourists. It has seen the creme de la creme of society but it was built on the remains of one of the worst natural disasters in American History, which may explain some of the many spirits which still inhabit this illustrious, historic, old hotel.
In 1900 The Great Storm ripped through Galveston causing the untimely deaths of 6,000 - 12,000 people. The location where the Hotel Galvez sits, today, was in the crosshairs of this storm. The Beach Hotel (burned down in 1898), Electric Pavilion, and Pagoda Bathhouse, which were in this location prior to the storm, simply vanished. In the wake of the storm, the businessmen knew they needed to bring tourism back to Galveston and the Hotel Galvez became their shining jewel.
Completed in 1911, the Galvez boats the best of the best. Everything was and is beautiful and luxurious. Throw in the stunning sea views for an absolutely breathtaking experience! Visit in the evenings and you will find musicians softly strumming as guests promenade down to dine. During the day a trip to the luxurious (and haunted spa) or the gorgeous pool offers a bit of relaxation. Of course, the hotel offers award winning staff and customer service, as well. The reputation of the hotel for luxury and quality has lasted a century. But, as mentioned, so do some previous guests… even early photos of the hotel show ghostly figures! Today, there are numerous sites of hauntings and the staff often gets touched and many have seen objects (like a wheelchair) suddenly take off and move "on their own."
One of the best known stories of the Hotel Galvez is that of Audra. In the early days of the hotel, this lovely young woman named was staying on the 5th floor. She pined away, waiting for waiting for her mariner fiance to return. She was shattered when she was informed that his ship had been lost at sea and everyone aboard drowned. She climbed to the 8th floor turret and hung herself there. Today, the 5th floor of the hotel has a lot of unexplained happenings. Room 501 is a hotbed of activity but 503, 507 and other rooms have activity, as well, and not all of it is Audra. An image has been captured in the mirror of a British Soldier in one of these rooms! He appears in the glass of the shower!
A separate entity, one that may be a pirate or one of the slaughtered native peoples - the Karankawas - made appearances in the spa and in the ladies restroom outside the theater, leading the staff there to call him Tom - as in "Peeping Tom."
Outside of the theatre and the ladies restroom is the haunted painting. Numerous photos of the oil paining have picked shown faces of other entities. It is said that one must ask permission to approach the painting!
Just beyond the painting and ladies restroom is the theater. Even during our time there, the curtains moved on their own and distinct cold spots meandered around the room! What a fabulous room this would be for children to play in! Is it possible that the activity here is from the numerous ghosts of children who have chosen to make the Hotel Galvez home? One might believe so because the children appear throughout the hotel. There are even reports of a little girl who bounces a ball showing up in various areas of the hotel!
More recently, Galveston was home to a lot of illegal gambling. With illegal gambling came the organized crime and the mob bosses decided that the 7th floor of the Hotel Galvez (limited to the public) was a perfect spot to run their crime empire from. Though the Texas Rangers did put a stop to the illegal gambling in the 1950’s, the mob bosses remain today. On the 7th floor I received a tremendous amount of corresponding K2 and flashlight interaction. There is an unusually high amount of electrical and lighting problems in this area of the hotel and one employee, upon entering, watched an empty chair turn as if someone in that chair as if someone was looking directly at him!
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg! Two paranormal TV programs have done episodes on the Hotel Galvez and have discovered other paranormal hotspots within the walls of this lovely historic hotel that I haven’t mentioned.
The Hotel Galvez welcomes anyone to make reservations for their, regularly scheduled, ghost tours and welcomes those staying in the hotel to check out K2 meters from the front desk and explore the unexplained happenings. (Please note my stress on Hotel Guests ONLY exploring the hotel.) For more information on the Hotel Galvez, please visit their website at: http://www.hotelgalvez.com/.