Nearly as Many Dead as Living Wander This City!

OK, guys and gals.  Grab yourself a beverage and hold on for the ride!  Galveston is, without a doubt, one of the most under-valued paranormal hot spots in the country! My week there was filled with incredible happenings, tons of spectacular history and helpful, informed, great people!  The intense paranormal activity was created by a tumultuous, turbulent and horrifying past!

The beautiful and haunted Strand.  Just wandering down the street, you'll run into spirits.

The beautiful and haunted Strand.  Just wandering down the street, you'll run into spirits.

It is possible to run into paranormal activity anywhere on the island.  Travelling with a K2 meter, it flickered and fluctuated at the oddest times - on street corners, in many buildings and at the beach!  It would be much easier to site the public buildings which are not haunted than to create a list of those which are!  The energy was so intense, I actually had to get off of the island for a little bit!  But, I suppose with everything that has happened there, it is no surprise...

This island was originally populated by a rather unfriendly cannibalistic tribe!  They ate their enemies because they believed they could acquire power this way!  Enter stage right: the infamous, swashbuckling, sometimes pirate sometimes privateer, Jean LaFitte of New Orleans fame, received a charter to settle the island.  Only problem… the natives.  No worries!  Jean Lafitte had cannons and guns and the natives had none.  The natives were wiped out. Men, women and children killed except when the women proved useful to, shall we say, entertain Jean and his men.  

Jean Lafitte's old residence on Galveston Island.

Jean Lafitte's old residence on Galveston Island.

With that “problem” solved, the island began to prosper and by 1825, the Port of Galveston was established, becoming one of the largest seaports in the US!   In fact, the port was so strategic that during the Civil War, the Union simply could not allow the Confederates to hold the port and, thus, the First Battle of Galveston was fought.  Victorious, the Union occupied the city and the port, but they would not hold it long.  Determined to regain this strategic port, the Confederates attacked and regained the port 2 months later.  Though casualties were not extensive, compared to other Civil War Battles, they inundated the Confederate Hospitals which were already housing casualties from other Civil War battles.  In the spirit of the day, hospitals treated Union and Confederate soldiers, alike, and many of those spirits still remain!

Soon the Civil War ended and prosperity grew in Galveston.  It was the largest city in Texas!  Galveston became home to the tycoons of the South and extravagant mansions and buildings popped up all over the little island that stood only 8 feet above high sea level, at its’ highest point.

Archive Photo of an old warehouse used as a morgue after The Great Storm of 1900.

Archive Photo of an old warehouse used as a morgue after The Great Storm of 1900.

There has been a great deal of research into what went wrong and why warnings weren’t issued, but in 24 hours Galveston’s history changed forever.  It was 1900 and the day dawned bright and sunny.  Families lazily strolled along the beach enjoying the pretty weather and watching the abnormally large waves coming ashore...

In the dark of night The Great Storm of 1900 with all its force and fury swept ashore and in 12 short hours, ¼ of the island’s population was dead or missing. Estimates range between 6,000 and 12,000 people were killed in what would, today, be a Category 4 hurricane. No one had any warning.

The Great Storm wiped out most of Galveston and killed somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people overnight.

The Great Storm wiped out most of Galveston and killed somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people overnight.

As the devastation was surveyed, the city found that most of their structures had been wiped out.  The structures still standing were turned into temporary morgues.  Ferry’s took the bodies out to sea for burial.  The bodies floated back up on shore. Funeral pyres were built and lit to dispose of the overwhelming quantity of human remains. They burned for months, the stench of rot, decay and, burning bodies, overwhelming the remaining residents. Many victims of the storm were never found and, even today,  remains of those lost in this storm are still, periodically found. The island you see today, in no way resembles the island in 1900.  It has been raised 14 feet and a large sea wall was installed.

In terms of loss of human life, The Great Storm of 1900 remains the largest natural disaster in US history.  And though, by far it was the worst hurricane, it was not the last.  In subsequent years hurricanes have continued to wreak havoc on the island and many more have perished at the hands of Mother Nature.

This island gives us the perfect trifecta: brutally murdered natives, Civil War soldiers dead before their time and an unexpected, horrifying and absolutely massive loss of human life.  I simply cannot imagine why so many transient spirits roam this island looking for peace in their afterlife.  Can you?

Ultimate Paranormal Adventures is a full service travel agency that specializes in haunted and/or historic adventures.  To find out more about our services and how we can help plan your amazing adventure, click here.

Michelle Tebow