Galveston Island, Texas, October 16, 2012 – From its storied harbor to its stately Victorian mansions, historic Galveston is filled with legendary figures and ghostly stories. This October, Galveston Historical Foundation offers a variety of specialized tours at Bishop’s Palace, Menard House, Galveston Harbor and Galveston’s Broadway Cemetery. Tickets for all tours and a complete schedule of tour times are available at www.galvestonhistory.org.
Galveston is one of the most haunted cities in America, according to numerous websites, books and “ghost hunters” that track reports of ghostly occurrences. The island has been home to the allegedly cannibalistic Karankawa Indians and merciless pirates, including the famous Jean Laffite whose lavish and lawless den of thieves was the island’s first European settlement. Galvestonians in the 19th century knew fires, epidemics of yellow fever and malaria, military occupation and bitter war, and of course, storms.
“The Great Storm of 1900, which washed clean great swaths of houses on the island and killed well over 6,000 people, remains the worst natural disaster in American History,” says Dwayne Jones, executive director of GHF. “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.”
During the month of October Galveston’s haunted history will be explored in the following custom tours:
HAUNTED HARBOR TOUR
October 19, 20, 26, 27 and 31 at 4 & 5:15 pm
$15 per person / 45 persons per tour limit
Pier 22, at 22nd Street and Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX
The narrated exploration of spooky corners and tragic sites in and around Galveston’s storied harbor takes place onboard aboard the 50-foot passenger boat, Seagull II and continues through October 31, with departures from the Texas Seaport Museum.
“SPIRITS OF THE PAST” CEMETERY TOURS
October 20, 21, 27, 28 at 7 pm & 9 pm and October 31 at 10 pm
$15 per person / 25 persons per tour limit
The spirits are easy to find at GHF’s “Spirits of the Past” Cemetery Tour. They await discovery at the Broadway Cemetery, located right on the divided boulevard along which presidents, movie stars, oil moguls and millions of ordinary people pass through the rich history that abounds in every neighborhood of the city.
BISHOP’S PALACE – THE HOUSE AT NIGHT TOUR
October 26 and 31 at 8 pm and October 27 at 8 pm and midnight
$30 per person
1402 Broadway, Galveston, TX
Enjoy Bishop’s Palace by candlelight for this unique evening tour. Learn about the history of Bishop’s Palace, it’s presence during the 1900 Storm and take a glimpse at early 1900 life.
VICTORIAN SÉANCE AT MENARD HOUSE
October 27 at 7:30 pm
$150 per person or $250 per couple / 10 person limit
$450 per couple for séance and overnight stay
1605 33rd Street
During the 19th century, John Sydney Thrasher held regular séances at the 1838 Menard House, Galveston’s oldest existing residence. Known to have had an avid interest in spiritualism, Thrasher advertised his séances in the city newspaper, inviting anyone interested in participating to join him. History repeats itself on October 27 as medium Sandra Logan leads the first public séance at the property in over 130 years, with a rare opportunity to spend the night in the house after the event. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Overnight reservations will be received on a first come, first served basis. Victorian attire is welcome at the séance. Cameras and recording devices are prohibited. Séance participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
AFTER DARK MENARD TOURS
October 28, 29, 30 and 31 at 9 pm
$20 per person / 20 persons per tour limit
1605 33rd Street
Explore the secrets, spirits and history of Galveston’s oldest existing residence, the 1838 Michel B. Menard house, during Galveston Historical Foundation’s “After Dark” Haunted History Tours. Cameras and recording devices are prohibited. Reservations are recommended.
For more information, call GHF at 409-765-7834 or visit www.galvestonhistory.org