Located at 2024 Seawall Blvd in Galveston, Texas the Galvez is a massive hotel right on the beach that has played host to likes of Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, General Douglas MacArthur, and several United States Presidents including Franklin D Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. Built in 1911 the magnificent Hotel Galvez was built on the site where the Beach Hotel, Electric Pavilion, and Pagoda Bathhouse once stood and it quickly became known as the "Playground of the Southwest" for socialites, businessmen, and celebrities. Galveston Island’s only truly historic hotel, the Galvez, is reminiscent of a gilded age gone by. It’s no surprise that a hotel with so much history should have it’s own mystery and haunted history.
The Galvez boast several ghost and they can be found in many different areas of the hotel. Haunting guest, spooking staff, and often appearing when you least expect it the ghost of the Hotel Galvez are very active. Below are two videos about the haunting of the Galvez one by Ghost Stories another is an investigation done by Ghost Lab on Discovery Channel.
The Love Lorn Lady:
Many years ago when I first began to be interested in the haunted places on Galveston island the Love Lorn Lady at the Hotel Galvez was the only ghost anyone ever talked about and the only ghost almost everyone I spoke to had any real experience with. The Love Lorn Lady is a very active spirit on the 5th floor of the hotel and has been seen, heard, and felt by many guest and staff.
The story is that a bride-to-be by the name of Audra was a guest of the hotel while her fiance was out to sea. She checked into room #501 and would often take the elevator to the 8th floor and climb the narrow ladder that opened into one of the four metal ribbed turrets that sit on each corner of the main roof. She would sit inside the turret and watch through the opening for her fiances' ship. After a powerful storm the bride-to-be heard that the ship had gone down and all hands were lost. In grief and despair, according to legend, she hung herself in room #501 (or possibly the west turret which bizarrely I just realized is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon on the 8th floor). A few days after her death however the story becomes even more tragic because according to legend the bride-to-be's fiance arrived in port and at the hotel to meet his bride.
Room #501 is supposedly one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel. The staff know the lovelorn lady is around when they feel a sudden cold breeze, hear doors slamming, and when televisions or lights are turned on or off without explanation. Front desk attendants have stated that they experience problems when attempting to make electronic keys for room #501 as if something or someone is interfering with the electronic equipment to make the keys. A housekeeper once reported a strange light coming out from under the door of room #501, when she called the front desk and was told the room was vacant, she opened the door and found no one there and no explanation for the very bright golden light. Odd lights have also been reported in the turrets of the Hotel Galvez. A guest mentioned an odd light up in the turret, while renovations were underway, and the turrets were not lit! Staff and electricians investigated, but found no source of power to the turret, nor had anyone gained access with candles or flashlights.
The Nun story is a rather long story but an interesting read. You can read the entire story by clicking here. Before the 1900 Storm several Orphanages existed on Galveston Island. St. Mary's Orphans Asylum, operated by the Sisters of Charity was destroyed during the 1900 Storm. 90 children and 10 sisters were killed during the storm. In an attempt to save as many children as possible and to keep the children from drowning the sisters cut clothes line (rope) into pieces and tied it around the waist of each child and then around their own waist. Sadly this attempt to save the children may have ultimately led to the death of almost all of the children and all of the sisters. After the 1900 storm bodies of several children and one of the sisters was found tied together either on the beach near the Galvez or on the property. Since bodies after the 1900 storm were buried where they were found, its rumored that the body of the sister and all of the young orphans attached to her by the rope were buried on the property where the Galvez Hotel now sits.
In all my years of ghost hunting this is probably the most intense experience I've ever had personally. In November of 2005 a group of friends / fellow ghost hunters and myself reserved rooms in the Hotel Galvez prior to its most recent and major renovation. In 2005 the rooms at the hotel Galvez were much different then they are now more historical in appearance and less modern. During our stay in November 2005 most of the 5th floor and especially the West Wing was under construction and being renovated. Doors to the rooms were left ajar with the safety latch in the way keeping the door from closing completely. The only other room on the floor that was being used other then our own was room 501 which was where the construction workers were staying. We walked the vacant halls, had access to the vacant rooms, and basically had the run of the entire 5th floor. We took numerous photographs that night and it wasn't until we caught something very odd in a photograph that we began to have unexplained experiences. The photograph we caught is the most famous photograph we've ever caught.
First Floor Bathroom:
Believe it or not the most compelling story I've ever heard of from a guest at the Galvez Hotel was about the first floor bathroom near the MusicHall. This bathroom has been remodeled but prior to renovations I honestly say the bathroom had a very creepy vibe. The story I was told by a female guest was that she was using the hot tub and pool one night and came through the side door to use the first floor bathroom. It was late, around 11:00p.m. and she reports that once she was inside the bathroom stall the lights went out. At first she thought it was a friend who followed her to play a joke, however she began to hear loud foot steps that sounded like boots on tile, followed by loud breathing, and finally a man verbally said "get out." The combination sent her running, when she went back to the hot tub and found no one from her group missing, she then reported the incident to the security guard on duty who immediately went to view security footage to see if someone had followed the woman into the bathroom. Reportedly the woman claims security told her no one followed her into the bathroom and no one was seen exiting the bathroom after her. So tread lightly if you plan to visit the first floor bathroom in the Hotel Galvez, you might just come face to face with a male ghost.
The Little Girl and Phantom Children:
The little girl is another unexplained apparition that has been seen from time to time in the Hotel Galvez. She is often described as wearing 1900 era period clothing and bouncing a ball. Staff have reported seeing her in the hotel lobby, near the hotel gift shop, on the staircase, and on multiple floors of the hotel. Most recently she was seen often by construction workers who were working to change the hotel basement into a luxury spa. Construction workers complained to front desk staff that a little girl was playing in the construction area because they were afraid she was going to be hurt. Phantom children can be heard playing throughout the hotel and especially on the third floor. Guest report the sounds of children running and laughing through the halls late at night when most children should be in bed. Tricksters as they are called are known to play with the piano bench in the lobby, knock over drink trays in the MusicHall, Restaurant, and Bar, and call out to female customers and guest who they identify are "mommy." There are also reports of children's laughter in the first floor bathroom near the MusicHall (the rooms where Sunday brunch is held). Reportedly the children are possibly the orphans that were killed during the 1900 storm. Several children and a nun were either found on the beach near the Galvez or on the Galvez property and buried under when the hotel now sits.
Sister Katherine Investigation by Ghost Lab on Discovery Channel