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Dash beardsley, creator of the

Ghosts Tours of Galveston Island

Story & Photos by N. Crafton

More History, More Strange Tales, More Ghosts!

Founded in 1999 by Ghost Tours Of Galveston Creator Dash Beardsley, Ghost Tours of Galveston IS Galveston Island's first, foremost, and original haunted historical walking tour.

This unique two hour tour combines history, mystery, ghost stories and legends taking you on a journey into Galveston's richly unknown past. The Great Storm of 1900 hurricane and the American Civil War Battle Of Galveston have left their rich haunted mark stained upon the white beaches of the Gulf shores.



Galveston Island has had more haunted history than any other small town in America. With a past that stretches back to pre-Colonial times and a Civil War legacy and the Great Storm of 1900, it is no wonder that Galveston, Texas has been called one of the most haunted city, per capita, in the entire United States.

Galveston is the county seat of Galveston County located along the Gulf Coast region in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 57,466. Galveston is accessible by a causeway linking Galveston Island to the mainland on the north end of the city, a toll bridge on the western end of the island, and by ferry boat service on the east end of the city.

Galveston is known for its historic neighborhoods and a ten-mile long seawall designed to protect the city from floods. It is also home to the infamous Balinese Room, a historic nightclub and former illegal gambling hall located on a 600-foot pier extending into the Gulf of Mexico.

The city houses many tourist attractions. The attractions include the Galveston Schlitterbahn waterpark, Moody Gardens, the Lone Star Flight Museum, a downtown neighborhood of historic buildings known as "The Strand," many historical museums and mansions, and miles of beach front. The Strand plays host to a yearly Galveston Mardi Gras Texas style festival, Galveston Island Jazz & Blues Festival, Texas Beach Fest, Lone Star Bike Rally, and a Victorian-themed Christmas festival called "Dickens on the Strand" (honoring the works of novelist Charles Dickens, especially A Christmas Carol) in early December.

Galveston is the second-largest city in Galveston County in population after League City; League City surpassed Galveston between 2000 and 2005

Such a small Island and so, so many Ghosts!

Galveston island was originally inhabited by members of the Karankawa and Akokisa tribes. The Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked on the island in 1528 and there began his famous trek to Mexico. In the late 1600s French explorer Robert Cavelier La Salle, although he did not reach Galveston Island, claimed this area for King Louis and named it St. Louis.

The island was named in honor of Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, (They say his very haunted painting is a must see sight) in 1785 by Spanish explorer José de Evia, who charted the Gulf Coast.

The first permanent European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816 by the pirate Louis-Michel Aury as a base of operations to support Mexico's rebellion against Spain. In 1817 Aury returned from an unsuccessful raid against Spain to find Galveston occupied by the pirate Jean Lafitte, who took up residence there after having been driven from his stronghold in Barataria Bay off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Lafitte organized Galveston into a pirate "kingdom" he called "Campeachy" (or "Campeche"), anointing himself the island's "head of government." Lafitte remained in Galveston until 1821 when he and his raiders were given an ultimatum by the United States Navy: leave or be destroyed. Lafitte burned his settlement to the ground and sailed under cover of night for parts unknown. There are still rumors that Lafitte's treasure is buried somewhere between Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula and High Island.

Following its successful revolution from Spain, Mexico designated Galveston a port of entry in 1825, erecting a customs house in 1830. During the Texas Revolution, Galveston served as the main port for the Texas navy. Galveston also served briefly as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1836.


In 1836, Michel B. Menard, a native of Canada, along with several associates purchased 4,605 acres (18.64 km²) of land for $50,000 from the Austin Colony to found the town that would become the modern city of Galveston. Menard and his associates began selling plots on April 20, 1838. In 1839, the City of Galveston adopted a charter and was incorporated by the Congress of the Republic of Texas.

Juneteenth, which is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, owes its origins to the island city.

JEAN LAFITTE maintained control of Galveston Island in the years 1818-1821. Lafitte was one of the most daring and colorful filibusters of his time. He flew a solid, blood red flag from his masts and from time to time flew the Venezuelan yellow, blue and red tri-color shown above. It is thought that he displayed, as did Aury, the Venezuelan colors with permission of the government whose aim was to disrupt Spanish shipping in the Gulf and Caribbean. The Ghost of Jean Lafitte and the Phantom Pirates of Galveston. Some locals say his ghosts and the forever lost souls of his pirate crew still search for their lost treasure. Their spirits have been often encountered by locals abd visitors alike.


The Great Storm of 1900

In 1900, the island was struck by a devastating hurricane, an event that still holds the record as the United States' deadliest natural disaster.

On the evening of September 7, 1900, high winds arose, heralding the arrival of a hurricane that struck the island in the early morning of September 8 and lasted until the next day. Wind speeds reached up to 135 mph (an estimate, since the anemometer was blown off the U.S. Weather Bureau building). The island's infrastructure was devastated, and an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 people were killed. And many lost ghosts of this hurricane still roam the city streets.

The horrific stories of the loss of a Great American City even today as the memory of hurricane Katrina and the devastaion linger in our minds. Many Haunted Galveston Tales center on the ghosts of this disaster. Cries at night in the dark halls of many buildings, and moanfull pleas for help or often experienced and recorded as EVP's.

The Battle of Galveston

The Battle of Galveston occurred on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War when Confederate forces under Major General John B. Magruder attacked and expelled occupying Union troops from the city of Galveston, Texas.

About dawn on New Year's Day, 1863, the Confederate Cottonclads entered the west end of Galveston harbor. Their nearest and first target was the Union's Harriet Lane.

After a brief encounter and some maneuvering, the tide of battle foretold an almost certain Union victory. The Confederate ground forces had been outgunned and effectively held in check by the Federal warships. After only a brief contest at sea, one-half of the two-vessel Texas fleet was lying on the bottom of the harbor. Further, the lone surviving Confederate Cottonclad, the Bayou City, was outnumbered six-to-one among the armed vessels in the harbor.

After recovering from its first encounter, however, the Bayou City circled around and made a second desperate run on the Lane. This time, the Confederates hit their target with remarkable precision. In short order, the crew of the Bayou City succeeded in storming and overpowering the crew of the Lane.

Twenty-six Confederates had been killed and 117 wounded. About twice that many Federals died in the conflict. The Union's showcase vessel and nearly 400 men were captured. More importantly for the Texans, however, was that their victory restored control of Galveston to the Confederacy, where it would remain for the balance of the war. The ghosts of this historic ballte are often seen and herd in many buildings on the Strand.

The Ghost Tour of Galveston is a very informative tour to take. Dash Beardsley tends to not only be captivating but his persona and tour go hand in hand to create the most unique experience that Galveston Island has to offer.

This is a you must experience tour! Simply one of the best ghost tours in America!

Also see: Dash Beardsley Ghost Tours of Galveston, Texas Top Most Haunted List

Also see: 20 QUESTIONS WITH Dash Beardsley


Learn more about the real hauntings, and thousands of ghosts of Galveston Island. For the next public tour time call our Ghost Line (requiring no reservations) for information and public tour times 409-949-2027.

Learn more about the real ghosts of Galveston Island. For the next public tour time call our Ghost Line (requiring no reservations) for information and public tour times 409-949-2027.

For Private Ghost Tours and other information call the office line at 832-892-7419.

Prices: $15 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under.
The Tour Group Meets In Front Of The Railroad Museum At Strand And 25th Streets

Voted as one of the Top Ten Ghost Tours In America.

The Galveston County Daily News, the city's main newspaper, is the oldest continuously printed newspaper in Texas since 1842.





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HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS Official Web Site is a ghost tour information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' contributed ghost and haunted reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures. Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the proper authorities.

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