Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hotel Galvez - Galveston, TX

The Galveston, Texas area was once a Spanish colony governed by Spanish Bernardo de Galvez and there is the grand Hotel Galvez which was named after him.  This hotel is said to be one of the most haunted places in America and for good reason.  This area was known as the "Island of Doom" because it's rocky shore claimed so many lives in shipwrecks through time.  However, this is not the reason the Hotel Galvez is so haunted.

Long ago before there was a hotel, there was an orphanage located in this area run by a young nun named Sister Katherine.  A terrible hurricane hit this area back in 1900.  Sister Katherine tied a rope to all 9 of her orphans for safety as they attempted to reach higher ground.  However, it was to no avail as the morning after the hurricane subsided, the bodies of all 9 orphans as well as Sister Katherine were found washed up on the rocky, sandy shore.  They were buried just off the beach. 

In this very spot in 1911, the Hotel Galvez was built in order to bring in tourists to the island. One of the most finely furnished and finished hotels on the U.S. shore, it gained quite the reputation and became known as "Queen of the Gulf". It became host to many famous actors and U.S. Presidents over the years.

The Hotel Galvez shortly after construction in 1911

Some say that when a severe storm is approaching, a figure dressed as a nun can be seen walking the along the shore as if warning of the incoming storm.  Heavy poltergeist activity such as doors opening and closing on their own and lights turning themselves on and off in the hotel itself suggest that the spirits of the orphans still linger in the spot where they died.

At some point in the hotel's history, a young woman checked into room number 500 of the hotel to await the return of her fiancé who as due to return from a long voyage at sea.  Upon the news that her lover's ship was lost, she became very distraught and climbed to the hotels roof to search the sea for her fiancé's ship.  Eventually she gave in to grief and thew herself off of the roof of the hotel.  To this day they say that anyone staying in room 500 will not last through the night without leaving the room.  People say they are overcome with a great feeling of despair and there is a strange overwhelming smell of gardenias in the room.  This smell has been found in other areas of the hotel as well, most notably on the 5th floor where the "Lovelorn Lady" as she became known as spent most of her time.

The shadow figure in the corner of this hall is claimed to be that of "The Lovelorn Lady" of The Hotel Galvez

Is is said that Bernardo de Galvez haunts the Hotel Galvez himself in the form of a painting that hangs at the end of the downstairs hallway.  Some say that they can feel the eyes on the painting watching them as they walk by and a strange sense of being chilled overtakes you as you approach the painting.  Other people say that you cannot take a "good" photograph that is not blurred unless you ask Bernardo himself for permission to do so first.  It is only then that  clear photo can be taken of the painting.

The haunted portrait of Bernardo de Galvez

Now we can see why this one of the most haunted places in the United States.  Easily, it is one of the most haunted hotels around.  So keep that in mind when you are visiting the Galveston area and you are looking for a place to stay.


  1. Wow that is amazing

  2. We stayed 3 nights in room 500....

  3. The orphanage where sister Katherine and the children lost their lives was located about 3 miles west of where the Hotel Galvez was built. Also the island and the Hotel Galvez were named for Bernardo de Galvez, but he never set foot on the island.