If you have ever been to Galveston, you may have noticed something eerie about it — Galveston County Daily News reporter Kathryn Eastburn says the city seems to have seen more than its fair share of untimely death.
“And it’s an island, it’s surrounded by water, and people in the paranormal world feel like that combination of things makes for lots of spirits lingering,” Eastburn says.
Many of those ghost stories are related to the devastating 1900 Galveston hurricane — which killed thousands.
“If you go to some of the lists online of the ‘spookiest places in Galveston’, number two is the Walmart on the seawall because an orphanage was located there in which all of the children, except one, and all of the nuns who cared for them died in the 1900 storm,” Eastburn says.
In recent years, the industry of ghost tours in the city has boomed.
“You can go on ghost tours year-round now,” Eastburn says. “It’s become very popular. You can go to the traditional walking tours down on The Strand and in the historic districts but you can also go on bus tours, you can go on bus tours with cocktails, or not, you can take a ghost tour on a Segway. There are any number of tours now.”
While it seems like the island should be big enough for everyone, Eastburn says the increased competition in guides of the spirit world recently has led to some ugly online exchanges.
“There does seem to be a little bit of unfriendly competition going on,” Eastburn says. “I think maybe there’s a little bit of judgement online, some bad reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp. I have to say one of the purveyors here, one of the older ones who has been here the longest, says the ghosts don’t like it when ghost tours are so commercialized.”
But, so far, Eastburn says no ghost tours have gone out of business and they look poised for a great season.
“There’s a lot going on this month,” Eastburn says. “And it looks like it’s going to be wet and windy and cold and creepy on Halloween.”