HOUSTON — Tourists come to Galveston to enjoy the sun and sand, but the island also has a dark side. In fact, many say it’s a playground for the paranormal with supernatural sightings all year round.
Dash Beardsley, the Ghost man of Galveston, says the small stretch of land has seen more than its fair share of death, destruction and horror -- especially during the Great Storm of 1900.
Beardsley says it’s no surprise a ghost of the Great Storm haunts Luigi’s Italian Restaurant on 24th and The Strand.
“A school marm stepped right out of that front window, stood out on the ledge, reached out and grabbed people as they were floating by,” Beardsley said.
According to legend, the woman who tried to save others died on the third floor of the building. Many believe her soul is still around.
Just across the street at the Mediterranean Chef Restaurant, the falafel is fresh and the ghost sightings are frequent.
“I would never spend the night in here, I would tell you that much,” said owner Maxen Zeidan.
Decades ago, the restaurant building was a bank. Beardsley says a young police officer was shot by robbers outside the bank and he later died. Some think his spirit is now a regular at the restaurant.
“A lot of ladies who have a meal at this restaurant say they feel the hot breath of a man on the back of their neck,” Beardsley said.
People also claim the Tremont Hotel is haunted.
Beardsley says in 1871, a businessman staying there was returning to his room after a night of gambling when someone shot him in the hallway, taking his life and his winnings.
“For years, people say they’ve seen his ghost. He walks with a heavy limp, wearing a Victorian suit from the time,” Beardsley explained.
And those are just a few of the many ghosts people say they are looking out for every night of the week.
Several companies are offering ghost tours on the island. These tours are very popular around Halloween, but are also available throughout the year.