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Thursday, August 15, 2013

My stay in the haunted room 501 of the Hotel Galvez in Galveston

So I think I mentioned back in December of 2012 I won a bucket list contest with the Houston Visitor's Center. In that package I got a free two night stay at the Hotel Galvez, 6 passes to the St Arnold's Brewery, 4 ticket voucher to a Sugar Land Skeeters game, and passes to the Houston Museum of Natural Science (including the Butterfly Center and the Planetarium). I am finally getting to use some of these passes since the kids have been out of school and we've had a little time to do things.

The first thing I used was the 2 night stay at the Hotel Galvez. Being the bucket lister I am, I didn't want to book just a regular old room. Nope, I asked to stay in the haunted room 501. If you aren't familiar with the story (Ghost Lab did an episode where they investigated the room we stayed in), room 501 is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a woman named Audra. Back in the 50's, Audra stayed in that room while she was waiting for her betrothed to come back from sea. Every day she would look out the window for him, and go up to the 8th floor and wait for him to come back. Sadly, she got a letter saying his ship had sunk and he was presumed dead. Heartbroken, Audra hung herself in the bathroom of room 501 and is said to have never really left. Even more unfortunate was that a few days after Audra took her own life, her fiancee came back looking for her so they could be married. The telegram she'd gotten was wrong. His ship had not sunk and he had been on his way back to her.

The lady who helped me book my room said there wasn't any way they could assure I would be in room 501, so I just had to wait and see when we arrived if I gotten it. Thankfully when we got to the front desk, a very wonderful man named Jeremiah told me they had indeed secured the haunted room for me. I thanked him profusely, and he gave me a printed sheet of paper with Audra's story and some brochures about Galveston and the Galvez. Unfortunately they did not currently have any EMF detectors at that time (you can ask at the concierge desk, if you go), but I downloaded an app on my iPhone that had a K2 meter and an EMF detector.

We checked into our room, and I began introducing myself to Audra and telling her why we were there and how much I'd love to have some contact with her. My husband left me alone in the room while he went to park the car and get our bags out. I turned on the K2 app and told her she could talk to me if she wanted to. There wasn't anything going on with the K2, but soon my husband texted me and asked what was wrong with my phone. He said he had tried and tried to call me, but someone else kept answering my phone, and his texts weren't getting through. We never did figure out what was going on with that. I got a little weirded out and stepped into the hallway, where I promptly locked myself out of the room. When my husband, Mason, came back up, we went inside together and turned the app back on. I asked Audra to tell me about herself and the voice on the app said "bathroom. Ow."  Uhm, she hung herself in the bathroom! FREAKY! It then said "drawer". I went to the drawer and opened it, and there were 3 books. I grabbed one and said "do you want me to read one of these books?" the K2 said "have". So I sat down with the book I had in my hand and flipped through it. In it was a story about Audra. I read it out loud to my husband. When I got to the part about how her boyfriend had come back and the K2 said "almost. rescued.". Weird. I flipped a few more pages in the book, and Mason decided to ask her something. He said "what are you doing now, Audra?" She said Presidents. He laughed and said well, that doesn't make any sense. Then I showed him how the page in the book I was reading was about all the famous people who had stayed at the Galvez, and included pictures of some former Presidents. Then it said "hurricane". Galveston was hit by the most deadly hurricane on record in 1900, and it was hit again by Hurricane Ike in 2008, which destroyed much of the island. Other weird things the K2 meter said were veil, stressed, married, smile downstairs, and frightened. However, it also said a bunch of jibber jabber that made no sense. We double checked the app though, and it said if you have the sensitivity too high, you can get a lot of false readings. Maybe it was all a coincidence, maybe some was real and some wasn't, who knows.

That night we went out for a horse drawn carriage ride, shared a milkshake with two straws and I complimented 20 people all in one day for my bucket list. We also went out late that night and tossed some messages in bottles out to sea. Unfortunately they were found the next morning washed up on the beach by a very nice retired teacher.

I wish I could say something really scary happened to us that night that removed all doubt as to Audra's existence, but we slept like babies. The only really scary moment was when I was taking a bath in the bathroom where Audra died, and my husband turned off the light. I thought at any minute something would grab my shoulder, but instead it was just a lot of cussing and screaming. By me. At Mason.

Even with the lack of spooky stuff, the Hotel Galvez is an AMAZING hotel. We were given a free voucher for Sunday brunch and boy was it glorious. Our waitress was constantly refilling our glasses of mimosas and the buffet had tons of different delicious food to choose from. Our bill would've been $88 if we hadn't had the voucher.

Here are some photos we took (sorry, doesn't look like there are any orbs or anything unusual in them)

This is the haunted bathroom on the first floor.The middle stall is supposed to haunted by a spirit that rattles doors, flushes toilets and bangs on things. I used this stall twice and nothing happened.

This painting is hanging near the haunted bathroom, and there is supposedly the image of a spirit in the middle, where the doors are. You can see the feet most easily. 

The supposedly haunted portrait of Mr. Galvez himself. The eyes are said to follow you no matter where you go. You are said to need to ask his permission before you take a picture of this painting. I did not, but when the hotel staff told me I needed permission first, I apologized to Mr.Galvez's portrait for not having done so. Nothing bad happened to me. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stay tuned for some great updates!

I have done so much stuff lately that I need to update about! I've ridden on an antique fire truck, met the Mayor, was in the audience for Great Day Houston, stayed in the haunted room at the Hotel Galvez, sent a message in a bottle, went ziplining and lots more, plus I have some amazing things coming up. I stopped updating this blog because I had literally no page views. I just checked though, and now it seems like I have people coming every day to read my blog, but nothing is here! I feel so bad for neglecting it now! Well, now that I know you're here, I will post about all my adventures again. Thanks for sticking around!

The Houston Bucket Lister