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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. 


  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at) Thanks!!

  2. That is because room 505 is the haunted room.

    1. Not according to the hotel staff, the printed information they give you when you go there, the books they have in the room about it, the show Ghost Lab, or various other sources :) Maybe they are both haunted though.

  3. I was sleeping in Room 525 last night (6/9/14) at the Hotel Galvez. I awoke in the early morning, asking myself what time was it, and if I needed to get up for this morning’s meetings. The room was pitch dark except for a slight stream of light coming through the curtains from the morning sun. I saw that it was only 6 AM, so I told myself to go back to sleep for a little bit more time. As I was fading off to sleep I heard several clicks like someone approaching and walking down the left side of the king-sized bed (on the side closest to the city-view window). Along with those clicks, I had the feeling that there was an immense amount of energy in the room – and the presence of someone - or something. My first thought was that it sounded like flip-flops. My arm was stretched-out toward that side of the bed, laying across the row of pillows. I froze! Then, I felt this energy bounce onto the bed crawling toward me, with every depression of the mattress. The pillows gave way to this presence waffling around my arm. All I could think of was to scream - but I couldn’t. Next, my arm started shaking – as f electricity was going through it. The left side of my face felt pressure as if someone was leaning on it. It felt like eternity – but it lasted no more than 5 seconds. Then, it stopped! What the hell was that!!! No one was in the room. I turned on all the lights and TV. Whatever it was – it had left. I found out from the manager later this morning that it was the woman who haunts the fifth floor of the Galvez Hotel.

  4. I stayed there three weeks something bit me on my upper thigh and it's a lot of deep holes about 10 they won't heal no matter what I do. My doctor is confused. I was on.the 5th floor

  5. I stayed there three weeks ago....corrected

  6. I stayed at the Hotel Galvez on 11/1/2014 with a friend. Twice during the night, my bed shook and when I awoke, I smelled Gardenias. The following morning, I asked my friend if she had sprayed cologne or room spray during the night, she said she hadn't moved from the bed. We stayed in room 528, now, as if the moving bed and floral scent weren't weird enough, things started happening when we returned home. On our way to the island, we had visited my friends son who had sent a bottled of home made wine with us, we took the wine to the room, but, never opened it. On our return home, my friend gave me the wine. When I finished unpacking, I sat the bottle of wine on top of the refrigerator where all my wine sits, the next week I was in the living room watching TV when I heard a thud sound in the kitchen, when I walked into the kitchen, there was a bottle of wine sitting in the kitchen floor, I just wrote it off as being caused by the opening and closing of the refrigerator causing the bottle to slowly inch it's way off the unit an the fact that it didn't break as just a bit of luck on my part. NOT. The next week, one of my roommates and I were watching TV when we heard a crash in the kitchen, upon investigation, we found a bottle of wine shattered on the floor, this bottle had been inside a cubby in a cast iron wine rack, we still wrote it off as caused by movement of the refrigerator over time. The next week we wrapped and packed all of the remaining wine including the homemade bottle preparing to move. We moved into a new apartment the day after Thanksgiving. I unpacked all of the wine on December 7th and placed each bottle in a cubby in the wine rack, including the home made bottle of wine. On December 13th, one of my roommates was watching TV when she heard a thud behind her, she went into the dining room and found the bottle of home made wine lying over by the dining table pointing in the opposite direction of it's position in the wine rack and about two feet away from the cabinet where the rack sits. Now, there was another bottle sticking out below that one as well as two huge pictures leaning against the cabinet, yet, the bottle of wine cleared all of that without touching it and managed to turn around and land facing the opposite direction. This is when I told my roommate to get that bottle of home made wine out of the apartment and off the property, she wrapped it up, blessed it, and took it to a dumpster behind a store. Today is January 21, 2015, it has been 38 days and none of the wine has moved from the rack since then (except for the ones we remove to drink). Is the Galvez haunted, of course, you must be your own judge, I know what I felt and smelled while there and, I know for a fact the bottle of wine that stayed with us in room 528 on 11/1/2014 had a spirit attached to it, what I don't know is if the spirit attached while in the hotel or if it attached while still in the possession of the maker, I can without doubt say, the trip awakened spirits for some reason AND I cannot wait to go back to see what else happens on the island.

  7. I use to work there and still do on a seasonal basis.I have cleaned rooms 500,501 and 505 daily.everyone here is wrong about 505 and 507.The haunted rooms are 500 and 501 I have had many experiences in both rooms,and recorded many good Evp's from both.However time has taken care of much activity but every now and then Audra returns

  8. The entire 5th floor is haunted.

  9. Staying in 502 tonight so far so good! Tired and fixing to go to sleep...

  10. I'm lying wide awake in 536 ten minutes after midnight. Saw a blue light flash next to the turned off TV in the middle of the night last night and this morning the bathroom light came on by itself then a few seconds later turned off. I had no idea this place was haunted until these things happened to me.

  11. I think almost all the ghost hunting or spirit detector uses emf detectors.thanks for sharing such a interesting article.For emf detectors for sale

  12. I really want to stay here now!!