When I moved to Galveston in 2000, I was immediately struck by the casual way people talked about ghosts.
Ghosts, my new friends and acquaintances told me, were everywhere — in Victorian houses and quaint old shops and walking the halls of major institutions. Even one of the seaport city’s most prominent and luxurious properties — Hotel Galvez — openly promotes the “Ghost Bride” that haunts Room 501.
But it didn’t take long for me to have my own odd encounters in Galveston, such as the time my husband and I lived in an old house where our cats refused to enter and even go near certain rooms.
Almost everyone I met had a story to tell about poltergeists or ghosts, friendly or otherwise. But the island’s reputation as a hot spot for the supernatural went national, when in 2012, USA Today listed Galveston among America’s 10 most haunted cities.
Some ghost aficionados point to the island’s tragic past — more than 6,000 people died in the 1900 Storm — as one reason for the high population of otherworldly beings.
Some people, as you’ll read in this issue, believe the island’s proximity to the sea makes it different, special and spirit-filled.
Along with some chilling ghost stories, you’ll find a feature about witches in Friendswood who honor the dead and a shop that has made it a yearly tradition to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, building an altar for departed loved ones.
Of course, you’ll also find in this issue all the familiar features on beautiful houses, backyards, art and music of the living.
We’d like to extend sincere gratitude to two very talented women who made our beautiful models in this issue even more so.
We’re lucky to have the talents of hair stylist Rebecca Rivera, of Total Technique Salon in Texas City, and makeup artist Desa Polivka, a Mary Kay independent sales director.
Also deserving of special thanks is Coast Monthly’s Creative Director/Design Editor Melissa Rivera for selecting the wardrobes of our beautiful models Tori Mattison and Kim Wood. And we thank our photographers Jennifer Reynolds and Stuart Villanueva and Media and Technology Director Kevin M. Cox for their work and assistance on photo shoots for this issue.