Live on the upper Texas coast long enough, particularly in Galveston, and you’ll bump into a ghost story or two. The seaport city is considered one of the most haunted in Texas. You’ll also likely hear tales of pirate treasure and harrowing high-sea adventures.
It was only a matter of time before pirates and the paranormal would merge here.
The ghost of pirate and privateer Jean Laffite is with us today, at least according to purveyors of haunted tourism in Galveston, who help perpetuate rumors his spirit has for 200 years been knocking around the ruins of Maison Rouge, his former home on Harborside Drive.
“If Jean Laffite’s presence isn’t eerie enough, he isn’t alone. He prowls the property with a pack of canines, better known as the ‘Campeche Devil Dogs,’” according to Ghost City Tours in Galveston.
Texas City businessman Craig Watt, as you’ll read in this issue, built a haunted attraction — Terror Isle — around two rival pirates, a treasure and a curse.
Our pursuit of pirate plunder doesn’t necessarily involve gold, silver and jewels.
Kelly Railean’s long search for buried treasure paid off with the finding of a long lost sign that once hung at an old bar in San Leon. You’ll also read more about Railean, her distillery and others who make San Leon a salty, spirited community with a pirate past.
There’s a lot about Laffite and other swashbucklers unworthy of admiration or celebration – smuggling slaves, violence and thievery, to name a few.
But Americans, particularly those who live by the sea, have a soft spot for outlaws and adventurers and people who live life without rules, thumbing their nose at social conventions, which our October issue explores.
Coast Monthly wishes you a Happy Halloween and a beautiful fall.