< PreviousD o you have a ghost? Years ago, and anywhere else, I might have hemmed and hawed before posing that awkward question as a journalist and braced for a long, uncomfortable silence, if not the telltale click of a line gone dead. But Galveston, where truth often is stranger than ﬁc- tion, has never been like other places, none that I know of anyway. Most islanders answer that question in the most enthusiastic afﬁrmative. Over the years, I’ve learned the real ques- tion is: Who doesn’t have a ghost or at least a good ghost story to tell? And if you don’t have a ghost and you own a tourist attrac- tion, well, you might want to ﬁnd one — fast. As counterintui- tive as it might seem, ghosts don’t scare away visitors. In fact, ghost tourism is a booming industry that grows yearly here and around the world. Island tourism boosters embrace ghost tourism, largely because it comple- ments history tourism that’s so important here. Some observers theorize that the island’s tragic past, including the 1900 Storm that killed nearly 6,000 people in Galveston, as well as wars, pirates and crime families, have contributed to the city’s mystery, mystique and reputation for being haunted. Galvestonians love their history, and they keep it alive, often with eerie and spine-tingling zeal. That isn’t to say residents of the upper Texas coast scare easily. But the smallest things might make them scream. Read all about that in our Shorelines section, but probably not while enjoying breakfast. This year, most will agree, has been frightening enough. We hope you ﬁnd this issue to be a spine-tingling distraction ﬁlled with tricks and treats. Happy Halloween! LAURA ELDER Coast Monthly Editor 10 COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTObEr 2020 FROM THE EDITOR IN GALVESTON, GHOST STORIES ABOUND ﬁle photo by JENNIFER REYNOLDS The Galveston Historical Foundation’s Michel B. Menard house, 1605 33rd St., is supposed to be haunted. Learn more on Page 40.12 COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 SHORELINES WE ASKED ON FACEBOOK: What scares you? basements! Don’t go down there, unless there is a tornado! Julie Ghidoni bats ... personal experience! Trudy Deen Davis roaches. No other insects bother me, except those buggers. My husband has ﬁnally learned that when he hears me scream, he needs to grab a shoe and come running. Rebecca Hadley I have to agree that cockroaches are the worst. They may be smaller than me, but when I see one, I go berserk, trying to step on it or hit it with some- thing. And, if they start to ﬂy, well forget it! Ethel Lou MacBeth Flying roaches yuck! Yell every time. Mary Ellen Arledge Clowns. Absolutely. Bobbey White When we were teenagers, we snuck into “Mur- der Mansion” at night to play hide-and-go seek. What we didn’t know was some college kids were in there drinking beer. It’s a pretty scary experience to run into a young adult that you didn’t expect to see after all of the crazy stories told about the place. Seth Alford Editor’s note: “Murder Mansion” refers to a former 34,000-square-foot house on Galveston Bay in Seabrook, where one night in October 1984, one of the four young men staying at the house shot the owner to death with his own gun. Snakes are my worst fear! Found one in our garage months ago and now I still look carefully every time I go in the garage. Fred Koperski Snakes! After Hurricane Carla, I remember hear- ing stories about people lifting the toilet lid and water moccasins were in there. I still think about that today when I am faced with a lid to lift. Judy Buxton Elmendorf Snake phobia at its worst! I can’t even look at them, real, fake, stuffed … and don’t think to try to scare me as you just might get hurt! Jennie S. Latham Snakes. Denise Sowell Shead We had just left Carlsbad Caverns heading west and all of a sudden, the highway got black. Mil- lions of big, black spiders were migrating across the highway heading south for the winter. Horrible scary scene. I told my husband “Do not stop.” Leona Pleasant big spiders! Many, many years ago, I was work- ing at the gated entrance into the Chaparral Club in Dickinson. I felt something behind me and there was a huge tarantula crawling out of the ﬁeld! I hollered and ran to the lifeguard at the pool. The dang thing ran after me! He got a big pickle jar and scooped him up. Of course, the lifeguard and kids in the pool were fascinated. I just had the heebie-jeebies. He released the tarantula in some woods on the other side of the park! Faye Leonhardt My mom Catharine Conlon-Townsend when she addresses me and starts by using all three of my names, Thomas Geale (pronounced Gale) rice, usually what follows is a signal for me to run — and fast! Tom Rice Frogs. Reese Darby Weird sea creatures. Camille Thiel Downes Spiders, roaches and sharks — and I use to swim with them at Sea-Arama. I was crazy! Toni Click Taking the hook out of a shark’s mouth when I catch one. It’s like a “Jaws” moment. Bobby Martin Attics and basements. Glad we don’t have base- ments in Galveston County. Donna BerendHouston Methodist Welcomes Dr. David Wallace Expanding our team of leaders in PRIMARY CARE SPORTS MEDICINE David Wallace, DO, is a board-certiﬁed family physician who specializes in primary care sports medicine. His expertise includes: •Acute and chronic back pain •Carpal tunnel syndrome •Concussions •Dislocations, sprains and strains •Sports physicals houstonmethodist.org/orthopedics/clearlake | 713.363.9090 2020 NASA Pkwy. Suite 230 Houston, TX 77058 2220 E. League City Pkwy. Suite 200 League City, TX 77573 COMING SOON: 6243 Fairmont Pkwy., Suite 105 Pasadena, TX 77505 45 45 528 FM 518 146 E. LEAGUE CITY PKWY. 96 SATURN LN. SPACE CENTER BLVD.
FAIRMONT PKWY. COMING SOON NASA BYPASS NASA PKWY. BAY AREA BLVD. EL CAMINO REAL PINELOCH DR. CLEAR LAKE CITY BLVD. FAIRMONT PKWY. 45 NASA PKWY. Jamie Alexander, MD Orthopedic Surgery, Hand, Wrist and Elbow Javier Rios, MD Primary Care Sports Medicine, Nonsurgical Orthopedics, Concussion Management Kenneth Brooks, MD Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Joint Replacement Juan Serrato Jr., MD Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Joint Replacement J.Sawyer Croley, MD Orthopedic Surgery, Joint Replacement Gillian Wooldridge, DO Primary Care Sports Medicine, Nonsurgical Orthopedics, Concussion Management Jason Leaseburg, MD Orthopedic Surgery, Foot and Ankle Michael Monmouth, MD Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Joint Replacement14 COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 15 FEATURE HAUNTED HOSPITALITY Island’s inns and hotels are famous for stories of ghouls and ghosts story by MATT DEGROOD W hen Theressa Stonecipher moved to Galves- ton in 2013, the Nebraska native was most struck by the historic homes and buildings on the island, she said. Many of them had histories dating back more than a century ago — families had waited out the 1900 Storm in them, people had made lives in the new world in them and businesses were launched in them. As it happens, that wouldn’t be the only surprise in store for Stonecipher on the island. Stonecipher and her husband, Derick, who she met while they both worked at historic downtown island hotel The Tremont House, recently became proprietors of their very own property, the Coppersmith Inn Bed & Breakfast, 1914 Ave. M. The couple closed on the acquisition of the 1887 building on Halloween in 2019, to be exact. “Prior to that, the previous innkeeper actually had a medium come in and do a reading,” she said. “The medium said there were multiple extra guests here at the inn.” Stonecipher has heard a woman’s voice. Her husband had his own experience he can’t quite explain. And other visitors also have re- ported lights turning on in the middle of the night without explanation, she said. (Opposite) Theressa Stonecipher owns Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast in Galveston with her husband, Derick. The couple purchased the 1887 building in 2019 and soon after learned the inn is reported to be home to supernatural guests. Hair by Rebecca Rivera and makeup by Kenzie Gonzales, both of Total Technique Salon in Texas City. Accessories available at poshmark.com/closet/lynn77590. photo by STUART VILLANUEVACOASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 17 FEATURE Stonecipher and her husband have become members of a very unusual club. Although the island is best known for its beaches and rich history, Galveston might be just as famous among a certain segment for the hauntings of its hotels and inns. Rather than scaring away business, Galveston spirits increasingly have become a tourism draw, as evidenced by the ever popular ghost tours. Each evening, a black cat goes to the front porch of the Charles W. Adams Mansion, 2314 Ave. M., and watches participants of ghost tours pass by the mansion, said Jerry Klekotta, manager of the property. The his- toric mansion, in the Silk Stocking Historic District in Galveston‚ was built in 1860 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Legend has it that the cat, who Klekotta knows as Tin-Tin, is actually named Toby, and is 120 years old, Klekotta said. Locals say the cat is the son of Charles W. Adams, for whom the mansion was built. Toby, or Tin-Tin, whichever you prefer, is known to be assertive with those on ghost tours, biting anyone brave enough to try to pet him, Klekotta said. Many guests at the mansion, which offers short-term rentals for vacations and retreats, have reported encounters with visitors from the spiritual realm as well, Klekotta said. “Some have seen apparitions, some shadows, for some, it’s something moves and others something has been moved,” Klekotta said. Klekotta can vouch for the tales’ authen- ticity, having experienced something similar one night, while reading in his bed, he said. “Supposedly, at one time, it was a board- ing house, and the woman in charge would knock to see how everyone was doing,” he said. “I live on the property full-time, and one time I was the only one in the house and heard knocking. So, I went to look, and no one was there. I sat back down, was reading and heard knocking again. So, I checked all the doors and no one was there. Then I remembered the story and said, ‘I’m OK, I’m going to bed.’” photos by JENNIFER REYNOLDS Tin-Tin, left, lounges in a chair on the front porch of the Charles W. Adams Mansion, above, in Galveston. Legend has it the black cat is Adams’ son.18 COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 FEATURE Eerie as Klekotta’s and the Charles W. Adams Mansion’s ghost stories might be, they’re hardly the most famous ghost story in the island’s hospi- tality industry. The honor of the island property to bring the most visitors to the island in search of haunted rooms goes to the Hotel Galvez. As the story goes, the spirit of a woman named Audra haunts its halls. Audra was engaged to a sailor and, while he was at sea, she would go to a room on the ﬁfth ﬂoor, eyeing the stormy horizon as she waited for his return. One day, tragedy struck when the ship was ripped to pieces. The sailor, however, would return safely a few days later, but Audra hanged herself in despair, as the story goes. Theressa Stonecipher only learned about this world of island hauntings after she and Derick bought Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast, she said. “There was no real information,” she said. “The old innkeeper just had it in a ﬁle that we (Above) Some say room 501 at the Hotel Galvez is haunted by a bride-to-be-named Audra, who hanged herself in the west turret of the hotel after she believed her ﬁancé’s ship went down and all hands lost. ﬁle photos by JENNIFER REYNOLDS COASTMONTHLY.COM | OCTOber 2020 19 (Above) Theressa and Derick Stonecipher in 2019 purchased The Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast, 1914 Ave. M in Galveston. The Stoneciphers are remodeling the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the Queen Anne style structure, which was built in 1887. photos by STUART VILLANUEVANext >