Here’s what happens when you dare to stay at one of Galveston’s most haunted hotels

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Standing in the doorway of my third-floor room at Galveston’s historic Tremont House Hotel, I saw nothing but an elegant, well-appointed bedroom with a large, luxurious bed that seemed perfect for a night of rest.

But when the lights started flickering in the dead of night, I started feeling a little tinge of trepidation and curiosity. Yes, I had heard that the place was historic and reportedly haunted, but I didn’t give it much thought. I was exhausted from the day, and I needed to just hit the sack.

What I didn’t need was supernatural visitors.

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I attempted to roll back to sleep, but I just couldn’t. I felt too restless. I decided to dig more deeply into the history of the hotel and check some online reviews.

The first review I stumbled upon was a touch disquieting.

A glimpse inside the atrium area of the Tremont House Hotel.

A glimpse inside the atrium area of the Tremont House Hotel.

Alison Medley

“It was almost 1:30 a.m. and I could not sleep. I suddenly felt someone grab my toe thru the blankets and apply pressure to my right toe. We loved the hotel but it was a bit more haunting than we wanted it to be,” one Tremont Hotel guest wrote on Tripadvisor. 

That review put the final nail in the coffin — I would clearly be up all night. I was curious, though. Every haunting has a history. So why was the Tremont considered such a popular hangout for guests of the ghoulish kind?

Known as “Queen of the Gulf,” the Tremont House was freshly minted in 1839. It’s reportedly home to a couple of ghosts, according to Galveston paranormal investigator and ghost hunter Dash Beardsley.

“There was a salesman, and he stayed in the Tremont for a short time,” Beardsley said. “He went out and won himself a lot of money. He came back to the room and was counting the money or something. There was a knock on the door. Someone took his money, and he was killed. He haunts that place.”

Peering inside Room 347 of the Tremont House.

Peering inside Room 347 of the Tremont House.

Alison Medley

Another haunted tale explores how a little boy named Jimmy haunts the Tremont.

“There was another story about Jimmy who was killed by an automobile accident. He is said to haunt the the back alley and the elevators,” Beardsley said. “When you knock on the elevator doors, you get three knocks and you get three knocks back.”

Beardsley said that the Tremont Hotel is known for having paranormal activity.

“I’ve had people call me and tell me to get up there, that there’s activity going on,” Beardsley said. “It’s usually on the third floor. Things turned on all by themselves. They had doors opening and closing by themselves. They tell me there’s a room that’s really haunted.”

The curious thing? When folks have a ghostly experience here, some still return. One Tremont House guest, Katie Kerr, shared her eerie experience.

The bar area of the Tremont House Hotel is reportedly a haunted spot.

The bar area of the Tremont House Hotel is reportedly a haunted spot.

Alison Medley

“The first time I was at the Tremont was in the fall of 2013,” said Katie Kerr, assistant director of speech language pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “My first night I was sitting there, and I was sitting on the bed. I had put all my things away. And the closet door was cracked open, and the light in the closet was flickering. So I closed the door, turned off the light off and went about my business.  When I came back, the door was open and the light was on again.”

Not only do guests and paranormal experts experience these so-called hauntings, but employees also have stories about the Tremont House.

“There is a lady who comes here often. She said she was looking out of her window, and she felt her husband come up behind her, and then she heard her husband snore. Then she realized, ‘Oh, that was a ghost!’ and just jumped,” Tremont House front desk clerk Brittani Simpson said.

Overlooking the bar area of Tremont House Hotel.

Overlooking the bar area of Tremont House Hotel.

Alison Medley

You may call these ghostly tales merely anecdotes. Some believe in spirits and some don’t. Yet these mysterious stories still offer a rare glimpse into history. Some experts believe these stories offer cautionary tales on how to lead ethical lives, and certain spirits simply want justice for bad things that have been done. According to Haunted Halls: Ghostlore of American College Campuses author Elizabeth Tucker, ghost sightings reported on some university campuses were linked to the sordid details of the campus’ past.

“Their sightings are often a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives and that ethical lapses can carry a heavy spiritual burden,” Tucker wrote.

No matter what your belief is, Halloween is upon us. If you dare to stay in a haunted hotel, Galveston awaits you. Don’t be too spooked about flickering lights and prepare for a restless night.

“There’s all kinds of things that go on there…all kinds of weird things in Galveston,” Beardsley said.

So if you’re terrified at the Tremont or startled by one of these ghostly sightings, what should you do?

“Just tell them (the spirits) to quit it, tell them to stop it,” Beardsley said.

Fair enough. That’s word to the wise and fearless.

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