Halloween might not be the most romantic time of the year, but hey, there’s nothing like a good scare to bring you and your significant other closer together. From an occult bookstore to a haunted hotel, here are some ways to unearth latent fears of the unknown with your boo this Halloween season.
Book a night with your boo in a haunted hotel room
This Halloween season, why not spend a night or two at a hotel frequented by the undead?
Opened in 1911 as a symbol of Galveston’s resiliency in the wake of the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (which killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people and remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history), Hotel Galvez is one of the Gulf Coast’s most luxurious beachfront hotels . . . and it’s got a little extra spirit, if you know what we mean.
Throughout its illustrious history, the Queen of the Gulf has played host to presidents, celebrities and, purportedly, even a few ghosts, including the spirit of a lovelorn woman who supposedly committed suicide in room 501. The tale goes that the young woman, Audra, was waiting for her beloved, a sailor, to return from a voyage when, one day, she received news that her fiancé's ship had sunk during a powerful storm. Audra held out hope and kept her vigil for days but she ultimately lost hope. Convinced her fiancé was dead, she hung herself. A few days later, Audra’s fiancé returned to the Galvez in search of the bride he’d never marry. Audra reportedly still inhabits room 501. Guests and employees have noted unexplained phenomena, including flickering lights, doors that open and close, unexplained footsteps and voices on the hotel’s fifth floor. Audra sightings in hallways have also been reported.
A parting word of advice: If you do book a night in room 501, you might want to sleep with one eye open.
Hotel Galvez is located at 2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, (409) 765-7721, hotelgalvez.com.
Visit a quaint Texas town crawling with ghosts
Do you and your significant other subscribe to the supernatural? Take a tour of Old Town Spring, the 19th-century railroad town that is often dubbed the ghost capitol of Texas. According to Houston Ghost Tour, the town is the sixth most haunted Old West town in the country. Houston Ghost Tour offers both adult and family-friendly ghost tours of the town year-round. According to Houston Ghost Tour, the town is the sixth most haunted Old West town in the country.
Old Town Spring is located about 20 miles north of Houston.
Get your witch on at an occult store in Montrose
Crazy about crystals? Dreaming of a new divination set? Do you harbor a deep-seated desire to consort with unknown forces? Or, are you merely occult-curious? Get a dose of mysticism at a witchcraft store in Montrose: The Magick Cauldron. The store, a longtime Houston fixture serving the city’s pagan set, bills itself as “Houston’s premier Pagan religious supplier.” A purveyor of all things occult, The Magic Cauldron offers everything from unusual herbs, custom incense, candles (some skull-shaped), talismans and crystals to well, actual cauldrons, Ouija boards, wands, alter pentacles, Tarot Cards, rune sets and even a 19th-century vampire hunting kit bearing a hefty price tag of $7,500. But hey, it’s a small price to pay for the power to vanquish vampires, right?
Not much for mysticism? The Magic Cauldron also carries jewelry, Renfest paraphernalia, Steampunk garb, armor and an array of medieval weaponry.
Whether you’re an emerging occultist or you think mysticism is just a bunch of hocus-pocus, The Magick Cauldron has plenty of curios, doodads and knick knacks to marvel at just for the fun of it.
The Magick Cauldron is located at 2424 Montrose, 713-523-0069, magickcauldron.com.
Spend an evening at a macabre museum on Houston’s north side
Do you and your significant other bond over a mutual preoccupation with death? Or are you just kind of curious to learn what happens once you die? Take a trip to one of Houston’s most eclectic museums -- the National Museum of Funeral History.
Here you’ll learn about historical mourning traditions, embalming techniques and the difference between a coffin and a casket, among other things. The exhibits, spread out over 30,500-plus square feet, offer a little something for everyone. Color yourself a car-lover? Admire the museum’s collection of historical hearses, which run the gamut from horse-drawn funeral carriages of the 19th century to the hearses used in the funeral of Grace Kelly and the state funeral services of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford. A little celebrity obsessed? Take a stroll through the Thanks for the Memories exhibit, a collection of celebrity memorial cards and funeral programs from the services of Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Jim Henson, Whitney Houston, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne and others. Fancy yourself a history buff? Don’t miss the presidential funeral displays, which include an authentic bill from President George Washington’s funeral, the original eternal flame from President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery and even a lock of President Abraham Lincoln’s hair.
Oh, yeah, we almost forgot to mention it but those who subscribe to the supernatural say the museum is the site of some spooky activity.
The National Museum of Funeral History is located at 415 Barren Springs Drive, (281) 876-3063, nmfh.org.
Listen to Galveston ghost stories at a haunted, historic house
Galveston’s oldest home, a Greek Revival-style abode known as the Menard House, was built in 1838 by Michel B. Menard, an early Texas pioneer who co-founded Galveston and represented Galveston County in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Menard’s young daughter Clara died in the home after falling down the stairs. Some say they’ve heard and seen her ghost in the house, according to Robert Wlodarski and Anne Powell Wlodarski’s book “Haunted Restaurants, Taverns and Inns of Texas.”
Menard House is a privately owned historic site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through a partnership with The Galveston Historical Foundation, the house operates as a museum and event venue. During October, the Galveston Historical Foundation will host Galveston Ghost Stories at the Menard House. The haunted history tour will be held on Oct. 23, 24, 30 & 31 at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
Menard House is located at 1605 33rd Street, Galveston, (409) 765 7834
For more spooky things to do in the Houston area, check out our Halloween page.