Dash Beardsley (a.k.a. The Ghost Man) is the longtime tour guide with the Ghost Tours of Galveston, which escorts brave souls on ghost hunts and walking tours around the island’s haunted spots. Tours cost $20 and run year round.
Beardsley talked with KPRC 2 about one of the strangest things he’s witnessed while giving a tour and shared one of his favorite spooky spots around town.
Q: What made you interested in launching Ghost Tours of Galveston?
A: It all got started when I was a kid really. I was trying to find out where my dad went because he died. I didn’t know where he went so I wanted to know where he went so I started my lifelong journey then. I took it from there and learned a lot on the way.
The tours just kind of happened. I never really planned on it. I never thought I’d be a ghost man at this stage or anything like that. I just went with it when the idea came up.
Q: What’s your connection to Galveston?
A: I’m from Houston really. In The Heights in Houston. I’ve lived on and off the island. I live in La Marque right now.
Q: What brought you to Galveston?
A: I don’t know. I was just drawn to that place. I was just drawn. It just happened. I don’t know exactly what it was but it was something magnetic. Something pulled me there. It’s an interesting place.
Q: What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had while giving a ghost tour?
A: Probably when I was followed home by a ghost, by a certain person that was in the Nichols Building. The building was owned by the Confederacy and then by the Union. There was a man that followed me home one night and that was probably the most of a sighting I’ve ever gotten. What happened was this man followed me home and he started talking to me, asking me to tell him all this stuff. He was an extractor of information and he was on the wrong side of the law, I think. Anyway, he didn’t get any information out of me. I called on Michael the Archangel and got him out of there. That was one of the most terrifying experiences I ever had.
Q: What is your favorite strange, dark, or unusual spot in Galveston and why?
A: That would be Stewart’s Mansion probably. Stewart’s Mansion is a place that’s just been remodeled and remodeling, when it comes to ghosts, is a very bad thing because remodeling is where ghosts crop up and do things to thwart your remodeling.
Q: I imagine you lead a lot of tours during October. Could you share one of the stories or stops people can expect to see and hear on one of your tours?
A: There’s the main stop which is the Railroad Museum and that’s where the Karankawas were. They were all around the island but they were all around there in particular. And that’s the same place where Jean Laffite was. You can hear that and you can hear other things.
Q: Compiling and distilling Galveston’s history into one to two hours tours is quite a feat. How do you determine what to include in your tours?
A: I just look and see what’s the most interesting thing and that’s what I put in my tours.
Q: By your assessment, why has Galveston developed a reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the nation?
A: I think it’s because the island is surrounded by energy. Water is energy. That’s one of the reasons. It’s also in line with the pyramids.
Q: What are some of the island’s less well-known supposedly haunted spots?
A: The face is one and there are some others.
Q: If you had the opportunity to travel through time and live in or visit a different era in Galveston’s history, which would you choose and why?
A: I would choose probably the Jean Laffite era. I would choose it because I’d like to find out how he lived and find out a little more about him.
Q: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Galveston?
A: Controversy. Because I think controversy is what Galveston has built its reputation on.
Q: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Texas?
Q: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of ghosts?