Must Do Ghost and History Tours on the Upper Texas Coast
Don’t you love a good ghost story? The kind that gives you chills. Or maybe you prefer a good history tour. Either way, you’ll find plenty of options on the Upper Texas Coast.
Let’s start in Jefferson County at the McFaddin-Ward Historic House, 1906 Calder Avenue in Beaumont. This home was built in 1905 and still features the original furnishings. The one-hour docent-led tour covers the history of the McFaddin family and Beaumont during the oil boom. In addition, the home is hosting a lecture on the Magnolia Cemetery: 1847 to the Present – Where the History of Beaumont Lives on Thursday, Nov. 10, followed by a guided cemetery tour. While there are no ghost stories, we’re sure you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Check their website for other special events.
Next up is the John Jay French House, 3025 French Road, in Beaumont, that’s hosting a Museum Madness: Pumpkin Walk and Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy a haunted tour of the 1845 French home with departed French family members and a haunted hayride of the grounds. Beaumont Heritage Society operates the John Jay French House and the Chambers House. See the website for details on tours and special events.
Down the road, in Galveston County, you’ll find year-round ghost tours and plenty of history on Galveston Island. Make sure to put The Bryan Museum, 1315 21st Street, in Galveston, on your list of stops. The Museum has one of the largest collections of Southwestern historical artifacts, documents, and artwork in the United States. Another interesting aspect of the museum is the collection is housed in the Galveston’s Orphans Home, which survived the 1900 Storm and operated through 1984.
Also in Galveston, the Galveston Naval Museum at Seawolf Park, 100 Seawolf Parkway, offers seasonal Safe Trick-or-Treat and Haunted Submarine Tours on Oct. 28 and 29. The Galveston Naval Museum berths the WWII submarine USS Cavalla and the only Edsall-class destroyer escort left in the US, the USS Stewart. The Museum is also offering new Hard Hat Tours in areas of the USS Stewart that are typically closed to the public.
As we make our way to Brazoria, you’ll want to stop at the Varner-Hogg Plantation, 1702 N. 13th Street West, in West Columbia on Saturday, Oct. 22 for Ghosts Along the Brazos. Take a spooky stroll around the Varner-Hogg Plantation grounds and listen to tales about the ghostly heritage of the area. The Texas Historical Commission operates this property. Check the THC website for other upcoming events.
Freeport Historical Museum, 311 East Park Avenue, in Freeport, is hosting Haunted Tales of the Texas Coast in October. This is a seasonal exhibit and accompanying video with reenactors that share these ghost stories of the area. The exhibit is up through the month of October at the Museum. Visit their Facebook page for upcoming events and special exhibits.
In Matagorda County, your best stop is the Matagorda County Museum, 2100 Avenue F, in Bay City. A must-see is the diorama of part of the excavation and artifacts from the La Belle shipwreck. Texas Historical Commission archaeologists discovered the La Belle shipwreck in 1995. And, kids will love their children’s museum offering a turn-of-the-century Texas town, including a typical prairie home.
Our last stop is the City by the Sea Museum, 401 Commerce Street, in Palacios. You’ll find an exhibit on the Karankawa Indians which includes artifacts and you’ll also want to spend time at their Camp Hulen exhibit, which started as a Texas National Guard Camp in the mid-1920s and later served as a POW camp.
We encourage you to look for those locally owned small restaurants as you explore the Upper Texas Coast and start taking notes for your return visit. Search our website’s Things to Do section for suggestions for the Upper Texas Coast.
Lone Star Coastal Alliance is committed to promoting nature and heritage tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities in Jefferson, Galveston, Brazoria, and Matagorda Counties.