“I’m going to be your tour guide tonight,” said the Lady in Black. “I know you see me almost every night, and I have brought some friends with me this evening and would I like for you to welcome them.”
With a floral veil on her head and a lantern in her hand, the Lady in Black has guided guests along the broken paths of this Galveston cemetery more than a thousand times.
“Friendly touching is allowed and so is speaking to us,” she says. “So please if you would like to contact us, you can. We are open to that.”
As if she’s talking to old friends, the Lady in Black tells the spirits they can make themselves known.
“Sometimes in the past, she has jerked on my handbag,” she said. “So you can do that again Elsie. And you know I feel bad for you. If you need to tell me anything or need to touch me you can.”
Elsie, who the Lady says murdered her children before killing herself in the late 1800s, is one of the cemetery's most active spirits, she says.
“I have seen a full apparition of Elsie,” she said. “I was with a tour group and we all saw it.”
“The reason you have spirits is, number one, they don’t know that they’re dead. Second, they have unfinished business,” the Lady said.
And the Lady says there are many.
“Watching the Mardi Gras parade go by when her husband comes under the balcony with a pistol and shoots her dead. That’s why we put Mardi Gras beads on her grave to let her know she’s not forgotten,” she said.
Not all of them are relegated to the granite and marble, she says.
“This island is haunted from one end to the other,” she said.
The Lady says she’s been drawn to the paranormal since she was a child.
“Ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “I would see and experience some spirits. And I tried to talk to my mother about it, she didn’t want to hear about it. She told me to go and talk to my grandmother about it who’d seen similar things. She explained that these were dead people and I had a gift like her.”
Although we were not able to confirm the Lady’s gift of seeing the dead on this visit, we can vouch for her gift of storytelling.
“We have a very unusual history,” she said. “And a special history I feel.”
The Lady in Black is keeping the island’s spooky history alive one tale at a time.
If you want to explore the island's paranormal side, here's a list of Galveston ghost tour companies: