Saturday, June 16, 2018

Living In Galveston With Thousands Of Spirits

Galveston Island’s ghostly history makes it one of the top destinations in the country for spooky travel, from a haunted historic hotel to the island’s storied harbor, cemeteries and Victorian mansions. Here, visitors can get spooked by the numerous ghost stories that stem from the country’s deadliest natural disaster and other tragedies.
Galveston has many sites that are considered haunted, including an 1867 building that served as a morgue after the 1900 Storm – still the deadliest storm in U.S. history having killed an estimated 8,000 Galveston residents. The building now houses Haunted Mayfield Manor – a year-round haunted house attraction in downtown Galveston. The haunted house embraces the spooky history of the building’s past while providing guests with a psychologically thrilling experience.
Also embracing its reported haunting is Hotel Galvez, which has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories and on the Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab for its paranormal significance. The hotel, which offers year-round audio ghost tours and special tours during October, is said to be haunted by a “Ghost Bride” who reportedly has been seen in room 501 and in the hotel’s west turret. Legend has it that the bride hung herself in the west turret during the mid-1900s after hearing reports that her fiancé had died at sea. Tragically, her fiancé eventually returned to the hotel looking forward to a marriage that would never be.
The Galveston Historical Foundation, which manages many of the island’s well-preserved historical sites and Victorian mansions, also offers ghost tours throughout October. Many of the island’s historic places have ghost stories attached to them as Galveston has been home to epidemics of disease, war, fires, storms and many merciless pirates, including the infamous Jean Laffite whose lavish and lawless den of thieves was the island’s first European settlement.
Galveston is also home to the nationally recognized paranormal expert Dash Beardsley, who offers ghost tours in the island’s cemeteries, downtown district and other parts of the island year round.

Pagan Wheel Of The Year


Wheel of the Year

The Celtic calendar focused on the cyclical change of seasons.  The original Celts celebrated four fire festivals, evenly spaced throughout the year, celebrating the transition of the sun throughout the seasons.  These include Samhain (Oct 31), Imbolc (Feb 1), Bealtaine (May 1), and Lughnasadh (Aug 1).  These festivals are often combined with the solstices and equinoxes which are thought to be non-Celtic in origin, such as from Germanic Paganism or Neolithic sources.  These ‘quarter festivals’ include Yule/Midwinter (c. Dec 21), Ostara (c. March 21), Litha/Midsummer (c. June 21), and Mabon (c. Sept 21).
Seasonal changes were very important to the agricultural Celts, who depended on the Wheel of the Year to dictate when to plow, sow, harvest, and rest.  The turning of the Wheel represents the continuing birth, death and rebirth of nature.
Note: these dates correspond to the Northern Hemisphere.
SAMHAIN (October 31) (Cross-quarter, Fire Festival)
Samhain (SOW-in) represents the final harvest before the long winter.  It’s a time to honor our ancestors and embrace the darker half of the year.  This also marks the beginning of the New Year in many Pagan traditions.
YULE / MIDWINTER / WINTER SOLSTICE (December 20-23) (Quarter Festival, Solstice)
Yule marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.  From now on, the days become longer and we celebrate the return of the sun back to the earth.  Also known as Alban Arthan (the Light of Arthur).
IMBOLC / CANDLEMAS (February 2) (Cross-quarter, Fire Festival)
Imbolc is a festival of fire and light, and in many Pagan traditions celebrates the Celtic hearth goddess, Brigid.  It marks the midpoint between winter and spring.  This is a festival of purification, a festival of light and fertility, and new beginnings.
OSTARA / SPRING EQUINOX (March 20-23) (Quarter Festival, Equinox)
Ostara is the celebration of the spring equinox, and is a time to prepare for the beginnings of new life each year.  The hours of day and night are equal, and light is overtaking darkness.  Also known as Alban Eilir (the Light of the Earth).
BEALTAINE / MAY DAY (May 1) (Cross-quarter, Fire Festival)
Bealtaine is a spring celebration that honours the fertility of the earth.  A time of lust, passion, fire, and abundance.
LITHA / MIDSUMMER / SUMMER SOLSTICE (June 20-23) (Quarter Festival, Solstice)
Litha is the time of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.  It’s a celebration of light’s triumph over darkness and that of the bountiful beauty that light brings into our lives.  Also known as Alban Hefin (the Light of the Shore).
LUGHNASADH / LAMMAS (August 1) (Cross-quarter, Fire Festival)
Lughnasadh (LOO-na-saa) is a celebration in honour of the Celtic god, Lugh. For others, this festival is observed as Lammas, and celebrates the early grain harvest.  This is the first harvest festival, when plants drop their seeds to ensure future crops.
MABON / AUTUMN EQUINOX (September 20-23) (Quarter Festival, Equinox)
Mabon is a time of thanksgiving that celebrates the second harvest, and the autumn equinox.  The days and nights are once again equal, with the night continuing to grow longer.  Also known as Alban Elfed (Light of the Water).

Living In Galveston With Thousands Of Spirits

Galveston Island’s ghostly  history  makes it one of the top destinations in the country for spooky travel, from a haunted historic hotel ...