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Haunted Houses
Haunted Houses - September 27, 2004

UPDATE JUNE 24, 2012!! (in black)

Ashton Villa, Galveston, Texas

Beautiful Ashton Villa Mansion in Galveston, Texas
Beautiful Ashton Villa Mansion in Galveston, Texas
Lovely antiques, family heirlooms and original art fill this stately mansion built before the Civil War by James Moreau Brown, one of Texas’ wealthiest businessmen, and presided over by his colorful daughter, Miss Bettie Brown. It is constructed of brick and cast iron, which helped make it one of the very few homes to survive the Great Storm of 1900 that killed 6,000 people and led to the island's virtual abandonment. Interestingly enough, during the 1900 Hurricane, the Browns opened the front door of the mansion and allowed the flood waters to flow all the way through the home exiting out the back door so that the home would not be pushed by the waters and possibly damaged.
Ashton Villa Staircase One of the youngest daughters of the Browns sat on the main staircase that faces the front door and the water was as high as the 10th step up flowing through the home like a river. Apparently the daughter just sat there and watched the flowing water with much fascination!

Ashton Villa is often called the "most haunted building in America." Ashton Villa Gold Room The ghost of Bettie Brown has been seen standing in the Gold Room, standing at the top of the staircase, and heard playing the piano at one of her famous music recitals. People on tours have reported feeling a presence joining them on the tour. A chest of drawers purchased in the Middle East stands in Bettie Brown's dayroom. It reportedly locks and unlocks spontaneously even though the key has been missing for years. Ceiling fans have been known to turn themselves on. One bed refuses to stay made. No matter how many times a day the sheets are straightened, they end up rumpled anyway. The dayroom, incidentally, was the only room where Bettie could go without wearing her “stays” and she apparently spent a lot of her time there. The top of the staircase where Bettie's ghost has been seen leads to the dayroom.

Ashton Villa Entryway
Ashton Villa Entryway
Although we did not actually experience "the ghost" on our visit to Ashton Villa, the front door opened by itself after we stepped in and were listening to our Tour Guide and he had to interrupt his presentation to go close it. As we moved on through the house, I heard a loud crash that sounded like glass breaking come from another room in the house. No one else seemed to hear it. I would think that if something really crashed and broke in this lovely home just full of antique artifacts, it would cause some sort of a stir among the employees but there was none. Our Tour Guide didn’t even flinch and my friend said she didn’t hear it. I also had some sort of reaction when we went into the bedroom of one of the sisters that was 12 years old at the time. I can’t put my finger on what I felt but I certainly felt something. I just reacted to the bed somehow. I didn’t find out until much later about the bed that wouldn’t stay made. Maybe this was the bed. And the strangest thing about our visit was that outside on the grounds we found two complete different sets of clothing lying in two separate locations. The clothes were not folded but looked as if someone just stepped out of them where they stood. Strange indeed. Oh by the way, our Tour Guide never mentioned the fact that Ashton Villa is reputed to be haunted. Bad publicity, I guess.

And lastly, I particularly liked a huge painting in the dining room that was done by Bettie Brown of a girl picking cherries in a graveyard. It was a lovely painting and I felt that Bettie was certainly a kindred spirit. I see no reason why she shouldn’t be haunting the beautiful mansion.

Ashton Villa's beautiful Oak Tree
Ashton Villa's beautiful Oak Tree
Ashton Villa stately side view
Ashton Villa stately side view
Okay guys, how many times do you think I have looked at this page over the last few years? About a million times, right? Well, the other night while I was updating the site, I happened on this page and something in the last picture above, the side view of Ashton Villa, caught my eye. I then and only then, noticed the image of a beautiful Victorian lady in a flowing blue dress on the tree to the left. I had never seen her before! I was amazed! So I went on with my work and a few hours later I received an email from a new friend, Trish, and she was incredulous that I had not mentioned the image of the beautiful lady on the tree to the left! Now Trish sees many more things in the tree while I only really see the lady but I'll let Trish explain it herself. Following is her email.

Trish writes:
Having just toured Ashton Villa yesterday and not hearing about the supposed ghosts until after the tour, I got online this morning and was looking for more information when I happened upon your site.

I didn't sense any ghosts while on the tour, but did find myself very attracted to all of the pictures of Bettie and kept thinking that she seemed a very vibrant presence and must have been a fascinating person to know.

Anyway, I cannot believe that there is not a comment about your final photo on the page, the side view of the house. Upon viewing it, my eyes were immediately drawn toward the tree on the left, as it originally appeared to me that the figure of a woman dressed in blue was superimposed upon it, except for the fact that the upper torso seemed much more bare than a Victorian lady would allow. Once I zoomed in, it instead appears that there is a large, three-dimensional and flesh-colored face visible in the tree, with eyes closed and mouth open. Upon further study, it appears that there are several other faces surrounding this one and some above and below on the tree trunk as well-except all of the rest are much less distinct and are gray and transparent. I pondered upon this for awhile, and have come to the conclusion that, in fact, Bettie is there and is either painting a new face or decided to help us out by painting one a much more vibrant color so that we can see it. What do you think?
Trish

Now is this amazing or what!? I find it very interesting that Ashton Villa is supposedly haunted by Bettie Brown, a very beautiful woman who lived during the Victorian era and we see an image of a beautiful woman dressed in Victorian era clothing in our image of Ashton Villa. Is it a coincidence? What do you think?

Well alrighty then, it's been ages and ages since I've done an update but I have found something that I MUST share with everyone. As all of my long time patriots know, we found the image of a lovely Victorian lady on the tree at Ashton Villa, the home of Miss Bettie Brown in Galveston, Texas. It is truly a beautiful likeness of a Victorian lady in a long, somewhat sexy flowing blue gown. The image is displayed below on the tree to your left. Over the years, I always wondered why nothing ever came of this ghostly image, for you see, we believe it to be Miss Bettie herself. Sooooo, I had the opportunity to attend a ghost hunt last Halloween 2011 at Ashton Villa. Now I didn't see any ghosts or anything else but I did discover something very interesting as I walked around the mansion and its grounds. I, of course, walked outside to check out the tree with Miss Bettie and lo and behold, I found that the tree had been hacked and chopped in such a manner that the image of Miss Bettie had been totally destroyed. The photos of the tree are very disturbing. My only conclusion is that whoever is responsible for Ashton Villa apparently didn't want the attention that the image on the tree would have brought. I'm sure they know of the incredible amount of exposure that the Face at the UTMB building experiences and I can only guess that they didn't want that same exposure. But what an awful thing to do! To destroy something so significant is a horrible thing to do. And just look at that tree, it's obvious that it was purposely chopped and hacked right where Miss Bettie was. All I can say is that I'm so grateful that we have the picture of Miss Bettie on the tree and whoever destroyed the tree can't do a thing about it! Here's the photo of Miss Bettie and the photos I took of the destroyed tree as it looks today. I can promise each and everyone of you that the image of Miss Bettie is safe here at Halloween's Unseen and will be displayed for as long as long can be! Luvs, Janet
Ashton Villa stately side view
Miss Bettie's tree
Ashton Villa damaged tree
Ashton Villa damaged tree
Ashton Villa damaged tree
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