Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

University of Texas Medical Branch

Galveston, Texas

It is said that the property on which the University of Texas Medical Branch was once owned by a fisherman. The university wanted the property, but the man would not budge. Finally after he died, the school acquired the property. It is said that on the back of the wall facing Galveston Bay, one can see the face of the man. The walls have been sand-blown and painted. The building has been torn down and rebuilt. Street lights have been moved. Still, the face continues to appear.

57 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


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Stevo says:

October 19, 2005, 7:04 pm

This is absolutely true. I live on Galveston Island, and just about everyone here has at one point or another seen this building. The face is always visible, but not always in the same spot, there have been pictures in the newspaper that show the face on different floors.

BAM says:

February 1, 2006, 1:57 pm aunt was in that hospital and every time we looked around you could see that face…we just never knew about the place being haunted

Tex says:

February 24, 2006, 5:39 pm

Absolute rubbish and complete nonesense. I live in Galveston, no one talks about this and I checked, it is not true!!

Apple says:

March 12, 2006, 4:02 am

This is absolutely true! I lived in Galveston for 9 years, and one of the first places I was taken in town was to see “The Face.” The locals may not talk about it, but they all know about it, and you can definitely see the face.

bill says:

April 11, 2006, 10:26 am

this is true, my dad was a construction worker on this work site, he was there while they were sanding it down and saw himself the face reappear. he took me with him one day, and i saw it myself, so this isnt rubbish

Anna says:

April 26, 2006, 2:52 pm

I have seen the face myself, if you live in Galveston, maybe you should step away from the computer and go outside.
There was a nursing student who parked her car outside and looked at the face, her car went backward into the water, she drowned. The face of the man is believed to be Pirate Jean Lafitte. Check it out before you say it is absolutely not true. Just because you havent seen it , does not mean it does not exist.
I havent seen you, therefore you dont exist. HAHA

Try searching google, you’ll be surprised. the guy kind looks like the male main character from the little mermaid.

Kristin says:

April 27, 2006, 8:20 pm

I heard about it and disn’t believe it….until I saw it! It is totally true and if you open your eyes you can see it. We even took pictures of it and they turned out. If you didn’t see it you need to go back and look again it is definately there!

Barbara says:

May 22, 2006, 1:52 am

Anyone who wishes to see “the face” on the UTMB building can take one of the harbor tours (the morning dolphin tour is a good one)that leaves next to Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant at Pier 21 and ask the captain if he can go by the UTMB Building to see “Charlie” aka “the face” and usually he will go by it on the return part of the cruise. Take a camera with a good telephoto lens and you will be able to get great pictures of it clear as day!

I have photographs of “the face” and it looks like a one story, old-fashioned, sepia-toned photo of a gentleman with a beard and mustache and glasses.

The story goes that there was a man who’s house was located where the UTMB marine biology building is now. When UT wanted to buy his home, he refused and also told his family never to sell his house or he would come back and haunt them. Eventually, he died and his family did sell the property. After the new building was erected, “the face” appeared on one wall (about one story high) and the university spent thousands of dollars to sandblast off the image as nothing else would remove it. You can actually see the smooth area on the wall where the image was previously. Anyway, the image reappeared in a new area (right above the back door of the building) and the task of removing it this time was given up. Supposedly, the family who had sold the property to UTMB was contacted. When they came back to see the image, they exclaimed, “That’s Uncle Charle!!!”

Quite a few years ago, some nursing students backed down the driveway at night to see the image and their vehicle plunged into the water causing them to drown. (Check the Galveston news about the story which is unfortunately true.) After that tragedy, UTMB erected a fence so no one can enter the back area without going through the front door of the building. I actually did get to go through the building and go to the back to see it up close and also take pictures and it is really amazing!

Susie says:

May 23, 2006, 8:58 pm

I live in Galveston and “the face” is something I show to friends that visit. I usally take them by boat but have taken people by car in through the fenced area. It is there and easily seen. It was interesting when I read Stevo’s comment from 10-19-05 stating that it’s not always in the same place. When I first saw it about six years ago it was up higher (up one floor)and over to the left of where it is now. I thought I was crazy that it had moved but now I know other people have seen it in other places on the side of the UTMB building.

Tina says:

June 8, 2006, 9:46 pm

I’ve seen it and have pictures of it…don’t know if there is any truth to the rumors..but I know what I saw and have on paper(picture).

bitty grissom says:

June 23, 2006, 10:29 pm

she better look again its there ben ther seen that

Ryan says:

September 4, 2006, 10:31 am

I live in Galveston and my job takes me on the water often. My coworkers often mentioned this face but I was skeptical. I thought it was probably some stain on a building, that if you used your imagination, could resemble a face. Oh boy was I in for a surprise. I saw it last night for the first time and this is no joke. It straight up looks like somebody painted a portrait on the wall, but it’s obviously not paint. You can also see where they’ve sandblasted as others have said. What’s more, no matter who you ask the story remains consistent as to how it got there and the history behind it. Which gives it more weight since it never changes. This is worth checking out. It will give you the creeps.

Colleen says:

September 7, 2006, 3:59 pm

I went looking for a picture because people said it could be googled, and found this one.. kinda neat.

Colleen says:

September 7, 2006, 4:00 pm thought the website would post.. here it is

Weber Jr. says:

September 12, 2006, 1:19 pm

Make no mistake, the “Face” at UTMB’s research building is real. I am a BOI (born on the island) and have seen the face several times, as to it’s origin, the truth is no one has ever been able to say what it is definitively. About the nursing students drowning, that is true, accept that only one girl drowned, the other was able to make it out of the car. I happen to be in the Emergency field, and was there that night it happen…it was 14-15 years ago.

laura says:

October 18, 2006, 8:18 am

i was born and raised in galveston …. and yes.. this story is true… ive seen it myself

Mark says:

October 18, 2006, 3:19 pm

the face is real, photographed it, climed the fence to get a better picture of it. I have submitted the picture to the afore mentioned website and she is going to post it.(she says) As for the face moving spots…there is evidence that the block above it was sandblasted but it has always been in the same block as I remember it 15 years ago. I was not born on the island but lived there for many years on the weekends.

LEE says:

October 29, 2006, 3:25 am


Ann says:

November 5, 2006, 1:26 am

The face phenomenon is real, the story is not. There was never a house on that property and no one owned it before UTMB. In fact, that property used to be under water until the bay was dredge, the property was filled in, and the school was built there. So if the face is that of a man who used to farm the property, he must have been a seaweed farmer.

Kathy says:

November 17, 2006, 9:59 pm

I have been to Galveston several times and seen this face on three different panels. Its really weird! Kathy

Tiffany says:

December 10, 2006, 12:44 am

I looked at pics of this and did not see any face. Unless the pics were no good I don’t know if I can beleive it. Could it be that were they have sandblasted maked it look like a face? Sort of like it is matrixed you know your eyes seeing something and your brain makes famluar shapes out of something that really isn’t?

Kilcey says:

January 3, 2007, 2:20 pm

Yeah this is forreal!! I live on the island and when I was at the driving school that was the place I had to drive out to; at night… when it was kinda foggy!!! There’s also stories of a nurse who drowned back there. Appearently she went to go look at the face, wicked happenings started, and when she tried to leave her car only went in reverse and she drowned.
But you can clearly see the face for what it is. There’s no guessing about what the shape might be or could be. It’s a face, it’s The Face.

cr says:

February 17, 2007, 9:10 pm

totally true & i have pictures to prove it. we have been during the day and at night on different dates too….totally freaky…


March 8, 2007, 7:16 pm

The local tourist boats give a description of the face. It is on the tour and said to be the haunting of Pirate Jean Lafitte. If you see it and then look at a picture of this pirate you will know it is true. It is very weird, because they have tried many times to erase this image and it keeps reappearing.

betrice says:

March 9, 2007, 12:55 am

i’ve lived here all my life at first i didn’t believe it until i went back there my self i was fishing happened to turn around when my sister called me i saw it wow unbelieveable

steven says:

March 15, 2007, 4:34 pm

This is absolute 100% fact. You don’t need to believe in ghost or the supernatural for it to “appear” – it is just there.

My sister works at UTMB. I made her take me to see the face after I told her she was insane after telling me about it. She did not even have to point it, the face was plain and obvious to my eyes. As they say…seeing is believing.

Cameron says:

March 28, 2007, 1:43 pm

This is completely true i have seen it with my own eyes. (Even though you’re really not supposed to. It’s trespassing)

josh says:

April 1, 2007, 2:26 am

its freaky man ive seen it 4 my self

Patty says:

June 11, 2007, 9:55 am

BOI ( Born on the Island-for those of you who aren’t)and have seen it, have taken friends to see it, have taken friend’s friends to see it. It is there, although it is more likely a sandblasting error that turned into a ‘whopper’ of a story.

There was a nurse that drowned but it is my understanding that she put her car in the wrong gear when leaving the face after a long night of ‘partying’.

I doubt it means that the building is haunted. It is fun to look at anyway and fun to scare those who have never seen it. It is still in the same spot it was in 20 years ago when I first saw it. It hasn’t moved, maybe some people should only go when they are sober.

Anyway, if you want mess with someone, tell em the story and take em by there at night. Good for a laugh.

Barb says:

August 10, 2007, 6:45 pm

I can’t see how anyone would say this story is rubbish. I grew up in Galveston and first saw this image when I was in high school. It’s not a tale nor a lie it’s there, check it out. I’m 42 now and the image is still there. I expect the image to be there for many years to come.

Jonathan says:

September 12, 2007, 3:42 am

here is a link with pics of the face…

Matt says:

September 27, 2007, 12:01 am

Ya, my family has a beach house on Jamaica Beach and we’ve been down there and saw the face.

chris says:

October 3, 2007, 10:32 pm

I have seen the face from the pier that sits across from the building, even though it is labeled as UTMB, it is not located on the same side as the hospital. Many locals know about the face but don’t know which building it is. The face can be seen from the parking lot(pier8) but it’s trespassing. From the water. From pier9, which requires going through the port of galveston guard station on 16th and harborside/industrial road, this is not an option unless you have a port ID or know someone who does. The face is real and can be seen at any hour, but beware it does carry some bad history and does give off an uneasy feeling.

BattleAxe says:

October 5, 2007, 1:20 pm

I lived in Galveston for 6 years throughout my life, and still own a house there.
I am surprised that this is the ONLY haunted listing for Galveston. The place is thick with spirits.
The face IS true, atleast that it can be seen. As far as the story, I’ve heard many variations.
But you can see it.
And if you live in Galveston, and have NEVER heard of it, perhaps you need a hearing aid.

dazja says:

October 16, 2007, 3:13 pm

i have neva eva sean this

Terry says:

October 17, 2007, 1:40 am

My wife & I were on the island this past weekend & were told of the face on the building…I was quite skeptical, having never heard of this before…We drove down Harborside Dr. to the Ewing Building on the UTMB hospital…Once there we were approached by a Galveston police officer who thought I was having car trouble…I told him we were looking for the face on the building..He directed us to back side of the building that faces the water & said the face was there…He said he would not point it out..He did not have to…It is clearly visible…

Co relocate says:

December 4, 2007, 4:24 pm

True Story. I moved to Colorado a year ago and was researching Morrison, CO hauntings today becasue of a radio show I heard. I found this site and remembered “The Face” in Galveston so here I am. I am very surprised and amazed to find this story here. My girlfriend told me about this back in 1985 and she took me there. Well I don’t really believe in Ghosts but the hair stood way up on the back of my neck when I saw it. Really weird. But I think someone is responsible for doing this. Who knows!! all I know is after 27yrs. its interesting that the story still circles and the Face is still there! Next time I’m back in town (visiting family) I am going to go back and check that out again and take a picture of it. From what I remember back then, there was a Bar/restaurant behind it. I also faintly remember a fence around most of the building’s property.(it kinda felt like we were trespassing.) Its very close to the shipyard canal. Can anyone confirm?
I will report back when I visit. Might be Spring 2008 though.

alexis says:

February 5, 2008, 2:49 pm

itss truee! ive seen itt!!

Matt says:

May 2, 2008, 1:27 am

Oh it’s real. I grew up just north of Galveston and saw it atleast 4 or 5 times. You really should see it after dark when it has a strange eerie green glow to it.

Tim says:

June 19, 2008, 1:26 am

Maybe it was just a distortion of this same story, but once I was told a story about a face on a wall somewhere in Galveston that you had to go down an alley to get to that was supposed to be the face of the devil but whomever went and saw it would die within a few days

Mary says:

December 19, 2008, 6:30 pm

I have seen this face many times and its no shock to me. i work on the Elissa in galveston and we take a boat ride to see it when we wanna get away from the ship and the face is in a different place every time

Machell says:

March 22, 2009, 7:27 pm

We just returned from our first visit to Galveston and our friends took us there. Yep Pictures to prove it!!! [IMG][/IMG]


alana says:

April 12, 2009, 7:27 pm

yeah it is true i live in galveston with my parents my mom got layed off from UTMB and she said she once saw a face and she told me that same story

Jen says:

July 12, 2009, 11:51 am

Machell…..That link you posted doesn’t work. I gives you a photo that has been removed.

Brandy says:

July 27, 2009, 2:51 am

Tex – you are a moron. I have seen that face. EVERYONE who lives in galveston for more than 6 months has seen that face. When you can post a picture WITHOUT the face, then you can talk.

Bridge says:

December 16, 2009, 10:57 am

I have lived in the Houston area for 15 years and just had a friend move down here. He had heard of the face, but I never had. I went there last night to go see visit the face. When we got there, there was a police man there so we left and came back in a few hours and he was gone. We made it a short trip, we were spooked, but it was so evident. I was skeptical of the face prior to my visit, but I have seen it now. It is crazy. I reccomend going to see it!

trey says:

March 16, 2010, 2:08 pm

this is a true phenomonon i just returned from galveston and saw the face in person, i also have pictures to prove it.

Randy says:

May 2, 2010, 1:23 am

Myself and four friends saw the face in 1985.We knew nothing of it.We was just driving by at night and looked up at the wall and saw it.We actually stopped and got out to make sure it wasnt a illusion.It was there then absolutly positive, cant say for now though.

Julie says:

September 18, 2010, 6:20 pm

I’ve seen it, before the building was torn down and again after the construction of the new building.

Heather says:

October 15, 2010, 5:01 am

The face is true but the story…not so much.

Jennifer says:

October 25, 2010, 3:54 pm

Absolutely true.. I also live in Galveston and have made trips to see the face with different friends several times.. It’s always eery.

t. barcelona says:

March 7, 2011, 8:16 pm

Well we just went down for Mardi Gras 3-5-11 my wife and Drove down to the building and I needed a new wall paper for my phone. Plain as day, you see the face. The first time I saw it was In 1989, in a completely different location. But yes it is crazy. You can see where they had sand blasted the outer walls…Have A ghoul one!!!

Melanie Stowe says:

July 20, 2011, 8:55 pm

This is true. My husband took me there when they were rebuilding that part of the hosiptal. I thought He was full of BS. He took me out there, we jumped the fence and there he was. His face was outlined in green and he moved from wall to wall. He would grin and smile at you. Then he tossed a rock at him and he then got angry at us. I thought it might be a good time to go.

Cindy says:

September 3, 2011, 5:28 pm

This is definitely true. I’ve lived in Houston but also heard about ” the Face” so we went down to see it about 7-8 yrs ago with a group of friends. and the face was there!SCARY!!!!

Ande says:

September 14, 2011, 5:02 pm

Anyone who lives in the Galveston County area knows about The Face, and most of us have seen it first-hand. What I want to see are those pictures people say they have of it in different locations. I’ve only ever seen it above the door. Whatever the real story of the image is, I think it’s cool and it’s a great way to freak someone out.

alyssa says:

October 25, 2011, 2:33 pm

It True But It Just looks like its spray painted.

ron says:

March 29, 2015, 3:01 pm

The Ewing building has never been torn down. The the rest of the story is close to the legend. and one person did drown one foggy night when the car she was in was backed off the dock. the driver survived. Oh and the face cannot be seen anywhere from the hospital.

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