Ashton Villa Mansion

More From Texas

Spirit of a Texas princess and her beloved still reside here.

These two spirits are still arguing about the issue that broke up their relationship.



Ashton Villa Mansion is an immense, 3 story, palace-like masterpiece, built by a proud, wealthy hardware businessman, James Brown, who believed in showing his wealth, right before the Civil War. This royal residence, fit for royalty, took 4 years to build, from 1861 to 1865.

The showplace of this glorious Italianate Villa was and is the ornate, formal living room, called The Gold Room, located near an alcove, within the spacious every day living room. There is a grand, center stairway that connects the floors, with the customary landings on each floor.

During the Civil War, Ashton Villa was put to good use as a hospital for Confederate soldiers. And, as Galveston was at various times under the control of either the Union forces or the Confederate forces, Ashton Villa became the headquarters for whatever General was in control at the time.

At the end of the Civil War, popular tradition reports that the surrender of Confederate forces in the southwest took place in this Gold Room.

As Galveston was a bustling trade port, fortunes returned soon after the end of the Civil War, and things got back to normal in a hurry, unlike the rest of the South. James Brown continued to be immensely wealthy, and lived at his Texas palace with his stunningly beautiful, golden-haired daughter, Bettie Ashton Brown, who was born in 1855. She grew into a strikingly lovely, tall, well figured, sophisticated blonde lady, who often wore her hair on top of her head.



Bettie Brown grew up in an atmosphere of abundance of material goods and privilege, and developed the point of view of a Texas princess.

She was also very much a free spirit, who loved adventure and travel, with no desire to settle down with any one man.

Instead, she spent her life collecting expensive clothes, elaborate gowns and costumes, gentlemen callers, unusual, ornate fans, traveling the world, going to resorts, going to and having grand parties, being totally self-absorbed it seems.

All of her various collections, art treasures are on display within Ashton Villa.



Spirit of Bettie Ashton Brown

Her full, stunning apparition was seen by a guide on the second floor landing.

She was wearing a beautiful turquoise evening gown, and holding one of her fans, described as an ornate, Victorian one.

Bettie’s strong presence is felt most intensely on the central stairway, and in the hallway on the second floor landing.

The Allure of the Gold Room

She also likes to hang out in The Gold Room, and surrounding area, where her fans and favorite possessions are on display, easily within her reach.

Her presence has been felt, seen and heard in the Gold Room.

The furniture moves by itself, and the clocks stop working for no mechanical reason.

Vision of a Replay in Gold Room

A substitute night caretaker, Mr. T., one stormy night was awakened by the wild barking of the regular caretaker’s dog. Thinking that someone was breaking into the Villa, he left the caretaker’s home and entered the Villa. He heard a man and a woman arguing in The Golden Room.

When he entered the area, he saw in the moon-lit room, a beautiful woman, sitting on the piano stool, who was dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief, as she faced toward a handsome gentleman, who looked cross and was standing up, looking down at her. The man had dark curly hair and a beard. Both were dressed in costumes from the 1800s.

Heated Conversation

Mr. T got the feeling that they belonged there and he was an intruder. He hid behind a Chinese screen.

Suddenly, he could hear their heated conversation clearly, like it was coming from a radio.

The man told her: “It is foolish for any man to talk to you about marriage. You couldn’t really love anyone, for you are too absorbed in your own pleasures, your collections of meaningless objects, and most of all, your looks.”

Can’t Face The Truth

She answered him: “Harrison, do you really believe this? I won’t listen to such hateful words.” She turned around and started to play the piano.

Mr. T then heard a creaking sound on the boards behind him in the hall, like someone was walking away. When he looked back the man was gone, and the lady was crying, laying her head on her arms on the piano.


She pulls herself together, walks over to her fan collection, near to where Mr. T was hiding, and picks up a fan.

Then, going over to a wall mirror, she said in low melodic tones, while starring into it, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of all.” She drops the fan, and slowly dissolves into thin air.


While the Ashton Villa Mansion no longer gives daily tours, people can rent the place. The people in charge of this property recognize that Bette and other spirits are there. The public can attend their events held here. On October 29th and 30th, there are ghost tours, “about the exceptional life and possible after-life of Miss Bette Brown. For the very brave, 12 people can attend the Ashton Villa Seance held on October 31st, led by medium Sharon Michelle.



2328 Broadway Street
Galveston, Texas 77550

Located in Galveston’s historical district, the Ashton Villa Mansion is available for rental and special events.


Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Texas