The Ghosts of the Mayfield Manor

2313 Harborside Dr, Galveston, Texas 77550

If you’re visiting Galveston, you’ve heard about the outrageously haunted Mayfield Manor. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? Named for the nineteenth-century physician Horace Mayfield, the Mayfield Manor promises a psychologically thrilling experience. It’s a twelve-room haunted house that operates yearlong, hosted by its most wicked resident. The haunted host? Dr. Horace Mayfield himself, who practiced psychiatric experiments on unwilling patients. Rumor has it that Mayfield even kept the bodies of the dead within the building... (You can see what generates the ghostlore.) But is the Mayfield Manor really haunted? Better yet, was Dr. Mayfield real?

The interior of the haunted Mayfield Manor, one of the most haunted buildings on Galveston Island

Quick Facts

  • The Mayfield Manor is a yearlong haunted house attraction in Galveston, Texas.
  • The Mayfield Manor was designed by Leonard Pickel, who worked for Universal Studios, the Playboy Mansion, and Martha Stewart.
  • Dr. Horace Mayfield allegedly experimented on unwitting patients within the Mayfield Manor.
  • The Mayfield Manor was once a makeshift morgue.

Who Was Dr. Mayfield?

Legend has it that Dr. Mayfield was an up-and-coming physician at the end of the nineteenth century. Mayfield trained in general medicine like his father, yet he found himself excessively obsessed with mental illness. Not just any mental illness: trauma's impact upon the body.

So, although he was a public physician, he began to conduct covert research. He would often immerse his patients in creepy conditions before recording their reactions. His patients were unaware of his devilish deeds, and the investigations were non-consensual. You'll have to visit the manor to uncover the extent of Mayfield’s macabre curiosities, of course.

Yet Mayfield's investigation came to an end in the early twentieth century. The Hurricane of 1900 ravaged his work – and with it, his sanity. The storm robbed Mayfield of more than his research, however... It massacred his fiance and family.

Still, Mayfield couldn't afford to lose the plot entirely. He was a public physician, after all. Tasked with supervising the makeshift morgue of the Mayfield Manor, Mayfield continued his wicked inquiries.

As for his "test subjects" – between unwitting or wind-wasted patients, Mayfield had more than enough to work with.

Was Dr. Mayfield Real?

Although Dr. Mayfield is fictitious, his legend makes for one spooky story. There are no accounts of Dr. Mayfield, however – or his heinous happenings.

Is the Mayfield Manor Haunted Anyway?

Visitors allege that the Mayfield Manor is nevertheless haunted. Yet Joyce McLean, owner of the attraction, contends that it isn’t. In one interview, McLean reported that Mayfield Manor “occasionally has patrons come in who insist they have read stories and seen testimonials about the attraction and are certain the attraction is actually the original house from 1900, rebuilt inside the building.”

Yet Mclean explains, “obviously it is not, but try as we do to convince them, they are still certain our ghosts are real.”

The superstitious can keep their fingers crossed: “maybe it’s a residual ghost attached to those things that lurk inside Haunted Mayfield Manor,” McLean offers. There’s no sign of it yet, though McLean keeps her eyes peeled.

Was The Mayfield Manor Used as a Morgue?

The house's history is vague or otherwise uncertain, making it difficult to attest to the house's happenings. The Mayfield Manor resides in the 1885 Butterowe Building, which did, in fact, operate as a temporary morgue for the Hurricane of 1900. The Mayfield Manor isn't unique for that, though: most of the buildings within the area housed the dead.

Visiting the Mayfield Manor

Looking to spook yourself out? The Mayfield Manor is located on the Strand at 23rd Street! Visitors can wander throughout the twelve-room attraction, guided by the “Mad” Dr. Mayfield. Watch out, though! He may require another research subject.

The Mayfield Manor is open year-round, though hours vary. Admission is available at $10.

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