The UTMB Galveston Face Still Haunts the Island

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From the side of Ewing Hall on Galveston’s University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), a face appears to watch the parking lot below. Over the years, the UTMB Galveston face continues to reappear, despite removal efforts and time. It’s even moved positions along the same wall. How this ghostly face came onto the side of a university building and why it seems to persist in remaining continue to mystify those on Galveston Island.

The Face of UTMB

UTMB Galveston Face on the Second Panel up from the Ground Level

Photo: Facebook/

Look at the side of the Ewing Building of UTMB, and on the second panel up from the bottom, you will see a strangely shaped stain. Some speculate this stain appears as a face. Officials from the university pass it off as simply a watermark, commonly found on many buildings in the seaside town. But this watermark has the odd habit of reappearing in different places each time the school tried to remove it. What else could it be if not supernatural?

Who Does the Face Depict?

The Face Appears Clearer in Person

Photo: Facebook/Sarah Goodner

Several theories exist about the identity of the masculine face. Some speculate that it could represent a former farmer who cantankerously fought for his land to his death. Another idea suggests that William A.A. “Bigfoot” Wallace’s visage is the face. This man owned some land on Galveston Island, but a land dispute supposedly kept him from his earnings but history knows of no one aside from the government who owned the property the school rests on.

A Moving Spectacle

Ghostly face on the Side of Ewing Hall at UTMB

Photo: Facebook/Wendel TheVoice Calvert

The hallmark of the UTMB Galveston face is its mysterious movement over the years. When the image first appeared, it was on the fourth concrete block up from the ground. To discourage the crowds the face attracted, the school sandblasted it off the surface, but shortly after, it reappeared in the block immediately below its original position. Cue a second sandblasting, and almost as if the face was laughing at the school, it came back in its current position. Some say the school superstitiously avoids removing the face again for fear that it will slip inside the door below its current position and enter the building.


UTMB Galveston has a Face on the Side of Ewing Hall

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to incorporate UTMB Galveston face into your ghost tour of the island, think again. The university is private property, and unless you know someone at UTMB, you cannot enter the area. If you attempt it, you could be arrested for trespassing. To legally see the face, take a boat tour. Guides on harbor tours will point out the face from your safe and legal vantage point on the water.