The structure is now gone, but Port Isabel was formerly home to a haunted Yacht Club. Although thrilling to catch a ghostly glimpse, the story tragically played out on the Gulf Coast. Built in the 1920s and first called The Pearl of Isabel, then The Shary Yacht Club, and finally the Port Isabel Yacht Club Hotel, the complex was one of the most luxurious facilities south of Galveston. The wealthy from all over the United States enjoyed long stretches of vacation here. Protected by geography and private club status, prohibition and other laws were not a concern.
One visitor was Olga Mae Keyhorn, who enjoyed the spoils of her father’s iron mogul status and was staying at the Yacht Club for powerboat races. Her accompanying friends included Mary Slidell and Telly Kingston, who were reportedly sweet on each other. One night, Olga Mae excused herself early from the evening’s festivities, leaving the boat and retiring to her room due to a headache. It was a decision that saved her life.
The next morning, she heard of the terrible accident. After drinking heavily, Olga Mae’s friends decided to cruise around the bay, eventually entering Gulf waters. The sea became rough, and someone accidentally knocked over an oil lamp, which rapidly set the entire yacht aflame. Rescuers arrived to find the ship’s skeletal structure and two charred remains, then it sunk to the bottom. Although the bodies of Telly and Mary were never found, a search for them was abandoned two days later when someone reported seeing the pair at the Shary Yacht Club approximately 24 hours after they had disappeared.
Photo: @SamSturznickel via Twenty20
The incident was quickly swept under the rug in order to avoid investigation of the facility and their loose regulations. Olga Mae, however, was required to stay for nearly a week as things settled down. At five a.m. one morning, she heard faint laughter through an otherwise silent darkness. After hearing it a second time, she investigated. Coming upon the empty lounge, she heard it for a third time, identifying Mary’s signature laugh and Telly’s guttural voice. Thrilled the two were seemingly alive, Olga Mae went to the patio and saw her friends under a great sea grape tree. According to Olga Mae, Mary and Telly said they were happy and okay, they would explain later, then hushed her to secrecy. Turning to a sound behind her, Olga Mae returned to the conversation only to see the emptiness where Mary and Telly once were. Despite searching, they were gone.
Photo: envato elements
Olga Mae reported the meeting to authorities and was met with disbelief until two other reports came in which were very similar. Since then, and until the demolition of the building in 2018, Mary and Telly appeared to various people. Accounts vary, but the scenario is the same: a young woman and man, wearing fashions of their time, and engaged in conversation. Sometimes they are speaking to others, sometimes they do not, but they always fade away before the eyes.