History of the Magnolia Hotel
The Magnolia Hotel was vacant for nearly 20 years when it was listed on "2012 Most Endangered Places in Texas." The building was open to squatters, drug users, rats and vandalism. The once vibrant and gorgeous Magnolia Hotel had become Seguin's biggest eyesore and crime problem. Though a restoration effort was considered to be a huge challenge and financial burden for any new owners, Jim & Erin Ghedi saw the building's beauty and took on the task of bringing it back to life.
The Haunted Magnolia Hotel
Magnolia Hotel Owners,
Erin & Jim Ghedi
The Magnolia Hotel began as a two room log cabin built in the 1840 by James Campbell who was one of the original Texas Rangers who bravely fought against the Mexican Army (and Comanches) for Texas Independence. Campbell was also one of the three Co-Founders of Seguin. He had a huge basement built under the log cabin that was used as an Indian Raid shelter and jail. This jail would be labeled the worst jail in ALL of Texas. After Ranger Campbell participated in the bloody battle of the "Counsel House Fight" in San Antonio, he was then targeted by Comanches seeking revenge. A few weeks later, he was brutally murdered by Comanche's. He was stabbed 27 times, scalped, robbed of his horse and left for dead. When his fellow Texas Rangers went looking for him, they found his mutilated body and buried him in an unmarked grave not far from his cabin. Campbell's cabin was later sold to a savvy business man, Joseph F. Johnson. The cabin was transformed into Seguin's first and ONLY stagecoach station and added the original three room limecrete Magnolia Hotel in the rear. This hotel would become Seguin's FIRST (and now oldest) hotel. In 1846 it was sold to the very wealthy man, Jeremiah Strother. Calvert who was a descendant of Lord Baltimore. One of Calvert's many positions was as the Chief Justice of Seguin and held numerous weddings in the original Magnolia Hotel including his own daughter's, Susan Calvert who married the FAMOUS Texas Ranger, Captain John "Jack" Coffee HAYS.
In 1850 Dr. William Sims Read and William Carpenter would become the next owners of the property. It was during this time the wood framed middle section of the hotel was added. It combined all three building's transforming it into Seguin's largest and most elegant hotel. Read and Carpenter experienced the frantic Indian Raid on July 4th, 1855 where three men were kidnapped in Seguin. The panicked women and children were forced to scramble and hide inside the dark, damp Indian Raid shelter. While the Rangers set off to kill the Indians and rescue the kidnapped men, the women and children in the shelter made bullets and sharpened knives to pass the frightening moments.
During 1874 it was the home to one of Texas most hideous multiple killer, Wilheim Faust. In the middle of the night, Faust stole the Magnolia Hotel owner's horse, rode to New Braunfels and mistakenly murdered a 12 year old girl, then attacked his wife. He then race back to the hotel and calmly fell asleep in his safe bed. Once captured and convicted, he decided to confess then admitted he had murdered twice before. William Faust was eventually shot through the courthouse window by an unknown assailant disgusted by his act of violence!
In the 1930's the second floor of the hotel became an apartment house while the bottom was turned into a home for the owner's family. In the late 1990's the building was abandoned and left empty making it available to unwelcome and undesirables! In 2012 it was placed on TEXAS MOST ENDANGERED LIST. Then March 2013 it was rescued by the Ghedi's wishing to restore the hotel to its original 1880's heyday! During their restoration the building exploded with paranormal activity causing the loss of contractors and bringing the restoration to a halt. The owners refused to allow the spirits to stop their progress and have grown to co-exist with the numerous spirits that still reside within the building's walls. With the assistance of a well-known Texas psychic, and the owner's ability to communicate with the spirits along with her knowledge of history research, 13 spirits have been identified. Now the Magnolia Hotel has become extremely sought after by paranormal researchers, investigators and TV shows. The hotel has been featured on the Travel Chanel's "GHOST ADVENTURES" and GHOST ADVENTURES "AFTER SHOCK", the "NICK GROFF'S TOUR", the Discovery Chanel's "WHEN GHOST ATTACK", Destination America "GHOST BROTHER'S", and PBS show called "STRANGE TOWN." The list of local stations and radio stations are lengthy. It recently was filmed for a history documentary and MOVIE!!!