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, the Ghedi's 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 was once only a two room log cabin built in the 1840 by the Co-Founder of Seguin, Texas Ranger, James Campbell. After he was brutally ambushed by Comanche's, the cabin was sold to Joseph F. Johnson who quickly transformed the log cabin into Seguin's first and ONLY stagecoach station, then built a three room building in the rear making it too the FIRST hotel in Seguin calling it the Magnolia Hotel. In 1846 it was sold to the very wealthy, Jeremiah S. Calvert. Calvert was 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.
Dr. William S. Read became the proprietor in the 1850s adding the interior section of the hotel that combined all three building's transforming it into Seguin's largest hotel until the mid 1900's. He and his wife experienced the frantic Indian Raid on July 4th, 1855. A cellar had been cut out of solid rock under the entire front portion of the building and served as a refuge during the Comanche Indian attacks. While the men set off to kill the Indians, the women and children found shelter in the cellar making bullets 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!!!
The Magnolia Hotel with its rich history deserves to be a museum someday and it is our hopes to make this dream come true. Though we have made huge progress in our restoration, we still have a long way to go. We have worked over 3 years now restoring the bottom floor into its 1880's glory. Though it looks stunning we still have many challenges ahead of us. Bringing a neglected 170 year old building back to life has its hurdles but we believe it is completely worth it.