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The ghostly hotel is attracting tourists from across the nation to Seguin, Texas
Seguin, Texas, may be situated off the beaten path, but the lure of ghosts is drawing droves of tourists to this small, quaint town and the Magnolia Hotel. Once included on the Texas’ Most Endangered Places list, the town’s oldest hotel and stagecoach stop was destined for demolition. Now the town’s most dreadful eyesore has become its biggest tourist destination. Rescued by Jim and Erin Ghedi, the dying building has been transformed back to its original 1880s glory.
On day one of the Ghedis’ restoration efforts, unusual occurrences began to develop throughout the building. It soon became apparent that the hotel was extremely haunted. With the Magnolia’s vast history, it came as no surprise to the Ghedis. Now the couple has vowed to coexist with more than a dozen ghosts residing within the hotel’s walls.
The building began as a two-room log cabin built in 1840 by Seguin’s co-founder, Texas Ranger and DeWitt colonist James Campbell. An Indian raid shelter was dug out underneath the cabin by slaves around the same time. This shelter was used by the Texas Rangers as Seguin’s first jail cell. After Campbell was killed by Comanches, the cabin was converted into Seguin’s first stagecoach station and the original three-room hotel was built out back.
In 1847, the famous Texas Ranger Capt. John “Jack” Coffee Hays married his sweetheart, Susan Calvert, inside the original Magnolia Hotel. Around 1850, the two-story wood-framed structure was added in between the stagecoach station and hotel in the back, transforming it into what would be known as the grandest hotel in Texas. The hotel gained ownership of the actual Alamo bell in 1860. It hung in front of the hotel for nearly 50 years until it was discovered by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and returned to the Alamo.
After it was sold in 1930, the new owners altered the building into apartments. By 1990, the once gorgeous hotel had fallen into disrepair. For more than 20 years it was known as a drug house. The Ghedis discovered the hotel on YouTube and rescued it from further damage. While researching the hotel’s past, the couple has uncovered numerous deaths that occurred in the building. It was also home to an ax murderer who killed a young girl in her sleep.
During guided tours of the Magnolia, visitors have taken photographs of what appear to be ghosts. The hotel has drawn attention from numerous cable paranormal shows such as Ghost Adventures, Ghost Brothers and When Ghosts Attack. If you love haunted houses, the Magnolia Hotel is worth the trip off of Interstate 10. Though rooms are not yet available to stay overnight, the hotel is available for day and night tours.