HOUSTON – If you ever wanted to rent a haunted house, here is your chance.
Guests can stay at a two-bedroom period decorated second-floor suite at The Magnolia Hotel in downtown Seguin, which is about a two and half hour drive west of Houston. The accommodation is available to rent through Airbnb, at about $235 per night.
The Magnolia Hotel opened as a two-room log cabin in 1840 by Texas Ranger James Campbell, who was later killed during the fight for Texas’ independence, according to its website. He was stabbed 27 times, robbed of his horse and left for dead. Texas Rangers buried his body in an unmarked grave not far from the cabin.
Over the next three decades, the property expanded to a hotel, including the first and only stagecoach station, then the first and now the oldest hotel in Seguin. In 1874, the hotel became the home of one of Texas' most hideous multiple killers, Wilheim Faust. He was accused of killing a 12-year-old girl and then attacking his wife. Once captured, he admitted that he murdered twice before. Faust was eventually shot through the courthouse window by an unknown assailant.
The hotel continued to expand and host guests over the decades before it was abandoned in the late 1990s. It was left vacant for nearly 20 years, and was listed on the “2012 Most Endangered Places in Texas.” During this time, the building was open to squatters, drug users, rats and vandalism, becoming one of the biggest eyesores and crime areas of the city.
The following year, owners Jim and Erin Ghedi purchased the hotel with intentions to restore the property to its 1880s heyday. However, the restoration process halted by paranormal activity," which caused the owners to lose contractors. The owners later worked with a well-known Texas psychic to communicate with the numerous spirits inside the building.
They found at least 13 spirits living within the building’s walls, according to the Magnolia Hotel website.
Now, the owners are allowing guests to stay at the haunted hotel. The second-floor suite includes five rooms: two bedrooms, a living room, a non-cooking kitchen and a private restaurant with a walk-in shower, according to the Airbnb listing. These rooms were once part of the original 1850 ten-room hotel that flourished until 1900.
The reservation also includes access to the 12-room “un-restored, dusty and very spooky” side of the second floor.
“It is spooky, cobwebby and hot," the owners said in the Airbnb listing. “It is for observing the hotel’s architecture, enjoying the extended history of the building, investigate and for pure entertainment.”
The owners continued: “Though it is considered the more haunted area of the building we do not guarantee that you will have paranormal activity. Our spirits decide who, when and if they wish to come forward. But we do guarantee spooky! If you are faint of heart then just don’t enter.”
The home also includes old photos of previous hotel owners, spooky DVDs, haunted mementos and historic artifacts. Guests can also purchases t-shirts, jewelry, books, magnets and other keepsakes from the museum.
However, there is no videoing inside the building for use of any public media outlets, including but not limited to YouTube and Facebook, per the Airbnb listing. The stay also excludes access to the owner’s private residence on the first floor, the museum, the backyard grounds and the basement.
The Magnolia Hotel has been featured by a number of paranormal researchers, investigators and TV shows, including the Travel Chanel’s “Ghost Adventures” and Ghost Adventures “After Shock”, the “Nick Groff’s Tour,” the Discovery Chanel’s “When Ghosts Attack,” Destination America’s “Ghost Brother’s,” and PBS show called “Strange Town.”