Historic Magnolia Hotel ready to host guests again


Paranormal enthusiasts and lovers of the unknown will soon have the opportunity to sleep amongst the reported spirits that inhabit a local hotel.

Jim and Erin Ghedi, owners of the Magnolia Hotel, are opening up the 179-year-old building for guests to stay on its second floor after spending about six years restoring the building that was once considered one of Texas’ most endangered buildings.

“We’re just incredibly thrilled that people can come and see it. Because when you do all this work, restoring this building, and Jim and I made sure that we brought it back to what it was,” Erin said. “We love sharing our restoration and now to be able to have people not only get to experience the beauty of the restoration, but they can also stay here too.”

Starting on Monday, Aug.12 —the city of Seguin’s birthday — the Ghedis will begin accepting reservations to stay in the hotel’s upstairs, which has two bedrooms, a living room, nonworking kitchen and full bath.

The maximum number of people allowed will be four while reservations will be for only Monday through Thursday, Erin said.

“It looks just gorgeous. We have all the antique furnishings and everything. We’re going to be offering it as a suite, overnight stay at the hotel, Erin said. “It’s got central air and heat, which is the first time the hotel has ever had it.”

Each room also honors guests that once stayed within the hotel, Erin said.

“Upstairs we know about several people that stayed there and actually passed away there. One of them is Amelia so the queen size bedroom is Amelia’s room,” she said. “The kingsize bed we call it John Doe’s room. He passed away there and our living room we call it JJ’s room. He was a traveling salesman that passed away there, too. So in honor of those people, we’ve named each room after them.”

Erin and Jim first purchased the Magnolia Hotel in 2013 after finding a Youtube video about it made by the Seguin Main Street Program in hopes someone would rescue the deteriorating building.

The Magnolia Hotel was built in 1840 by James Campbell, a co-founder of Seguin and Texas Ranger, as a two-room log cabin. 

Over time the building became Seguin’s first stagecoach station, Seguin’s largest hotel and was even converted into a 10 room apartment facility on the second floor.

It’s reported that 13 ghosts live within the walls of the hotel including Campbell, a spirit named Little John and Idella Lampkin, a well-known psychic who once lived in Seguin.

“I tell everybody we bought this building just to restore as a hobby. We didn’t really know much about the building, but once we bought it and we learned the history, we realized that we had something very, very special and very historic,” Erin said. “It’s like Seguin’s landmark. It’s the beginning of the town.”

Throughout the years, several people have reached out to the Ghedis with interest of staying overnight at the hotel. Since the couple finally made the announcement this last month of it opening up for guests to stay, the response has been incredible, Erin said.

“My website has crashed. I get hundreds of emails every single day. We’ve gotten calls to go on all these paranormal shows,” she said. “We were not prepared for the overwhelming response, but it’s really cool.”

Erin added that they’re nervous but excited about the new opportunity.

“It’s kind of hard to let go of the hotel to other people, you know, we’ve been guarding it all this time,” she said. “We’re hoping to get people who are traveling. We get a lot of people who are traveling off the highway who just want to see the hotel so we’re hoping we can get these travelers to stay.”

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