Untold History: The Haunted Magnolia Hotel - Part 2

The hotel’s basement was the city’s first jail, a raid shelter and speakeasy

In the latest installment of KSAT’s Untold History, we explore an underground shelter at The Haunted Magnolia Hotel in Seguin, Texas.

It had several purposes over the years but not many people know about it.

Historian and owner of the hotel, Erin Ghedi, said the basement was first used as the town’s original jail from 1847 to 1852.

After that, it was used to hide from Native Americans.

“When the Comanches started to attack, they needed a place to hide and this was the first cabin they had built. So, they had the basement all dug out. The last attack was in 1855 and it was Mrs. Reed who brought all the women and children down,” Ghedi said.

She went on to say because of the basement, the people staying down there made it through the Civil War.

Then in 1870, during the reconstruction era, union soldiers took over the hotel.

Ten years later, it became a speakeasy during prohibition.

Ghedi said, “When they were going to be raided, they would ring a bell, then they would all dash out through the tunnel.”

What’s interesting about that tunnel is the city of Seguin has yet to see what’s really deep inside, but the owners and tourists who have spent some time down there say they know at least one person is still hiding.

“I never come down here anymore because of Isabella. She started getting real physical with me...she pulled my hair, she would throw rocks,” she said.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the history behind this man-made shelter is nothing short of fascinating.

If you would like to book a night at the Magnolia Hotel, click here.

About the Author

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer at KSAT. Before joining the team, she was a producer and video editor at KIII-TV and a radio intern in Corpus Christi. She graduated from Del Mar College with an Associate's degree in political science and liberal arts. Roslyn is family-oriented and loves spending time with her fiancé and chihuahua Paco.

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