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1858 Garnett House Hotel

Location Information

Date: 29 February 2020     Type: Historical

Location Title: 1858 Garnett House Hotel

City/State: Garnett, KS

Investigation Times: 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Status: Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise: 06:57 AM   Sunset: 06:15 PM

High Temperature: 66°F   Low Temperature: 24°F

Sky Condition: Fair  Wind: S at 17 mph, Gusts up to 30 mph

Humidity: 40%   Precipitation: 0%

Lunar Phase: Waxing Crescent   % disk visible: 28%

Pressure: 29.08 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Becky Ray

Jennifer Sprague

Julie Klos-Burch


Investigators Notes

Jennifer, Lead Investigator: On this investigation, we set up a camera downstairs in the study near the bookshelf to see if we could capture the shadows and mists reported there. We also set up three cameras upstairs: one at the top of the stairs with a trigger toy ball to see if we could capture it moving, as reports have stated, and trail cams in the closet and attic to capture any movement or shadows. We also set up motion detectors and audio recorders in the bathroom to capture any movement or possible EVPS. Audio recorders were set up in the room under the attic and in the doll room with the bookshelf, where we also set up a camera.

We created a period EVP session in the room under the attic. Julie brought in period clothing and era-related pieces to see if we could get an EVP response. I had her ask questions to John Warren as if she were the murdered victim, Adeline. I wanted to see if that would trigger any reaction as he stayed in the attic. She also asked questions related to the war that was taking place during that time. I also did an EVP role-playing session as Mary, Adeline’s daughter, who found her murdered, to see if that triggered a response. 
After Julie’s EVP session, the door to that room locked somehow. We tried to find an explanation but could not. 
We are currently reviewing audio and camera footage and will post anything we find.
Downstairs we set up a green grid light to see if we could capture any of the shadows reported in the x-ray room. We also played a looped recording of saloon music in the other room to see if that would trigger any activity since the downstairs area would be where a bar was. 
Also, downstairs Becky did an EVP session and role-played Sarah, who stayed there at the hotel and was said to have murdered her husband with arsenic. 
It was a very windy night, making some of the audio hard to distinguish. 
My audio did not capture any EVPs. The only strange thing that happened to my camera in the attic is that it somehow shut off by itself in the attic, the battery was fully charged, so I felt that was somewhat odd.
We want to thank Rob for allowing us to come out, and we look forward to going back soon!

Location History

The Garnett House was built in 1858 by D.W. Houston and was opened as a hotel by Hiram Tefft in the fall of that year. The building sits at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Walnut in Garnett, Kansas. The building was the first hotel in town and had several additions built onto the building. It was said that Mrs. Houston refused to move into the original structure due to its swaying in the breeze. The hotel became known as The Garnett House and the Lighthouse Hotel due to its bright lantern on the top floor, which could be seen for miles at that time. It is the only surviving antebellum structure in the town of Garnett, Kansas.

As a hotel, the building has been a witness and a participant in many events in its nearly 160-year history. During the time known as “Bleeding Kansas,” it is said that the famous Abolitionist John Brown hid escaped enslaved people in the attic of the home. This is said to have happened around 1859, just before the American Civil War.

During the 1870s, the town of Garnett became a crossroads of settlers headed West, cowboys, and citizens. It literally became the scene out of the Old West with saloons, brothels, and gunfights in the streets.  During this time, the hotel hosted some of its most famous guests.  The guest list includes famous lawmen Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Wild Bill Hickock. It also includes renowned scout Buffalo Bill Cody who was traveling with Hickock at that time. Belle Starr, the famous female cowboy shooter, was also a hotel guest. The famous outlaw Jesse James was also rumored to have stayed here under one of his many aliases.

After this time, the hotel eventually became a private residence once more prominent, and more modern hotels began to appear in the town of Garnett. In the early 1950s, the building became the Doctor’s Office of Dr. Robert Stevens and his wife, Dr. Julius-Stevens. They treated patients in the old hotel up until the 21st Century. 

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