Event Start Time: 8:30pm
Event Finish Time: 9am
*Psychic Medium Present*
*Only 13 Guests*
This is a sleepover event, Guests are advised to bring an air-mattress with them, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. There is no heat in this building and it can get very cold.
When people speak of Kansas, you can’t help but to think of the supernatural. From Dorothy’s mystical trip to Oz to the infamous Sam and Dean—but you haven’t seen or experienced anything until you investigate the Garnett House! Private investigators and teams from around the world have been dying to get inside, now is your chance to travel inside the walls and experience first-hand the evidence that has been piling up for the past 160 years!
First built as a hotel in 1858, the Garnett House became an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Abolitionist John Brown hid several escaped slaves in the attic in the midst of the days of Bleeding Kansas as the freedom fighters sought to keep Kansas a free territory. The slaves were far from any home they had ever known seeking justice and freedom. The sheer terror and joy they must have felt had to leave a lasting impression in the attic.
If they had been the only ones to take up a brief residence there, then perhaps all the energy would be positive, but that wasn’t the case. John Warren, a free black man, also lived in that attic in 1864. After a prominent widow was brutally raped and murdered in town, Warren was dragged to the courthouse to face the charges. He supposedly confessed to the crime, but anyone who has read that confession wouldn’t be blamed if they felt the words were not his. Did he murder the Widow Duren with an axe? Was he falsely accused and hanged due to mob mentality? Either option would explain the darkness that is felt in the attic.
The black widow, Sarah Potter-Phillips also was housed at the Garnett House after being charged with the arsenic poisoning of her first husband. Only six weeks into the marriage he fell gravely ill and she forced him to create a will on his deathbed leaving her half his estate. Although she escaped, she returned to the scene of the crime. Leon Phillips family saw their day in court only to have it end in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The frustration of his spirit and the damnation of hers can also play a part in that dark history.
Bone-chilling EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), disembodied voices captured on live feed and heard by several people, shadow figures peeking around corners, staring over the railings and standing boldly for all to witness, footsteps, screaming, full-bodied apparitions, objects (such as dolls) being moved, balls thrown out of the closet, a toy fire truck being pushed across the floor, hissing sounds, growls, people being scratched, psychics witnessing and experiencing a demonic presence, the sound of tribal drums rhythmically beating---the Garnett House is a hotbed of untapped paranormal energy just waiting to unleash itself on visitors and guests!
The only question that remains—are you brave enough to undergo a lone vigil in the attic?
In the fall of 1858, Hiram Tefft opened the first hotel in the town of Garnett, Kansas. The original structure boasted a beacon of light that could be seen for miles, offering solace and rest for many a traveler to lay a weary head. Donning many monikers, the Lighthouse Hotel, The Commercial House or the Garnett House has witnessed several historic events over the past 160 years. It has also played an eerie part in some of the darkest occurrences in Garnett’s history.
One of the more notable stories associated with the Garnett House revolves around the famous Abolitionist John Brown. After Congress overturned the Missouri Compromise in 1854, it was declared that popular sovereignty would determine between slave and free territories, the days of “Bleeding Kansas” commenced. John Brown was one of many who led anti-slavery fighters leaving a trail of blood in his wake before his famed raid on Harpers Ferry. The fight for justice often comes with casualties, but Brown was able to aid in the escape of several slaves. A few of which sought refuge in the attic of the Garnett House prior to the breakout of the Civil War.
But the innocent slaves were not the only folks to take up residence in the Garnett Hotel. In the late 1850’s, a new family moved to the area by the name of Alderman. They took in a young woman named Sarah Potter. Ms. Potter was an attractive woman that turned many heads in Garnett, but it was Leon Phillips—a wealthy landowner and well-respected citizen—that finally captured her hand in marriage. Only six weeks into their married bliss, Leon became very ill. Perhaps his illness in and of itself wouldn’t be suspect, but the fact that Sarah insisted that he draw up a will while he was on his death bed (leaving her half his estate) caused folks to dig a little deeper into his sudden death. A special coroner’s jury insisted on an autopsy that revealed that Leon had succumbed to arsenic poisoning.
Sarah was charged with the first-degree murder of her husband but due to the lack of a jail, she was kept as a prisoner at the Garnett House. During the three months of her stay, she was treated like every other guest at the hotel. When she didn’t arrive at dinner one night, rumors circulated that a suspicious buggy had whisked her away to freedom. She was indicted for the murder in absentia and perhaps that is where the story would have ended, but Sarah showed back up in Garnett in 1862 with a new husband in tow that she had married in Cincinnati. She pled for a change of venue and the case was heard in Lawrence, Kansas in fall of the same year. A mistrial was declared on a hung jury and the case was never retried. Sarah left the country soon afterwards.
In late summer of 1864, tragedy struck the community again. The body of the widow, Mrs. Adaline Duren was discovered by her daughter in their home, a block away from the Garnett House. The widow Duren had been struck on the head with a sharp object that crushed her skull and nearly severed her neck. Her mutilated and defiled body screamed for instant justice and soon a likely suspect came into play. Bloody clothes belonging to the freed slave, John Warren, were discovered.
He was dragged from the attic of the Garnett House where he lived to give testimony before the town council. He soon was said to have confessed to the crime, claiming to have attacked the widow Duren with an axe. While she was unconscious, he admitted to raping her and then killing her when she regained consciousness and tried to escape. The confession printed in the paper is very suspect. There is directional wording and calculations that point towards someone with more education than a man of Warren’s station would have had at the time. However, the lack of a jail and the influence of mob mentality led to Warren being strung up and hanged the very next day. Was it a true confession? Did he really commit the heinous act? Whether Warren was a murderer or falsely convicted of a crime—the act surely left an impression in the attic of the Garnett House.
After the War between the States, a new goal was fixed in the minds of Americans…settling the Western Frontier. Garnett, Kansas sat on the threshold of the West and welcomed in cowboys and those headed into the wild to seek their fortune in gold. With so many traveling through, it is no wonder that saloons and brothels popped up on every corner. During this time, the Garnett House welcomed Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Belle Starr and Wild Bill Hickock—a few men (and one fine woman) trying to keep the peace when gun fights in the streets at high noon was the most common form of civility. Of course, with the good guys circling through the doors, it is no wonder that when Jesse James took shelter at the Garnett House that he used one of his many aliases!
At the turn of the century, most folks were looking for the upscale and modern hotels as they passed through the town of Garnett. The old hotel became a private residence and in the early 1950’s Dr. Robert Stevens and his wife Dr. Julius-Stevens opened up a private practice and started seeing patients in the former Garnett House. And that remained the case until the century turned again. Although the house stands empty now, there is too much evidence that has been collected to doubt that several spirits remain to share their stories. Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to hear the voices and see the apparitions that still lurk in the shadows of the Garnett House!
Your ghost hunt at The Garnett House includes the following:
- Group Séances,
- Ghost Hunting Vigils,
- Structured Vigils,
- Ghost Hunt with experienced Ghost Hunting Team,
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Meters,
- Private time to explore this location and to undertake your very own private vigils,
- Unlimited refreshments available throughout the night including: Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Bottled Water.
- Sleepover Event,
- Selection of snacks.
Guests are strongly advised to bring extra warm clothing with them.