Jefferson,The Most Haunted Town In Texas!
By: Lindsey Kasprzak
October is Halloween month so I wanted to do a travel article about the most haunted town in Texas. I’m sure if my great grandma was alive and I told her about this town’s history, she would have told me, “Oh Lord! You don’t want to go up there and be messing about with all that nonsense and if there are spirits there it’s probably the devil!”
Nevertheless, a few months ago I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post from another travel writer that said “Jefferson is the most haunted town in Texas”. The post spiked my interest, so I clicked on the link which lead me down “the rabbit hole”. After about 3 hours of research, I decided I needed to check this town out for my readers…what was I thinking!. A few weeks later I met a couple of friends in Jefferson and our sleepless night began.
When you come up on Jefferson, all you see are woods and a winding road with very few homes. Suddenly, the woods open up and this beautiful historic little town greets you with classic cars, old coke-cola signs, and red brick buildings. Every street corner has a gorgeous historic home, restaurant, and even a general store where you can buy your favorite sweet treat from when you were a kid. As we drove to the Kahn Hotel, the town was full of people driving their golf carts to see the classic car show and enjoy the beautiful Saturday.
The Kahn Hotel is in the middle of town which is very convenient for walking around to see what Jefferson has to offer. Built in the mid 1800’s, the hotel became famous as the Kahn Saloon with its colorful and violent history dating back to the Civil War when Jefferson was a wild-west river port town. The violent history of the property gave rise to its reputation as one of the top ten most haunted places in Texas and makes it a haven for ghost hunters, paranormal groups, and vacationers seeking to stay in the historic downtown district. Even though the hotel is an older building, they have completely upgraded the rooms with a modern touch but kept that old west feel by keeping the original floors from the 1800’s. The hotel has a wonderful coffee shop in the lobby where you are bound to hear locals telling stories about the ghosts that roam the hallways.
Here is when our adventure begins. When we first checked in, one of the hotel employees told my friend that once we got into our room we should sit very quietly and record the sounds because the ghost that lives there will want to say “hi”. The employee mentioned this is a friendly ghost that wants to welcome us to our room. Once we got settled in, we hit record for two minutes but, unfortunately, didn’t hear anything. I guess we waited too long and the ghost decided to leave. By this time, it was around five o’clock and we had a few hours to burn before our ghost walk began. We took advantage of this break and walked over to “McGarity’s Saloon” where we had fantastic cocktails, bourbon mac and cheese, bacon wrapped quail, and a meat and cheese board like I had never seen before! Y’all this meat and cheese board was like a work of art that I was afraid to even touch! It featured huge grapes, strawberries, many different types of meats and cheeses, plus a full-on honey comb. You definitely get a bang for your buck at McGarity’s plus the staff is friendly, helpful, and up to telling a ghost story or two.
Once we fueled up on food and drinks, we walked back to the Kahn Hotel where we met for the “Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk Tour”. This is a “must do” while in Jefferson. Not only is the tour full of haunting ghost stories but it’s also full of history. I need to alert you it’s a two-hour walking tour so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and maybe take a bottle of water. We started the tour at the Kahn Hotel because it’s so rich with ghost stories and experiences. Our guide gave it a 10 out of 10 on the haunted scale! Here are just a few highlights from the Kahn Hotel website:
1. 75% of the investigators revealed a 7-year-old spirit named Andrew who drowned in an upstairs bathroom. Andrew’s mother (Jessica) was a madam at a local brothel. Both Andrew and Jessica were killed during the course of a robbery. Andrew is known to be quite playful, particularly pulling hair and rattling door handles.
2. Andrew’s mother was identified by 90% of the investigators. It is said that Jessica stepped out of the bath in the upstairs front part of the building and surprised the robbers. Since Jessica always wore white, she is known as the “lady in white” and is frequently seen on the staircase and in the upstairs windows.
3. 90% of investigators also identified a man spirit named “Billy”. He is a friendly poltergeist moving items occasionally and causing loud noises. It is said Billy does these things to keep people away from his space upstairs and he seems to tolerate women better than men.
The tour will walk you around downtown where you’ll hear various stories and maybe you’ll even be able to snap a picture with an odd phenomenon in it! If you’re staying downtown, chances are you’ll be walking by your hotel that will have a story of its own so good luck sleeping that night.
Once we got back to our room we settled in for the night but, just in case, we left the TV and table lamp on all night. I’m sure it didn’t help with sleeping but I had a better sleeping experience than my friend. When we woke in the morning, my friend looked like she had seen a ghost! She asked “Did y’all hear all that last night?!” and we all replied “no”. Apparently, my friend kept hearing someone walking back and forth outside our door with boots on. In addition, she heard someone upstairs dragging a chair and then slamming it down. I told my friend it may have been just another guest being a little too loud at 2 am. As we prepared for the day, I left my phone in the room on “record”. I thought we could go outside for a bit and perhaps the ghost would be more “comfortable” with us gone. I was hoping he/she would make some noise. Well I was right! I ended up recording what sounded like someone moving a chair in our room and boots walking. It’s important to note no one else was in the hotel at that time besides the front desk employee!
During breakfast, we saw a couple who had been on the ghost tour with us. Apparently, they too had something happen as well. Around five in the morning, their air conditioner had slowly turned off which woke him. The air conditioner had been running all night so he headed to see what happened. Suddenly, someone whispered in his ear “off”. Yeah, he wasn’t going back to sleep after that and couldn’t wait for his wife to wake, so he could get out of there!
BOTTOM LINE ON JEFFERSON: I think it’s safe to say if you’re a thrill seeker and into paranormal activity (as well as good food), Jefferson is the place to visit… you won’t be disappointed!!!