Our Haunted History
A Brief History and Ghostly Inhabitants
The Kahn Hotel is considered to be one of the top ten most haunted hotels in Texas and is located in Jefferson, the most haunted city in Texas, having been featured in several magazines, newspaper articles and the Travel, Discovery and SciFi channels.
The Historic Kahn Saloon was built in 1865 and renovated into a hotel in 2016 and 2017. The property has a colorful and violent history as a saloon and brothel during Jefferson's wild-west days as a booming river port town in the civil war era. A few notable events that occurred in the saloon include an incident whereby a local deputy and patron of the saloon shot and killed each other inside the front door. Perhaps this event still reverberates through time as a paranormal group recorded the sound of gunshots in 2017. In another incident, Jessica, a madam in the brothel and her 7 year old son Andrew were killed during a robbery upstairs and both seem to remain in residence. Andrew often plays tricks on guest and Jessica can sometimes be seen at the top of the stairs in a white dress. In another event, a prostitute leaving one evening was beaten in the rear alley and dragged herself just inside the still existing back door where she died. Blood stains appear randomly at that entrance and were photographed in July 2017. Then there is the legend of how a young couple eloped to Jefferson to marry and were followed here by the girls father. The father confronted the couple in the rear upstairs area and a fight ensued. The bride-to-be was accidentally knocked out the rear window during the scuffle and fell to her death on the street below. After knocking the groom unconscious the father reportedly hung him from the rafters in the rear left corner upstairs. A resident spirit named Billy (according to paranormal investigators) hangs out in that corner and does not apparently appreciate visitors unless they are women.
These and more violent episodes in the building's history along with it's later use as Haggards funeral home at the turn of the century give rise to the buildings other worldly residents and its reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in Texas, making the property a haven for ghost hunters and paranormal groups. The property's central location in the heart of the historic district and its convenience to events, restaurants and activities also make the hotel a popular destination for tourists.
The Kahn Saloon is also famous as the venue where the famed Vernon Dalhart (Try Slaughter) began his career. Dalhart's rendition of the Prisoners Song sold the first million records ever and set country music on the path it follows today.
The Ghost of Kahn Hotel
Over 300 paranormal investigations have taken place in the building over a ten year period and the partial list of the investigations below describe the percentage of investigators that identified the same spirits, giving credence to their existence. These are not the isolated findings of a few single investigators.
1. 75% of the investigators revealed a 7 year old spirit named Andrew that was drowned in a bathroom upstairs in the front. Andrew and his mother (Jessica) who was a madam in the brothel, were killed during the course of a robbery. Andrew is known to be quite playful, particularly pulling hair and rattling door handles.
2. Jessica (Andrews mother) was identified by 90% of the investigators. She is said to have stepped out of the bath in the upstairs front part of the building and surprised robbers. Jessica always wore white and was then known as the lady in white and is frequently seen on the staircase and in the upstairs windows.
3. 90% of investigators identified a man spirit named "Billy" a reported borderline poltergeist, a friendly one, moving items occasionally and causing loud noises. He is said to do these things to keep people away from his space which is upstairs. He does seem to tolerate women better than men. It is believed that Billy was the groom that was hanged as described above.
3. 50% of investigators identified Captain Perry. Legend has it that he was one of the first riverboat captains to dock in Jefferson and hung out at the Kahn Saloon and brothel. He was reportedly murdered in town by a group of union sympathizers but apparently returns to where he was the most entertained. Captain Perry can sometimes be sensed by his cigar smell in the hallways.
4. Identified by 75% of the 300 investigators, Jacquelyn was from new Orleans and came to Jefferson as a prostitute in the 1860's. Two men shot and killed each other over her in front of the saloon and were buried in a common grave at Oakwood cemetery in Jefferson. Visitors can locate their common grave at the cemetery as it is marked by two metal posts with a chain between them. Jacquelyn was said to have become quite distraught over the deaths and hung herself the next night upstairs. The occasional moaning and crying sounds heard are said to arise from Jacquelyn.
5. 75% of the investigators identified the "Watchman" (name unknown) who is said to wander outside the building. Visitors will hear a metallic tapping on a window occasionally from the barrel of his shotgun, the watchman's way of letting you know that all is well. Ironically, the tapping can also be heard on the upstairs (second floor) windows which are over twenty feet from the ground.
6. Abigail was identified by 65% of investigators and was a prostitute in the building. Her mode of death is unknown. Guest occasionally report being awakened by what feels like someone sitting down on the bed.
7. The Naked Lady has been identified by 70% of the investigators and has only began appearing in the last few years. She is seen standing in the third window upstairs, naked and smiling. She is thought to be a young woman that visited the hotel and decided to move to Jefferson a few years ago. On her way back here from California she was killed in an accident in Arizona and her visage began to appear here shorty after that. A ghost hunter photographed the Naked Lady in the third window upstairs in 2016.
There is much more to know about the historic Kahn Hotel but we have attempted to highlight some of the more fascinating otherworldly residents that seem to reside here. Many visitors to the Kahn Hotel describe someone touching them or gently pulling their hair. Personal items being moved in the room and hearing doors open and close are very frequent. The great news is that visitors have a real opportunity at the Kahn Hotel to see and hear other worldly things but there has never been a case of anyone being injured by the unseen.
Update May 2016: An individual on the Jefferson Ghost Walk tour photographed a large blood stain that appeared for a few minutes just inside the rear door. This is thought to be from the prostitute that died just inside that door.
Update June 2016: A paranormal group spent the night in the hotel with recorders in the upstairs hallway. Many voices were recorded including a woman screaming and then a gunshot. Another voice saying "help" repeatedly and more. Needless to say, there is much activity for the not so faint at heart!
We invite you to book a room and experience the nostalgia of days gone by, perhaps have a touch from a spirit, watch your ceiling fan start or stop all by itself, hear whispers when no one is there and more. Be sure to bring your camera, you just might get a special glimpse into the "other side". Coffee will be waiting in our specialty coffee house downstairs!