"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Windsor Hotel

Some establishments embrace a haunted status whether there be any validity to the claims or not. The Finney County Preservation Society who took ownership of the Garden City's Windsor Hotel is not certain it has a paranormal presence despite what others say. However, there is consideration of the idea if only to save it from the same fate others before it have fallen prey to.

John A. Stevens gave an Opera House to the Kansas city in October 1886 and decided to continue to aid in its growth with a hotel on his homestead site. Using Stevens & Thompson architects and builders, he broke ground on February 22, 1887. After almost a year, the hotel had a reported 126 rooms, but it took another two years of construction before the Windsor Hotel was ready for occupancy. With a price tag of over a $100,000, the hotel was complete with 126 rooms, a large dinning room/restaurant, atrium, balconies with mahogany balustrades surrounded the court on three sides, grand staircases, large parlors, dining room and more. Local papers dubbed it an "epoch in the building of Garden City and the beginning of a new era of prosperity."

However, it's grandeur was short lived due to the advancement of the twentieth century. While it did see it's share of famous guests such as Lillian Russell, Eddie Foy, Buffalo Bill Cody and Jay Gould, surfed through the city's economic cycles. Thus, changing ownership many times. The Garnand family acquired the hotel in 1938 and operated a furniture store on the ground floor. It through a bit of modernization in 1940s with the demolition of the grand staircase and upgraded the main lobby. In 1972, the Windsor Hotel was placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and continued to operate as a hotel until it was closed down by the State Fire Marshal in 1977.

The Wichita Paranormal Society was granted permission by the Finney County Preservation Society to do a paranormal investigation. There are claims of hearing voices, laughter, footsteps, doors opening and shutting on their own, smelling perfume and shadows. There are supposedly no reported deaths occurring in the hotel, but as any paranormal enthusiast would know a haunting could derive from an attachment to an object or possibly a death occurring on the property before the hotel was built. Either reason could explain the haunted claims being reported today that is if ghosts are calling the Windsor Hotel home at all. Ghosts or not, Finney County Preservation Society is still fighting to restore the hotel its former grandeur with a haunted house event on their list of possible fundraisers.

To keep up to date with their efforts, you can visit their website at or "like" them on Facebook.


Adsila said...

Lets hope they can save this wonderful and historic hotel.

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