The Star’s series, Reality Check, is dedicated to holding those in positions of power accountable for their decisions by bringing them to light. If you have a suggestion for a story you’d like to see covered, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected].
The Kansas City Fire Marshal has closed down The Blossom House Haunted Hotel, a dilapidated warehouse located in the West Bottoms area, which had been marketed to visitors as providing an authentic paranormal encounter, rather than a fake one.
After The Star published a story about the venue, the fire marshal shut down the building at 817 Santa Fe St. on Wednesday.
In an email response to The Star, city spokeswoman Sherea Honeycutt stated that on October 18th, the Kansas City Fire Department issued emergency orders to evacuate the occupants of 817 Santa Fe Street. Additionally, the Fire Marshal placed a stop work order for all activities within the building.
According to The Star, the city has stated that Luther Glenn McCubbin, the owner of the property who works as a bellhop at a Kansas City hotel, will need to conduct significant repairs on the property if they intend to utilize it in the future.
According to the city, obtaining the necessary permits will be a requirement for the owner to occupy the building, even if it is being used solely as a warehouse.
After receiving a tip from a reader named Aaron Jacobsen from Douglas County, The Star covered the story of a five-story warehouse. Jacobsen shared his experience of paying $40 for himself, his daughter, and son to visit the Blossom House after finding it advertised online. The publication reported on the matter in detail.
According to the website, the warehouse was reportedly inhabited by real spirits, and for a fee of $40 per person, guests could participate in a genuine paranormal encounter. However, Jacobsen’s experience was far from supernatural, as he found himself genuinely terrified by the hazardous state of the warehouse. The building was in a state of disrepair, with decaying wood, broken joists held up by temporary supports, and a patched-up ceiling on the verge of collapse. The roof was also leaking, adding to the perilous conditions within the warehouse.
During the tour, it was evident that the building lacked basic facilities such as running water, proper electricity, functional sprinkler system, and emergency exits. One particularly concerning moment was when visitors were requested to navigate through a trapdoor in the floor and descend an unsteady ladder with only flashlights to guide them to a pitch-dark basement. The safety and security of the visitors were clearly not a top priority for the building’s management.
After conducting an investigation into city and state records, The Star discovered that the Blossom House Haunted Hotel was operating without any proper licenses as a business or nonprofit. Moreover, the establishment did not possess the necessary permits to function as a hotel or a haunted attraction.
Upon making a reservation earlier this week, a confirmation text was received by a reporter from The Star. The text contained a peculiar suggestion, which stated, “It is recommended that you use the restroom prior to your arrival. However, please be advised that we can provide a bucket and toilet paper, if necessary.”
During an interview with The Star earlier this week, McCubbin admitted that he still needed to obtain licenses and permits. He went on to say that he had started offering paranormal tours as a way to gauge interest in his business.
According to Paul Phillips, who is not only a tour guide but also a business partner, the warehouse is undoubtedly haunted. He further stated that their primary motive for opening the building was to allow people to conduct paranormal investigations. In his opinion, the article published by The Star was an unjustified attack on their business, seemingly influenced by the fake haunted house industry that emerges during Halloween.
In a text message to The Star, he proudly proclaimed, “The fake haunted houses are afraid we are taking business from them. We have real ghosts, not actors!!!” His confidence in the authenticity of his haunted house was evident in his message.
- Police report one fatality and another in critical condition after shooting in Kansas City on Thursday evening
- A Man Climbs Through Brooklyn Fire Escape Windows, Stealing Over $320K in Jewelry and Other Property in a String of Robberies