Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas
Eldridge Hotel was one of the high-grade hotels west of the Mississippi and acted as an important part in the early growth of Lawrence and the State of Kansas. However by 1925, the hotel had started to deteriorate, when a collection of Lawrence owners determined that due to the hotel’s significence to the city, that it ought be razed and reconstructed to its onetime grandness and elegance. The people stepped up to insure the success of the project and the hotel again revealed its former grandeur.
However, by the 1960’s it had once more started to degenerate and styles had changed. Business district hotels were no more popular, given over to the numerous motels forming up on the fringes of town.In July 1970 the old hotel was changed over into new apartments.
In 1985, a fresh group of investors once again wanted to reestablish the old hotel to its onetime grandeur and the City of Lawrence backed up the plan by investing two million dollars to match the one million put up by individual investors. The top four floors of the hotel were entirely reconstructed and converted into 48 two room luxury suites and the lobby was restored to its original elegance.
It's no surprise with its robust history that the hotel persists in hosting some ghosts and spirits.
The fifth floor is said to contain a doorway to the spirit world – particularly room 506. In this room visitors have described breath marks on newly cleaned mirrors, doors opening and slamming, and lights turning on and off by themselves.
Others report cold spots throughout the old hotel. Some guests have even encountered apparitions on the fifth floor and an “elevator ghost” likes to open and close the elevator doors on the fifth floor. Several photographers have also mentioned having inexplicable technical difficulties with their equipment when near the lift.
_____________________________________________________________________ Atchison, Kansas
Atchison is proclaimed to be the most haunted town in Kansas, and there is even a haunted houses tour on the Atchison Trolley. This old town once played host to over 1500 wagons per day as settlers made their way west enroute to the gold Fields of California in the 1850’s. Some of these early settlers have evidently chosen to stay in Atchison in a ghostly form. The town is full of stories about ghostly sightings and other paranormal issues.
Atchison is located along the Missouri River and is one of one of the most scenic and historic towns in Kansas. Brick streets climb hills and wind along river bluffs, offering extensive panoramas of the river valley beyond. Stately Victorian homes with carriage houses recollect glorious days when affluent lumber merchants and railroad barons walked the streets.
The town of Atchison is so haunted that the Travel Channel has done a special segment called Haunted Town that describes several of the haunted places in Atchison, including Sallie's House, Benedictine College, and more.
The Haunted places in Atchison, Kansas:
This road, once known as Ferry Street, journeys down a steep hill toward the Missouri River. Long ago locals would board the ferry at the landing at the bottom of the hill. When it was still referred to as Ferry Street, a woman traveling down the road in a buggy lost control of her horses, became unhitched from the animals and plummeted down the street into the freezing river. Trapped inside, her drowned body was never recovered. Today, men walking along the riverbank have heard a woman calling them to join her in the murky water below.
Gargoyle Home, 819 N. 4th Street
More often referred to as the Waggener House, this turn-of-the-century home was built in 1884-1885 by B.P. Waggener, who was a lawyer and politician in the Atchison area in the late 1800’s. While gargoyles are usually erected to scare off evil spirits, legend has it that Waggener accumulated his wealth through a deal with the devil and the gargoyles were constructed in honor of the pact. It is said that the house is afflicted by an evil curse. One homeowner, who attempted to remove the gargoyles, fell to his death on the staircase. A segement on the Travel Channel reported that Kansas City Ghost Hunters, while visiting the home, picked up the presence of ghosts on their special equipment and reported having felt a presence in the house. This house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 1974 and is located at 819 N. 4th Street.
A woman by the name of “Molly” is said to haunt this park. Supposedly, moaning and terrifying screams can be heard throughout the park around midnight. According to one legend, Molly was a beautiful young woman who was found dead in the park the day after her prom. She was found hanging by her neck to a park tree in a hollow with her clothes badly torn. Allegedly, she and her date had argued the night before and when Molly exited the car, her date drove off leaving her in the park. It was never determined if her death was by her own hand or was a murder. Though, some suspected that her prom date killed her, no one was ever charged.
Another legend of the park's haunting states that Molly was a black woman who was lynched by a white mob years ago. Rather than the eerie screams of a young prom girl, the cries instead come from the brutal slaying of an African-American Molly. In any case, the area today is known as Molly’s Hollow where couples go to "park." In addition to Molly’s chilling cries, many witnesses also claim to have seen a ghostly figure hanging in the tree where her body was discovered.
North 3rd Street Home
This home was once inhabited by an elderly, single schoolteacher named Nellie Trueblood. Companionless and bereft she died in the house. When the house was sold, the new owners began to make renovations, evidently to Nellie’s chagrin. It is said that when crews are working within the house they report seeing gleaming balls of light measuring 18-24 inches, which hover just out of reach. If approached, the lights quickly move away. Frightened the work crews quickly abandon the project before the restorations are ever completed.
Riverview Drive Home
Several strange occurrences have been reported in this house such as the television and stereo mysteriously turning on at full volume and noises from rooms where no one is occupying. On one such an occasion, the resident thought the noise was her dog and called out to him. However, instead of the dog responding to her call, an elderly woman ghostly spirit entered the room. Wrapped in a shroud, the spirit smoothed a place on the bed and sat next to the resident. Screaming, the resident ran from the room to be answered by the slamming of the attic door behind her. Another strange experience has occurred to several guests who have stayed within the house. Apparently, when guests stay in this home they are instructed to place their luggage at a space at the top of the stairs, which leads to the attic. However, the spirit seemingly doesn’t like the suitcases stored in this area because the luggage is often found tossed to the bottom of the stairs.
Kearny & 5th Street Home
According the former owners of this house, a friendly ghost lingers here. While there are many unexplained events, such as the sounds of someone walking throughout the house, this ghost is seemingly very helpful. At one point, the ghost helped the man of house into his dinner jacket. Thinking his wife had helped him he turned around to thank her, but no one was there. On another occasion, when the couple was returning home from a trip, the wife mentioned that she would love to have a cup of tea when she got home. Upon their arrival home, a teakettle was hissing and a cup, saucer, tea bag, and spoon were sitting on the counter.
Riverview Drive & R Street Home
When this home was purchased by the current owners, it came completely furnished including several paintings on the wall. Making changes to their new home, the new owners removed several of the paintings, wrapped them carefully, then placed them in the basement for storage. However, the very next day, every single painting was back in its original location.
Sallie's, the Heartland Ghost, North 2nd Street Home
Sallie, the “Heartland Ghost,” is said to haunt this house that once belonged to a local doctor. The tale of Sallie’s ghost has been featured three times on the popular 1990’s paranormal television show Sightings, as well as Unexplained Mysteries. Long ago, six-year old Sallie grew terribly sick during the night with severe abdominal pains. Sallie’s mother rushed her to the doctor’s house, where his family lived on the upper floor and he operated his practice on the main floor.
Sallie’s mother listened as the doctor diagnosed young Sallie with a severe case of appendicitis, requiring immediate surgery. The little girl panicked at the sight of the surgical tools and the doctor was forced to hold her down to give her ether.
However, in his haste, the physician did not allow the anesthesia to take its full effect and began operating. Sallie awoke during the initial incision and began fighting and wresting against the pain. Before she died, she was said to have looked at the doctor with both fear and loathing, and remains within the house to this day.
In 1993, the house was rented to a young couple who reported that Sallie made an almost immediate appearance, playing frequent pranks such turning electrical appliances on and off, turning pictures upside down, and scattering their child’s toys about the nursery.
Shortly after these harmless pranks, the ghostly activities turned malevolent, with the young husband suffering from frequent attacks. The couple also experienced a number of small spontaneous fires throughout the house. In fact, when the Sightings crew was at the house filming for the upcoming show, a red welt appeared on the stomach of the man and then began to bleed. The man, who described a severe drop in temperature prior to the attacks, would often be left with a number of long bloody scratches.
At their wits end, a psychic was consulted who informed the couple that there were actually two spirits within the house. The psychic indicated that it was not Sallie who was responsible for the malevolent activities, but rather a ghostly woman of about 30. While Sallie may have been responsible for the harmless pranks, it was this older woman who was the evil one. Allegedly, this mysterious woman was, at first, fond of the gentleman who lived in the house and tried to get close to him, while at the same time, attempting to drive a wedge between he and his wife. When she was unsuccessful at this, she began to attack the husband.
Finally, after the husband felt a strong shove from behind that nearly sent him over the stair railing, the couple could no longer take it and moved from the house.
Since, this couple has moved, later residents have reported no activity occurring in the house.
In April, 2005 Legends of America visited the Sallie House with Jerry Talbert, an Atchison resident in November, 2004. Jerry and his crew have continued their investigations and reported recording audio of several sounds in the house during their 60 hour investigation. These include audio of little girl singing and playing, one that sounds like little boy, one of a man, and another of at least one woman, maybe two. Other recordings include the sounds of coins hitting a wood floor, footsteps, thumps, growls and whispers. Often when the crew is talking, other voices have been heard interacting with their conversations. Jerry concludes that the house is still haunted, though there is nothing left that is evil. He continues by expressing his opinion that whatever malevolent presence was there when the young couple lived at the house, left when they did.
Glick Mansion, 503 North Second Street
Construction on the Glick Mansion was began in 1873 by George Washington Glick.
Along with the rest of Atchison, the Glick Mansion is also said to have a ghost of its own rattling around in this century old home. Allegedly, the strange sounds heard in the night are that of a resident benevolent ghost. The sounds of doors being opened and inexplicably closed by unseen forces is a common occurrence, as well as the sounds of footsteps when no one is around.
This stately mansion, called the McInteer Villa, at 1301 Kansas Avenue was built by Irish Immigrant, John McInteer in 1890. The villa was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 1975 and odd phenomena is reported in the mansion, including lights turning on and off in the tower, which does not have electricity. People walking or driving past the building have often reported seeing figures at the windows when no one is in the house. Figures have often been reported to appear in photographs taken inside the old villa.
Located on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, the 150 year old Benedictine College, is also said to be haunted. Not by evil spirits, this historic college is said to remain home to the spirits of some of the old monks who founded the institution more than a century and a half ago. Continuing to look after and protect the old school, at least one of these spirits is known to be lurking about Ferrell Hall, a campus dormitory.
It all began in 1858, when the monks opened a boarding school with just six students. The following year, St. Benedict’s College was officially opened with 16 students. From there, the college continued to grow into the beautiful 120 acre campus which now serves the educational needs of over 1000 students. The Benedictine College is said to be haunted by the
monks that built this institution more than 150 years ago.
At another dormitory called Memorial Hall, several eerie things have been known to occur. According to legend, a coed once gave birth to a baby in the closet of her room. Unlike most dormitories, the walk-in closets are very large at Memorial Hall. Alas, the poor girl's baby later died. Today, students in this dorm have often reported the feeling of a child climbing into their beds with them at night.
Another girl who was in her closet changing, when the dresser mysteriously moved in front of the door. When she tried to open the door, it wouldn't budge. Immediately believing her roommate was playing a prank on her, she yelled out "haha, very funny, let me out." However, her roommate wasn't even in the room. It wasn't until she began to scream at the top of her lungs, that someone finally came to her rescue.
Another girl reported that while she was at the mirror in her room, her desk chair began to rock, then suddenly stopped. Frightened she immediately left the room, and was to afraid to return for some time.
While all manner of ghostly occurrences have been reported at the college, they are seemingly harmless to the students of Benedictine College.
Muchnic House – Built in 1885, this old home was host to frequent Saturday night parties. On one such evening, the event ran into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Having been kept up very late, a maid who had worked the party the prior evening overslept the next morning. Rushing from her bedchamber, she ran down the back staircase to the kitchen and fell to her death. Today, witnesses report that lights from the back staircase turn on and off by themselves on Sunday mornings, followed by the smell of cooking bacon from the kitchen when no one is there. This house, which serves as an Art Gallery today, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1974 and is located at 704 N. 4th Street.
The Majestic House, 18936 262nd Road
This large three story native stone structure was built by the Brothers of St. Benedict’s Abbey in 1890. The building served as a Bed and Breakfast Inn for several years and was said to have been haunted by the old monks of Atchison. Both the owners and guests often reported hearing noises coming from the Music Room, that was once a chapel in the old building. Others have heard the sounds of doors opening and closing, seemingly on their own, and footsteps in the hallway, when no one was there. Sounds were often heard by people on the first floor coming from the story above, when no guests were in residence. Said to been a benevolent spirit, the owners of the B&B believed that their unearthly guest was that of an old monk, who continued to linger protecting the old building.
Theatre Atchison, 401 Santa Fe Street
Built in 1913, as the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the building was modeled after the architectural lines of its Mother Church in Boston. In 1973, the Presbyterian Church bought the building and ten years later they created a community theater organization. Today the Building is known as the Presbyterian Community Center and is home to Theatre Atchison. Allegedly, it is also home to an unearthly spirit. Guests often describe feeling an unknown presence with them while visiting the theatre, while others working in the building describe odd noises that are often heard that have no apparent earthly cause.
The Santa Fe Depot
Built in 1880 as a freight depot for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, the old depot stands as a landmark to Atchison's historic past.
The Depot is reportedly haunted by the ghost of "Hangman Bill," a railroad worker known for his habit of hanging from freight being loaded on and off cars. However, this prankish skill got him killed one day when the cable carrying one of the loads snapped and he was buried beneath the freight cargo. At the Santa Fe Depot today, staff reports hearing the sound of footsteps coming from above; however the depot does not have a second floor.