BOO! Haunted Kansas!


A house is never silent in darkness

to those who listen intently;

there is a whispering in distant chambers,

and earthly hand presses the snib of the window,

the latch rises.

Ghosts were created when the first man

woke in the night.

— James Matthew Barrie, “The Little Minister”

How can one go through life in Kansas without remembering waking up in the middle of the night, sweat streaming down our face, goose bumps mountainous on pale skin and fearing the ghosts of those long lost rising from the depths to claim our shivering souls? The forbidden space under the bed, where evil demons lie in wait for an unsuspecting, innocent soul to place an easily snatched foot on the floor; the closet door that opens into another dimension, where the most vile of creatures hide amongst  the clothes, hoping we forget to close the door, thus feeding their insatiable hunger for us, who lie in uneasy sleep on our safe, warm beds.  Mom said, “Here’s some warm milk; it’ll help you sleep.” But you knew it was really a poisoned potion made to paralyze you, making it easier for nightmarish entities to lift you up and deposit you on some obscure island, with hooded creatures lifting enormous, razor sharp, knives to sacrifice you to Unknown, and long forgotten, Gods.

Atchison, Kansas, has the reputation of being the states most haunted town. The Glick Mansion, pictured here, is just one of many places one can visit there. A trip to the town is guaranteed to elicit nights with the light on and the closet door firmly shut.

Sleep well, my friends . . . . muahahahahahaha!!!



Filed under Kansas History

28 responses to “BOO! Haunted Kansas!

  1. Nicely done, you described those thoughts and feelings to a tee!

    If I have nightmares tonight its your fault.

  2. tosmarttobegop

    I liked the story of Sally quite interesting, my oldest tried to convince me we needed to go to Atchison.
    Here is a good ghost story of my great grandpa who was a traveling preacher in Kansas.

    It was getting dark and he was hungry to boot, being a traveling preacher was dusty and bone racking riding from town to town and house to house. He rode along the wagon path and neared a small house build on the side of the path.

    As he drew near he noticed the old farmer setting in a rocking chair on the porch. Once in ear shot the old man called to him. “Evening reverend! Would you bless our house by stopping for something to eat?”
    It was not uncommon for this to happen, in fact most traveling preachers depended on the grandiosity of the
    people and houses they came to at dusk for a place to sleep and something to eat.

    The house was fit enough, being a typical home of farmers who not long before were still Pioneers.
    Slatted siding, wood framed a couple of windows with panes of glass to block the window and trap the heat.
    Often covered not by real curtains but pieces of quilt and cloth as a touch of real humanity.
    Otherwise it was functional, the furniture in the house was not grand but did as it was meant to.

    Great Grandpa accepted the invitation and the two men walked through the door and entered into the main room of the house. A couple of wooden rocking chairs sat toward the front and later in the same room was a table with five chairs surrounding it. to one side was a couple of doors covered by blankets he took to be bedrooms. At the other end of the main room he could see a small kitchen, the wife of the man was busy cooking that evening supper. The man called to his wife to come out and meet their guest.

    As she came out of the kitchen she carried a steaming pot and sat it on the table.
    She greeted the preacher and said he was timely as supper was just done.
    Turning she called for the children and soon all were jointed by two boys and a small girl.

    As the evening was cooling the heat of the house was feeling pretty good to the preacher.
    He was pointed to the chair at the head of the table and the old man pulled one of the rockers to the other end. Before him was a plate of bread and the steaming pot which he took to be a stew.
    The children seemed clean and bright faced though as the occasion called for they were remaining quiet.
    The wife took her apron off and used it to wipe the sweat from her face then placed it inside of the door to the kitchen. All were seated and the old man asked the preacher to say the blessing.

    Everyone bowed their heads and the preacher spoke a blessing of the food and the family he was to share it with. Upon saying “amen” he raised his own head and opened his eyes. He was stupefied for he found himself setting in a empty house! Alone setting in the only chair within the room, the wind blew through the broken glass of windows that showed the signs of neglect. There were no children, a woman or the old man who had invited him for supper.

    He slowly lifted himself from the chair, concern and fear started to creep inside of him.
    backing out of the front door he almost fell through a hole in the rotting porch.
    He continued to back toward his horse, looking at the house he noticed that half the roof had given way and fell inward. He also saw that the portion he had not been in was burnt, a fire had happened some time ago he suspected.

    He mounted his horse and though by this time the path was dark he turned his horse and rode away.
    Finding a clearing down the path he slept on the ground on a bedroll rather then continue.
    It was hard to get to sleep as what had happen was confusing and alarming.
    The two realities he had experienced did not match and he could not explain it to himself.

    • lilacluvr

      I believe the veil between the living and dead is becoming thinner and thinner with each passing generation. As more people are opening their minds into the realms of possibilities, I think people are experiencing much more spiritual awareness.

      In my opinion, if you believe in God then you have to believe in spirits. I truly believe that my family members that have passed on have helped me here on Earth whenever I needed help.

      My sister told me the story of when our brother passed from cancer. It had been a 3-year battle. I had talked to him 3 days before his death. My sister lives in the same town (south of Chicago) as he did and at the precise moment he passed (she left the hospital earlier that night because he had sent all the family members home) , her bed shook and it raised off the floor about 6 inches. She felt our brother’s presence and a great sense of relief came over her.

      I think it was our brother’s way of saying goodbye to my sister. She has not had anything happen since that night.

      I believe in the afterlife but my afterlife has nothing to do with helping God throw down those lightning bolts on people I deem ‘unacceptable’ or not ‘real Americans’ or ‘real Christians’.

      There is a difference between religion and spirituality. The world needs more spiritual awakenings and alot less religion – in my opinion!

      • wicked

        I’m right there with you, Lilac.

        I’ve watched several of the supposedly good mediums, clairvoyants, psychics, but nobody has yet beat the one I used to watch on Lifetime TV. “Life Among the Dead” was an excellent show with medium and clairvoyant, Lisa Williams. You can watch many of the episodes online.

        She’s British and very funny, in addition to uncannily good. Watch a few episodes. She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you cry. She’ll make disbelievers believe.

  3. Just like oma said — you did a great job of putting those scary feelings into words! Ghost stories take me back to a younger time.

    I’ve lived in Kansas most of my life and can’t remember ever hearing about the Glick Mansion, and worse, don’t think I’ve been to Atchison. Gotta remedy that!

  4. Pingback: All Days Long » The Haunted Mansion

  5. I love those old homes.
    Fort Scott has some cool civil-war era homes.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Atchison.

  6. Trip to the Outhouse

    After I got out of the military, I moved to Selden, Kansas, out in northwest Kansas, which is near the Sheridan-Thomas countyline. When you move into one of these little rural towns, you often don’t have much choice of housing. The house I rented was on the edge of town, but in the middle of a block with an abandoned house the only building across the street, an empty lot on one side of the house I was living in, and another, less-dilapidated abandoned house next door, which my kitchen window looked directly out upon. To say it was in a quiet part of a quiet town is an understatement.

    During my first days living there, while I was washing dishes and looking out the window, I noticed an old wooden ladder laying on the ground next to the house next door.
    Another time, I noticed the ladder leaning up against the trunk of a tree not far from the house. The ladder might stay leaned up against that tree for a few days; then it’d be back laying in its original place for awhile. And this kept on. I never observed anybody go in or out of that old house, nor even saw the local kids messing around there, but the entire time I lived there, this ladder continued to be moved from its place on the ground next to the house to up against the tree.

    This was during the mid-1970s, and I saw things out in that area, that even I question myself about today. One time I drove out to see a friend who lived on a ranch about 20 miles from town with almost no other houses around for miles. Late that night, going back to town, I took a road that I had never been on before to get to the highway. In the distance, I saw a big fire and assumed I heading in the direction of burning oil slush-pond. When I got near enough, I saw that it was a big bonfire out in a field with all these people dressed in red, whom I could only assume were devil-worshippers. I stepped on the gas and got the hell out of there. This was about the same time when some of the local farmers found some of their cows dead, with their udders removed.

    During that same period of time, they found two people dead in a car on the side of I-70 near Oakley, bludgeoned with some kind of branches. I don’t remember if they ever caught who killed them. Does anyone else ever remember about that incident?

    I didn’t leave northwest Kansas because of any fears, but for me during those days, it felt like I was living in the Bermuda Triangle of creepiness.

  7. wicked

    One day I was upstairs, sitting at the desk in the house we lived in on the farm. Everyone was gone. Ah, peace and quiet time! 🙂 I felt someon lay a hand on my shoulder. Not a brush of air or anything like that, but an actually hand on my shoulder. I wasn’t scared, even though I knew no one was there but me. I turned around to see who or what(?) it was, but nobody was there and the feeling was gone.

    I heard someone I knew from HS speak to me once. He was a very good friend, and I’d missed seeing him by minutes when he was visiting home one time. I’ve always regretted not getting to give him a big hug and tell him I loved him. But that voice and what he said that one time, several years after he was gone was as clear as if he was standing in the room with me.

    Has anyone here every made a table talk?

    • A table talk? C’mon, you can’t just ask a question like that and then leave…

      • jammer5

        I made one collapse. My folks got me a jr tool set for Christmas one year, so I took all of the screws out of the table. Mom set dinner on it, and it proceeded to make me look foolish. It was awhile before I sat.

      • wicked

        LOL Sorry, I didn’t mean to type and run.

        When I was a kid and growing up in Wichita, we’d visit one of my great-aunts and uncles or other cousins near Clearwater on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The grown-ups would spend the time from dinner until well after dark playing pitch. My two girl cousins (3rd cousins) and the girl my aunt raised were all within a few years of age and would get out one of the card tables. Always the one with the wood top and legs, because it was said to be better.

        The four of us sat at the table on all four sides, our hands spread flat on the table. We’d tell the table, “One knock for yes, two knocks for no,” and then proceed to ask questions. Usually silly ones at first that would set the grown-ups to laughing at us. But then we’d get more serious, and the table would answer by raising up on two legs at a slant, then knocking down on the floor with the raised legs, answering the question.

        It’s like a Ouija board, but simpler. And there was no way that table could be tipped, even pushing down hard on one side. We demonstrated trying to do that, and it never worked.

        Funny thing is, my friend in Texas had an aunt (or great-aunt) who was considered somewhat, um, gifted in the area of the supernatural, and my friend also had participated in table talking when she was young. So it isn’t something we made up, but I sure don’t remember who told us about it.

    • wicked

      ROFL jammer! I’m sure it was a long time before you sat. LOLOL

  8. Kiersten Marek

    Bastards! Now I’ll never get to sleep.

    God, I love a good spine-tingler. Can’t say I’ve ever had an experience, but won’t say it can’t happen. What little I know about quantum physics makes me believe a lot of this can happen that “shouldn’t” be able to happen.

    Thanks for sharing, all.

  9. There is a homestead in Western Australia run by a crazy Canadian woman. I don’t know who is more scary (ghosts or her)but she has a photo album of all the weird photos tourists have taken on the property where strange figures have appeared. She lives on the National Trust building by herself and has that incredible knack of sneaking up on people. But I don’t think she would be as near scary as the Kansas ghosts. Aussie ghosts kinda suck…all boo and no backbone!

    • Kinda like our U.S. Democrats on that backbone part. We keep hoping they’ll find ONE among them and then learn how to use it.

  10. PrairiePond

    Jesus wept, Trip! Selden? If you lived in Seldon, you got whatever you deserved! Heh, just kidding.

    Sheridan county is a spooky place just with the LIVE hillbillies who live there, much less the dead ones!

    I dont remember the Oakley bludgeoning. Maybe I was already living in Texas by then? You were smart enough to stay there. Me? I had to come back here for more punishment…

    • Trip to the Outhouse

      There was another story that was told to me about Selden (when I lived there in the 70s), which was the town’s own dark secret.

      As it was related to me, back in the 30s or 40s, one of the town’s eccentrics (and anybody from a small town knows that there are usually several of these types in the town), grabbed a little girl who had gone back into the schoolhouse after her friends had left and took her in his car. I don’t know the details of anything that he did to her except that her body was found wrapped in barbed wire near this tree-lined crossroads out north a ways from Gem . (That place has a name and at one time in the early days had a post office, but I can’t remember it now. I drove through there–the crossroads–on different occasions, and day or night, an eerie feeling always came over me, and this was even before I had heard about this incident.)

      Anyway, again from what was told to me, some of the guys from the town got this guy and lynched him, but no one was ever charged with anything, and the whole incident kind of hung like some kind of cloud over the town, but was barely mentioned.

      Now in thinking back on this some 30 years later, maybe the two guys who told me this were “just jerking my chain”, but I don’t really think so, because at the time, they implicated some very close relatives of theirs as being involved with the lynching.

    • wicked

      I obviously need to take a drive to Seldon. Sounds like fun! LOLOL

  11. PrairiePond

    Hee hee heeeeee, Loon!

    “There is a homestead in Western Australia run by a crazy Canadian woman. I don’t know who is more scary”

    I’m thinkin’ that must be what my neighbors say about me!

  12. I love ghost stories. Would love to stay in a haunted B&B….

  13. lilacluvr

    Welcome bearman…..have you ever experienced anything supernatural?

    I’m just curious to ask that because sometimes the people that really want to see spirits are the ones that cannot – for some reason.

  14. PrairiePond

    Hey Trip, was the name of that town Leoville?

    It’s one creepy sumbiotch!

    But then, so is most of Sheridan County.

    • Trip to the Outhouse

      No, Leoville is over east of Selden on the way to Jennings (straight north of Hoxie, I think). There was a beer joint over there that if you wanted a case on Sundays that you just went and knocked on the side door and had the cash in hand that you could get it. Cash only. No checks.