Atchison, Kansas, is probably best known for being the hometown of aviator Amelia Earhart.
But lately, it’s also become a big draw for ghost hunters, who go to the small city an hour northeast of downtown KC because of the numerous places there that report paranormal activity and hauntings. Atchison is now advertising itself as “the most haunted town in Kansas” and running the city’s trolly between attractions like the 1889 McInteer Villa and the Sallie House.
The McInteer Villa is a stately Victorian home built for John McInteer, an Irish immigrant and businessman. Nine members of the family died in the home, and visitors say they’ve felt the deceased’s presences. People have reported hearing conversations between spirits, seeing a “shadow” person with glowing eyes and hearing footsteps casually walking around at night.
“The voices are the most uncomfortable for me,” says Stephanie Neal, the current owner. “You can hear them having full on conversations and you don’t see anyone and you don’t know who is talking.”
The Sallie House was the home of an Atchison physician. Sallie was a patient who came to the home with her mother, who was seeking help for Sallie’s severe abdominal pain. The doctor believed it to be appendicitis and, thinking the appendix was about to burst, cut Sallie before the anesthesia had spread. Sallie screamed in pain before dying on the table during the operation.
At the Sallie House, you have to sign a waiver before your tour. Visitors have reported numerous feelings and seeings that they believe are Sallie, but some of the most bizarre experiences have been with men.
“There are many cases of men reporting being scratched on their back, stomachs and arms through their clothes, leaving visible, unexplainable marks,” says Andrea Clements, director of Atchison’s chamber of commerce staff. “Many report Sallie does not like men.”
GO: Both houses have more information online about their upcoming events, as well as events in Atchison this fall season. visitatchison.com