Thursday, December 5, 2013

Haunted Happenings in America’s Heartland - the Sallie House

By Claire Prowse

Terror Tales that aren’t from an Author’s Imagination
Everyone enjoys a gripping ghost story. Strange encounters, unexplained noises in the middle of the night as well as homeowners packing up their belongings and making a beeline for anywhere else.
Such tales make great fodder for horror scripts, but to the folks who have experienced such paranormal activity it is not a movie. On the contrary, it is real life. The definition of such phenomena is extremely broad, encompassing incidents which fall outside of the realm of what can be scientifically explained.

Folklore and pop culture has sparked many accounts of the unexplained and bizarre. Most legends along those lines revolve around descriptions of spirits and extraterrestrial beings who visit the planet in UFO’s. While naysayer may scoff and snicker, those who have experienced an event first hand, beg to differ. Not a believer? Well, there are quite a few individuals who have anecdotes to share and they come from all walks of life. 

The Sallie House 
Why would someone move into a home which has the reputation for being the most haunted in the Midwest? Well, from a real estate agent’s perspective, telling a prospective buyer that you will be sharing your new digs with some ghostly spirits can either be a selling point or a deal breaker. However, unless you are a scientist out to debunk the unexplainable, most people avoid places with those tags. The Sallie House had quite a few residents before it became a tourist attraction and none of them stuck around for longer than six months. Of course, one can certainly understand why since their narratives will spook you more than a Friday the 13th movie.

No, the abode it isn’t located in Amityville, New York; the site of the infamous movie which scared the pants off of viewers. The address is 508 2nd Street, Atchison, Kansas; smack dab in the middle of America’s Heartland.

The unusual and downright creepy events which have been documented within those walls have garnered attention from such television shows as Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings. It was even the subject of a small screen flick titled appropriately enough, Haunted Heartland.

There isn’t any shortage of ghosts in Sallie House. Voices of several men, women and children have been recorded along with unidentified laughter. More than a few objects have gone bump in the night in addition to things disappearing and popping up in the weirdest places. Entire rooms have been upended. You won’t find any stray cats here. Animals sense the darkness and distance themselves or howl continuously; freaking you out even more.

However, what will make your hair stand on end are the scratches which have appeared on male inhabitants of the house. Apparently anyone of that gender is an unwelcome presence.

Legend has it that the home used to be occupied by a physician and his family somewhere around 1906. The downstairs served as an office and surgery with the doctor living upstairs. Sallie was a six-year-old who came in with a stomachache which was diagnosed as appendicitis. As with most little girls that age, a visit to the doctor was often met with apprehension and tears. Sallie was an extremely uncooperative patient and was unable to be restrained on the operating table and tragically died during surgery. Her spirit has never left and for whatever reason, she has attracted other ghosts and demons who dwell within the confines of the space; tormenting those who dare to enter.

Sallie House Tours
If you would like to experience the strange goings on at Sallie House for yourself, you may explore each room via a self-guided tour. There aren’t any time constraints and you can dive into the spooky history at your own leisure. When you are finished, you can stay a while and investigate some of the other sites Atchison has to offer. The town is rich in ghostly archives and there isn’t a shortage of activities which will stir the imagination and spark the nightmares.

If tales of terror are up your alley, then be sure to book a trip to Atchison, Kansas, but bring a companion. You don't want to be listening to tales of the undead without a hand to grip onto; a human one that is.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Free Lecture - Haunted Independence - with Margie Kay Oct 28

Haunted Independence

Margie Kay will present Haunted Independence, at this free lecture on Monday, October 28, 2013 at the Trails West Public Library,

Find out about all of the very haunted locations in and near Independence, Missouri that were investigated by Margie Kay and the Quest Investigation Group. The list of haunted sites may surprise you.  We'll concentrate on sites that are open to the public so you can plan your own personal visit.  Get ready to be scared just before Halloween!  Weather permitting we will visit a haunted park after the lecture so bring your camera and EMF meter!  Margie Kay is the director of Quest Investigation Group publisher of Un-X News Magazine, and author of Gateway to the Dead: a Ghost Hunter's Field Guide, and Haunted Independence.  

Book signing after the lecture. Free admission.  No one under age 16 allowed.

Cider and cookies will be served.

Donations accepted for Quest Investigation Group for equipment needed for paranormal and UFO investigations.

 Trails West Public Library
 Meeting room
 6:00 - 7:30 PM
 11401 E 23rd St.
 Independence, MO 64052

Note: Margie is available to speak to groups about paranormal and UFO investigations. Contact her assistant, Tamie Dorsch at for more information or call 816-833-1602. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Poltergeist Chases Police Away

Date: Summer, 1986
Location: N. Woodland Avenue, Gladstone, Missouri (private residence)

As a ghost hunter and ghost extractor, I get a lot of reports about haunted sites and occasionally a powerful poltergeist who causes havoc.  I was unprepared, however, for this incident which would frighten not only myself and my brother, but my two daughters and the Gladstone Police as well!

I was staying in my parents home temporarily after moving back to the Kansas City area from Seattle, Washington.  My parents were out of town for the weekend leaving me and my two young daughters and my brother in the house. It was a Saturday night and we were all headed to bed when I heard a loud knocking on the wall outside my bedroom.  I opened the door to see who might be knocking, but there was no one around.  I yelled "Very Funny," to my brother's closed bedroom door down the hall, and retuned to my room.  As soon as I closed the door I again heard loud knocking, and ran to the door very quickly this time, but found no one in the hallway.  Now I was mad, and yelled for my brother to come outside of his room, which he did.  He thought I was the one making the noise, and I thought it was he.  So we stood in the hall for a few minutes, when suddenly the loud banging started up again, and seemed to move around inside the walls and ceiling, getting louder and louder. 

My children ran outside of their room, having been awakened by the loud noises.  I put them in my bedroom and we went to investigate to see if there might be some rational explanation for this strange phenomenon.  My brother and I searched everywhere but could find nothing.  As we stood in the lower level entrance-way the hall chandelier began to turn off and on.  The loud banging in the walls began to move down to the lower level and then seemed to come from everywhere in the house. 

Suspecting that someone must be playing a practical joke on us or a burglar was in the house, I called the police, and two male officers arrived in about 15 minutes.  Both officers saw the light going off and on and heard the now deafening sounds.  One officer went to the basement to check the electrical panel and to see if there was indeed someone else in the house, and the other officer backed away and said he'd check the perimeter.  I could see that they were both hesitant and somewhat unnerved by the situation- which was completely understandable!  The second officer refused to step foot back in the house.

The police could find no evidence of a break-in, and no malfunction of the electrical panel.  They asked if we had a problem with ghosts in the house, which we had not experienced at that location in the 15 years my parents lived there.  After 30 minutes of searching around the police left, and shortly thereafter all of the banging stopped and the light quit going off and on by itself.  When my parents arrived the next day we reported the prior evening events to them, which they found hard to believe. My stepfather checked the plumbing and electrical, the garage door, doors and windows, and could find nothing out of the ordinary. 

On the following day I was headed for work when something pushed me from behind as I walked down the stairs.  I put my hand out to stop my fall and sliced it on the edge of one of the mirrored tiles on the wall, which required five stitches and caused me to miss work for a week.  I was a cake decorator for Bob's IGA grocery store at the time and needed to use my hand when using the icing bag. I knew something pushed me but no one believed it at the time.

On Tuesday, while taking a nap in the middle of the day I felt a tug on my blanket.  I sat up and looked around, but there was no one there.  No one should have been in the house at the time as everyone was at work or school.  I lay back down and the entire blanket was yanked off of me completely and thrown on the floor.  I jumped out of bed and searched the room and under the bed but found nothing.  At first I thought it must be someone playing a joke, but realized that this must be poltergeist activity.  As I walked towards the door to open it and get out of the room I heard a loud scratching noise behind the dresser.  I watched in horror as a very large 6" long beetle-type insect came out from behind the mirror.  I attempted to smash it, but it went back behind the mirror. 

I then ran out of the room and downstairs where I waited until everyone returned home from work to relate the story of the day's events.  My stepfather investigated the room, pulled the dresser out from the wall, but found no beetle.  I then entered the room and searched everywhere but found nothing.  Needless to say, I did not sleep in that room again and moved out shortly after.  I believe that that beetle was not a real beetle at all -- we just don't have anything that size in this area.  It was likely a supernatural creation. 

After I moved out nothing strange happened to anyone else in that house, yet I continued to experience strange activity in every house I've lived in.  This is what happens when a person is haunted, rather than a house.  As I've gotten older I've learned how to deal with negative energies and they no longer bother me.

Margie Kay is the Director of Quest Paranormal Investigation Group and author of Haunted Independence and Gateway to the Dead.  She is the publisher of Un-X News Magazine.  Visit or for more information.  

The Noland Road Lady in Gray

The Noland Road Lady in Gray
By Margie Kay

Location where she has been seen: N. Noland Road to S. Noland Rd and near the 23rd Street intersection in Independence, Missouri

I’d heard the stories for years—how the ghost of a woman walking on and near Noland Road had appeared and disappeared before many people’s eyes.  And how this lady with short gray hair frequented the area around the large Woodlawn Cemetery, and how she usually appeared after dark.  Some witnesses told me that she has a very white face and large eyes. 

I thought this was just an urban legend until I saw the Noland Road Lady in Gray myself.  There she was, walking on 23rd Street headed East, just a few blocks from Noland Road on the South side of the street.  Dressed in a long grey skirt and blouse in tatters, the pale-faced woman was looking around as if searching for something.  I thought “that must be the Noland Road Grey Lady,” when suddenly, as I drove by right next to her
she disappeared into thin air.  My suspicion was confirmed.

     I’d heard the stories for years—how the ghost of a woman walking on and near Noland Road had appeared and disappeared before many people’s eyes.  And how this lady with short gray hair frequented the area around the large Woodlawn Cemetery, and how she usually appeared after dark.  Some witnesses told me that she has a very white face and large eyes. 

     Rachel Timmons saw the lady one day as she drove South on Noland road past Woodlawn cemetery, then saw her again two miles further south.  Rachel was driving her car and the woman was on foot.  “There is no way that a person could outrun a car,” said Rachel. “I think this was definitely the famous Lady in Gray.” 

Margie Kay is the director of Quest Paranormal Investigation Group and author of Haunted Independence and Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide. See more info at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Second Edition of Gateway to the Dead Released


Nationally Acclaimed Clairvoyant Releases Exciting New Edition

Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide

Kay added ten sites to her favorite most haunted sites to visit in the United States and United Kingdom in this second edition
. Margie does not recommend ghost hunting without any type of training because it could be dangerous. “Entities have been known to follow people home, and ghost hunters need to know how to protect themselves,” says Margie.

Kansas City, Missouri – July 22, 2013
Margie Kay's second edition of this book was released in June of 2013. In the book, Kay presents her unique take on ghost hunting from a psychic's point of view. She describes real ghost hunts, explains the different types of entities one might encounter while ghost hunting, how to protect yourself while ghost hunting, and how to use special paranormal equipment to obtain scientific proof of ghostly encounters.

Kay added ten sites to her favorite most haunted sites to visit in the United States and United Kingdom, which she investigated personally. She does not recommend ghost hunting without any type of training because it could be dangerous. “Entities have been known to follow people home, and ghost hunters need to know how to protect themselves,” says Margie.

The book is $14.95 and is available at or

Margie is a nationally-known remote viewer and psychic, having worked with law enforcement agencies to help solve 46 missing person and homicide cases. Kay owns a forensic investigation company in Kansas City, Missouri, and is co-owner of KGRA Digital Broadcasting Network. She is the publisher of Un-X News Magazine and host of Un-X News Radio.

For more information about Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide please visit

Contact Tamie Dorsch, assistant to Margie Kay at 816-833-1602 or

Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide
By Margie Kay
Published by Nocturna Press
ISBN 9780985431433
250 pages
Margie Kay is the director of Quest Paranormal Investigation Group and author of Haunted Independence and Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide. See more info at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Old site of the Swope Mansion

Site of the old Swope Mansion today
The old Swope Mansion used to be located at 308 N Pleasant Street, Independence, Missouri, but was razed by the RLDS Church after they purchased the property in the 1960's.  One can speculate why this beautiful red brick mansion was taken down, but it may be due to the fact that it was very haunted, and in fact, the location still may be haunted.  Col. Thomas Swope was murdered in the home by poisoning, and later 10 or 11 family members mysteriously died with the cause being reported as Typhoid from a contaminated cistern on the property.  See the book Deaths on Pleasant Street: The Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde by Giles Fowler for more details. 

Here is the book description from Barnes and Noble:  "The 1909 murder case surrounding the wealthy Swope family of Independence, Missouri, gripped newspaper readers throughout the nation. This book gathers the facts behind the suspicious fates of three Swope family members: the eccentric Colonel, millionaire donor of Kansas City, Missouri’s Swope Park, his affable cousin, and a young nephew and heir. The mystery pits the Swope matriarch against her disfavored son-in-law, Dr. Bennett Clark Hyde. Charged with poisoning the Colonel and suspected of multiple other attempted murders, Dr. Hyde endures national media attention for this crime of the century. The series of trials and appeals that followed explores the question: Was he a diabolical villain bent on inheriting Swope’s millions or the unfortunate victim of a family grudge? This account of gothic-era America follows streetcar tracks from the courtrooms of Kansas City to the typhoid-plagued Swope mansion in nearby Independence. The author delivers an engaging and accurate retelling of these 100-year-old events in the literary journalism tradition by analyzing court transcripts, newspaper coverage, and personal memoirs. Readers also get a new scenario based on modern science for what may have happened in the dark hallways of the mansion on Pleasant Street. "
Link to book

However, the tale may not be so clear as the book purports.  According to my father, my great-great grandmother, Nellie Collins Swope, was a very sinister woman.  The entire family believed that she killed all three of her husbands for their money, as well as 11 family members (who were they?).  She was so feared and hated for her cruel treatment by the family that my father's father, Boyd Kithcart, talked his brother (who had a brain injury from WWI) into killing his grandmother with an ax in order to protect the rest of the family from her.  They all lived in a large stone house on Charlotte street in Kansas City, MO.  He attempted to do so but failed, and was taken away to the St. Joseph Sanitarium where he spent the rest of his life until he died in 1968.  Boyd died in 1956.  

It was known among the family members that Nellie was the 19-year old mistress of Mr. Henry Swope, and had her daughter, Minnie, out of wedlock.  After Mr. Swope's first wife died (how, I don't know) he married Nellie and then legally adopted his own daughter, Minnie.  They later had a son, George.  After Mr. Swope's death, Nellie married a man named Stephen March.  I don't know who the third husband may have been or if indeed there was one.

There are many gaps here, including the fact that I cannot find much information on Henry Swope, even after extensive research on and other sites. Clearly, someone is hiding something.  I would like to get this cleared up if at all possible, and if you know something about the family I'd appreciate communicating with you.  I was able to purchase a photo of the mansion but the license will not allow me to use it in print or in a blog.   If you have a picture of it I'd appreciate getting a copy!

I was contacted by a former docent who worked in the Swope Mansion when they let people take tours after it was abandoned. Apparently, after the deaths the home was abandoned by the family and the City of Independence took possession of it.  The docent said that it was known among the staff that the house was very haunted, and that the workers often heard footsteps, doors opening and closing, doors locking of their own accord, and rustling of papers.  Col. Swope's office seemed to be the most active area and they would often find books on the floor of the office when no one had been in it.  Some workers even saw full body apparitions walking the halls.  No wonder, with 12 untimely deaths on the site. 

Now, as for the property, we are setting up a ghost hunt there this summer and I'll let you know how that goes on a future post. 
Margie Kay is the director of Quest Paranormal Investigation Group and author of Haunted Independence and Gateway to the Dead: A Ghost Hunter's Field Guide. See more info at