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.