By Noah Albro, Command and General Staff College PAO - Fort Leavenworth Public Affairs Office, Public Domain, Link
This base is the oldest operating US Army Base west of the Mississippi River and has been in operation for over 180 years. It is home to the United States Army Combined Arms Center, the United States Disciplinary Barracks (the only maximum security institution operated by the US Army), the United States Army Command and General Staff College through which almost all modern US Army Officers ranked Major and above have passed through, Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery and many other important centers for the US Army.
It is also the most important training center for the US Army.
The first fort on this location was built by the French in the 18th Century who abandoned it at the conclusion of the French-Indian War. In 1827 the original Fort Leavenworth was established here by Col Henry Leavenworth as a forward base for protecting the Santa Fe Trail.
The Rookery (the oldest building in Kansas) was originally built in 1832 to serve as the bachelor officers’ quarters but served as the office of the first Territorial Governor of Kansas until the capitol was moved to Pawnee.
This fort also played important parts in the both the Utah (Mormon) War and the Mexican-American War.
In the Civil War all volunteers from Kansas were trained here for the Union Army. The Confederate Army built Fort Sully nearby (which the ruins of can still be seen near the National Cemetery) but the Confederate troops meant for Sully were defeated near the present site of Kansas City and never occupied the fort.
The “Buffalo Soldiers” (African-American soldiers) were formed here to fight in the Civil War and a monument stands on the grounds to them.
In 1875 the penitentiary was built to house US Army soldiers convicted of committing serious crimes.
As the 19th Century came to a close this fort was mainly involved in conflicts against the Native American population (over 1,000 of them).
In the early to mid 20th Century most of the Generals we know from the history books were trained here including MacArthur, Bradley, Eisenhower and Patton.
The plans were drawn up here the provided the major strategies that would allow the Allies to win both World Wars. During the Cold War Nike-Hercules missiles were stationed here in a plan to bring down Soviet nuclear bombers.
In the National Cemetery some very famous US Army officers (all way back to the War Of 1812) are buried including 10 Medal of Honor recipients. Burials are now closed here but are permitted for soldiers with members of their family already interned.
The ghost of Catherine Sutter is still seen here sometimes carrying a lantern. She arrived here with her family in 1880 to rest before continuing west. Her husband and children were sent out one day to collect firewood and never returned. Catherine wintered over at the fort desperately searching for her family until she caught pneumonia and died.
Her apparition is still seen in the National Cemetery and adjoining golf course still calling for her children. She is dressed in a calico dress and a black shawl.
The apparition of Chief Joesph is also seen here, he was imprisoned here in 1877 until his death.
In the Chief Of Staff’s Quarters the phantom sounds of a party are often heard in the empty parlor. The apparitions of an old man, an old woman and very angry young girl have been seen; and are said to be responsible for other paranormal activity, in The Rookery – the oldest house on base.
Sheridan House is said to be haunted Mrs Sheridan forever angry that her husband, Gen Philip Sheridan, who abandoned her on her deathbed to go to Chicago.
In the McClellan Officers Quarters the apparition of a man with goatee is often seen by the fireplace and he is blamed for loud phantom footsteps as if someone is in the house at night.
501 Ohio Drive
Status: Historical Haunted Hotel
It is Unclear if Paranormal Investigations can be Booked or Not
All the Original Website Locations are Either Expired, Out of Date or Dead Links Now
This hotel was built by AD Walker in 1889 who named it for his daughter Josephine; she was only 4 months old at the time.
This hotel was in continuous operation longer than any other hotel west of the Mississippi when it closed in 2010. In 2011 it was opened again and in 2020 the current owner, Sara Fox, bought the hotel and modernized it.
Both political figures and celebrities have stayed here during it’s long history including the 22nd President Grover Cleveland, Robert Louis Stevenson – author of Treasure Island and even Kirstie Alley.
This location bills itself as the most haunted hotel in Kansas.
In the past there have been a number of paranormal events at this location every year but they don't seem to be hosting them in 2023. Also in the past you could have book your own overnight investigation through the website but all links are expired or dead links now.
Hopefully paranormal events and investigtions will return in the future.
The Buffalo Room is considered the most haunted – there is photographic evidence captured in this room on the hotel’s website – and therefore the most booked. There is a bell in a closet in the room that is known to ring with absolutely no interference by the living.
The apparition of an old man who is said to be very grouchy haunts the John Wayne Room.
Josephine, herself, is said to haunt the entire hotel and can be found all over the building. The ghosts of children are said to haunt the basement.
In the Carrie Nation Room the legend is that a woman hung herself in the closet. There are numerous records of people being forced to leave the room clutching their necks and having difficulty breathing.
Other Reported Activity: shaking beds; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices; phantom footsteps; shadow figures and possibly shadow people; phantom laughter and other unexplained sounds and feeling of being watched and not being alone.
945 Shawnee Road
Status: Heritage Property; Private Residence; Urban Legend; For Sale
No Public Access
This house was built between 1871 and 1873 in the Italian Classical style by Anton Sauer for his family. He moved to Kansas City from Austria after his first wife passed away looking for a drier environment due to his worsening tuberculosis.
Once in America he married a widow, Mary, with 2 children – he had 5 himself – and they had 5 more together before his death in 1879. Mary stayed in the mansion with the children until her own death in 1919.
Five generations of the Sauer family lived in the house until 1955 when it was bought by Paul Berry. He lived there until his death in 1986 although he dealt with constant problems with trespassers due to the stories of the house being haunted.
In 1987 the house was bought with plans of turning it into a bed & breakfast but it didn’t pan out. In 1988 Carl Lopp – a relative of the Saur family – bought the house with intentions of fixing it up. Lopp’s caretaker was charged with a felony theft after stealing a number of items from the house.
In January of 2022 the house was put up for sale again; with a reported price tag of $10 million.
The house is surrounded by a 8 foot fence; trespassing is illegal.
One story about this haunting is pure urban legend. No woman killed herself at the end of Civil War thinking her husband was lost in the war. Nor was this suicide followed by her husband’s suicide when he found her. Construction on the house was not even begun until 6 years after the war ended and the vacant lot was owned by an Aboriginal man at the time.
There is only one verified suicide in the house and it was a 73-year-old man who shot himself due to his failing health.
There were no murders, only the one suicide, no unmarked graves and no hidden tunnel – the mansion is built on solid rock.
A number of people have died in the mansion – most of natural causes – including one infant, a child drowning in the swimming pool and one Sauer who burned to death in a train accident; he was not on the property of course.
The apparition of a young boy has been seen throughout the mansion. The apparitions of a man – thought to be John Perkins (the man who shot himself) - and a woman – thought to be Eve Sauer (the last Sauer to live in the mansion) – are also seen in the mansion; although the part of them only appearing on Halloween is probably an Urban Legend.
The apparition of a woman is also seen in the look out tower or walking the widow’s walk.
Light anomalies are often seen floating around the look out tower and throughout the property.
A myriad of unexplained noises have been heard coming from the house when no one was living there including: voices, screams, laughter, crying and shouting.
Other Activity: phantom footsteps; doors opening and closing on their own; shadow figures and feelings of being something watching you from inside the house.
250 North 1600 Road
Status: Closed Cemetery; Open Dawn - Dusk
By Ayleen Gaspar - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/spookyamd/14183926767/in/photolist
This area of the State was settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the mid-19th Century and they called their new town Stull. The infamous church in the cemetery – demolished in 2002 – was built in 1860. As the 20th Century began the local population began to leave and eventually there was nothing left but an abandoned church and the town’s graveyard.
So how did this small town church and cemetery become known as one of the most evil places in America? It is said that black magic practitioners, Satanists and other undesirables took over the church once it was abandoned. There is also stories of a murder on the grounds in 1850 – a decade before the church was even constructed – that desecrated the land.
And, of course, it always comes back to America's greatest scapegoat: Satan.
The cemetery is now known as one the lost gateways to Hell - the 7th gate to be exact – and it is rumored to be where Satan holds court with his followers.
Rumor also has it that Satan’s half human half animal son is buried here in an unmarked grave after he was killed after an 11 month killing spree at the age of 11.
If you think this all sounds like an Urban Legend(s), you’re not alone. Remember, though, inside of every urban legend is a crumb of the truth.
At the autumn and spring equinoxes mists and lights are said to appear over the grave of Satan’s son. On these dates – sometimes it's Halloween instead of the autumn equinox – is it also said the Gates of Hell open. A mist filled set of stairs leading downward beckoning witnesses to descend into the Underworld.
There is also a rumored dark witch buried here and she can be picked up on recorded EVPs saying “keep away from my bones” and “watch your step”. Her husband is buried beside her but his grave site keeps lifting up; rumor has it the witch is trying to move his final resting spot away from hers.
It is also said the ghosts of all of those who died violently come to cemetery on the equinoxes and Halloween. So, this cemetery is party central for the forces of Hell at least 3 days a year.
A church stood abandoned on the property from 1922 until 2002 when it was torn down apparently by a local – without the owner’s permission – in an attempt to end the rumors and legends.
Obviously, this failed.
Founded in 1866 this hospital was the first hospital in Kansas for the treatment of mental illnesses.
In March of 1863 2 County Commissioners were tasked with finding a suitable site for the building of a Kansas State Asylum. They were limited to Miami County in the vicinity of Osawatomie so it wasn't exactly a challenge.
Part of the original parcel of land was donated by the people of Osawatomie and the rest of was purchased by the State of Kansas. The original site was about 170 acres.
A farmhouse was the original asylum – with bars on the windows – and there were only 4 inmates (what patients were called in that time period). With 2 storeys and 8 rooms it was intended to hold 10 – 12 patients.
This final use of the house was as a polio isolation structure before being torn down.
When it opened on November 1, 1866 it was known as both the State Lunatic Asylum and the State Insane Asylum.
In 1868 Kansas came up with the funds to build a Kirkbride Building – a design by Thomas Kirkbride with administration in the center and 2 wings out of the central (one male; one female) with the most violent patients housed at the far end of the wings – on the site.
This massive building was constantly being built and expanded over the next 18 years with the patient population constantly expanding. As with other institutions in North American and Europe overcrowding was an ongoing issue.
In 1869 the main administration building was begun and called “The Old Main”. It provided offices, staff housing, a chapel, a kitchen and laundry facilities. A fire burned out the center of the building in 1880 and it was 18 years before it was completed.
In 1892 and 1895 the 2 Knapp buildings were constructed named after a previous superintendent of the facility. They were used for housing the incurable male patients.
Also, in 1895 the Adair Building was opened for housing the incurable female patients.
By 1900 the site had increased from 170 acres to 720 acres and numerous buildings had been built all over the campus.
In the early 20th century nurses were finally given a 2 year training course and female nurses were allowed to care of male patients.
Previous to this both the male and female attendants worked 16 hours a day for 19 days before getting one day off and sometimes responsible for over 100 patients each; plus they had absolutely no training.
Without training many of them feared the patients and kept them in restraints like straitjackets for days at a time.
Electrotherapeutics were also approved for patient treatment at this time; the pretty name for electro-shock therapy.
By 1945 the overcrowding in the asylum was so bad the ratio of doctors to patients was 1:854.
In 1905 the Asylum Bridge was built leading to a brick road that led to the eastern entrance of the asylum. It was abandoned in the 1970s but the bridge remains – albeit gated off – as well as pieces of the original brick road. For many of the patients this bridge was the last time they saw the outside world.
In the later half of the 20th century the invention of anti-psychotic drugs preceded the movement of many patients out of the giant asylum system and into group home settings. Many patients could now use prescribed medications to live a normal life and go home again.
The facility's population began to decline quickly.
In 2010 the State demolished the majority of the old buildings on the site including “Old Main” and the Kirkbride Building. There are still a few left like the infirmary which dates back to 1902 and remains abandoned on the site.
Osawatomie State Mental Hospital is now a state of the art facility in the treatment of the mentally ill. Facilities range from outpatient day programs to those confined to the facility by court order.
This facility is an operational mental health facility and access to the hospital and land is restricted.
The reports of the paranormal activity today are in the old buildings that still stand – some of which are part of the modern facility – and areas of the campus where the old buildings stood before being demolished.
Reported Activity: apparitions of former patients and staff have been reported throughout the campus; ghostly faces looking out of the empty windows of the old buildings: this was also reported in the buildings that have been demolished; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; electrical disturbances; time and dimensional shifts; empathic sensations of sadness especially near the asylum bridge and the site of the Kirkbride Building; phantom footsteps in the old buildings; disembodied voices, screams and cries; unexplained sounds from faint whispers to loud bangs; light anomalies; mysterious mists; sudden temperature changes; unexplained smells like smoke, ozone and decomposing flesh; unexplained breezes and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
Removal of any material from the grounds is inadvisable as they are stories of people experiencing paranormal activity in their homes after removing souvenirs.
Western End of County Road 5000
Status: Former Industrial Site; Abandoned; Ruins; Urban Legend
In 1905 the United Kansas Portland Cement Company bought 1,500 acres (607 hectares) of land in order to build a factory.
A company town for employees called Le Hunt – named after Leigh Hunt the President of the engineering firm that built the factory – was also built. By 1906 there were over 1,000 people living in Le Hunt.
The town included a church, a company store, a school, and even medical facilities where care was provided by the company with fees deducted from your pay of course.
The majority of the workers were immigrants who had come to America with next to nothing and were living in tents before the company built the town.
In 1908 this site and 3 other cement factories were consolidated in an attempt to lower operational costs.
The factory suffered a number of financial issues resulting in multiple owners. By the Great Depression in the 1930’s it was owned by the United States Steel Corporation and finally closed. Anything worth money was sold off and moved including many houses in the town.
Other versions say both the factory and town were abandoned in 1918.
Today only the cemetery and some foundations remain of the town.
The cement factory’s smokestack still rises above the trees; although, based on photos, its in such bad shape it won’t for much longer. The surrounding woods are filled with deteriorating cement walls and the shells of former factory buildings.
In 1905 a man by the name of Bohr (Boars) was working on the 15 foot walls in the factory construction when he fell into the wall while the cement was being poured. Knowing there was nothing they could do his coworkers buried his wheelbarrow, shovel and pickaxe in the wall with him – the handles of the wheelbarrow as well as the blade of his shovel are sticking out of the wall and can still be seen today – and his engraved name as Boars is also on the wall.
Today, people claim to hear muffled screaming as he drowned in the wet cement. More rarely Bohr’s blurry apparition is seen near the wall that became his grave.
On October 30, 1997 19 year old Keayon Hadley lured Brian Durnil – who had just moved to the area – onto the grounds where he shot Durnil multiple times before beating him with a baseball bat. Durnil was found alive but died before an ambulance could get to the site.
Hadley seems to have committed the crime to impress 2 teenage girls – his attorney tried to unsuccessfully pin the murder on the girls calling them the Satanists – and was ultimately convicted of second degree murder.
People report hearing the crime being played out with phantom screams, yells, gunshots and other sounds of the beating. Evil seems to have left a stain on the etheric.
Other Activity: shadow figures; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being alone.