Only the spirits have kept the mysteries that abound in these most-haunted historical properties in Kansas.
Although a few locals know the following tales, these stories from the Sunflower State’s early settlers are held tight in their cryptic walls. Could the whispers of their ghosts be waiting to divulge their stories to those who are brave enough to listen?
A road trip through Haunted Kansas is waiting for you, packed with 11 must-visit spooky properties for your exploration.
Dare to dive into each of these spectral delights, the most haunted locations in Dorothy's Kansas.
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Built in 1855, the first hotel built on this property was known as the Free State Hotel. Originally, it was first designed to serve as temporary quarters for those settlers who came from Boston. In 1856, however, the hotel was attacked and burned to the ground by Sheriff Sam Jones.
Colonel Shalor Eldridge rebuilt the hotel, adding another floor. Talk about bad luck! In 1863, the hotel was again attacked and destroyed, this time by Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader. More than 150 people were killed in Quantrill’s raid. The hotel was again rebuilt, and it stood until 1925 when it was decided that the hotel was deteriorating, and it needed to be rebuilt yet again.
Appropriately, today, the hotel – now known as the Eldridge – displays a seal of a phoenix rising from the ashes. The motto is “from ashes to immortality."
The hotel's fifth floor is said to contain a portal to the spirit world. Room 506 has been noted to have much ghostly activity. Here, witnesses have reported that they can see breath marks on cleaned mirrors, doors opening and shutting on their own, and lights turning on and off by themselves.
Throughout the hotel, guests have reported cold spots, apparitions on the fifth floor, and a ghost coming out of the elevator.
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Under the Candle Queen Candle Building in Leavenworth are tunnels that are more than 200 years old. These tunnels are believed to be a part of the Underground Railroad where slaves fled from their pursuers. There are three rooms connected to the tunnel. Newspapers dating from 1917 can be found on the walls. People entering the underground tunnels find that their batteries drain – possibly as spirits attempt to pull these energies for their own use.
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The Haunted 1889 McInteer Villa was built for John McInteer, a prominent Irish saddle maker. Ten deaths have been reported deaths in the history of the home. These include John and his first wife Alice, plus John's second wife (Anna) as well as her mother and Charles Donovan (Anna’s son).
Charles reportedly committed suicide in a room located upstairs in the mansion. After Charles returned from the war, a newspaper reported, he was having bad headaches. Soon after taking some medicine, he shot himself in the head.
A four-day-old baby, Isobel “Goldie” Altus, also died in this mansion, as did Mr. and Mrs. Gerardy, the house's the previous owners.
With so much death and tragedy, the haunts here are impressionable. Shadow figures have been seen in the home, the bedroom door upstairs will open on its own, and footsteps can be heard walking down the hallway. Plus, EVP (Electric Voice Phenomenon) devices and digital recordings will pick up male voices along with evil laughter.
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Achenbach Memorial Hospital was opened in 1941 and finally closed its doors in the 1970s. It's been reported that, on the 3rd floor, the toilet will flush without anyone in the room, and the elevator moves as if someone was operating it. In addition, visitors have reported cold spots and the feeling of being watched.
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Reno County Museum is more than 100 years old, and carries with it a very rich history. A few deaths have been reported in this old building once called the Rosemont apartment.
Haunted? You bet! The museum has had many tales of ghostly activity reported the staff: They have told of hearing strange noises and seeing an apparition of a little girl in a white dress on the second floor.
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Built in 1886, the Cimarron Hotel was built to have a significant presence where the historic Santa Fee Trail branched in Cimarron, Kansas – one trail going off to the southwest while the other followed the Arkansas River.
The Cimarron Hotel was originally named the New West Hotel. In the early 1890s, the hotel was used as a sanitarium where patients with respiratory disorders found relief. In 1902, the hotel was purchased and the name changed to Luther Inn. The hotel was then sold again in 1947, and became the Cimarron Hotel.
Where are the haunts? Individuals have stated they have seen a ghost on the 3rd floor!
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The Santa Fe Depot was opened in 1898. Back then, it was named the Harvey House and railroad depot. It became the Theater Company in 1993, and today provides a dinner theater. Individuals claim to see a waitress from the Harvey House Restaurant. There have been sightings of a man in the basement, a young female on the third-floor stairs. A child appears on the second and third floors
Photo Credit: Hutchinson News
The Wolf Hotel was built in 1894 when the railroad came into town. An underground tunnel system was built underneath to contain services that were in "high demand" in those days for travelers – including bars, barbershops, and a whore house. The Bank of Ellinwood and the downstairs was also part of the underground tunnel system that ran through the hotel and into Ellinwood. It also housed the Drummer’s room, Joe’s Snack Counter, a bar and cards room, among others. The downstairs still houses the first air conditioner in Barton County.
Later on, Fred Wolf (the builder's son) added the Sunflower Dining room in 1924. It was a prestigious restaurant that attracted people from many places with its amber lighting and wheat shock columns.
As with most old and historic buildings, the Wolf Hotel and its underground tunnel has seen its fair share of the paranormal. Some of the ghost stories attached to the tunnels include that of a man who was shot in the street and left in the hotel boiler room to die. With a long history of death and mystery, this restored lodging place has more than its share of ghost stories and spirited encounters. From a suicide in the dining room to the mysterious underground tunnels and abandoned stores, the Wolf Hotel is a ghost hunter’s dream!
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In 1905, Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte Brown announced his plans to build the opera house, which he named the Brown Grand Theatre. This community-based theater was created and dedicated to enhancing life. The Opera House flourished until Brown's death in 1910. His son Earl died a few months later.
The theater is known to be haunted by both Brown and his son, attempting to keep their creation alive.
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Built in 1857 by Great H. Hollenberg, this six-room property served as a grocery store, tavern, and the town's unofficial post office.
Today, the Hollenberg Pony Express Station is the only such station still in existence. Proudly, it continues to stand in its original location.
It's rumored that some of the Pony Express riders continue to lurk around the building. Witnesses have heard the ghostly sounds of pounding hoofs in the night and young men calling out as they near the station.