Tales of Heartland Hauntings
Growing up in the Heartland, I've heard so many ghost stories about the communities I've lived, that I can scarcely remember them all. What I do remember is that creepy, scary feeling of visiting old cemeteries in the dead of night with my friends, trying to see an elusive ghostly apparition or two roaming the grounds. It was so much fun!
As I began to research more Heartland Hauntings, I was surprised to learn that there were tales, about some of the communities I'd lived...that I had never heard before. One of those took place at my very own college dormitory.
From Sallie, The Heartland Ghost in Missouri, to a haunting trumpeteer in Kansas, and Cry Baby Bridge in Indiana, the one thing these stories have in common is that they are all Hauntings in the Heartland. These 'haunting tales' are just a few of the ones I have researched.
Unexplained noises, strange sounds, weird whistling and phantom footsteps have plagued the
employees and staff of Olathe, Kansas' Johnson Country Industrial Airport's Hanger 43 for more
than 50 years. The staff affectionately refer to their elusive spirit as 'Commander' and believe he
is one of the 54 men killed at the navy flight training base located there in 1942.
The Albino Woman haunts Topeka, Kansas ... frequenting the Rochester Cemetery to trace her path
from the graveyard to her home. I couldn't find anything on how 'Albino Woman' died, but information
says she was exceptionally active in the late 1960s with a particular affinity for young people.
Paola High School is home to a band student, killed on a steep metal stairway at the building's entrance.
Students and staff often hear the sounds of a lone trumpet playing in the building, even when no band members
are on site.
More information about Haunted Kansas
Haunted Kansas on film
Knob Noster mountain, in Johnson County, Missouri, was home to an old hermit.
One night, during a thunderstorm, the old man was on his way to town when he died,
perhaps struck by lightning. His body was discovered the following day and the lamp
he had been carrying was lying beside his body, still lit.
Whenever thunderstorms roll over Knob Noster, folks can see his ghost, carrying the lantern,
coming down the path to town.
In the 1930's, Laurie May Maumsey got into a fight with her drunken husband, who threatened
to beat their baby to death. As the couple struggled over the baby, the baby fell and her head
was shattered. Laurie committed suicide shortly afterward and her ghost has become known as
the Ozark Madonna, as she roams barefoot over the ridges and hills of the Ozark Mountains, with
her baby in her arms.
Constructed in 1888 by the brothers who owned Arbuckle Coffee Company, the Hotel Savoy in
Kansas City, Missouri boasted such notable guests as Teddy Roosevelt, W.C. Fields and
J.D. Rockefeller, among others.
Several spirits have taken up residence and one spirit is that of "Betsy Ward", a resident of the
hotel who passed away while in the bathtub, perhaps due to a sudden heart attack. . Witnesses have
observed the shower turning itself on and off, all by itself, in room 505.
Others have heard music coming from inside the room while the room appeared to be vacant.
Chillicothe - Slagle Cemetery/Bridge, Missouri - One of the early settlers of
Livingston County was a man named Slagle. He was a very wealthy mill owner,
who had several wives and quite a few children. Mysteriously, most of his children
disappeared and it was believed that Slagle had murdered them. It is known that
Slagle killed a man whose body is buried under the road running past the cemetery.
Slagle is buried in the cemetery, along with his wives and children.
At another bridge, near the cemetery, one of Slagle's wives hanged herself after discovering
that her children had been murdered. Slagle's ghost has been seen many times in the cemetery and where the mill
Haunted Missouri on Amazon
Ghosts of the Ozarks
The small community of Mossy Glen, Iowa is home to a ghost that has claimed residence since
the mid 1800s. It is said that a peddler came into the area, peddling his wares. For some reason,
perhaps for his goods, he was killed and his body hidden in a nearby cave. It is near the cave that
his ghost is frequently seen.
In the 1930s reclusive Mossy Glen farmer, Dan Shine, married a much younger woman named Pearl. Not long
after the nuptials, the young Pearl pursuaded one of Dan's young farmhand's to kill her husband. With Pearl's help, the pair tried to make the death appear to be suicide. It didn't work...and the
couple was convicted of first-degree murder. Pearl was destined to roam the earth after her death,
perhaps her spirit is trying to atone for murdering her husband and talking an innocent young farmhand into helping her do her dirty deed.
Mossy Glen is also home to the restless spirit of a young woman named Lucinda. So distraught
that her lover left her for another woman, Lucinda flung herself off a cliff, after leaving a single rose
on the path behind her.
Legend has it that if you go to the Glen late at night, speak Lucinda's name three times, her
disembodied spirit will appear. If...however...Lucinda drops a rose at the feet of the summoner,
they are 'doomed' to die the following day!
Davenport - Scott - City Hall, Iowa - a ghost resides here that has made regular
appearances, so much so, he has been named Hal. Hal is found many times in the City
Council chamber smoking a cigar. Originally Hal was a citizen that was extremely
upset with city government and ran for alderman. He took a tremendous trouncing and
lost by a considerable margin. Even though he lost, he attended every City Council
meeting until his death at 63 by a heart attack. He also goes for walks and has been
seen by such notables as the former mayors who have seen him in their chambers.
On a warm June evening in 1912, the citizens of the small southwestern town of Villisca, Iowa began to settle as the sun sank in the western skies and porch lights began to flicker on. Sarah Moore and her husband, Josiah, gathered their children and began to walk home from the Children's Day Program at the Presbyterian Church. Joining the family were the Stillinger sisters, Lena and Ina, who had come to spend the night.
The next morning, the Moore house was unusually quiet. Neighbor, Mary Peckham, tried to let herself into the Moore's home, fearing the family must be sick, but found the doors locked from the inside. As worry began to take over, Mary finally called Josiah's brother, Ross.
Ross let himself into the Moore home and discovered the entire family had been murdered.
His brother, Josiah (known as J.B.) and wife Sarah. The children, Herman, Catherine, Boyd and Paul. The Stillinger sisters, Lena and Ina. All of them brutally murdered with an ax.
While there were suspects, this heinous crime was never solved.
In the late 90s the Moore house was opened to overnight visitors, ghost enthusiasts, and diehard paranormal investigators.
Some have stayed alone and one, a Des Moines disk jockey, was awakened in the night to the sounds of children's voices. Others have come in groups and have gone away with mysterious audio, video and photographic evidence that suggests something beyond our own realities reside there. Tours have been disrupted by falling lamps, moving objects, banging sounds and the laughter
Haunted Iowa on Amazon
Murder in Villisca
In the late 1960s, I attended college at Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska (now it's University of Nebraska/ Kearney) and I
lived on the first floor of Conrad Hall. Built in the 1950s, Conrad Hall used to house the KSC chapter of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
Conrad Hall is reportedly haunted by a spirit known as Stella, the Alpha Omicron Pi
founding sister who occupied Room 318. During the week before students begin to move into
the dorm, sounds and visions are frequently heard coming from the third floor.
Stella appears in third floor rooms at night to sit on students' chairs and beds. Sometimes, students wake up to find her sleeping beside them. Fans change speeds for no reason, water taps are turned on by themselves, and heavy pieces of furniture can be heard being moved about.
The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film is housed in the Temple Building at
the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Campus. It is where my son is currently attending
college, majoring in theater.
During construction of the Temple Building, in the early 1900s one of the workers fell
from the rafters and was killed on the stage floor. He is sometimes seen, in his period
clothes, at the building late at night.
In the 1940s, while preparing for a performance of Macbeth, a student plunged to his death
from the overhead rigging. Since that time, whenever Macbeth is presented at the theater,
his ghost is said to appear.
The Alliance Theater has a female ghost named 'Mary'. Mary was an actress who loved the
stage. One evening, playing the part of a bride in a love story, as the happy ending of the play
drew near, a heavy light fixture fell on Mary as she walked up to the stage and killed her.
To this day, late at night, Mary can be seen roaming the stage as if waiting for applause.
Haunted Grand Island Holiday Inn
The Heartland Ghost -- named Sallie has been causing all kinds
of mischief for some time. Several families have moved from the
house because of her actions. Sallie was a young girl,
about 6 years old, who died in the house when it was a doctor's office.
She started showing up in the house about 1993. At first she
just moved a few toys in the nursery but later, it became a scratching frenzy.
In Lancaster, Ohio is a place called the Tavern at the Mill, it used to be a grain mill.
People have reported they hear someone walking around, even though no one is there,
Tavern at the Mill employees say they hear their names being called when they are alone.
Several employees have seen a female ghost walking around the area.
Anderson, Indiana - There is a bridge in Anderson on which there was a
car accident. Accident victims were removed from the site, but a baby was
somehow overlooked and it died.
It is said if you travel this bridge you can hear the
crying of the infant, so, as you can imagine, the bridge is called, "Cry Baby Bridge".
Evergreen Park - St. Mary's Cemetery, Illinois - An apparition of a man has
been reported staring at drivers passing by on nearby roads. It is said he
crouches down when a car approaches, as if to get a better look, then disappears
right before their eyes.
There is a railroad track nearby and some bodies were
brought in by railroad in the past. Several people were killed near the cemetery,
including one of the famous O'Bannion brothers in the twenties. He was killed by
none other than Al Capone. Another death occurred when two bandits attempted to
rob the train on the tracks next to the cemetery and one was shot dead. Another
killing occurred when two men were shot while they were visiting the grave of one
of the gangsters buried in the cemetery
Central Lake - Murphy's Lamplight Inn, Michigan - Built in the early 1900s, ghosts have been
haunting Murphy's Lamplight Inn since the 1950s. The owners, customers
and employees have reported seeing two ghosts dressed in the styles of the late
1920s and 30s. A male and a female, the ghosts have been
reported dancing and looking into windows on the second floor.
A third ghost, is reported to be one of the first managers of the inn who passed in the early 1950s.
"Mrs Gill" is often seen standing in the upstairs window looking out.
Duluth - Charlie's Club, Minnesota - A night club located in Spirit Valley, Minnesota.
Charlie's Club is housed in an old building, built about 100 years ago.
A fire destroyed the upper three floors, so that it is now a single story building.
Patrons of the club report they have been physically pushed and when they looked
no one was there.
An old woman haunts the club appearing only to men. Employees have heard
bathroom doors opening and closing when the bathroom was empty and the heavy security
door swings open violently and slams shut. These last events mostly occur after the
club is closed and being cleaned.
Boulder Junction - Stevenson Creek, Wisconsin - There is a wreck of a building in a
heavily wooded area. The only things left to show it ever existed are the tall chimney
and the basement. The building has been gone now for almost 80 years.The legend says
It used to be a bed and breakfast but one day everyone in the building disappeared
and were never heard from again. This included the owners and all the guests. People
that have visited the site say they can see ghosts roaming the basement area with some
sort of wind swirling around them. There are also reports of ghost children playing
by the creek and running through the tall grass.
The Haunted Midwest
Haunted Chippewa Falls
A couple of 'ghost' costumes and let's not forget the 'ghostbusters'.
And...a video that will help get your children in the Halloween spirit.