THE GHOST STORIES OF KANSAS
Like many other states and regions which have appeared on this web page, devoted to ghosts, hauntings and the haunted history of America.... there are a number of tales that simply are not long enough to be able to devote and entire section to them. There are also the tales which stretch credibility to the point that they lie just beyond the realm of the ghostly and somewhere in the land of the "urban legend". Many of these tales are nearly as chilling as their documented counterparts, and yet I have always found that truth is stranger than fiction. If there are any stories that haunt the landscape of Kansas that I have not mentioned on the pages that follow, then it may be because they either seemed to good to be true.... or that I missed them altogether.
Regardless, the stories below were all good Kansas ghost tales... they just were not long enough for a separate page. Take a moment to read them over though because you may just find that some of these stories do not have to be long to give you goosebumps!
----- There is said to be the ghost of an old Indian man who appears along the Saline River in Ellis County. The ghost once appeared to a cowboy who was camping there in 1879. The spirit was doomed to roam the banks of river until he found the skull of his father, who had been murdered by white men in the 1840's.
----- There is a section of Kansas City known as Morningside Park where houses have been effected by strange phenomena like odd noises, moving furniture and smoke which appears and disappears. The land was once known as Hinkle's Grove in the early 1900's but a century before, it was used as a rest stop on the Santa Fe trail. A house burned down on the site in 1876 and may be the source of the strange phenomena.
----- The Johnson County Industrial Airport in Olathe is haunted by unexplained noises, strange sounds, whistling and phantom footsteps. They have plagued Hangar 43 for more than 50 years and employees and staff members have dubbed the elusive spirit who haunts the place the "Commander". They believe that he may have been one of the 54 men killed at the navy flight training base, which was located there in 1942.
----- The ghost of a former band student is said to haunt the Paola High School. The boy was killed on a steep metal stairway while entering the building and his ghost has apparently been there ever since. Today, students and visitors claim to hear the sound of a single trumpet playing in the building, even while no band members are there.
----- One of the most enduring legends of Kansas is that of the Albino Woman. When I looked into the story, I found so many versions of it that it smelled suspiciously like an urban legend... or at least the Kansas version of the "Hook". The woman is said to haunt the city of Topeka and has appeared in various places and guises over the years. According to Haunted Places: The National Directory by Dennis William Hauck, the ghost was especially active in the late 1960's and seemed to be attracted to young people. She was also said to frequent Rochester Cemetery in Topeka and trace her path from the graveyard to her home some distance away. I have not been able to discover just how much of the story is true.
There are dozens and dozens of ghost stories in Kansas, far too many to mention here, but if you have a story of a location that has been documented to be haunted, please contact me via this web page. If you would like to read about many more Kansas ghosts, then see the book Haunted Kansas by Lisa Hefner Heitz. She does the state justice in a way that no page on the Internet can do.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor
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