It’s one of the most iconic sights in the Great Plains: fields of wheat drifting in the waves of a breeze. By day, it’s a mesmerizing sight… but after sunset, it can take on an eerie, sinister tone as the wheat whispers like voices and you realize that anyone could be hiding among the stalks.
Maybe that’s part of what gives the Sunflower State, known for its rolling plains, its creepy vibe – and inspired so many scary stories about various haunted places in Kansas.
As the spooky season approaches, you might want to explore the Great Plains and visit the haunted spots therein. While I’ve already shared guides to the most haunted places in Nebraska and Oklahoma, below you’ll find equally terror-inducing spots in Kansas. Square your shoulders, take a calming breath, and let’s explore the stories of Kansas’ most haunted places.
In this post, I promote travel to destinations that are the traditional lands of the Washtáge Moⁿzháⁿ (Kaw / Kansa), 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage), Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Kaskaskia, O-ga-xpa Ma-zhoⁿ (O-ga-xpa) (Quapaw), Pâri (Pawnee), Jiwere, Gáuigú (Kiowa), Nʉmʉnʉʉ Sookobitʉ (Comanche), and Wichita peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
Molly’s Hollow, Atchison
The town of Atchison is home to some of the creepiest haunted places in Kansas. Molly’s Hollow is one of them. Located inside Jackson Park, Molly’s Hollow has a disturbing legend. Rumor has it that Molly was a Black girl dating a white boy from the area. Racist locals weren’t fond of the idea and decided to punish Molly. One night, the locals hung Molly from a tree and lynched her to death. Molly never left and still wanders the area at night. Locals claim you can still hear screams in the lowest part of the park at night. Others say that if you scream her name, Molly yells back.
Sallie House, Atchison
Sallie House is one of the most famous haunted spots in Kansas. Built in the 20th Century, Sallie House used to be the residence of an Atchison physician. Allegedly, one day a desperate mother arrives at the doctor’s carrying her little girl, Sally, whose appendix was about to burst. The doctor knew there was no time to lose and cut Sally’s belly before the anesthesia kicked in. Poor Sally couldn’t stand the pain, and suddenly, her body grew pale and limp.
Sally’s ghost haunts the place since her painful death on the operating table, Sally’s ghost haunts the place. The house’s last tenants argue that the ghost is fairly violent, with a man stating that he could feel scratches upon his chest or abdomen. They also said their dog grilled and barked at nothing.
St. Jacob’s Well, Clark County
You’d never expect such a gorgeous place like St. Jacob’s Well to hide so many spooky legends. Located in the Big Basin Prairie Reserve, St. Jacob’s Well is a water-filled sinkhole that, according to legend, has never been dry –not even in the hottest summers. Another legend states that the well is bottomless, and you can see bodies somewhere within its depths. Yet another story is that the well is home to sightless fish.
However, the most famous is the legend of the “spectral cowboy.” Residents saw the cowboy for the first time in the 1890s, and they said that he let out the most horrifying sound they had ever heard.
Brown Mansion, Coffeyville
Located on the South edge of Coffeyville, Brown Mansion is a gorgeous 16-room mansion that used to belong to the Brown family.
The Browns were a wealthy family who owned numerous businesses in town. Unfortunately, they didn’t have as good luck with their children as in business. The couple had five children, of which only one survived. Two of them died at birth, one died from pneumonia, and another, Donald, died from diabetes complications.
Violet, the surviving child, inherited the house and lived there until she died in 1973. No one has ever set foot inside the house since her death. People believe that the ghosts of Violet and Donal haunt the house since you can hear crying noises and see the apparitions of Violet and Donald wandering around the rooms.
Ellis Railroad Museum, Ellis
Despite housing a gorgeous collection, Ellis Railroad Museum is popular for being one of the most haunted places in Kansas. The paranormal activity is mostly in the basement, which used to be a jail cell.
The story goes that a prisoner drowned in this cell after the basement flooded in 1958. Haunting reports state that one can hear odd noises coming from the basement or see a shadowy figure move past the window.
Witch’s Grave, Galena
Oak Hill Cemetery in Galena is one of the spookiest Kansas haunted places. It doesn’t come as a surprise; given cemeteries are creepy places in their own right. Oak Hill Cemetery is said to house a witch’s grave on its grounds. Locals say the witch likes to appear exactly at 3:33 am and produce scary noises. Some people have even captured EVPs! The graveyard is on the hilly part of 1501 Columbus Street if you dare visit.
Hollenberg Pony Express Station, Hanover
The Hollenberg Pony Express Station was one of the most famous stops of the Pony Express along the Oregon-California Trail. However, ghosts and spirits also find the museum a good place to stop.
Visitors claim they’ve heard the clatter of hoofs approaching in the distance, seen random apparitions, and heard the voices of ghostly riders echoing near the museum. Locals believe that the ghost of Great Hollenberg (who built and operated the Hollenberg Pony Express Station) also lives in the museum.
Hotel Josephine, Holton
Don’t let the unassuming facade deceive you. Hotel Josephine is one of the most haunted places in Kansas and the protagonist of the creepiest stories. It was selected to participate in National Ghost Hunting Day’s worldwide ghost hunt in 2021. According to the hotel’s owner, Lori Ford, paranormal activity is common in this building. On any day, you can hear footsteps or strange voices down the hall, and even doors slam when no one is around.
Hutchinson Public Library, Hutchison
Most people go to Hutchinson Public Library to find the perfect book. However, the library is also home to a famous ghost, Miss Ida Day Holzapfel.
Ida Day Holzapfel used to be the head librarian from 1915 to 1925 and from 1947 to 1954. It seems she was never able to leave her job, even after death. Visitors say that Holzapfel causes an eerie feeling in the library and that you can find her in the form of a cold stop around the basement. Other visitors claim she even “glows” as she walks down the aisles, looking at the bookshelves.
Old Lawrence Community Theatre Building, Lawrence
The Old Lawrence Community Theatre Building at 1501 New Hampshire Street has served numerous purposes. First, the building used to be a church. Then, it became a performing arts center in 1985. People who attend shows here have reported they feel watched even when there’s no one with them. They also have witnessed poltergeist activity, like flickering lights and cold spots.
Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is one of the most haunted military forts in the United States. Countless legends of ghosts surround Fort Leavenworth. However, one that every local will share with visitors is the story of Father Fred, who allegedly roams around St. Ignatius Chapel.
In 1875, a fire destroyed the original building. Unfortunately, Father Fred was inside the fort when the fire occurred and lost his life. Locals claim they see a priestly apparition from time to time. Other residents state they see the ghost of Catherine Sutler, the mother who lost her children while traveling past Fort Leavenworth in 1880. Her ghost could never let go and still looks for the children.
Stull Cemetery, Stull
Okay, things are about to get very creepy. Stull Cemetery isn’t an ordinary cemetery. Allegedly, the cemetery is home to one of the Seven Portals to Hell scattered around the Sunflower State. I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Locals claim somewhere around this frightening place; you can find a set of hidden steps that descend directly into hell. Some even say that Satan comes to visit his child’s grave in Stull Cemetery. As if that wasn’t enough, rumor has it that Stull Cemetery used to be a meeting point for witches and cults.
Theorosa’s Bridge, Valley Center
Located between the towns of Sedgwick and Valley Center, Theorosa’s Bridge is the subject of a sad legend and numerous inexplicable events: the bridge has burned down two times, and car engines stall out of nowhere while crossing the bridge.
Two versions could explain the paranormal activity on the bridge. One dates back to the 19th century when a group of American Indians ambushed a wagon and kidnapped a baby, Theorosa.
Her mother’s ghost never overcame her baby’s loss and still looks for her around the bridge. Another version says that a woman had an unwanted baby and tossed her over the bridge. Now, passersby claim they can hear a baby and a mother crying.
Know of any other haunted places in Kansas that should make this list? Let me know in the comments!