Haunts of the heartland
A compilation of Kansas's scariest landmarks.
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WSU campus – Wilner, Fiske and Henrion Halls – Wilner, Fiske and Henrion Halls are all rumored to be haunted. Multiple campus policer officers are wary of entering any of the three halls at night, due to the “flickering lights, doors closing on their own, and noises.”
Henrion is haunted by the ghost of a maintenance worker who was electrocuted in the 1950s. His ghost is rumored to appear in the building late at night.
Wilner is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of George Wilner. Though the paranormal activity in the building may be frightening, his spirit is said to be friendly, and only remains in the building to protect it.
Fiske Hall is the oldest building on campus and was previously used as an infirmary. It’s rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of deceased patients.
Valley Center – Theorosa’s Bridge – The “109th Street Bridge,” as it’s officially known, has been a Kansas legend for more than a century ago. Located just outside Valley Center (at 109th Street and Meridian Avenue), it was originally a wooden trestle bridge, but burned down twice and is now made of concrete (and heavily vandalized). It still remains a staple Wichita Halloween locale.
The legend of Theorosa’s Bridge has some variations, but the general story is that a woman named Theorosa had her newborn child thrown into the creek below. Overcome with anger and distress, Theorosa jumped in the creek after her baby. Neither Theorosa nor her baby survived, and now the ghost of Theorosa and her child haunt the bridge.
Fearless visitors are encouraged to shout, “Theorosa, I have your baby!” if attempting to anger her and summon her or her baby’s spirit.
Word of warning – according to Valley Center Police Officer Ryan Mumma, doing so much as stopping on the bridge is illegal.
Stull, Kansas – Stull Cemetery – The ruin of a stone church and its neighboring cemetery in the rural community of Stull (not far from Lawrence) are rumored to be the gathering spot for devil worshippers and occult groups. Why here of all places? It’s rumored that a flight of stone stairs (that lead to nothing) in the nearby woods is a “gateway to hell,” one that opens up on Halloween. The devil himself is said to make a personal appearance in the cemetery at midnight every Halloween.
Hutchinson, Kansas – Hamburger Hill – The sand hills just north of Hutchinson are rumored to be the stomping grounds of the deformed Hamburger Man, a half-ghost half-monster creature that attacks his victims with a hook and takes their bodies to his shack hidden in Sand Hills State Park. It’s here where his name starts to make sense – the Hamburger Man then grinds his victims into hamburger meat – delicious!
Atchison, Kansas – The Sallie House – This house in Atchison (in northeast Kansas) haunted by the ghost of a young girl named Sallie, was popular amongst ghost hunters in the ‘90s for its heavily documented paranormal activity. Men who visit the house have been the main victims of her “attacks,” as the rumor of the house says that Sallie died at the hands of a male doctor who used the house as his office. “Ghost” scratches, flickering lights, rearranged furniture and drops in temperature have all been accounted by visitors.
Clark County, Kansas – St. Jacob’s Well – A sinkhole nicknamed “St. Jacob’s Well” resides in the Big Basin Prairie Reserve (about a half hour’s drive from Dodge City). The sinkhole, formed by centuries of erosion, is believed to be bottomless. According to rumors, dozens of visitors have lowered rope into the “well” to try to find the bottom, all to no avail. Those unfortunate few who strayed too close and fell into the hole have never been found.
Bel Aire, Kansas – Bel Aire water tower – The highly-visible Bel Aire water tower is rumored to be the site of a tragic construction accident. During construction, a worker allegedly fell into the middle of the tower. When the rest of the crew discovered his body, they decided to continue construction, leaving the body inside. It’s rumored that the ghost of the worker now haunts the tower and can be heard rapping on the walls, trying to get out.