Seeing Ghosts in Atchison, Kansas

Be afraid, but don’t be very afraid.

That’s the advice students and staff at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, give for the “most haunted town in Kansas” on Halloween night.

The campus newspaper this October focused on the tales told about hauntings in the city of 11,000.

Ex Corde covered this territory before, separating the ghosts of Atchison into the three categories of ghosts provided by Peter Kreeft in “3 Kinds of Ghosts You Meet in Atchison, Kansas” and in the podcast “Nightmares, Hauntings and Ghosts,” which begins with the words, “Want to hear something scary?”

In the campus newspaper, The Circuit, “The month of October is a spooky time for the town, as the haunted attractions become very popular,” wrote Joseph McCubbin, a junior from Leawood, Kansas.

He wrote about the foggy nights on the brick streets of Atchison, Kansas, where “fall leaves brush along the outskirts of the small mysterious town.” He interviewed Mary Jane Sowers about the city’s haunted attractions. “The Haunted Trolley rides sell out every season and tickets go fast. Tickets also start selling in early August,” sowers told McCubbin. “Halloween is another busy sold-out event.”

The tour goes from Oak Hill Cemetery, past  Jackson Park and the supposedly haunted Sallie House and an old mansion with Gargoyles on its roof. “Atchison is the most haunted town in Kansas,” Sowers told him. But she quickly added: “It’s a friendly haunted town.”

There has even been some spookiness on campus. Jessie Sonnen, a junior from Greencreek, Idaho, wrote for The Circuit that legends about hauntings on campus persist, “from lights flickering in Memorial Hall, to ghost-sightings in McDonald to the creepy corridors of Cray Seaberg’s basement.”

She gave tongue-in-cheek “tips” to avoiding trouble, saying, “Always carry a phone or flashlight or a rosary,” and “sleep under your bed, so as to surprise the monster that lives there.”

“Benedictine College can seem spooky as the October leaves scurry along the sidewalks and the days get shorter and colder,” she wrote. “You might see a deranged figure ambling along the main drive in the wee hours of the morning; but don’t worry — that’s just an architecture student returning home for the night.”

Click here for family tips on “How to Keep the ‘All Hallows’ in Halloween.

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Ex Corde Editorial Staff

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Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. The Ex Corde Center for Catholic Media creates video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while providing students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde media fellows program.