Sunday, October 31, 2010

KC Ghost Tour




Ghosts and goblins and geeks - oh my!

It's Halloween, and in honor of this spooky holiday, I'm going to give you a Ghost Tour of Kansas City!

Saturday night, Hubs and I had a date night, and being that it was my turn to plan, and being that it was close to Halloween, and being that I like to have a little fun and do "different" stuff, I planned a "Ghosts and Gangsters Tour" of Kansas City.

Hunting ghosts needs a full stomach, of course, so we first had dinner at a famous KC landmark, the Golden Ox. This steakhouse has been in operation since 1949, and is well known for its beef, operating close to the famous KC stockyards.

Hubs and I nibbled and noshed on some delicious filet and steak, and then topped it off with some yummy homemade peach cobbler and ice cream.

We then headed just a few short blocks over to the beginning of our 3-hour tour, where we met up with our "Ghoul Bus":



Hubs was a good sport, getting into the "spirit" of things (bwahahahaha!):



Now, there's no possible way I can document every single place we went to that evening, as there were just too many places...but some of the highlights included:

The Savoy Hotel, which is the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi.



A lady, Miss Betsy Ward, died of a heart attack in this hotel in the 1800's, while preparing for a bath. There have been numerous reports of "hauntings" from this very room to this day - water being turned on and off in the bathtub, jazz music playing in the background, closet doors mysteriously opening by themselves....spooky!

A few stops later, and we found ourselves at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, said to be one of Kansas City's oldest congregations with it's history stemming back to the mid 1800's.



Parishioners and clergy have repeatedly seen who they think is the ghost of Father Henry David Jardine, who lead the church from 1879 to 1886. It is said that Jardine haunts St. Mary's after his untimely death in 1886, was ruled a suicide. It is said he still haunts the church in an effort to clear his good name.

Our Ghostly Guide said that "orbs" - which are balls of transparent light that are often found in photos of haunted places - can be found here, so he encouraged us to take photos to see if we could get them. Orbs are the spirit's energy...and sure enough, I managed to capture some orbs on film: (look closely for the "round balls of light"):



And some more:



Cool, huh?!?!

We were then close to the halfway point of our tour, which took us to Union Station, where we heard about the infamous Kansas City Massacre. This occurred on the morning of June 17, 1933, when "Pretty Boy" Floyd and his cohorts tried to spring one of their crime partners, Frank Nash, who was being transferred to federal prison in Leavenworth.

In the resulting shoot-out, four FBI agents were killed, as was Frank Nash. Bullet holes still remain on the facade of Union Station:



This was a good place to take a break and use the restroom, if needed. However, knowing Union Station like the back of my hand, I knew there was a fantastic chocolate shop with all sorts of delicacies...so, I grabbed Hubs by the hand and we headed over to pick up some refreshments:



We then nibbled on our sweets while we listened to some delightful piano music in the lobby. Hubs thought this guy was awfully skinny and could have used some of our chocolate, but I wouldn't share:



We loaded back on our Ghoul Bus and headed to a few more stops, including not one, but TWO haunted cemeteries, with the ultimate haunted house in Kansas City saved for the grand finale: the Sauer Castle. (insert ominous music here....)



This place is the mother of all haunted houses in Kansas City - with all sorts of stories, myths and legends over the years. It was built in the 1800's and is now sitting empty. The owner, a descendant from the original owner, lives in New York City, and has pretty much abandoned all attempts at refurbishing the house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

As we walked up to look at the house, which looks like this in the dark:



...who should we run into, roaming the grounds?

No - not a ghost. I wish.

But the OWNER! Who happened to be visiting from New York City! This, people, is a RARE sighting of Carl Loop, the present-day owner. He came down to the fence and entertained questions for awhile about the house and the stories behind it:



That was pretty freakin' awesome, to be able to talk to the owner. Our Ghost Guide was pretty shook up - he said that has NEVER happened in all of the tours they've given...so we had a very, rare treat!

And speaking of treat, this ends my Halloween treat - so however you choose to spend your holiday, have fun and be safe! And NO tricks, please!

Happy Halloween!

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1 comment:

Terri said...

This sounds like fun! I will have to put it on my to do list for KC!