Ghost Stories & Tragic Tales
Abilene has long been reputed to be the most haunted place in Kansas. Given it's long and at times tumultuous history, it's not hard to understand why. Many hearts were broken, fortunes ruined, and lives lost since the early settlers braved the harsh wilderness to settle in the area.
More than a few cowboys are said to roam the streets of Old Abilene Town forever, possibly after a shootout with the sheriff or being caught cheating in a card game. The first town marshal, Thomas James "Bear River" Smith, was killed in the line of duty, being shot, hit in the head with the butt of a rifle, and then chopped with an axe. The next marshal, James Butler Hickok (better known as "Wild Bill" Hickok) was a notorious gunslinger who sent more than a few lawbreakers to the undertaker, when he wasn't playing poker in the local saloon.
Regarding the mansion, one previous owner went literally insane while living in the home, claiming the house was "very active." It is said that when the property was turned into apartments for female telephone operators, one of them died here and her spirit never left. A caretaker who was tending to the property between owners passed away while sleeping in the maid's quarters. He still looks after the place.
The spirits seem to be very protective of the house. They don't like anything to be broken or disturbed, so do be careful. No visitor has ever felt threatened, as long as they were respectful. During one visit, two ladies were standing in the foyer, chatting about the house. Inexplicably, both of them felt the need to move at exactly the same time. As soon as they did, the chandelier they had been standing under crashed to the floor on the very spot they had just left. Whether the spirits were being protective or playful, no one was hurt and disaster was averted--except for the destroyed chandelier, which was not the original.