Atchison, KS

The Story of the Extra Evil "Sallie House" Is Straight Out of a Horror Movie

Evie M.

"The Sallie House in Atchison, KS" by Jennifer Kirkland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I love horror movies and all things scary. I pride myself on thinking my legs are not all jelly. But if there were ever a horror movie about the terrifying true story of the "Sallie House" in Atchison, Kansas, and you dared me to watch it alone, I might not be able to sleep with the lights on for a few days. Or weeks.

Have you ever heard the story of the Sallie House? It's not only known as one of the most haunted houses in Kansas but the US. Like, the paranormal activity surrounding this place is insane. I'm not sure why it's not a horror movie yet. Trust me, I looked.

A little girl named Sallie died in the house during surgery

The ordinary house, which sits on North Second street, was built between 1867 and 1871. The demonic home earned its name "Sallie House" after the shocking paranormal activity during the early '90s when Tony Pickman and his wife Debra called the house theirs. Though property records are a little wobbly after two floods destroyed a good chunk of town records back in 1957, the history of Sallie House is as follows.

The Sallie House once belonged to a man named Michael C. Finney. Like any normal man trying to care for his family, he intended to make the evil house his home. And they succeeded. The story says for almost a century, a Finney has either owned or lived on the property. There's no confirmation of this, but the legend says the Finney family first resided in the basement as they built the rest of the house. And by 1871, they'd move in. Michael Finney died inside the house on September 27, 1872. He had a wife, a daughter, two sons, and a baby boy on the way. As for the name "Sallie House," it's said Finney, the town doctor, brought a young girl named Sallie to stay at the house after diagnosing her with acute appendicitis. The good doctor was performing surgery on the girl and failed to anesthetize her properly.

Poor little Sallie woke up horrified and in pain before she died of "blood loss and shock." Investigators believe the voice of the child-like spirit on EVP recordings after a session at the house is the young girl who died. Poor Tony Pickman and his family endured a lot of abuse from the angry spirit, and Tony got the worst of it, receiving multiple burn marks, scratches, and cuts.

A house straight from a horror movie

Tons of paranormal activity has been reported by people who lived in the home and paranormal investigators alike. The most common experience people share is seeing dark shadows moving across rooms, EVPs, cold spots, lights and equipment malfunctioning. A lot of the incidents were also violent. People had their hair pulled, they received scratches, and some were deep. Strange substances would appear on the basement floor and the walls, and there were even reports of possession and full-blown ghostly apparitions. Something would start fires in the house out of nowhere, objects would move by themself, and some would float in the air. Pictures would turn upside down, and toys would fly across bedrooms.

The nursery was one of the worst hot spots of paranormal activity in the house. Voices and scratching came from the walls. There were horrible smells and unexplainable chilly spots, not to mention full-on apparitions. The doors would also lock and unlock by themselves. And the ghost of "Sallie" wasn't the only spirit around. A demon is also said to be hanging around. A woman named Joanna Barnes, a relative of the doctor who worked on little Sallie who lived in the house next door, also hangs around, along with several other ghosts. The story says the paranormal forces in the house are so powerful, and the place is so congested, investigators packed up before they finished their work and never returned. Skeptics enter the house unsure and leave believing in the unexplainable.

The Sallie House is so popular it has been featured on multiple paranormal television shows like Most Haunted Town, Unexplained Mysteries, A Haunting, Ghost Adventures, and My Ghost Stories, to name a few. I think it's time the Sallie House became a blockbuster film. Would you watch the movie about the terrifying Sallie House? Or better yet, would you stay the night?

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