The Scariest Halloween

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The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder and the leaves are starting to change colors.  All these things signal that Halloween is almost upon us.  It’s the time of year when values are laid to rest and the quest for ghoulish appetites and appalling horrors begin.

Students at Western are doing all sorts of things, some mischievous and some not so mischievous, such as working.

Elizabeth Hiley, an elementary education major at Missouri Western, says she will be spending her Halloween at the doctor’s office and work.

“I will be working at Subway, but I still plan on dressing up and passing out candy,” Hiley said. “I’ll be getting a sonogram that day, and I’m really excited to find out what I’m having; I hope it’s a boy.”

Most students are doing the same thing they do every year:  dressing up and heading out to house parties or pubs.

Alex Bear, a history major, said he plans on dressing up as the doctor from Dr. Hook and heading to the Flying Saucer bar in Kansas City’s Power & Light District.  Bear said his girlfriend is making him dress up, but he enjoys Halloween.

“I feel it’s a good reason to get together with people; I like hanging out with my friends,” said Bear.

If you are looking for a terrifying scare this Halloween then head to Atchison, Kan.

Less than 20 miles south of campus lays a small town on the banks of the Missouri River.  Proclaimed by the Travel Channel to be the most haunted town in Kansas, Atchison is home to many ghostly attractions.

Atchison offers many ways for people to experience its haunted aura.  One way to experience nearly all of its deadly attractions is the haunted trolley tours.

The haunted trolley takes its victims to the infamous Sallie House, where a young girl who died during an emergency operation continues to terrorize the living today.  The Sallie House has also been featured on the television show “Sightings,” which documented violent attacks on people living in the home by the poltergeist.

The trolley tour also takes its riders deep into the woods of Jackson Park to an infamous location where a woman named “Molly” was brutally murdered and hung from a tree.  The place has for decades been referred to as “Molly’s Hallow.” Local lore has it that some nights you can see an apparition hanging from the tree or hear blood curdling screams coming from the woods.

If the haunted trolley ride is not enough to cure your hunger for a good haunt, then maybe you would enjoy having a meal with the spirits that haunt the Riverhouse Steakhouse, located at 100 Commercial St. in Atchison.

Built in 1870, the Riverhouse building was a depot for the railroad for several years.  In 1908, the building was purchased by Lulu Howard and operated as a brothel.  After much anguish, the City of Atchison was finally able to shut Lulu down in 1913.  Today the building is a restaurant and leased by Dustin Hundley.  Hundley himself has had several strange encounters with spirits in the building.

“I was closing up the restaurant one night and had my first experience with one of the ghosts who haunt this building,” Hundley said.  “Floating across the dining room was a woman dressed in Victorian clothing; it scared the hell out of me.”

Several similar incidents have been reported at the Riverhouse building.  Early one morning in 2008, a craftsman completing renovations in the upstairs bar reported a long, one-sided conversation with a person he assumed to be his co-worker.  When he looked up, the man he had been talking to was gone.  Stories like this make the Riverhouse the most ghostly dinning experience in the area.

If you are interested in some of the haunts Atchison has to offer, such as trolley ride times, restaurant hours or more haunted attractions, all information can be found at

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