The Sallie House June 4-5, 2018
The Sallie House is located at 508 N 2nd street in Atchinson, Kansas. It is a modestly sized home with three small bedrooms and one and a half baths. It has a spacious kitchen and a small basement. It was built in 1867 for Michael Finney. The family lived in the house until the mid-1940s. The location came into the national spotlight in the early to mid-1990s when the Pickmans began to experience paranormal activity. The activity seemed to begin rather benevolently but in time became more troublesome for the family. After several television show appearances, the activity really ramped up to the point where spontaneous fires and violent physical attacks became unbearable for the family and they left the property. The family attributed the hauntings to the spirit of a young girl named Sallie. Tony Pickman is the only witness who claims to have actually seen the apparition of the little girl. The couple believed that Sallie and a more sinister, possibly demonic presence, were responsible for the activity that drove them from the house.
The house is on a rather busy street in an older neighborhood and has retained its notoriety in Atchinson and the paranormal world.
The house has three levels including a very small basement, a living room, dining, half bathroom, and kitchen on the first floor, and three bedrooms, and a full bathroom on the second floor. It is a good-sized home that should take a considerable amount of time to cover.
Just a word of caution, the stairs are steep and the steps are very short. It would be easy to miss a step, either way, luckily they are thickly carpeted.
I didn't immediately feel anything off about the house until I spent some time in the basement. So again, another word of caution, I did become a little, disoriented, and queasy in the basement and I'm not entirely sure why. But the house is just a bit off somehow. Occasionally, I would get this feeling that I was either being observed or that there was a benevolent presence nearby. I did not, at any time, feel anything negative, and certainly nothing demonic in nature.
Every room, except the middle bedroom upstairs, produce one or more audio anomalies on my audio recorders. At one point, after midnight, a blood curdling shrieking sound happened right outside the front door. This was not an EVP or audio anomaly, I actually heard this while I was there.
Surprisingly, the most active room for audio was the kitchen. I captured the creepiest sounding EVPs and audio anomalies on my audio recorders. It was also in the kitchen that I recorded, on all devices, a very unusual sounding crying sound. But I am very certain this was either a nearby neighbor's dog or a bird.
The most significant paranormal activity happened upstairs in the master bedroom.
I was sitting in a chair close to the doorway when I noticed a shadow near the floor move quickly beside the bed. I noted it on video, then immediately felt a tug on one of my shoelaces. It was enough to get my attention to where it stopped me mid-sentence. When I examined my shoes, I noticed that upon moving my feet, the shoelaces did not move at all. (You can see this in the video.)
It is difficult to say exactly how or why this happened but I did not feel it was malevolent but rather playful. The small bedroom (nursery) at the top of the stairs also produced an interesting audio anomaly. There are two, loud, distinct tapping sounds that were recorded on all my devices, however, I cannot tell where they originated. The sounds were loudest on the audio recorder I had on the floor in the middle of the room.
At some point during the evening, I decided to take a little break and lied down on the sofa in the living room. I had the table lamp on while I was scrolling through my phone when I saw a very faint shadow out of the corner of my eye. It just sort of fluttered by me quickly.
Finally, I spent some time in the basement and after being down there just a few minutes, began to feel rather dizzy and a bit nauseated. This was quite sometime after midnight. As with any basement, I imagine, it felt clammy, claustrophobic and I got a very bad case of the willies. Seriously, it is a foreboding little basement that I was not exactly looking forward to being alone.
And here is where being completely solo can really eff with your head. I couldn't help but feel a considerable amount of dread going down those stairs. This is a situation that might be a challenge for solos because you just can't help but feel extremely vulnerable in such a tight, pitch-black space that is a challenge to get out of quickly should things get too intense for whatever reason. As always, I did spend just a little extra time just getting centered and clearing my head of any noise or interference connected to the history of the house or the folklore and legend of the archetypal basement horror scenario.
I decided that this would be the right place and time to conduct a quick, simple sensory deprivation experiment. I was a spur of the moment decision to cover my eyes with gaffer's tape to intentionally blind myself. To be quite honest, I had not intended to do this at this location, but I felt that nothing truly out of the ordinary was happening and I thought this might trigger some activity.
Sadly after about 20 minutes, nothing appeared to happen. However, I did find a rather odd sounding growl recorded on the audio recorder that I did not hear at any time while I was in the basement. The Sallie House was relatively inactive while I was there, but I did manage to capture some very interesting audio evidence.
WHAT TO HIT: You can hit every room in the house and probably come away with some audio evidence. But while I was there the kitchen seemed to be the most active room. The master bedroom is another room I might spend a good deal of time in. Anytime you have access to a basement, you should plan to spend some time there.
THE FOLKLORE: Once again we find a location that has been propelled into legendary status by the countless television shows that have perpetuated the "demonic presence" that allegedly occupies this location. And once again I must emphatically state that I did not ever feel such a presence. If there was a demonic or negative presence in the home at one time I truly believe it is no longer there.
But I will say this however, the power of suggestion can be a force to be reckoned with. If you truly believe in demonic entities and you go into this home with that mindset, proceed with extreme caution because you might just get your worst nightmare answered. I say this only because I have recently read a few personal experiences of people who thought they could handle soloing a location and who then had very negative or frightening experiences. If you are afraid of demonic forces, you should probably not solo at all.
The Sallie story, in which a young girl with appendicitis was brought to the house in the late 1800s and died in the house, has never been substantiated. In fact, there is no historical record indicating anyone named Sallie died in the house. Three or four members of the Finney family did die in the house, and perhaps some of them are still there.
IN MY VERY HUMBLED OPINION: As my good friend, Mike said, this is a home you could probably take a nap in. There isn't anything outwardly unusual about this house except that it does feel a little off somehow. Lately, I've been getting a little flak about not really being able to get a good sense of a place without having to spend multiple days/nights at the location. And in a perfect world, I agree. But I am but a humbled, poor, mildly talented filmmaker. I simply can't afford it. Multiple days/nights =$$$ I just don't have. Sure, nearby me, there is a couple of locations I have been to multiple times, and every time has been a bit different, but I still don't have any real conclusive answers. Hell, I don't think any of us will ever really truly figure it out until we're actually ghosts ourselves.
Is the Sallie House haunted?, probably, but I truly believe every place is haunted to some degree. I don't believe in anything being paranormal, I think it's all normal. I think we've all been living in a world that has always been and will forever be haunted. Just like in "Star Wars", nobody is ever really gone. We simply don't just end. All any of us will ever figure out about these haunted places is that something is definitely going on but what the hell it is, is something we will just have to wait and see for ourselves. If you go, take it easy on the hood, I'm sure the neighbors have had it with all of us a-holes poking around with cameras trying to prove what we already know is true. I got a pizza from Gambinos, which was pretty good.