We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas. Okay, maybe it was more hysterical, laugh-out-loud than the best, but good grief, we had a wonderfully good time. I am sure that two nights back to back with very little sleep most definitely contributed to the hilarity.


Charlotte, Marsha, Mary Ellen (my sisters), and I have not spent much time together lately. You all know why right? Covid. We did, at long last, have great plans for our brief visit together, and planned to make great use of our limited time.

All smiles the morning after our frightening, but hilarious, McInteer stay.

The four of us, including one of the top five nephews in the world, Cayden, planned to spend two ghost-hunting nights together. After that, I would join Steve at the RV nearby, and we would continue exploring small towns in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The rest of the gang planned to head to Colorado and New Mexico at the speed of light, or at least much faster than we could travel in the RV, and experience an entirely different adventure. We plan to take a New Mexico/Colorado trip when temperatures are lower, and our dogs won’t be in danger of overheating.

Hotel Josephine – the most haunted Hotel in Kansas

501 Ohio Ave.
Holton, Kansas 66436

We did not experience much ghost activity other than high emf readings (electric and magnetic fields). These readings are based on the theory that supernatural occurrences would cause fluctuations in electromagnetic energy.

What we did experience was a whole lot of scaredy-cat laughter and frightening moments as we walked into empty rooms and closets. We obtained run of the Hotel for an additional fee, except for rooms occupied by other guests. This included the scary basement!

The five of us mostly clustered together everywhere we went, none of us wanting to be left behind and alone in the near dark. We honestly had the best ghost hunting adventure! There was a whole lot of laughing going on here.

We are not professional or even hobbyist ghost hunters. However, we made a reasonable effort to amiably encourage a spirit or two to make an appearance for us here. We enjoyed the hunt through this great historic Hotel, imagining the goings-on that had occurred there over the years

This”get your attention” video is one of the reasons we chose this hotel to visit. The video was created by Anam Paranormal, a professional ghost hunter.


The Josephine, our first ghost hunting experience, was built in 1889 by A. D. Walker and was named Josephine in honor of his daughter, born the same year. A portrait of Josephine hangs in the lobby today, and it is believed she is one of the ghosts of this Hotel.

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

Up until 2010, the Josephine had been the longest continuously running hotel in the state of Kansas. The hotel closed in 2010 but reopened with a new owner in 2011.

Sara Fox purchased the Hotel in 2020 and is the owner today. Tracer Fox, co-owner and one of our hosts, gave us great information about the history and haunts of Hotel Josephine. The Hotel offers events, either community-minded or ghost hunt-related, throughout the year.

National Ghost Hunting Day

The new ownership embraces the haunted reputation and as I mentioned, holds paranormal events periodically. As a matter of fact, Hotel Josephine will participate in National Ghost Hunting Day’s worldwide ghost hunt on September 25. The ghost investigation will be live-streamed.

Coincidentally, two other haunted locations I have visited and written about are participating in the National Ghost Hunting Day also. They are the Gonzales County Jail Museum (see Historic Gonzales) and McRaven Tour House (see Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg).

Famous Guests

Guest rooms here are named after notable people such as former President Grover Cleveland, a guest. Mary Ellen and Marsha shared the Charles Curtis room. Vice President Curtis served under Herbert Hoover. Charlotte and I shared the Buffalo room, reported to be the most haunted room in the Hotel.

Other recognizable guest names include Carrie Nation, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kirstie Alley, actor Harry Langdon, the professional boxer John L. Sullivan and Sam Rayburn, 43rd Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Oak Roots Restaurant

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas
We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

Although the restaurant was not open Sunday evening when we arrived, we did enjoy a local craft beer in the restaurant and a good breakfast Monday morning before we checked out. I have, however, read rave reviews about this restaurant.

Josephine’s Boutique

A small gift shop is located on the main floor of the Hotel. Souvenirs, as well as necessity items, are available for sale in this cute shop.

McInteer Hotel

1301 Kansas Avenue
Atchison, KS 66002

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

Wow! What a stunning place. Villa is exactly the correct description for this stately mansion. McInteer Villa, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1890 by John McInteer, an Irish immigrant.

McInteer Villa History

John McInteer’s wife passed away, he remarried, and his second wife inherited the Villa after his death. The Villa then served as a rooming house for 25 years. Sometime later, Isabel Altus, described as an eccentric, became the owner of the property.

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

Today McInteer Villa is owned by the very personable Stephanie and Jeff Neal. The Neals rent McInteer Villa to the public for ghost hunting adventures. The incredible thing is that up to ten guests can stay in the Villa overnight for one very reasonable price.

Ghost hunting destination

This is not a hotel but instead is a ghost hunting destination. The beautifully decorated bedrooms are not to be slept in, breakfast is not served here, and the owners require you to sign a release. Stephanie does, however, provide coffee (very grateful) and bottled water to her guests.

Stephanie told us eight deaths occurred in this home by natural causes and one by suicide. Isabel Altus, the eccentric owner, died in her rocking chair in the front room of the Villa. Her spirit is the one most associated with the Villa.

Scary place!

First of all, the Victorian décor encourages a scary vibe, so that we were nervous and spooked about the place a few minutes after we stepped foot inside. We heard several tales of ghosts and spirit activity from Stephanie and Jeff, building our fear and curiosity.

Some phenomena reported at McInteer are shadow figure sightings, unidentifiable footsteps, and elevated EVPs. Lights are known to switch off or on. Passersby on the street report seeing people at the windows when the house was empty! Also, sometimes unknown figures appear in photographs taken here.

Totally sleepless night!

We began our evening by wandering through the many upstairs, downstairs, and basement rooms, using the emf detector and voice recordings. So many rooms, and all elegantly decorated. Along with the elegant décor are scary dolls, mannequins, photos, skulls, just scary stuff.

We ordered a great pizza, locked ourselves in set about thoroughly exploring. We heard sounds we could not identify. Small lighted cat balls placed throughout flashed their lights repeatedly; we possibly picked up a voice or two on voice recordings, but….


At one point, I looked up and saw a misty shadowy figure by the wall in the next room. It scared the daylights out of me! Also, two of my sisters and I repeatedly felt thumps on the sofas we were sitting on — from underneath. We never could figure that out, but the thumps were very real.


The most hysterically funny thing is that we senior-aged ladies were too scared to go to the bathroom alone. One of us had to wait in the room outside the bathroom, with another one visible and staying in the adjacent room. This is totally ridiculous now, but that is how it was that long night.

We found a card game, “Who’s Most Likely To,” that we played for some hours during the night. I do not think any of us had laughed that much in a very long time. We “confirmed” a lot of what we knew about each other too! I’d love to play that game again.

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

I had some of the best fun I’ve had in years at the overnight stays at Hotel Josephine and McInteer Villa. I hope my sisters can say the same. On the other hand, my eighteen-year-old nephew may run for the hills next time he has an opportunity to “ghost hunt” with the four of us!

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

Ghosts? Maybe, probably. However, ghost history intrigues me the most and is why I continue to put myself in so many “ghostly” situations. Next week I’ll fill you in on the museums, restaurants, and sights we saw in the Holton and Atchison areas.

We had the best ghost hunting experiences in KansasWe had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

4 thoughts on “We had the best ghost hunting experiences in Kansas

  1. Pingback: Little Sweden in Kansas? | Always Want To Go
  2. Pingback: We love exploring small town history and attractions
  3. I’ll bet you girls’ laughter scared the ghosts! Beautiful, interesting places!

    1. It was truly a hysterically scary and laughter-filled two sleepless nights. Ready to repeat already.

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