“What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays.
“The funeral home?” I asked.
“Yeah, that one.”
“I thought it was a joke.”
“No, it’s right on our way.”
“We’re going to spend the night in a funeral home?”
“It’s very inexpensive!”
I suddenly felt like I was in the opening scene of every horror film I’d ever watched.
Peter wanted us to spend the night in a historic funeral home on our way home. The funeral home had been converted into an Airbnb. It was both right on our way and suspiciously cheap.
Peter and I drive home on two-lane roads. The roads are slower, but the route is more direct. The problem is that the few motels on the way are very much the worse for wear. We’ve tried virtually every one and I can no longer keep them straight.
“We stayed there,” Peter will say as we drive by.
“Was that the one with the really loud heater?” I ask.
“No, that was the one with the toilet that rocked—and not in a good way.”
If a person stayed in a bad funeral home, I figured, at least the experience would be memorable.
We pulled in about sunset. There was a bare weeping willow out front. The proprietor, a woman about my age named Cheryl, met us at the door. We’d been having trouble with our car battery, so we asked if we could plug a trickle charger into the unusually large garage.
“Boy!” Peter said, “This is a big garage.”
“They stored the coffins here until the hearse picked them up.”
“Huh,” Peter said.
We entered the house and noticed the front hallway was at an odd angle. I asked Cheryl why this was.
“There are three parlors, all with pocket doors to close them off and separate entrances,” Cheryl explained. “So they could have three funerals at once!”
“Did they really have three funerals at the same time?” I asked. That seemed like a lot of simultaneous casualties in a town this size.
“I don’t know if they did, but they could!”
Cheryl had four cats. One was black and named “Old Scratch.”
“You know, that’s a nickname for the devil,” I told her—certain she already knew.
“No! I didn’t know. He used to have a sibling named ‘Sniff,’ who died years ago and now I just call him ‘Old Scratch.’”
There was a life-sized skeleton at the pump organ in one of the parlors and a figure in Victorian dress looking out the window. Our room upstairs was filled with antiques. There was also a skeleton in our closet, I discovered, when I put our luggage away.
Cheryl told us about the purported paranormal activities that had occurred in the house and the people who had stayed there, looking for them. There was, she told me, a persistent report of a woman on the back stairway.
“I don’t know if it’s haunted or not,” Cheryl concluded cheerfully. “If I hear something funny, I just say, ‘Oh! It’s the cats again!’” This seemed to me like a practical response.
I slept very well in the funeral home.
The house was quiet and bed was comfortable and I cannot tell you anything unusual that occurred during the night. Except this:
I had a particularly vivid dream. I was flying and felt fearless and full of joy and humor. I was learning new things and surrounded by friends.
If that’s what haunting feels like, I’ll take it.
Till next time,
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Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving. Bench Trial – Not... [More]
Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]
On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03. Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]
May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]
James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]
Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]
Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]
On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]
The Weskan Community Improvement Association is excited to introduce the Weskan Community Building: a place for community members to gather for events as small as a baby shower or as large as a wedding reception. This building will also come alongside the newly renovated Weskan... [More]
The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts. Thousands of... [More]
The 23rd Annual Wallace County Health Fair was held last weekend at the WCHS Commons Area. Many area residents lined up for blood draws as early as 7 am. Breakfast items including rolls and juice were available, which was particulary handy for those who had fasted... [More]
Because laughing matters, Jay Cady and his wife Leslie Seifert-Cady of Mission, Kansas will perform their show “Laughing Matters: juggling and other nonsense” for Western Plains Arts Association at 3 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 1 in Quinter. The venue is the Quinter High... [More]
Census Participation Important to Area Representation In March, mailboxes across the country will bring an opportunity that only comes around once in a decade – the chance to be counted during the U.S. Census. Getting a complete and accurate count of all the people... [More]
The Kansas Bankers Windbreak Award is given each year by the Kansas Bankers Association cooperating with NRCS, FSA, Extension Service, Kansas State University, State Conservation Commission and the Wallace County Conservation District. The award is presented each year to stimulate... [More]
The Kansas Bankers Soil Conservation Award is given each year by the Kansas Bankers Association cooperating with NRCS, FSA, Extension Service, Kansas State University, State Conservation Commission and the Wallace County Conservation District. The award is presented each year... [More]
What a wonderful "ride" it has been these last 16 years. The support of this community and of neighboring communities has been such a blessing...the beautiful vehicles and their owners, delicious food vendors, craft vendors and most of all..YOU! You the car show enthusiast who... [More]
One hundred and fifty-four years ago, the beginnings of what would become Fort Wallace had been established on the bluffs two miles east of Pond Creek Station and south of the Smoky Hill River. Established by order of General Grenville S. Dodge on October 26, 1865, Camp Pond... [More]
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Happy New Year! The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to a fun and full 2020; we invite everyone to join in and help make it our most successful year ever! There are two ways to join our organization. “The Fort Wallace Memorial Association”... [More]
Christmas arrived at the Fort Wallace Museum this past Sunday, with the annual “Candlelight Christmas” service, followed by a festive gathering inside the main building. The 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for the traditional service. Worship was... [More]
In 1865, David Butterfield raised money from New York investors to create Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stage Line along the Smoky Hill Trail - the shortest route from commerce centers near Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields near Denver Colorado. In 2019, Butterfield’s... [More]
On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]
The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]
The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]
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