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The Sallie House: An Infamous Haunted House



A photo of the infamous Sallie House. Photo: US Ghost Adventures

The Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas has a dark history of death and sorrow. Many claim to have experienced paranormal activity while in the house including receiving unexplained injuries and having objects melt for no reason.

The History of the Sallie House

A map of Atchison, Kansas where the Sallie House is located. Image: Wikipedia

The Sallie house is located at 508 N. 2nd Street, Atchison, Kansas.

Built in the mid-1800s, the Sallie House was commissioned by the Finney family and served as a residence for Dr. Charles Finney who utilized the lower floor as a medical office, with a designated room for examination and surgery.

The family occupied the upper floor until they eventually moved out due to insufficient space.

This historic house was listed for sale on Zillow at a price of $1 million in February 2016, later reducing to $499,000 in August of the same year, and eventually being removed from the market in November 2017. It seems likely the Sallie House’s reputation had something to do with this.

The Story of Sallie

The floor plan of the Sallie House. Photo: Astonishing Legends

The Sallie House got its name from the story of a young girl called Sallie who died in the house, according to the legend.

The Sallie House was once the residence of a physician from Atchison, Dr. Charles Finney. One fateful day, Sallie, a three year old girl with intense stomach pain, arrived at the house with her mother, seeking medical assistance.

Believing that Sallie was suffering from appendicitis, the doctor began operating on her without waiting for the anesthesia to take full effect. Sallie let out several pained screams before passing away on the operating table.

There is little evidence to back up the claim that a little girl called Sallie died in the Sallie house. Medical records were not kept as rigorously as they are nowadays. Being a doctor’s surgery however means that the house will have been filled with pain and suffering at various times and no doubt would have been a place where several people died.

Paranormal Encounters in the Sallie House

The Pickman Family’s Experience

The initial account of the haunting at the Sallie House was documented by a young couple named Deborah and Tony Pickman. In 1992, the newlywed couple, anticipating the arrival of their first child, decided to make the house their home on New Year’s Eve.

From the exterior, the white brick house with blue trim and a charming little porch seemed like the perfect place to start their new family. The house consisted of two stories and three bedrooms, one of which was converted into a nursery after they moved in.

Initially, they did not observe anything unusual, but gradually, strange occurrences began to take place. Light bulbs flickered and buzzed even when turned off, while the cordless phone intermittently lost and regained power.

After a few months, the Pickmans had almost forgotten about the strange occurrences until the birth of their son Taylor in June.

One evening, after visiting Tony’s family, they returned home to find something quite unexpected in the nursery. All the stuffed animals were arranged in a circle on the floor with their hands touching, leading them to assume that Tony’s sister-in-law had left the arrangement for them.

When they contacted her, she denied having left any such display, claiming she only went to the nursery to admire the decoration. She also confessed to sensing an eerie draft or cold breeze while in the house. As she climbed the stairs, something unsettling seemed to engulf her, prompting her to pull out her gun for protection.

After returning all the stuffed animals to their original positions and turning off the lights, they proceeded downstairs.

Upon reaching the ground floor, they noticed that the light in the nursery had been turned back on. They went back upstairs to investigate and discovered that one of the teddy bears was now on the floor, which unnerved them.

Despite searching all the rooms in the house, including upstairs, downstairs, and the basement, they were unable to find anything unusual.

They returned the bear to its original position on the chair by the door and turned off the lights. They then went back downstairs and waited to see if anything would happen. After around thirty minutes, Deborah went upstairs to use the bathroom, and to her dismay, she discovered that the teddy bear was on the floor once more in the nursery. Filled with fear, they decided to contact Tony’s brother, Larry.

Larry put the Pickman’s in touch with a psychic named Barbara who told them that the spirit was a little girl named Sallie who had died in the house. Barbara told them she meant no harm and not to be afraid of her.

The Pickman’s weren’t convinced and decided to leave the house for the night. On the way out to the car Tony Pickman felt a sharp pain on his back out of nowhere. He didn’t stop to look until later when Deborah lifted up his shirt to reveal 3 long scratch marks.

The Pickmans were terrified and decided to rent another home to live in until they could figure out what was going on in their home.

In 1994 a tv show called “Sightings” came to film the strange activity occurring in the Sallie House. During his interview, he was once again scratched on his stomach. The film crew continued to film him for nine straight minutes as the scratches materialized before their eyes without any apparent cause.

In another terrifying incident, Pickmans recalled not being able to find their TV remote in their rental property. They searched everywhere but were not able to find it. The next time they were in the Sallie house they found their tv remote sitting on the kitchen counter, covered in scorch marks and partially melted.

The Sallie House and Astonishing Legends

The infamous “File 10” DR60 recording from the Sallie House by Astonishing Legends podcast.

The Astonishing Legends team went to the Sallie House to investigate and do some research for their paranormal podcast.

While using a DR60 recorder to try and pick up EVPs, the team were astonished with what was picked up. The recording answered the crews questions with an unearthly growling sound. It sounded very aggressive and angry.

Scott, one of the podcast’s hosts was so unnerved by the recording that he claims it has been a milestone in his paranormal journey. Before the Sallie House he was quite skeptical about all things paranormal, but the DR60 recording made him a believer.

If you listen to the Sallie House podcast episodes by Astonishing Legends you might even catch a certain paranormal website writer as one of the listener segues. 🙂

Have you ever visited the Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the story of the demon hag of Detroit or how the spirit of Teresita Basa solved her own murder case.

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The Arkansas Dog Boy




Gerald Floyd Bettis – The Arkansas Dog Boy

A Victorian-era house stands proudly at 65 Mulberry Street in Quitman, Arkansas. It was built in 1891 and is reportedly haunted by numerous spirits including a WWI soldier, an old man, and a particularly terrifying entity known as the “Dog Boy”.

The History of 65 Mulberry Street, Quitman

The house where the spirit of the Arkansas Dog Boy is said to reside. Photo: Jason Roberts Online

Quitman is an old town in north-central Arkansas. During the Civil War, many men joined the Army there. Until 1870, Quitman was a busy place where people traded goods, and it was a key point for those traveling across the state. It had large, beautiful houses and buildings.

The Garrett family built a beautiful house there around 1890. After living happily there for a few years the Garrett’s sold the house to the Jackson family. Benjamin Jackson lived there with his wife, who died young. Their son, Joseph, was born in 1898, fought in WWI, and died young too.

In more recent times, the Garrett House got a bad reputation because of the Bettis family and it’s now known as the Bettis House. Floyd and Alline Bettis moved into the big house in the early 1950s.

After many years without kids, they had a son, Gerald Floyd Bettis, in 1954. People who knew Gerald said he was a naughty kid. “His parents were good people, but Gerald was a troublemaker,” Holabird said. Gerald liked to collect cats and dogs, which is why he got the nickname “Dog Boy.”

The Dog Boy of Arkansas

Gerald, the Dog Boy, would torture stray animals for fun. Neighbors could hear the animals cries and were incredibly unsettled.

Gerald was desperate for attention as a child and was constantly showing off and behaving strangely. He never moved out of his parents home and as her grew older he allegedly imprisoned his elderly parents in their own home, at times being abusive.

When Bettis grew up, people in town say he was very tall, about 6’4″, and heavy, almost 300 pounds, much larger than his old parents. It was often said that he physically abused his father, and there’s even a story about him throwing his dad out of an upstairs window when he was a teenager. His dad, who was in his 70s then, managed to hold on to the window ledge until the police arrived.

As an adult, Gerald sold plants, including marijuana, from a sunroom he built, leading to his arrest based on his mother’s abuse testimony and his illegal activity. He later died in prison from a drug overdose. After his mother’s death, the house was inherited and then sold to Tony Weaver, whose family experienced repeated paranormal activity in the home.

The Hauntings at 65 Mulberry Street

Karen Shillings, founder of The Central Arkansas Society for Paranormal Research (CASPR),became interested the house after speaking with the Weavers about their paranormal experiences.

Weaver’s wife told Shillings that she would switch off all the lights when she went to work at night, but they would be on when she came back. She first thought someone was breaking in, but then weirder things happened. Once, a handful of pennies fell down the stairs from upstairs all at once, right in front of her, Shillings said. After half a year of these things happening, she was really scared and didn’t want to live there.

Tony Weaver also saw strange things. Once when he was working on the house, he saw a man who looked like a soldier from World War I in the living room. But when he went for a closer look, he was gone.

Another couple, Quinton and Stephanie White, lived in the house in 2003. They saw strange things like the toilet flushing by itself. One evening, Quinton heard a noise upstairs, and when he checked, some wooden boards that he had stacked were all standing up straight. They only lived there for a few months.

Weaver still owns the house and tries to sell it, but hasn’t been successful. He says strange things keep happening. Once he lost his glasses and medicine after complaining about not being able to sell the house. He also said that if people the ghosts don’t like come in, they will feel cold and their hair will stand on end.

One woman who wanted to buy the house said her daughter, who is sensitive, felt very sad in the house. Another time, a chair reclined by itself and stayed like that while people were looking at the house. A dog refused to go into the house.

Ed Munnerlyn, who was fixing up the house in 2007, also has had spooky experiences. He said he feels uncomfortable, like someone is watching him, and he thinks he has seen ghosts. He also believes he saw the ghost of the Dog Boy, who was a big, scary-looking man. Sometimes he feels like a cold wind is blowing on his neck and hears noises, but can’t see anything. He believes the ghosts are letting him know they’re there.

The CASPR Investigations into the Dog Boy of Arkansas and other hauntings

Mr. Creep’s Crypt covers the story of the Arkansas Dog Boy

In 2005, Shillings and her ghost research team visited the house two times. “The first time, we felt areas that were colder by 10-15 degrees than the rest of the house. We used a special tool that measures electrical energy, and it found something we couldn’t explain,” she said.

Shillings also said that they sensed a ghost in the kitchen, and one of them felt like he was touched. “We saw a face looking at us from upstairs when we were outside, and we all saw it, but no one was upstairs,” she added.

The second time, they brought along a spirit medium, who made contact with what seemed like the ghost of Gerald Bettis. This ghost was angry and told them to leave.

They took video footage of strange things like balls of light moving through the wall and flashes of light that couldn’t be explained. However, Shillings said that the most impressive footage is lost and they haven’t been able to find it, which troubled her.

Have you heard of any stories similar to the Dog Boy of Arkansas? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in other hauntings such as the story of the Sallie House or the Entity Haunting.

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Tomino’s Hell: The Cursed Japanese Poem




An excerpt of the cursed poem, Tomino’s Hell

According to the legend of Tomino’s Hell, if you read the poem aloud you will become cursed.

The Legend of the Cursed Poem: Tomino’s Hell

Tomino, was a young boy living in Japan in the early 1900s. Tomino reportedly lived his life with a severe physical disability that confined him to a wheelchair.

He enjoyed writing poetry as a way of helping him cope with the overwhelming emotions he had connected to his disability. Upon composing a rather grisly poem, Tomino’s parents were anything but pleased. This reaction was not surprising given Japan’s tendency for strict cultural norms, and the fact that the poem dove into some pretty intense details.

To discipline him for his chilling verse, Tomino’s parents confined him to their basement without food. In time, due to the harsh conditions of the damp and frigid cellar, Tomino tragically passed away from bronchitis.

The legend goes that Tomino’s spirit lingered within his disturbing poetry. Anyone who dares to recite his poem out loud risks invoking a curse upon themselves, causing bad fortune and despair.

Victims of the Curse of Tomino’s Hell

The curse of Tomino’s Hell Poem became famous when people began to suffer unfortunate events after reading the poem aloud.

In 1974, a movie was released called “To Die in the Countryside”. It was written and directed by a man named Terayama Shuji. He got a lot of ideas from Tomino’s Hell Poem for his film. People started saying that he died because of the poem.

There were also rumors throughout Japan about some college kids dying after they read the poem.

The legend spread, claiming that if you read the poem aloud you could have a bad fall, lose your voice forever, get really sick suddenly, or even have a car crash.

Back in the 1980s in Japan, it became fashionable to record friends while they read the poem aloud. This fad took off and it was said that reading the poem aloud didn’t usually cause any problems.

It appears that the curse has an unpredictable nature. It could even be part of a mysterious pattern that we don’t fully understand yet. These days in Japan, even the older and wiser folk avoid talking about the poem, worried that it might bring them bad luck.

If you would like to try it for yourself, here is a version of Tomino’s Hell translated into english by David Bowles:

Tomino’s Hell

Elder sister vomits blood,
younger sister’s breathing fire
while sweet little Tomino
just spits up the jewels.

All alone does Tomino
go falling into that hell,
a hell of utter darkness,
without even flowers.

Is Tomino’s big sister
the one who whips him?
The purpose of the scourging
hangs dark in his mind.

Lashing and thrashing him, ah!
But never quite shattering.
One sure path to Avici,
the eternal hell.

Into that blackest of hells
guide him now, I pray—
to the golden sheep,
to the nightingale.

How much did he put
in that leather pouch
to prepare for his trek to
the eternal hell?

Spring is coming
to the valley, to the wood,
to the spiraling chasms
of the blackest hell.

The nightingale in her cage,
the sheep aboard the wagon,
and tears well up in the eyes
of sweet little Tomino.

Sing, o nightingale,
in the vast, misty forest—
he screams he only misses
his little sister.

His wailing desperation
echoes throughout hell—
a fox peony
opens its golden petals.

Down past the seven mountains
and seven rivers of hell—
the solitary journey
of sweet little Tomino.

If in this hell they be found,
may they then come to me, please,
those sharp spikes of punishment
from Needle Mountain.

Not just on some empty whim
Is flesh pierced with blood-red pins:
they serve as hellish signposts
for sweet little Tomino.

Who really wrote Tomino’s Hell?

Buzzfeed Unsolved covers the legend of Tomino’s Hell

After a little bit of online research we have found that Tomino’s Hell was actually written by a man named Saijō Yaso and published in 1919. Saijō Yaso was a popular children’s author at the time. He wrote Tomino’s hell during a difficult period in his life shortly after the passing of his father. Whether he intended to create a cursed poem or just express the negative emotions he was feeling is unknown.

Have you ever read Tomino’s Hell aloud? Did anything spooky happen? Tell us about it in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in other curses such as Rudolph Valentino’s cursed ring or the curse of the Passion of the Christ movie.

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