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The Sallie House


Halloween, it’s that time of the year where people go trick or treating, and stuff their faces with candy. You can dress up as a banana, or you can have a terrifying costume. Everybody will be running around with pumpkin baskets and the funniest or scariest costumes. You’ll have the phony haunted houses, or the most terrifying ones ever made. However, nothing will beat the most famous haunted houses of all: “The Sallie House”.

The Sallie House, located in Atchison, Kansas on 508 North Second street. The name itself makes you shiver a little. Built between 1867 and 1871, the people who owned and lived in the property was the “Finney” family. The Finney family had lived in the basement, while the rest of the house was being completed. On September 27, 1872, Micheal J Finney the owner of that house had passed away at 10 p.m. He left behind his wife, two sons, a daughter, and an unborn son. His son who was born on May 25, 1873, named Edwin soon had died on September 29, 1874.

The Sallie House is known for its haunted reputation, there had been full body apparitions, objects flying through the air. Items being misplaced and then found later at another time in another place. Furniture would be moved, thumps, scratches, thuds and knocks would be heard late at night or in the morning. These were found on thesalliehouse.com which also contains an amazing amount of EVPs. EVPs, or electronic voice phenomenon, are sounds found on electronic recorders, used to interpret spirits voices. Which shows us that the Sallie House, is not a mere joke.

Now is the part you’ve been waiting for, what had happened to the occupants of that house? Well, on December 31st of 1992 when Tony and Debra Pickman had moved into the Sallie house, they were greeted with terrorizing spirits. In the beginning, the hauntings had started out small, lights in the house would dim. The dog would bark all the time at the entrance to the nursery room. Their newborn baby would wake up every hour, Debra states that “it was as if someone was playing with him.” On July 14, 1993, Debra, Tony, and her sister Karen had gone upstairs to the nursery room, and when they did they had found something truly terrifying. They had found that dolls had been taken off their shelves and put into a neat circle on the ground. At first, they thought that one of them must’ve done that to play a mean joke. However, later they went upstairs to find that a doll had been thrown off its wicker chair.

The evil entity named “Sallie” targeted Tony Pickman. He claimed that there was an unknown presence that had scratched him deeply. Bloody scratches would be present on his arms, stomach and back. He even stated how he would have bizarre dreams. There’s one dream in particular, where he was being pulled out of the bed by his wrist. Later he woke up to seeing red burn marks on his hand, that seemed to be coming from a human hand. There was also another incident where Tony Pickman was taking a nap on the couch. When he seemed to be awoken by the sound of a voice saying “here’s your remote” and when he opened his eyes to see who that was, he had seen an unseen force putting the remote on his chest.

Apparently, a former resident that had been occupants in the Sallie House before the Pickmans, had claimed that her daughter, who was five years old, had an imaginary friend named Sallie, and whenever she would scold her for doing something, she’d simply say “I didn’t do it, Sallie did it” or “Sallie told me to do it”.

Tony's Back Scratched with initials M.C on the show "The Sightings"
The Scratched initials M.C on Tony’s back

These demonic presences would show up more on camera. When the Pickman family was shown on “The Sightings”, which is an American paranormal T.V show airing in the 1990’s, this evil entity had decided to welcome these visitors into the house, and show them what she/he or they are made of. In episode #50, that had aired on November 6, 1994, one of the cast members of the show, Peter James, had asked an important question in order to learn about the spirits: “Who is here in this house?” Tony had felt the rush of cold air,
stepped back a little, and later picked up his shirt which revealed the scratched initials “M.C” on his back.

If the house wasn’t already scary enough. Years after the Pickman family had left the “Sallie House” for good, a family of four had moved into the house. What was peculiar about the family, was that they had reported no paranormal activity whatsoever. Weird, right! When their landlord Lee Smith had visited the family of four’s house. What he discovered in the basement is absolutely bone shaking. In the basement, he had found a pentagon drawn on the floor, a large black kettle, a alter and a black robe. The woman had apparently done satanic rituals and opened the portal to welcome in more demons. The hole in the basement is where the rumored demons are to live in.

Now the house is empty, filled with spirits and demons. It’s now open for house tours in the morning, where they take you through each room. You can even book the night and live in the Sallie House for the night.

And with that, there’s the story of the Sallie House. Who lives there? what lurks in each corner of the house? Why did the spirits spawn in that house? Who is Sallie? These questions remain unanswered, and always will be until the end of time. Or unless someone actually has the guts to buy that house, and explore. Until then, the mystery of the Sallie House will remain.