When I first started researching the topic of haunted military bases and battlegrounds, the one place that popped up more times than Okinawa was Fort Leavenworth. This base, which is located in Leavenworth, Kansas, has so many spirits and ghosts wondering around, I could easily write two or three more posts about them. The ones mentioned in today’s post are just a small sampling of the many stories I came across.
Tea parties use to be a norm with previous generations of military families. Some wives still occasionally have them. Especially with officers’ wives. Even though I have been a military spouse for 5 years, I’m sad to report I haven’t been invited to a tea party yet. A house located on Scott Ave has said that it sounds like there is a tea party happening in the parlor almost everyday.
Another house that seems to have activity often is a house on Thomas Ave. Before there was a house there, it was the site of St. Ignatius Chapel Church. Sadly, the church burned down in 1875. Whatever could be salvaged from the burnt church was used in the construction of several houses on the base. The house that sat where the church use to be had brunt bricks from the church used in the fireplace. Since the construction of the house, families living there have reported seeing someone around the house. They believe it is Father Fred due to the robes the ghost is seen wearing. He is most often seen on the stairs, in the kitchen or in the dining room. Unfortunately the house burnt down in December of 2000.
It’s not just housing that is haunted on this military base. Another spirit that is well known on Fort Leavenworth is the spirit of Catherine Sutter. Catherine and her husband, Hiram, were moving across the country in 1880 when they stopped to make camp near Fort Leavenworth. Her kids, Ethan and Mary, were sent out to find firewood. When the kids didn’t come back, Catherine, her husband, and various search parties went out for three days to try and find the children. After three days, the search parties assumed the kids had been swept down river and were dead; so the search was called off. Catherine and her husband decided to stay through winter in case the children came back. Catherine went out every day to search for her children. Sadly, she caught pneumonia and died later that year. Her husband moved back to Indiana after her death. A few months after her death, a group of local Fox Indians come to the fort with the children. The Fox Indians explained that they found the children after they had been swept downstream. The Fox Indians took care of the children through the winter until it was warm enough to travel back to the fort. While Hiram was happy to have his children back safe and alive, it seems as though no one has thought to tell Catherine. She is often seen wandering through the cemetery. She spirit is wrapped in a black shawl and usually seen carrying a lantern. People have also reported hearing her call out for Mary and Ethan.
Catherine Sutter isn’t the only spirit that roams the cemetery. People have claimed to see the spirit of Chief Joseph walking through the cemetery, especially on foggy days. Chief Jospeh saw many people from his tribe killed near Fort Leavenworth. Chief Joseph was kept at Fort Leavenworth for eight months after surrendering. Although he was eventually allowed to leave for a reservation out west, his spirit has been seen wandering where so many of his people were killed.
Just like my post a few days ago about Okinawa, I plan to write more about the spirits and paranormal activity seen on Fort Leavenworth. The few stories I have shared today have barely touched all the stories I have come across from the very haunted base. Have you been to Fort Leavenworth and experience something creepy or seen something paranormal? Let me know in the comments below. I want to hear all about it.