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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Is Fort Leavenworth really haunted - you decide

  • Janine Johnson is the Haunted Fort Leavenworth Walking Tour Coordinator.


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  • Janine Johnson is the Haunted Fort Leavenworth Walking Tour Coordinator.
    1. The Friends of the Frontier Army Museum are hosting a haunted tour around Fort Leavenworth in October. What exactly is a "haunted tour?"
    The Fort Leavenworth Haunted Tour consists of a guided walking tour of selected locations on post that have had multiple reports of unexplained phenomenon. Guides in historical dress, mainly from the frontier period of the mid-late 1800's take groups around to the various locations where storytellers, also in costume, relate stories that have been reported over the last 40 years, while standing in front of, or in some cases inside, the places where the stories are alleged to have taken place.  
    While the few available books on the hauntings of Fort Leavenworth mainly tell stories from the 1970s and 1980s, we have made a great effort to gather stories of occurrences from the last few years.
    The Haunted Tour is not a shock scare event, like the warehouse haunted houses downtown.  Instead, we tell the stories on location, and let you decide what to think of them.  
    Originally, the tour was called the “Haunted Homes Tour” but several of our stories do not take place in houses, so that did not fit, and it was too close to the name out our Historical Homes Tour, which takes place each spring.
    The Haunted Tour is completely different than that event, which is also a fundraiser for the Frontier Army Museum.  
    2. Some of the ghost stories at Fort Leavenworth are almost legendary and many people believe they are true. What are your thoughts about these stories?
    This is a great topic of conversation among our volunteers, and opinions vary, but overall, we approach these stories with an open mind. Several of our volunteers that currently live, or once lived, on post have had their own experiences, so that leads credence to the idea that there are unexplained happenings going on there.
     In fact, this year we have several folks who have had personal experiences telling their own stories on location. The recent stories we have gathered are mostly first-person, so we have had the opportunity to interview the people involved, and there is little indication that they are fabricating the stories that they tell us.
    As we do not use names when we tell the stories, they have little incentive for doing so, anyway. All of the witnesses that we have interviewed were genuinely perplexed by what they had experienced, and some were still obviously uneasy about talking about what they had seen.
    Some stories are related to us by friends or associates of the witnesses, as they wish to remain completely anonymous.  Whether you truly believe, or just enjoy a good ghost story, this tour is for you.        
    Page 2 of 2 - 3. How many stops are there on the tour, and how long does it last?  
    There are six stops on the “Old North Fort” tour and it requires about a mile of walking.  
    The tour should take approximately one hour to complete. Immediately following the Haunted Tour there is a special tour of the Old Disciplinary Barracks.
    4. What are the dates and times of the tour and how much does it cost?
    The tours will run on Friday October 21, Saturday, October 22, Friday, October 28 and Saturday. October 29.  The tours will start each night at 6:30 p.m. and groups will leave the park every 15 minutes with the last tour departing at 9 p.m.  Tickets are $13 with children 5 years and under free.
    5. Do the proceeds go to benefit the museum, and if so, what projects will they support there?  
    All of the proceeds from this fundraiser go to the purchase of new artifacts for the Frontier Army Museum on Fort Leavenworth. The tour has very little overhead, as all of the people involved are volunteers.
    Over the last three years, the Haunted Fort Leavenworth Walking Tour has raised more than $30,000 for the Frontier Army Museum, which has been spent to procure new artifacts and construct new displays. When you visit the museum, many of the items purchased with funds raised by the tour are prominently displayed in the recent acquisitions display case, while others are a part of the main collection.
    The Haunted Tour is the primary source of funds to purchase new artifacts for the museum, as it is dependent on donations because federal money mostly covers administration and maintenance.
    The museum is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  
    – Dale Brendel

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