The McInteer Villa is an allegedly haunted house in Atchison, Kansas. The Irish immigrant and businessman John McInteer built it in 1889.
The house has changed hands multiple times since John McInteer built it in the late 1800s. According to owners Stephenie O’Reilly and Jeff Neal, nine deaths have occurred there since the 1800s. One of the deaths was by suicide.
Folklore alleges that the ghosts of people who died in the McInteer Villa since the 1800s haunt it.
The villa is open for ghost tours, including self-guided tours. Visitors can also book to stay overnight.
John McInteer, an Irish immigrant, built the McInteer Villa in 1889. He was an entrepreneur who made equestrian accessories such as harnesses and saddles.
He was born in Ireland in 1872 but immigrated to the United States alone as a boy. He first lived in Philadelphia but later relocated to Indiana, where he trained as a harness and saddle maker. He moved to Kansas in 1860 and settled in Doniphan County. He later opened a shop in Atchison and quickly established himself as a manufacturer of high-quality harnesses and saddles.
His business expanded quickly, and he acquired clients across the West. He later invested in real estate, buying property in Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri.
The McInteer Villa
The McInteer Villa in Atchison remains John McInteer’s most famous property. He contracted Owen E. Seip of Atchison to build the house in 1889/90. Seip built the house at about $14,000, equivalent to about $464,360 today (according to the online CPI Inflation Calculator).
McInteer married twice, first to Alice and later to Anna Conlon. He married Anna, a widow, in 1895, after Alice died in 1892.
John McInteer died in 1902. Anna inherited the villa, and many of her relatives moved in. She lived in the villa with her relatives until she died in 1916. Anna’s brother, Judge Charles J. Conlon of Atchison, and his family lived in the house after Anna died in 1916. They lived there until 1925.
The house was a boarding facility from 1925 until 1952, when Isabel Altus, a retired professional violinist, purchased it. Altus sold the villa to George Gerardy in 1969, shortly before she died.
Stephanie O’Reilly bought the house from the Gerardys in 2018.
Stephanie O’ Reilly
Stephanie O’Reilly and Jeff Neal acquired the house in 2018 and fitted it with antique furniture and decoration for historical and ghost tours (Cami Koons, KCUR, October 29, 2022).
The Neals believes the ghosts of people who lived and died in the villa since the 1800s haunt it.
The Neals told 41 KSHB that they researched the property and bought it because they believed it was a haunted house. According to owner Stephanie, there have been nine documented deaths in the villa, including one by suicide.
The Neals invited paranormal experts Jim and Tami Beth, known as the Earthbound Voices Paranormal from Kansas City. They investigated the house and detected paranormal activity there. Stephanie told KCUR that the paranormal investigators said the house was a “portal.”
According to Atchison’s Chamber of Commerce, the McInteer House is the most haunted in Kansas (Taylor Hemness, 41KSHB, October 24, 2019). Paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters come from across the country to hunt ghosts in the 130-year-old building.
Strange sounds in the house
Stephanie Neal told KSHB that they often heard unexplained knockings and footsteps in the house. She said that once when she was in the second-floor bathroom, she heard someone walking toward her. At first, she thought it was her husband, but when she looked, there was nobody. The footsteps then retreated.
The Neals admitted that people were often skeptical when they told them the house had ghosts. But they often changed their minds after spending only about an hour in the building.
The Neals said visitors also reported paranormal phenomena in the building.
Visitors reported shadowy figures standing at the windows and looking out when no one was in the house. The old building is loud and creaky, with cold spots, spooky draughts, and unexplained temperature fluctuations.
They also reported poltergeist activity in the McInteer Villa, such as lights in the tower turning on and off and furniture moving by themselves. Door knobs turned, and doors slammed shut at night when there wasn’t anyone there.
The second floor is the most haunted
The second floor of the villa reportedly has the highest intensity of paranormal activity. Visitors often reported experiencing an uncomfortable feeling that invisible eyes were watching them as they explored the rooms on the second floor.
Some guests reported seeing the door to the sitting room on the upper floor swinging open by itself and an apparition walking silently through.
The ghost of a mystery woman haunts the house
People have also reported hearing loud footsteps echoing through the hallway and on the second floor of the building all night long. Some said they heard phantom voices while touring the house.
Many believe that the ghost of a mysterious woman haunts the McInteer Villa. People can detect her presence through the faint fragrance of her perfume.
Jeff claimed that one night, while his wife was sleeping in another section of the villa, he went down to fix a chandelier in the hallway. He was preparing to leave the room after finishing the job when he heard a female voice behind him. He distinctly heard the phantom voice commending him for a job well down.
The basement is creepy
The basement of the McInteer Villa is one of the creepiest parts of the building. Local legend has it that the basement, which has seven brick-walled rooms, housed an underground surgery for female patients who wanted to have gynecological procedures performed.
According to folklore, the ghosts of infants lost during the procedures haunt the basement.
The basement also has a resident ghost that dislikes visitors. According to the Neals, the paranormal investigators Jim and Tami recorded a voice in the basement that warned them to leave.
Visitors can make the ghost reveal its presence by talking to it.
KSHB reporter said that when he spoke in the basement, the temperature reading on the thermometer spiked momentarily from the mid-70s to 119 degrees. He observed the thermometer readings repeatedly fluctuating.
The basement also has a motion sensor that Jim and Tami gave the Neals. According to the couple, cameras captured the motion sensors lighting up when there wasn’t anyone in the basement.
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|1301 Kansas Ave, Atchison, KS 66002
|Haunting, Poltergeist, Shadow Figures
Where to find
In the media
https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/take-a-tour-of-the-haunted-mcinteer-villa-in-atchison-kansas, “Take a tour of the Haunted McInteer Villa in Atchison, Kansas,” accessed on April 22, 2023.
https://www.travelks.com/listing/the-haunted-1889-mcinteer-villa/47925/, “The Haunted 1889 McInteer Villa,” accessed on April 22, 2023.
https://visitatchison.com/highlight/1889-mcinteer-villa, “1889 McInteer Villa,” accessed on April 22, 2023.
https://www.kcur.org/arts-life/2022-10-29/ghosts-atchison-haunted-house-tourism, “You can stay at a haunted mansion in Atchison, Kansas — but the spirits might ghost you,” accessed on April 22, 2023.