Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fright Week! Harrison Church - Topeka, Kansas

Harrison Church - Topeka, Kansas
photo by lea bryan
In the Spring of 1886 a new church opened its doors in the Walnut Grove area of Topeka, Kansas. In those days, that area of Topeka was a rural, farming community that was inhabited by only about 500 people. A handful of the fine citizens of Walnut Grove had become quiet concerned with what they saw as a large number of unruly children.
Because of their growing concern, when asked, the First Methodist Church allowed them to establish a mission in the old Van Buren School building. One year later the mission built its own church for approximately $8000 on the corner of 18th and Harrison. In 1903, the church had to be relocated to Sixteenth and Harrison to escape the flooding of the Shunganunga. In 1919, the growing church, in need of a new building with more room for its congregation, hired a renown general contractor to construct their new, and unusually designed building, by architect JC Holland. The design was non-traditional, in that it did not have a steeple, but it did maintain the cross outline of earlier church buildings. The pulpit was placed in the exact corner of the main auditorium, with rounded pews spread in a semi-circle around it. The building also included about 90 stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible. It also had some unusual symbols, such as its numerous upside down crosses. The old church building was completely dismantled, and the new building was built on the same site... over the old building's basement. The new building was completed in 1920, and the first church service was held in it on December 5th. Thus the story of The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church At Sixteenth and Harrison began. 

Harrison Church - Topeka, Kansas
photo by lea bryan
Today, The Harrison Church is "considered to be one of the most haunted spots throughout Kansas" and is said to be possessed by the Devil. There are stories of screams coming from the church, and the sound of a crying girl. One website even claims that "you have to possess nerves of steel in order to enter this abandoned spot". So - you guessed it... because I am dedicated to bringing you the truth (as I see it)... I took a little afternoon trip to Topeka and stopped by "one of the most haunted spots throughout Kansas". Of course, I did not go at night (are you insane?). If you've been following this blog at all during for Fright Week, you can probably already guess what I'm going to say next... I also DID NOT GO INSIDE. Sorry. I do not possess "nerves of steel". Some might even say I have "nerves of Jello".... besides, the place is all boarded up... so I just walked around and listened carefully for any screaming or crying coming from within. On my visit I did not hear any screaming or wailing, or gnashing of teeth... (Believe me, if I had, you can bet that I would have been the one curled up in a fetal position crying.)

Harrison Church - Topeka, Kansas
photo by lea bryan
Everyone knows that former churches that are now possessed by the devil are right up there among the most terrifying things on earth (the only thing more frightening would be if you added some little possessed children to the attic or basement of the possessed church). I mean, a church... possessed? That's just wrong. So you want to know exactly what is being said about the allegedly evil church? I found the following comment, from someone claiming to be the new owners of the church, on a website that described the church as being "abandoned":
One other thing [that] I can also confirm is that the rumors of it being Haunted are not rumors at all, the activity there is real and pretty consistent. As I can not be there on location on a regular basis I hired Caretakers to care for and watch over the building - maybe I should have told them about the Church's reputation before they signed on and moved in, but I did not. I decided not to put things in their head that may have otherwise not been there. Well it only took about two weeks before I started getting calls asking me for information on the Church and if there was anything they should know due to some strange things happening in the Chapel. I dispersed some info in small quantities, again not wanting to make a mountain out of a mole hill, however the mountain showed it's face all on it's own, and one of the Caretakers for a lack of a better explanation, was temporarily possessed while someone that claimed to be a former preacher from the 50's sent over a message regarding a double murder that took place in the boiler room and upper loft of the church.. Ooops, guess I should have been a little more forthcoming with my information.
Lucky for me and my business partner the Caretakers have not as of yet been spooked away, in fact they are intrigued and while investigating and trying to verify the information they were given 'that night' they have found a way to live among the 'regulars' that pass back and fourth through the Chapel on a daily basis. Yes it's hard to believe for me also, but what scares some makes others curious - Me? I'm happy in my own home far far away from the Church *smile wink*
T.K.Pond"


YouTube comment:
rico493rico says, "ok i went into this thing last night and nothing happened except wen i was first starting to go up the entrance there were a weird feeling that i got and it got rly warm and my legs felt stiff and i was in there for atleast 45 minutes. other than that nothing rly happened except we heard somthing shufling or moving something and like some kind of knocking on metal so dont [sic] be afraid to go in unless u actually provoke for something to happen but next time im gna go in with a camrecorder"
Of course... I don't know if Harrison Church is possessed (or even haunted for that matter) - and even though I did make a trip to Topeka... as I mentioned earlier... I most certainly DID NOT go inside the church. THIS former church may or may not be possessed by Satan, but I DO believe there is at least ONE "church" in Topeka that is possessed,... and I am NOT GOING anywhere near that one... (I get chills just thinking about it!)

Sources:
TheHarrisonChurch.com
Unexplainable.net
YouTube 

12 comments:

  1. There just isn't anything better than a haunted house (or church) story on Halloween. I have one of my own if you want to check it out at http://thistalkaintcheap.

    I can't get enough of this stuff.

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  2. I love all these haunted house and people stories.. having been haunted for most of my life.. I can so relate!!!

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  3. Carolyn & Mama Holly - Thanks for the comments. I've had fun "researching" these stories all week... even though I've scared myself silly doing it (I'm such a wuss)!! Thanks for stopping by - lea

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  4. I love this! I want to go there! Maybe the next time I am in Kansas I'll pop on by.

    Thanks for a shiver!

    xo Susie

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  5. Susie - if you "pop on by" and have the cojones to go inside... YOU MUST BLOG about it! I'm too big of a wimp! Seriously, I need a first hand account. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! - lea

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  6. yoinks - I won't be sleeping easy tonight- thanks !!

    Just wanted to say hello and Welcome to Real Bloggers United. I work on Avery's team and would love to read some of your work on our site :-)

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  7. I live in KS, I think I might have to visit this place! Great post! Scary!

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  8. Glen, I LOVED the Yoinks! So very "Shaggy" of you :). I think I will be thankful to survive "Fright Week" so maybe I can consider that for my "thankful" submission!

    Hula, I'll tell you the same thing I told Susie...if you go to this place and have the cojones to go inside, I expect a blog post!

    Thanks for the comments - lea

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  9. Awesome! But now I want to go inside!! As kids, we used to have a really cool old abandoned mansion to play in. We had a great time, except for that one time my friend was attacked by 200 bees. That wasn't fun.

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  10. To borrow from Glen... Yoinks! Bees? Ouch. I agree, it would be interesting to see the inside of the church on Harrison... but I would need an army of friends to go with me, and it would have to be a bright sunny day (and even then I'm not going anywhere near any attics or basements... (I'm just sayin'. I've seen that movie before!) Thank you for leaving a comment! -lea

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  11. I grew up in Topeka, KS. I would not advise anyone to enter this building. Currently it is supposed to be completely vacant, but it is inhabited by meth heads and homeless people. I feel as though if you are able to stay in this church and make it your temporary home by choice, you may not make the best company in the middle of the night...

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  12. I will tell you this church IS haunted! I've had numerous in counters with ghosts good and bad....and as for demons....well I've dealt with one of those as well unfortunately. I know one of the (former) caretakers personally and while he was still in charge of the building he gave another friend and I a personal tour around the place. That stiff feeling you get as you walk up to it only gets worse when you go in. Not a lot goes on during the day, but for the 20min we were in there we had this constant unsettling feeling of being watched from literally every angle. We went in for about 10min that night around 2ish. When we asked if someone was there the temperature dropped noticeably and we heard a knocking coming from behind us on the wall. We were only about 3 feet from the structure wall which is brick on the outside so it's not like someone could just knock on it to scare us....plus we were also too high up for anyone to be able to just knock on a wall. I had a chilling feeling like we weren't wanted there and I asked to be escorted out of the building. Right after I asked to leave (before I could even take 4 steps) one of the boys was scratched down his leg. At that point we were ALL ready to leave. I'm not sure what it is that's in there, but whether it be a demon or a pissed off ghost it's clearly unwelcoming to people and doesn't want ANYONE there.

    Liz

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