Halloween is the time of year when thoughts turn to ghosts. At one place in Kansas, though, ghosts are on the mind of some year round. The Fort Riley Army Post is known as one of the most haunted places in the state, and one of the most haunted forts in the military.
Fort Riley opened its gates over the weekend for its popular ghost tours. The tours are an annual event hosted by the Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley.
Costumed storytellers guided visitors around the historic main post, making stops at haunted locations and narrating iconic classics like “The Lady in Chains” and the “Custer House Teddy Bear Ghost,” as well as stories from the most recent 2014 Ghost Book.
“Ghostess” Tricia Verschage helped host the ghost tours, which attract up to 2,000 people each fall. She told KSAL News that there are several reasons why the historic army post, which was established in January of 1853, is so haunted.
Verschage said that multiple buildings on the post are believed to be haunted, most notably the Custer House. The cavalry parade ground is also believed to be haunted, possibly by one of the most famous historical figures ever stationed at Fort Riley, George Armstrong Custer himself.
Verschage says that the cemetery on post is also believed to be haunted. General Lewis Armistead, who was killed during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, is believed to haunt the cemetery. Armistead’s wife died during a Cholera outbreak at Fort Riley, and she is buried in the cemetery. Verschage says that legend has it that the general has been seen in the cemetery, weeping over his wife’s grave.
The Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley was formed with the specific intent to preserve, protect and maintain Fort Riley’s heritage. The organization has published several books chronicling tales of haunted Fort Riley.
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