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The Sinister Story Behind This Popular Kansas Preserve Will Give You Chills

As fall and Halloween approach on our calendars, news of more haunted locations makes its way to the surface. We all know Atchison is the queen of haunted old houses, and the monster near Hutch that grinds people up into hamburger, but what about natural places? This particular spot in Kansas isn’t your ordinary nature preserve, because it’s hiding something a little more sinister and spooky.

Out in the prairie, among grass and sparse trees, there sits a small pool of water that’s very deep. Or, it was. So deep, it’s said, that it used to be near bottomless. (Today, it’s about 18 feet deep, but the ground has shifted since then, so who knows how deep it used to be.) This old sinkhole is named St. Jacob’s Well has never gone dry, no matter how little rain Kansas gets during the years.

One legend in particular involves an old ghostly cowboy (and his horse) in the late 1800s who haunted the area, and screamed so loud, you couldn’t hear anything else. In addition to these ghosts, legends of many people who have drowned here bring forth other stories.

Another legend is that anyone who enters the “well” to measure it’s depth will drown, no matter what. In addition to the well, there’s a little house near it that has been abandoned for years, like most old prairie houses. Visitors to the area near nighttime have reported flashing and flickering lights in the windows. When they checked it out, no one was inside the empty house. Creepy!

Do you think this location’s too creepy for you? Personally, I’m more terrified of the poison ivy said to grow around the pool of water.

In addition to this possibly haunted natural location, feel free to check out these non-haunted historic caves at the end of a trail. They were hand-dug!

Clarisa Akred
I'm a stay-at-home mother of one, a painter, a sketcher, and a lover of all things musical. You can email me at ckred@onlyinyourstate.com