The Epperson House is a historic residence located at 5200 Cherry Street in Kansas City, now part of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Long believed to be haunted, it has even been featured on of the Top 5 U.S. haunted houses on TV’s Unsolved Mysteries.
Built by a man named Uriah Spray Epperson and designed by French architect Horace LaPierre, construction began in 1919 and was completed in 1923.
The four-story Tudor-Gothic structure contained a total of 54 rooms. Six bathrooms, elevators, a swimming pool, a billiard room, and a custom organ were just some of its features. They also built a tunnel linking the east and west wings, and it even had a barber shop!
Sadly, Uriah Epperson died in 1927, only four years after the home’s completion. The building was donated to the university in 1942 by Epperson's widow. It was used as a men's dormitory until 1956, but is currently vacant and awaiting renovations.
The building is well-known for its apparent hauntings and secret passageways, which earned it a spot on Unsolved Mysteries as one of the top five haunted houses in the United States.
Harriet Evelyn Barse, adopted daughter of original owner Uriah Epperson and his wife, is the apparent resident ghost. She died from a perforated gall bladder at the age of 47. The death occurred in the house, during the construction of the house’s large organ.
She had designed the custom organ for the loft space of the 48-foot living room. The organ, built by the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas, was finally dedicated to Harriet after a respectable mourning period, on Sunday, November 29, 1925.
Stories attached to the history of the house included one in which Uriah had a psychiatric breakdown after his adopted daughter died. They say he murdered his wife and then killed himself inside the house. This entrapped all of their souls together as a family in the afterlife. Obviously, this is not true, but I'm sure it made for great ghost stories over the years among the college students.
Over the years, students and security employees have reported seeing Barse’s ghost wearing an evening gown as though dressed for a recital. She is said to have been accompanied by strange lights and unexplained organ music.
In 1978, campus police were called after witnesses heard footsteps in the empty building. When an officer arrived he felt a great crash along with the sound of shattering glass, as if a car had hit him from behind. When he got out to check it out, there was no other car and no damage! However, his car had moved 8 inches based on skid marks beneath his tires.
Some believe that Epperson himself walks the halls. On one occasion, two campus police officers were doing a regularly schedule patrol of the building. Typical of a walk-through, they turned the lights on and off in as they scouted the various parts of the house. One light remained lit, and one of the policeman saw a ghostly arm in a blue suit turn off a light. This was believed to be the ghost of Uriah Epperson.
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Have you seen the Epperson House? Experienced the hauntings? Please share your experiences, comments, stories and photos below.