Volunteer storyteller Stephanie Shelton, a resident and employee on Fort Leavenworth, tells tour participants about the multiple uses of the Memorial Chapel grounds during the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum's Haunted Fort Leavenworth Tours Oct. 23. Shelton said she and the tour participants from the night before thought they heard tapping from inside the church during a ghost story. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer

The residence at 2 Sumner Place had rumors of the Lady in Black and ghost stories from Main Parade, but until three years ago, no one had heard about the shadow man in the attic or the ghost of a young girl that claimed the home’s residents as family. These were some of the newest ghost stories that were told during the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum’s Haunted Tour.

Fifteen-year-old volunteer Catherine Nance portrays a ghost across from a storytelling station at Memorial Chapel during the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum’s Haunted Fort Leavenworth Tours Oct. 23 by the Dragoon Wall. Nance and three other ghost-portraying volunteers walked around the chapel during the tours to enhance the experience. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

FFAM offered the tours every 15 minutes from 5:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Oct. 22 and Oct. 23. Tickets sold out quickly, and tours were limited to 20 guests per session to follow COVID-19 guidance on post. Each tour began behind the Old U.S. Disciplinary
Barracks, and wound through eight stops, including homes on Scott Avenue and Sumner
Place, Main Parade and Memorial Chapel. FFAM President Aimee Bateman said the
haunted tours are the biggest annual fundraiser for FFAM. Bateman said the tours are
also valuable for membership recruitment.

“Our mission is to raise awareness about the museum and the (Frontier Army Museum)
collection and to raise funds in order to preserve articles in the museum,” Bateman said.
“The tour is a way to highlight this history of the post, too, and hopefully to keep people’s interest and encourage them to go see the collection in the museum.”

Volunteer storyteller Gary Hobin tells guests about stories associated with the Old U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, including stories about the ghosts of war criminals and guards, during the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum’s Haunted Fort Leavenworth Tours Oct. 23 by the Old USDB. Hobin, who frequently volunteers for the annual tours, does so portraying the character of Fred Reynolds, a solider from the 13th New York Volunteer Infantry. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


FFAM Haunted Tour Chairperson Courtney Clair said the ghost stories have been collected over time by the residents of Fort Leavenworth. She said the tours are led by volunteers both new and returning who are interested in being a part of the experience.


This year, between both nights, more than 50 volunteers supported the haunted tours.
Clair said more experienced storytellers often fill in the history and promote artifacts
found in the museum during the stops.

One of the more seasoned storytellers on the tour, former Rookery resident Anne Munoz,
told the new stories of 2 Sumner. Munoz volunteers with her husband, Carlos, and has
been a storyteller for about 10 years. They have lived in houses on Fort Leavenworth
known to have paranormal activity and she said they volunteer to return to the history.

Volunteer storyteller Stephanie Shelton, a resident and employee on Fort Leavenworth, tells tour participants about the multiple uses of the Memorial Chapel grounds during the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum’s Haunted Fort Leavenworth Tours Oct. 23. Shelton said she and the tour participants from the night before thought they heard tapping from inside the church during a ghost story. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Munoz said this year she was able to include stories from the previous residents as they’ve expanded during conversation. She said she enjoys storytelling.


“It’s a lot of fun, and it gives back. I love giving back to the FFAM because they do so
much for the museum,” Munoz said. “We lived in the Rookery, and we love the history,
and we love the museum — this is our gift every year to give back to the museum.”


Tour participants Tammi Von-Hagel and Patty Baregman said the Rookery and 2 Sumner were highlights during their tours.


“They were all really good, they were really good stories, and they (the storytellers)
knew the history,” Von-Hagel said. “It’s not just about the hauntings but also about the
history and learning a little bit about your surroundings.”

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