The idyllic city of Hutchinson was once home to a thriving salt industry. In its heyday the city boasted 26 active salt mines.
Though many of them have since shut down, the community is still known as “Salt City.” This charming, albeit salty, city celebrates its salt infused history through an annual “Salt Festival” as well as several notable area attractions.
There are several locations throughout the town that are known paranormal hot spots. Many of which are a part of the town’s annual “Haunted Hutch Tour.”
Haunted Hutch Tour
The “Haunted Hutch” tour begins at the “Kansas Underground Salt Mine” and proceeds through historic and haunted downtown Hutchinson.
Four scheduled stops on the 2010 tour include; “Armstrong Antiques”,”Mid-West Feed and Mercantile”,”Reno County Museum”, “Kansas Underground Salt Mine” and the “East Side Cemetery.”
During the “East Side Cemetery” portion of the tour the macabre tales surrounding former Reno County residents will be told.
“East Side Cemetery” has been in continuous operation since the 1800’s and it is considered to be the oldest cemetery in the county. Many of the 12,000 graves have tombstones whose inscriptions have eroded in time.
Of those missing tombstones, the five graves belonging to the murdered Moore children are the most morose. Local legend has it that little Lee, Charlie, Carl, Mary and Pearl Moore were brutally murdered by their father in 1899.
Mr. Moore first lacerated the children’s throats. Once that grisly task was complete he invoked further damage to their lifeless little bodies by bludgeoning them about the head and face with an axe. Then he unceremoniously set the family’s home on fire. At the moment of their untimely deaths the children ranged in ages from 3 to 13.
Components of the “Haunted Hutch Tour” can be purchased ala carte or for one package price of $70.00. The complete “Haunted Hutch Tour” will be held on October 23rd, beginning at 5:30 pm. The entire package includes; a salt mine tour, downtown tour including the cemetery and an overnight stay in the mine amongst its unearthly residents. Tickets are available for purchase on the museum’s website.
Kansa Underground Salt Museum
3504 East Avenue G
South Hutchinson, KS 67501
Other South Hutch Spectral Sites
The Moore children are just a few of the unfortunate souls said to walk Hutchinson, Kansas. Other ghosts include that of Librarian Ida Day Holzapfel, a former Trinity Catholic priest, trapped miners, Civil War soldiers, and two whose in-life identities are unknown; the courthouse lady in white and the bicycle riding man of the mines.
Locations where these other spirits have been supposedly sighted include but are not limited to the following; “Hutchinson Public Library”, “Hutchinson City Court House – 5th Floor”, “Fox Theater”, and the “Trinity Catholic Church.”
Those would be trekkers who want to learn more about the history of Hutchinson, Kansas and its otherworldly inhabitants should log onto any one of the region’s websites.
Greater Hutchinson Convention and Visitors Bureau
117 North Walnut Street
Hutchinson, KS 67501