Hauntingly Beautiful The 1889 McInteer Villa
Between the years of 1889-1890 a wealthy Irish immigrant by the name of John McInteer built himself and his family a stunning Victorian style mansion in Atchison, Kansas. It stands proudly to this day and is the definition of “hauntingly beautiful”. Mr. McInteer obtained his wealth by manufacturing and selling horse harnesses and saddles. It is noted in archived advertisements that he also dabbled in wagons and their parts.
This home was strictly a private residence and as a result not much is known about its early days but according to the Kansas state newspaper archives, Mr. McInteer died in his home on July 24, 1902. His cause of death was listed as “dropsy”. A term used in those days for edema, the retention of fluid within the body; most notably in the arms/hands and legs/feet. Today, “dropsy” is known as Congestive Heart Failure so it would be a good guess to say that Mr. McInteer’s actual cause of death was Congestive Heart Failure.
Upon his death his second wife inherited the estate and it appears that it stayed in the family until 1952 when the Villa was acquired by Isabel Altus. During her living years at the estate she was given the nickname of “The Witch” by children passing by on their way to and from school. In their innocent minds, Ms. Isabel was a lady, whom was always dressed in black and was to be feared and did everything they could to avoid her piercing gaze. Little is known about Ms. Altus’ life; it is said that she was a professional violinist and rather eccentric. It is also rumored that she was actually a retired FBI agent. In her after life she is affectionately known as “Goldie”. According to urban legend she was discovered dead in her rocking chair in 1969 with a pistol next to her. It was never determine whether or not the pistol was her cause of death.
Isabel then decided that the McInteer Villa would be the ideal place to spend her after life. Now, it has been reported by guests and paranormal research teams to have seen her sitting in the same rocking chair she died in. Her original rocking chair is still nestled in the sitting room of the Villa. “Goldie” is not the only Spector calling the McInteer Villa home for their after life. Shadow people, EVPs, orbs, and objects seemingly move on their own. The current owners are the Gerardo family and they have opened up the home to paranormal research teams and public tours.
Interested in investigating the McInteer Villa? Go to www.1889mcinteervilla.com for more information and to reserve your night at the “Villa”!