The settlement of Quindaro, Kansas, in what is now Kansas City, originally began life in late 1856, created by abolitionists along the bank of the Missouri River as a resistance to stop the westward spread of slavery and to serve as an effort to make Kansas a fee state. The town soon saw a deluge of migrants who were trying to help secure Kansas as a free territory, and became an important runaway-slave settlement and port of entry for abolitionists and free state activists, with Quindaro heavily involved in aiding the underground railroad at the time, helping slaves who had escaped from Missouri. When Kansas eventually became a free state, its growth slowed somewhat and parts of it became abandoned, it still functioned for some time as a gathering place for former slaves, and in 1865 the Quindaro Freedman’s School was established, which was the first black school west of the Mississippi River. It was a very important town in its time, but it also has a secret dark history of a house that seems to have been hungry for blood and which proved to be a magnet for strange phenomena and would be rumored to be cursed.
It was at about this time when in 1867 a Mrs. Wilhelmina Miller and her husband moved to a modest farmhouse in Quindaro, and it did not take too long before things went south. Mrs. Miller began having an affair with a farmhand by the name of Manz, and it was no secret to anyone at all. She would apparently do little to hide the affair, and was even caught in the act by Mr. Miller on several occasions, who just seemed to try and look the other way as much as possible. Yet, one day it seems as if he wasn’t prepared to be cuckolded anymore, and he snapped, sneaking up behind the two lovers one day to blow Manz’s head off before running off to be found hanging from a rafter in the barn from an apparent suicide. So far, so dark, but this property was just getting started.
Mrs. Miller hired a new farmhand by the name of Theodore Seidrich to replace the one whose head had been blown off, and she also started living with a new boyfriend, who was a soldier. Unfortunately, Miller was soon having relations with the new strapping young farmhand as well. The soldier boyfriend found out about it and left, which is what the farmhand should have done, it appears, as he would be soon after be found dead in an apparent accidental overdose of medicine given to him by Miller. It is unclear whether she had intentionally killed the young man or not, but it is curious that she straight after this shacked up with a new boyfriend named John Fanschel, who ended up leaving after became increasingly spooked about the rumors he was hearing about his new girlfriend and the house they were living in, now developing a reputation as being haunted. After he left, one day people just stopped seeing Miller around, and it was assumed that she must have abandoned the property and left town. Even at this point locals were whispering that the Miller house was haunted and even cursed, but they would soon have more reason to think this.
It seems as if another farmer in the area decided to go check out the creepy abandoned Miller farm one day in 1899 after one of Miller’s cows wandered onto his property looking underfed and emaciated. When he went to the spooky home and went inside, he soon found Miller dead on her own bed, and the body of a man named Jacob Shaler on the floor. Miller had been killed with two gunshots to the chest and one to the mouth, whereas Shaler had died of a single gunshot to the side of the head in an apparent suicide. Authorities would come to the conclusion that Shaler had killed Miller several days before he had finally killed himself, although it could not be determined what he had been doing during that time. Rather spookily, another local man who lived nearby claimed that this had happened there at the house before, indeed in that very same room. The man claimed that 21 years before, another couple had lived there, who had apparently quickly become recluses. No one really knew much about them and he himself could not even recall their names, but they would soon make waves in the community when they turned up dead of gunshot wounds in the very same room where Miller and her apparent lover had been found, and according to the witness, on the same day. He would say:
Twenty-two years ago a strange couple moved into the house an cultivated some of the adjoining land. They kept to themselves, did not interfere with anybody’s business, and so the neighbors did not learn their names. Twenty-one years ago this very night we came down to this house on the same errand on which we came this morning. not having seen them around for a week or so, and as sure as you stand there, sir, we found that man and woman in this same room, dead– both with pistol shots in their head. Not having any friends, the county buried them, and no one to this day knows who they were or where they came from. I hardly think that anyone who knows the circumstances would wish to live in this house, and it will be avoided as a terrible spot.
After all of this death and misfortune, no one dared live in the house again, and indeed most people chose to avoid it altogether, reluctant to even walk past it, with rumors that even looking upon it could drive one to insanity. The rumor was that all of these deaths had been brought about by supernatural forces worming their way into the brains of these people to drive them to do what they had done. Reports of all manner of ghostly activity would be reported from the property over the years, including orbs of light, shadow figures, and the sound of disembodied screams, moans, or even gunshots from within the house. Interestingly, the town would face great decline in later years until it was completely abandoned and was only rediscovered in 1980 during an archeological study. In 2019, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act designated it the Quindaro Townsite National Commemorative Site, and much of the site was restored to be preserved for educational purposes, but the Miller farmhouse is long gone, taking whatever dark forces that may have lurked there with it. Whatever was going on here, it has been lost to history, and we are left to wonder. Was there some dark force hovering around this farm, driving people insane and feeding off of death? Or is this just folklore building upon tragedy? There is no way to know, and it is a curious mystery surrounding a local historical oddity.