The Competitive Media; Odd Obsession Tell’s the Sallie House Story

Overview of Media Coverage

Shortly after our son’s birth in June of 1996, we had so much unexplained activity in the house that we called on a friend of the family, who was a previous resident of the community. She was a psychic who had since been living in California, but was scheduled for a visit with her local family. Her name was Barbara Conner, and she graciously spent about an hour and a half with us in an attempt to help us understand what was happening in our house. It was during this interview that we first learned of the name Sallie.

In the latter part of 1996, Sightings contacted us with interest about our claim and spent many months bringing in an array of investigators, psychics and paranormal professionals. Although the process was interesting and often gave us hope in resolving the experiences we’d been having, the case was left open and inconclusive.

With each rerun of the Sightings episodes, interest grew among the communities close to Atchison. KQ2 News group, out of Saint Joseph, Missouri interviewed us and aired a small piece about our experience.

On October 27, 2002, Showtime aired a two-hour movie they had been working on for almost two years prior. The Heartland Ghost depicted our story quite well in regards to the detail of events that took place, however, without a full understanding of the haunt Hollywood had to take liberty with the story line. We cannot confirm the story line about the African-American woman and the affair, and there was never a large fire that ran us out of the house.

What followed was the Travel Channel’s Haunted Town on April 25, 2003, which covered many areas of Atchison and the claims of the hauntings within it. I will leave it said that this was not one of our favorite media coverage’s, as we don’t give much credibility to some of the participants.

It wasn’t much later, November 2, 2003, when we were contacted by a new show named Unexplained Mysteries, which depicted a slightly updated version of the Sightings investigations; complete with old footage and new interviews.

As a result of the interest of shown in the haunted history of the town, Atchison Chamber of Commerce embarked on an interesting idea. Their Haunted Trolley Tour has been a great success. What began as a month long (October) single trolley tour that made its way around the town and told stories of specific location along the way has grown into a two month, two trolley tour. Tickets are often hard to come by, unless you have been able to purchase them in advance. Space continues to be limited, and the demand remains high.

Channel 4 News out of Kansas City was at the house and the newscaster assigned to the story has been enthusiastic. Apparently he had a few unexpected experiences of his own. Each year some of the local radio stations have found it exciting to go to the house as well and usually it is during the month of October.

In 2004, an investigative team from Ghost Hunter Magazine which later became Haunted Times Magazine published three articles in their online magazine. The articles, although not always consistent with the beliefs of others, are very interesting and written from the perspective of Christopher Moon, who remains adamant in his experiences.

Late in 2004, Kansas Paranormal Group began widespread research into the Sallie House haunting. This small, but tremendously dedicated group continues to be the most active participant in returning to the house for answers. It is this group that has graciously accepted an extensive role in this site, and we are extremely fortunate and proud to have them along.

Haunted Voices, a website dedicated to the teaching, learning and research of EVP (electric voice phenomenon) began to investigate the house in February of 2005. They have dedicated much time and research to the case through three investigations.

Discovery Channel aired a media segment of their series A Haunting. Their episode of  the Sallie’s House, premiered on August 17th of 2006, depicting this location and the experiences we and others had within its walls. Although we had anticipated this television presentation as being the closest to the actual experiences, the story told did not depict details of the story as well as we had hoped. In addition, as with so many other shows, it was more of a recap of events when we lived in the house.

I have to say, the best availability for the facts of this haunting have been through radio interviews. Through them callers can ask questions as well as submit queries through online forums. Radio interviews have included APSR Paranormal Radio, WCAN radio hosted by the Rhode Island Demonic Disturbances Association (RIDDIA), and most recently Western New York Paranormal radio (WNYParanormal). We can often be heard live or on podcasts aired on services such as BlogTalk Radio, Ztalk and others.

With a few reputable executives out there we did also interview with The Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story who aired their version of our story on July 8th, 2008. Paranormal Witness, based out of the UK was a very pleasant experience and their version of our experiences aired as The Harpy on November 13, 2013, depicting our story.

In January of 2015, and after 7 years avoiding the house. Tony actually went back with Zak Baggins of The Ghost Adventurers and the rest of their investigative team. Not long after entering the house the attacks on Tony began again and were witnessed by the entire team and film crew.

To date, and with the exception of the radio interviews, there are a few websites furnishing the results of their own investigations, but there is very little in the media representing the research, theories or experiences of individuals or groups within the last eight years.

With this website, we hope to change what is available to the public and continue to offer an invitation to all who have experienced the house.

Now available -Radio Interviews with Tony and Debra Pickman and EVP expert, Renae Leiker

Are you interested in the interviews that you missed; Through the Veil with Gabreael, The TAPS family, Spiritchasing Ladies? Many of them are available on the radio interview page.

These interviews discuss multiple personal experiences and how very different Tony’s and my experiences were. We also talk about the details of such experiences which, although are detailed within these webpages, are in fact hard to convey through words alone.

We also speak about our investigation efforts  and attacks since moving out and our theories about the dangers of the house.

Listening to these shows will give you a more detailed understanding of the situations and activity that came about during multiple investigations with a various number of groups. The last of which drove us out never to return again.

About Debra Pickman

After living in an extremely haunted location with my husband who was physically and mentally brutalized by an unseen force my husband and I became experienced investigators applying our knowledge to other locations. We continue to speak at events, conferences and on radio shows around the world. Contact me at

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