A haunted brothel in Galena, Kansas? - KOAM TV 7

A haunted brothel in Galena, Kansas?

Updated March 13, 2013 by Liz Holliday:  Some say ghost sightings and paranormal activities are not uncommon in an old bordello in Galena, Kansas.

But now thanks to renovations from a new owner the building with a murderous past will host a new grand opening on Saturday.

From creeking stairways, weird shadows, even scratching visitors, Russell Keeler says he's seen it all in what he calls the Galena Murder House, and people travel from all over to see the paranormal activities for themselves.

"I've been personally slapped, not so much the slap-slap, but the sensation as if I was slapped and we were able to document it on the meters as well as an EVP, which is an electronic voice phenomenon," says Russell Keeler of Bordello House Promotions.

The house received national attention in 1897 during the trial of Mrs. Charles Staffleback and her sons for killing an unknown amount of lodgers in her 'bordello' and disposed of the bodies in a mine shaft outside of the home.

"Part legend probably, it's a mix of everything, but certainly on Route 66 in particular and in Galena we felt like this was really a key piece of property," says Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby.

The house was almost condemned in 2012 but a new owner and renovation is giving a new life for ghosts tours, weddings, even having those brave enough pay to spend the night.

"Have I seen anything like a ghost or anything - have I been attacked and scratched? No, I haven't," says Mayor Oglesby.  "But there are people who came in here and they swear, and I'm talking highly educated people come out of here and say 'I ain't going back in, there's something in there.'" 

For those with any doubts Russell suggests just coming on by and seeing for themselves.

"Yeah, I've had to escort people out because they were too paranoid to walk down the stairs and go down on their own so yeah, people who don't believe in it, come stay the night," says Keeler.

Russell says the renovations on the old boarding house should be complete within 30 to 60 days and has already received multiple requests for weddings.

The bordello will host a grand opening Saturday with a tour of the house.  Special guests from Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab will be there and activities will also include visits to other active sites in the area.


Reported October 28, 2011 by Angela Hartman:  An old house in Galena, Kansas is rich in history and some say it's haunted.

On the corner of Main Street in Galena stands the old Bordello House.  Nancy Steffleback ran a brothel out of the house in the late 1800's.

The story goes Steffleback would lure miners in for a good time and kill some of them for their money.

Larry Forney is a paranormal investigator and earlier this week he led us on a tour of the home.  Forney uses an electromagnetic-field meter, which he said is an indication that spirits are present.

The equipment lit up the second we walked through the door.

As we headed up the stairs Forney told us one man's experience with the second floor.

"He felt something burning on his back, and on his throat, and Rusty looked at his throat and he had scratches going across his throat."

We then headed what Forney calls the most active room in the house.

"It's like a heavy feeling.  This is the one room that I think someone was murdered in."

As we walked through the house you could almost feel the presence of the spirits, and although their voices were not heard, evidence can be found with electronic voice phenomenon's.

Forney used an EVP recorder to detect any voices.

It's the thrill of the hunt that keeps Forney and his crew in contact with the paranormal.

"You can't see something there, but you can feel the feeling, you catch it on the recordings, it's just something we like doing," Forney said.

Forney said spirits are everywhere and tapping into them is a way of diminishing fear of the unknown.

Legend has it that money from the murdered miners is still hidden at the Bordello House.

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