Larry Wilson’s Sallie House Solo Investigation

By Larry Wilson

Sallie House Exterior, Photo by Larry Wilson

Sallie House Exterior, Photo by Larry Wilson

Prior to investigating, I set up all my equipment and headed over to my friends Tony and Deb Pickmans’ house for a visit… The Pickmans lived in the Sallie House and  experienced one of the most extreme hauntings ever reported. They continue to experience activity and strange events to this day at the home they now live in…(So you can see, that walls and property lines do not prevent evil from following you or trying to play havoc with your life!)

The Pickmans and I have a lot in common. We have both had experiences at the same places (the Villisca Ax Murder House and the Sallie House) …I won’t go into what happened to them at the Villisca house because it is personal and private, but their experiences are very similar to mine… so like my previous visit with them, we chatted for several hours. Then, something really strange happened.

I have seen photos and heard stories of how Tony would be scratched by some unseen force over the years when he both lived in the house and since the family moved out. It seems when others investigate the house or Tony discusses the house with people, things like scratches appear on his body!

Read more about the Sallie House in Echoes from the Grave by Larry Wilson

Read more about the Sallie House in Echoes from the Grave by Larry Wilson

Tony is sensitive and has a true psychic gift… As we were chatting, Tony was giving me some advice about something I needed to do before I went back to the house to investigate…as he was talking he seemed to be uncomfortable and flinched…then he mentioned how he was feeling a burning sensation on his stomach and Chest! So he lifted up his shirt and sure enough, there were scratches… He didn’t seem too concerned, but I noticed while his shirt was lifted more scratches formed right before my eyes! It was amazing! I told Tony that I didn’t want to cause him any grief by investigating the house and he simply said “Oh no problem…this isn’t bad!” Seeing those scratches forming was just more proof to me of the reality of the supernatural.

I left the Pickmans and returned to the Sallie House to start the actual investigation. I took precautions and prepared before entering the house… but when I entered, you could feel the vibe…it was an even stronger and heavier feeling than it had been earlier in the day! Maybe it was simply my senses being on edge or being more alert, entering a now dark house.

It was warm in the house because I had shut all the windows to keep any outside noise from interfering with my audio equipment. All night long, I heard movement in the upstairs and the basement…but when I would go to investigate, nothing was there. It was almost like something was playing games with me. That’s sort of the feeling you get in the house…like it is playing with you, trying to unnerve you!

I had a very strong feeling (and this is merely based on my perceptions I had while in the house… but especially in the basement) that not only was something down there…but that several “somethings” were down there and were always right next to me. (I have been to over 300 places in the last 11 years and no place other than the Villisca House gives off this type of feeling…and I would have to say, the feeling I get at the Villisca House is not as strong…but I will be returning to Villisca next year and will get to compare again!)

Stairs to the Sallie House basement. Photo by Larry Wilson

Stairs to the Sallie House basement. Photo by Larry Wilson

I believe it was Peter James the world famous psychic who identified a “portal or doorway” to the other side in the back corner of the dining room. The owner of the house had pointed it out to me the last time that I was there in 2012… So I used copper rods to test for unusual or strong fields of energy. I wasn’t disappointed as I was able to video tape the rods spinning or helicoptering in opposite directions and then suddenly reversing directions! I checked for high EMF in the area of the portal and there was little to none! But the rods spinning indicated something goes on in that spot.

Two other rooms in the house gave me a feeling that I needed to be “on guard”…and that was Tony and Deb’s old bedroom and the kitchen. I’m not sure what is was about those rooms…but something didn’t feel right.

Most of the night was pretty uneventful…but the house keeps you on your toes…it keeps you on edge and it’s not simply the reputation of the place, there is more to it. You get a feeling that the place is alive and waiting for you to suddenly have a moment of fear that will cause you to doubt not only yourself, but your faith…and when or if you do…that’s when you have a problem! I have a strong faith in God and I always wear a Michael the Arch Angel pendent…I never go anywhere without it…I do this because I believe that “Michael” is God’s “Bouncer” and can handle anything. I had a sense several times during the night that something was trying to get into my head and make me doubt this…but as soon as this would happen, I would take hold of the medallion for reassurance and to show it that it couldn’t break my faith! Because, after all, “Faith” is the only protection from the darkness!

Some probably think that I am a bit reckless going to a place like this by myself. ”There is strength in numbers,” but you are only as strong as the “weakest link,” so when it comes to “faith” (and believe me …the Sallie House is a very good test) I have no doubt that I am protected. So there is no weak link when I go alone…but if others are along and they have fear…then there is a weak link that could lead to problems!

With that being said, I have worked with a lot of very good investigators that I would investigate the Sallie House with…it’s just that something kept telling me that I need to go alone on this one.

I decided to save the area of the house that gave off the worst feeling for last. So from 3am-4:30am I investigated the basement. When you turn the lights off down there, it is darker than dark…it is unnerving and you can sense a presence and a presence that what is there would love to harm you.

I remembered what Sam Draper and Felicia Thurmond messaged me about the basement. I had posted photos of the hole in the wall of the basement…and they both told me that it’s not that wall that I should watch but the wall directly opposite of it.

I set up two cameras and an audio recorder in the basement…I had a surveillance camera pointed towards the basement staircase… and decided to set up my “HD IR video camera” along the wall that Sam and Felicia mentioned and pointed it towards me. There were two metal folding chairs in the basement located against the wall directly across from the basement stairs. I placed an audio recorder on one chair and I sat in the other. I turned off my flashlight and sat it on floor near me…but when I turned my light out in the basement, it was darker than dark with the only source of any light being the reflection of the LCD screen from my camera on the wall. The reflection of light gave me a little reference point in the darkness, and a little comfort as well. (But with all the investigations I have done and have under my belt, this was the most extreme place I had investigated alone…(The basement is not a good place!)

Creepy doll at Sallie House. Photo by Larry Wilson

Creepy doll at Sallie House. Photo by Larry Wilson

I started thinking about how I was sitting alone in the dark, in a place that has been identified by some legit people as probably being “Demonic.” A lot of things run through your mind in a dark and terrifying place like this! I felt that at any moment something would reach out and grab me and then who knows what might happen! (I started thinking how my only way out of the basement was across the room…and if something happened, I would have to get to the stairs to make my exit!!) So to say the least it was creepy down there. But this is the field of endeavor that I chose or maybe more correctly should say “chose me!”

I decide to start asking questions.. and with my first question whatever was there let me know that…”Yes…I’m here!”

The first question that I asked was, “Are there any spirits or beings here…if so say something, make a noise or do something to let me know!”

No sooner than the words “let me know” came out of my mouth, my (HD IR) camera shut down and the only bit of light that I had went to total blackness! My heart jumped into my throat and was pounding because I knew that I still had almost half of a 4 hour battery left…and with my camera battery charged, this had never happened with this camera!

I tried to acted like this didn’t concern me…and reached for my flashlight. I couldn’t find it at first and as I reached for the light I totally expected something to either grab me, do something else, or make another noise!

I finally located my flashlight…but then the next thing that went through my mind was…”If I turn this light on…what might be standing in front of me!” So not knowing what to expect, I hit the button on the flashlight… And… “NOTHING” was there… but I could feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck…I didn’t see anything…but I know something was there…”Could it have been “Belial,” Sallie, or something else…or just my imagination. I don’t scare easy…so I don’t believe it was my imagination.

I walked over to the camera and I closed the LCD screen as it also acts as the power switch for the camera… I then reopened the LCD screen and the camera powered back up and indicated that I still had “117” minutes of “240” minutes of battery remaining. I pressed the “Record” button and the camera started recording and continued to record until the battery drained well over an hour later.

Was this merely camera malfunction or something else? I’m not really sure…I can only say that this never happened before with this camera…But my gut feeling is that something was giving me a sign. Maybe it did as I asked, or maybe it was trying to try and put fear into me…

I packed up about 5am as nothing else happened while at the house… But as many of you know, the last time I was at the Sallie House, the proverbial fun didn’t begin until days and weeks after the investigation…

Larry Wilson is a paranormal investigator and author of the books Chasing Shadows and Echoes from the Grave. He currently resides in Taylorville with his wife Kathy and son Cory.



  1. Jim Stoddard says:

    Excellent report. solo investigations not for the faint hearted.


    • Colette Stoddard says:

      do you have family in NY? I have an uncle jim and over 60 cousins i never met. My fathers name is Gary


  2. My kids and I lived in that house in 1994 or 1995, nothing ever happened, maybe because I had 6 kids and Sallie liked having kids there.. or maybe because it’s all just a farce… I was asked before we moved in if we were afraid of ghosts… lol… I was like, umm no? The owner was the Chief of police in Atchison.. I guess it had not been rented in a long time, we needed a place really bad at the time so we took it. But like I said, nothing happened, we lived there for about 2 years…


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