In 2010, as I was looking for places to investigate, I came across the website for the Sallie House. So I emailed Debra Pickman and asked her some general questions about the house and the haunting. In the email, I told Deb that I was interested in investigating the house. I also explained to her that I had a similar experience after I came home from an investigation at the Villisca Axe Murder House in Iowa.
I received an email reply from Debra. To my surprise, I found out that her husband and she had become paranormal investigators after their experiences in the Sallie House and that they too had investigated the Villisca House. They also had some unusual and negative things occur to them after their investigation. Debra also explained to me a theory they have that the negative presence that haunts the Sallie House may have a connection to or even be the same presence that haunts the Villisca House. I will elaborate on this more as the chapter progresses.
I had not been in contact with Debra Pickman after our original email conversations in 2010 until May of 2012. I was scanning the channels on my TV trying to find something interesting to watch, when I came across an old episode of the TV series A Haunting. It turned out to be the episode about the Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas.
The Sallie House story is one of those stories to which you can relate and feel for the victims of the house. Here was this newlywed couple who had just moved into their first house together, soon expecting their first child, and they were blindsided by an unseen force that completely disrupted their lives.
As I was watching Tony and Debra Pickman being interviewed on the show, I had a strange feeling that I knew them. Sure I had communicated with Debra through email, but this was a feeling of personally knowing them. I am not sure what is was, maybe it was due to how down to earth and genuine that they were during the interview. But little did I realize that soon I would be sitting at their dining room table discussing the haunting and having my own adventure with the Sallie House in just a few short weeks.
After watching the show, I knew that I had to investigate the house and see if I could experience any of the unusual activity for myself. I contacted my friend and fellow Urban Paranormal investigator Jay Nandi to see if he would be interested in investigating one of the most documented and reportedly haunted locations in the United States. His answer was a resounding, “Yes!”
It only took a couple of Google searches and a few minutes of going through websites until I found the name and phone number of the owner of the property. So I called the number and after a few rings, a man answered. I explained to him who I was and that I was looking for the owner of a haunted house in Atchison called the Sallie House. He said, “Well, you’re speaking to him.” I explained that I was a paranormal investigator and was calling to obtain his permission to conduct an investigation at the house. “Well,” he said, “before I agree to anything, how long have you been an investigator? This house is not like a lot of other haunted places and I don’t normally just let anyone investigate the house.”
I explained to him that I have been a paranormal investigator for nine years and before that was a private investigator for over ten years. I went on to explain that I have conducted close to three hundred investigations and that my team conducts our investigations in a discrete and professional manner.
He then asked, “Do you play with Ouija boards or ever conduct satanic rituals in your investigations?”
“No way,” I said. I explained how I believe that things like that are risky and that anything to do with Satanism is against my person spiritual beliefs.
“Good,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to hear.” He went on to explain that the house has a bad presence there and that doing things like provoking, playing with Ouija boards, and conducting Satanic rituals can stir up things best left alone. Plus, he wanted to make sure that I knew what I might be getting myself into. I explained that I was familiar with the history of the house and also had my own experience with a negative house in Iowa. After we conversed for a few minutes, I think the owner realized that I was a legitimate paranormal investigator and would conduct my investigation in a professional manner. “Well then,” he said, “when you would like to come to investigate?”
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