There’s a haunted house in Kansas City that I like to visit every fall – the place is called Sauer Castle.
Anton Sauer married his wife Francesca in Austria and they later moved to New York in 1858 to be with his family. 10 years later after her death he moved to Kansas City. His business was doing well and he remarried. The mansion was finished 4 years later. Together he and his new wife Mary had five children. After Anton’s death in 1879 she and the children continued to live there but Mary later committed suicide by hanging.
Mary’s daughter Eve married a gentleman in the house but the marriage failed after 18 months. She later remarried a widower named John Perkins. They had 3 children together and their marriage lasted until John committed suicide because of his declining health. One of their sons also had an infant daughter drown in the swimming pool on the west side of the house.
Eve lived in the house with her son and 2 daughters until her death in 1955. Five generations lived in Sauer Castle until Paul Berry, the owner of a home heating oil company, bought it after Eve’s death. He lived there until he died in 1986, the year yours truly was born. Ghost stories began originating in 1930 and so the house was frequently vandalized and trespassed.
Next the house was bought by some other folks hoping to turn it into a bed and breakfast but that didn’t happen. Finally Carl Lopp, the great great grandson of Anton Sauer, bought it in hopes of renovating it and residing there. But that proved difficult and only minor repairs have been made. Lopp’s hired caretaker of the house was charged with felony theft in 1996 for stealing $30,000 worth of artifacts. The house still sits to this day, silent and sinister. I’d love to see the inside but very few photos exist and I’d prefer to stay out of jail. On my annual visits I usually get out and walk around, get as close as I can and enjoy its magnificence. I was also inspired to write a poem which you can check out below.
For Kansas City folks with a curious eye,
may I recommend a house three stories high?
A tricky path to this destination you’ll find,
ascending a dark narrow road ill-designed.
Ripe with decay upon Shawnee Road
is where you’ll find this gloomy abode.
A mansion cursed with death’s delight,
and ghostly apparitions seen at night.
Built by the German-born Anton Sauer,
who crafted his home with an eerie watchtower.
Tall gothic windows lay silent and staring,
which lends to the castle’s sense of despairing.
How sinister is this dwelling of mystery,
fashioned of bricks in the nineteenth century.
High iron gates encompass the grounds,
along with a caretaker who makes frequent rounds.
Closed to the public with hopes of renovation,
since a building so ominous spawns fascination.
So remember to look this autumn season –
a historical treasure remains for a reason.