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An Old Cowtown Museum Ghost Story

Gunslingers, sarsaparilla, and history: that’s what Old Cowtown Museum is known for. Cowtown is a wonderful insight to life during the early days of the frontier. With buildings ranging from an old-timey saloon to a blacksmith, who wouldn’t want to stop by? Gunfight recreations and vintage baseball games are events that keep crowds coming back. There’s no way it’s haunted, though, right?

Grab your popcorn and settle in for a little ghost story...

Pssst, don't sweat too much, though. This is a fictional story and not based on real incidents at Cowtown.

It all starts with a visit to Cowtown

Empire Hall Cowntown

You decide to take the trip to the museum: after all, Wichita was home to the famous cowboys, Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. Old Cowtown Museum is home itself to more than 10,000 authentic artifacts that date from 1865-1880. With Wichita already celebrating its heritage by proudly displaying the Wichita Flag everywhere, you want to dive right into Wichita history.

You make your way along the trail, taking you right into the heart of Cowtown and realize you’ve definitely taken a step back in time. Children playing with bows and arrows are to your left, people practicing their roping skills to your right, and off to the side you see the Murdock House. While the Murdock House does date back to 1869, you don’t get any haunting chills down your spine. Up ahead you notice people coming and going to the different exhibits. Excited by being surrounded by such historic buildings, you make your way to the famous Murdock House on the left.

The Murdock House

The Murdock House

Moving the iron fence aside, you step forward towards the Murdock House. Looking up towards the window, you think you see a dark silhouette dart out of view. “Probably a tree branch shadow,” you think to yourself, before stepping up to open the front door. The air immediately drops in temperature as you walk through, making your hair stand on end. “That’s just the air conditioner,” you tell yourself as you stroll through the entryway.

Marveling at the beauty of the house, you step towards the parlor, but that’s when you see it again. A dark silhouette out of the corner of your eye. Uncertain, you turn your head slowly, but it’s still there standing at the end of the hallway, staring back at you. Suddenly, it lurches off to the left, causing the lamp it was standing near to go out. Terrified, you stand frozen in fear. The air tightens, making it harder and harder to breathe. “GET OUT!” A deep voice commands; you turn and run, hightailing it out of there. You can hear your feet pounding on steps and down onto the sidewalk as you make your way as far as possible from whatever that was.

Refuge at the Barn

Cowtown Farm

Where there’s a farm, there’s farm equipment, and where there’s farm equipment, there’s at least something to defend yourself with. You run past all the shops, and you still don’t see any other signs of life. You pick up the pace, not daring to look back over your shoulder. You pass by Empire Hall, but looking in, you see that dark figure again. Startled, you jump back, then take off at a full sprint towards the farm.

It’s a straight shot down the road, but you decide to quickly dart into the Smith House. You shut the door behind you, and hope that this is all a just a bad dream. Looking around for anything to barricade the door with, you spot the table in the next room. Moving towards it, you’re startled by seeing the lamp on the shelf nearby fly off the wall and shatter on the ground. “Nope!” You scream as you turn around, and you fling the door open and run straight for the barn.

The barn has to have a pitchfork of some kindyou start looking for whatever you can find. The hairs go up on the back of your neck as you’re searching, and you get that strange sensation that someone is right behind you. Before you can turn around, the back of your hair is pulled backward, knocking you off your feet to the ground. Scrambling to get up, you know there’s no way out other than to escape. You sprint towards the horses, preparing mentally to ride one right out there. You approach a brown horse and jump right on it. 

There’s no doubt in your mind: Old Cowtown is haunted.



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