Ms. Ramirez and her sister, Beth Cooper, founded the tours five years ago as part of a building interest in haunted places. They now operate 11 tours in nine cities, including Atchison, Kansas City, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, Holton and Manhattan.
Finding the haunted locations is as easy as going door to door, she says.
“I ask, ‘Hey, do you have any ghosts in the building?’” Ms. Ramirez explains. “They either say ‘Absolutely not, get out of here,’ or they tell me stories.”
After the stories are collected, they do in-depth research to try to discover why a ghost would be there, she says, usually uncovering interesting historical facts that have happened in the building. Then, after putting the story and history together, they call in the Paranormal Research Investigators (PRI) out of Topeka, Kan. If the haunting is confirmed, it’s added to the tour.
“Leavenworth has been a very interesting city to investigate, in that some of the evidence obtained has been remarkable,” says Nick Spantgos, founder of PRI. He says his group is a scientific research team with members that include a physician, pharmacist, nurse, machine fabricators and a mechanic. With this diversity, they are able to get to the bottom of what really occurs at a location. In the case of the Santa Fe Depot Diner, some of the claims were debunked, but there was plenty of proof, including recordings of two disembodied voices, to call it haunted. It is one of nine locations visitors see on the Leavenworth tour. The bus tour takes about two hours and includes stops for getting out at some of the locations.
“The way we put it together, it’s a combination of ghost stories and history,” Ms. Ramirez says. “And if we can get some paranormal evidence, that just makes for one great tour.”
Ticket prices vary depending on the location. For Leavenworth, they are $19.50 per person, age 12 and older. Tours run year round, with three scheduled in October. Charter tours also can be arranged. For more information, or to order tickets online, visit http://paranormaladventuresusa.com/kansas or call (785) 383-2925.
Lifestyles reporter Sylvia Anderson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.