Since I released “Lethal Distraction – A Pierogies & Pumps Mystery Novella” this week, I thought it would be fun to find a newsroom with a tendency towards the paranormal.
As luck would have it, The Wichita Eagle ran an article in their paper in April 2017, entitled “Could that eerie chill at The Eagle be the ghosts of reporters past?”
The article featured a group of paranormal investigators called KS White Noise Paranormal who brought their gear and hunkered down for a night at the 4-story building.
The claims that had been made from the reporters and newspaper people had been varied and strange:
Elevator doors opening unexpectedly with no one getting on or off.
The sound of wind whooshing through the building.
Bangs and clunks heard in other parts of the building.
Sudden chills and odd smells permeating certain floors.
But the oddest phenomenon has to do with a certain Fedora.
Robyn Garrison remembers the night she was working second shift at The Eagle when she encountered a man wearing a trench coat and a fedora on the back elevator on the east side of the building.
She asked whether he was going to the third floor.
“He was already on the elevator, standing in the corner,” said Garrison, who worked at The Eagle from 1999 to 2011 in special publications. “He smiled and nodded. I hit 3, and (the elevator) went to the third-floor break room. I got off, but he wasn’t there.”
A few months later, Garrison said, she was using one of the vending machines on the third floor and glanced up, seeing the same man’s reflection in the newsroom cafeteria’s windows.
Jennifer Lacy, who worked at The Eagle from 1999 to 2008, remembers a similar experience with the man in the trench coat and fedora.
She was walking down the first-floor hallway with a co-worker to the back elevator.
She glanced up and saw the elevator’s door was partly open, but it closed just before she arrived. That’s when she saw him.
She hit the elevator button. A moment later, the door opened.
No one was there.
“I looked at her, she looked at me, and I asked, ‘Did you see someone standing there?’ ” Lacy said. “We both said, ‘A man on the elevator wearing a long trench coat and fedora?’ ”
Could it have been the ghostly apparition of a long-ago employee?
Longtime Eagle employees have an idea who it might be.
Gary Karr, who has worked in The Eagle’s sports department for 53-plus years, remembers that Sam Keifner, who used to be an assistant managing editor of The Beacon from the 1950s through the early 1970s, was assigned to work the comics section late in his career.
Keifner would daily wear a trench coat and fedora and smoke a pipe, Karr said.