NIGHT AT THE VAILE MANSION
NEXT AVAILABLE DATE: AUGUST 10, 2019
9:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Although closed to all paranormal investigations for many years because of a bad psychic experience, American Hauntings is taking you back behind the locked doors of the notorious Vaile Mansion in Independence, Missouri – a place so haunted that ghost hunters fled from the mansion, refusing to return! If you think you’re brave enough to join is, get signed up now because we have VERY limited spots for this event!
The Vaile Mansion was built for Colonel Harvey Merrick Vaile and his wife, Sophia, beginning in 1871 – both of them would die within the walls, their lives shattered by scandal.
Colonel Vaile was born in Vermont in 1831. He graduated with a law degree from the University of Louisville and moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1859, before finally settling in Independence in 1870. An abolitionist with a passion for politics, he was among the founders of the Republican Party in Jackson County. Vaile carefully built his fortune by investing in several business ventures, primarily interests the construction of the Erie Canal. He was also part-owner and operator of Star Mail Routes, which had the rights to the route to Santa Fe. It would be this venture that led to his downfall.
The Vailes became prominent in Independence social circles and was well-received in the business community. His stature in town was so great that he “desired a magnificent residence as an outward expression of his wealth.” Construction began on the mansion in 1871 and lasted for 10 years. It was finally completed in 1881 at a cost of $3-4 million in today’s money. It was the showplace of Jackson County, and offered "lavish hospitality to notables of the 1880s and 1890s including many U.S. Senators and congressional representatives."
But that was when things started to go bad. In the early 1880s Vaile was involved in a scandal in regards to his Star Mail company. Charged with defrauding the government, he faced two trials, in 1882 and 1883. Both of them ended in a not guilty verdict, but Vaile had to spend more than $100,000 in trial expenses.
Legend has it that Sophia Vaile, left behind to face the embarrassment of the trials, was mortified by the accusations against her husband. After a trip to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with stomach cancer, she committed suicide by taking an overdose of morphine. She died in the house while Colonel Vaile was still in Washington, D.C.
Colonel Vaile occupied the mansion until his death in 1895. Local stories claimed that he became eccentric and reclusive during the last years of his life. This might explain the legend that when Sophia died, Colonel Vaile could not bear to be without her, so he buried her on the estate in a glass-topped coffin so that he could look on her face. However, neighborhood protests finally forced him to give his wife a more conventional burial. As far as we know, there’s no truth to this story – but it explains how the mansion became a source for strange stories and haunting tales.
After Vaile’s death, the court battle over his estate lasted for five years. Eventually, the house was sold and was turned into an inn for a time and then a private asylum and sanitarium. After that, a mineral water company, Vaile Pure Water Co., operated there for many years before it was turned into a rest home. Acquired by Roger and Mary Mildred DeWitt in the 1960s, the home was saved from destruction. It’s been preserved by a non-profit group since 1983.
Who are the ghosts that linger here?
Many believe the main ghost is Sophia Vaile, who committed suicide in the house in 1883. Her cancer diagnosis – combined with her shame over her husband’s indictments – convinced her that she could no longer live. The stories say that her spirit has been seen peering out the windows of the house on occasion.
But what of the other hauntings? What happened to cause the house to be closed to paranormal investigations for over a decade? No one will reveal the details behind that event, but it caused such trauma for the staff that they refused to open the doors to groups – until now.
This is your chance to experience the disembodied footsteps, lights that turn on and off, unexplained sounds, strange voices, eerie photos and recordings that others have experienced. But be warned – the house was closed because of a “psychic terror” that caused everyone to flee the place.
This is an event not for the faint of heart.