James and Elizabeth Collins, Morris Cohen, first Jewish mayor of Fort Scott, and Dr. John D. Hunter and his wife Rena were among the residents of a stately Victorian home on Crawford Street in Fort Scott.

James and Elizabeth Collins, Morris Cohen, first Jewish mayor of Fort Scott, and Dr. John D. Hunter and his wife Rena were among the residents of a stately Victorian home on Crawford Street in Fort Scott.

They’re all deceased now, of course, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve moved on, according to local investigators in the paranormal. In fact, the house has been proclaimed by some as one of the most haunted spots in southeast Kansas.

Crystal Tracey-Doucet and husband Steve Doucet, the current and very much alive owners, take all this in their stride. At least, they do now. It was a little different at first, when they moved from Phoenix, Ariz., to Fort Scott in May 2009.

“The house pulled me here,” Tracey-Doucet said.

The couple immediately started hearing footsteps in the middle of the night, the sound of something heavy being dragged around in an unfurnished upstairs bedroom and the voices of a man and woman upstairs when they were the only people in the house.

“That first night, Steve wanted to leave,” Tracey-Doucet said. “I said, ‘Baby, there ain’t nowhere to go.’ In other words, we are staying.”

“I don’t remember getting a full night’s sleep in this house,” Doucet said in a 2010 interview.
However, the family dog, Memphis, has adjusted just fine.

“A lot of times we see or hear him playing with something we can’t see,” Tracey-Doucet said.

As word of the home’s possibly paranormal activities spread, the couple permitted investigators to come in, including Joey Ketcham, Pittsburg, who uses high technology to detect and record any traces of sounds or energies that might have a paranormal explanation.

“The first time I was there I heard footsteps, got vibrations on the floor and got a lot of EVP (electronic voice phenomena),” Ketcham said. “The second time, there were more footsteps. We were in the kitchen and a cold draft seemed to encircle the table, but it could have come through the windows.”

He describes himself as a skeptic who always checks to see if there might be a mundane explanation for the phenomena he investigates.

Ketcham made his most recent visits to the Crawford Street House on Oct. 19 and 26. His recorder was on, and he later found some EVP activity, including sounds that he believes may be a man saying “Help me” or “Can you help me,” and another saying “Company here,” possibly referring to the Ketcham and the people with him.

“We’re finding multiple voices here, and we recognize some, like Elizabeth Collins,” Tracey-Doucet said.

Collins was born in England, and some recordings seem to be of a female voice with an English accent.

There was also a session with a flashlight that had been twisted so that a tap could make it go on or off. This is a method of possible communication with ghosts or spirits, and a previous session seemed to yield results.

“I’m not 100 percent sold on the flashlights,” Ketcham said. “Basically, you’re taking a piece of malfunctioning equipment and calling it evidence.”

But he’s intrigued by the house, as are others. Tracey-Doucet and her husband have been allowing some tours of their property, limited to those 16 and older.

“I would like to work with young people, because I believe they’re more open to these experiences,” Tracey-Doucet said.

She herself is very open to others who may  be sharing her home.

“I speak to them very respectfully and knowing names is very big with me so I can address them properly,” she said. “I give them the benefit of the doubt, the way I would with someone who’s living.”

Anyone wishing additional information about the house and possible tours may visit hauntedfortscott.com.