Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Albino Woman of Topeka

I'm not a believer in ghosts, but as Halloween approached I thought it would be of interest to readers to see some of the areas ghost stories and haunted attractions. There are several for Topeka. In fact the organizers of the Ghost tours here in Topeka, split their tours into Downtown, West Topeka and North Topeka.  That means to see all three areas, one would have to take and pay for three separate tours.  None of the tours are handicapped accessible, without special request being made ahead of time.  With that said, lets take a look at some of the stories from around town.

Rochester Cemetery

Perhaps one of the widest spread stories or legends around Topeka is that of the Albino lady and the Rochester Cemetery.

According to the Legend, The Albino woman, is said to haunt various locations all around Topeka, but originated in Rochester Cemetery.

Some say she is a living person, just that she cannot be out in the daylight and so wanders at night. Some on the internet claim to know who she is and where she lives. Others say that she used to be alive, and was indeed an albino woman who visited a grave each night in Rochester Cemetery but has since died, and having passed away her spirit now visits there nightly as she did in life.

The “Albino Lady“, who was in fact a real woman, lived in the area near the cemetery. She was often seen at night prior to her death, walking her dog. She was called the “Albino Lady” because she had characteristics that mimic those of a health condition called “Albinism” which effects the amount of melanin the body produces. Those that have Albinism are likely to have skin, eyes, and hair that are ghostly white in color.

Being labeled as an outcast because she was different from others, she rarely spoke to anyone and most that saw her were afraid of her or teased her. Having such sensitive skin due to a possible health condition, she may have had to limit her exposure to the sun, which may explain her walking her dog at night.
- Examiner.com
The Kansas State Historical Society recants the story this way:
A more recent haunting and one of Topeka's best-known ghost stories has its roots in the life of an albino woman who wandered her north Topeka neighborhood at night and glared at children on their way to school during the day. After the woman died in 1963, residents began reporting a glowing white female figure walking in the area after dark.

Often the sightings were near Rochester Cemetery where the woman was buried. Several employees of the nearby Goodyear tire factory claimed to see her regularly, and some neighbors saw the apparition as often as once a week.

The ghost's route was so regular that one resident began watching for it as it strolled across his lawn on clear nights. Eventually, he claimed, the figure began to pause and gaze at his house as though it wished to speak to him. It began to pass closer and closer to the house until one night it stood at his children's bedroom window and watched them as they slept. The man was badly scared, but the apparition never harmed his children.
- Kansas State Historical Society

Do you have anything to add to this story? Do you have any other stories from Topeka? Add your comments below.

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