The Gargoyle House – Atchison, KS


The Gargoyle House is located at 819 N. 4th Street in Atchison, Kansas, near the muddy banks of the Missouri River. The Gargoyle Home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 1974.

Built in 1884-1885 by Balie Peter “B.P.” Waggener, a prominent attorney with the Missouri Pacific Railway Company for the State of Kansas, the Waggener House, infamously named “The Gargoyle House,” is believed to be one of the most known haunted houses in the town of Atchison, Kansas.

The Waggener House is so called for the gargoyles adorning the roof of the massive brick mansion in the town’s Historic District. Legend reports that when one of the former owners attempted to remove the hideous supernatural creatures, he fell to his death down a staircase.

Some people believe that B.P. Waggener’s wealth and success was the product of a deal he made with the Devil. And that the Gargoyles perched on the roof of the mansion are the symbols of the unholy covenant he made with the Prince of Darkness.

In reality, Waggener was a very generous and philanthropic man who was a well known Mason, being a Knight Templar and 32nd Degree member of the Scottish Rite as well as a Shrine member.


Historically, Gargoyles were fantastic animals placed on the roofs of buildings to ward away evil spirits, as on the great cathedrals of Europe. Paul and Marsha Adair, the current owners explained that the gruesome gargoyles on their roof are Griffins, who watch over their property to stave off evil forces as originally intended by B.P. Waggener when he installed the metal Griffins on his new home.

You can see the Gargoyle House in the Historic Homes District via a Streetcar Shuttle that conducts a “Haunted Tour” from September and October of all the places in Atchison attributed with the supernatural. Atchinson, Kansas is known as “The Most Haunted City in Kansas,” as well as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.

When the Travel Channel did a segment about haunted Atchison, Kansas, two paranormal investigator, using special equipment, claimed to have felt the presence of ghosts within the Gargoyle House.

NOTE: Within Waggener’s House, he amassed the largest legal library in the state of Kansas and one of the biggest in all the country, containing approximately 10,000 volumes.

The Washington National Cathedral, which has 100 gargoyles on it, hosts The Gargoyle’s Den, where kids aged 6-12 can get a better understanding of Cathedral’s construction with a hands-on arts and crafts program. Kids can try their hand at carving a real stone gargoyle and even make one out of modeling clay to take home.

The Gargoyle House
819 N. 4th Street
Atchison, KS 66002

Gargoyle House (Article)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Private Residences, Statues and Carvings

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