Construction of the mansion was completed on October 12, 1881 for Col. Harvey and Sophia Vaile. The Kansas City Times called the mansion “The most princely house and most comfortable home in the entire west”. Soon after, the Vailes had a mural painted on their master bedroom ceiling that featured a topless female and were shunned by the local Victorian community. In 1882, Col. Vaile was forced away to stand trial in New York on charges of defrauding the federal government. Sophia fell into a depression while alone at home, shunned by the community and battling depression, stomach cancer, and jaundice.
On February 14, 1883, Sophia was found dead in her bedroom, dying from an apparent overdose of morphine pills. It is unknown whether this was an intentional suicide or an accident. June 4, 1894, Col. Vaile passed away in the home, having never recovered from a stroke the previous month. In 1906, the Vaile Mansion was purchased for $1 by Carey May Carroll, who attempted to use the mansion as the Vaile Inn and began to sell bottled water labeled “Vaile Pure Spring Water”, which contained trace amounts of lithium. In 1909, Dr. Charles Sinclaire Elliot purchased a 1/2 interest in the estate with plans to use the mansion as the Vaile Sanitarium. The Sanitarium became an established facility in 1911. Some time in the 1950’s the sanitarium was converted to The Cable Nursing Home or The Cable Resting home for the elderly. The home was closed in 1960 and later donated to the Vaile Victorian Society in 1983 when restoration began and it now operates as a historical museum during the day.
Myths and local lore have surrounded the mansion for many years, including reports of seeing a woman in white wandering the grounds and peering out of the windows of the mansion (thought to be Sophia). It is believed that Sophia is the primary spirit in the mansion and that she resides mostly on the 2nd floor in and around the bedroom where she passed.
The spirit of a young man, thought to be a sanitarium patient, is seen and heard wandering a room on the 3rd floor, where it is believed he lived his entire life until his passing.
There is also the spirit of an angry young man that has been seen as a full bodied apparition as well as being heard through disembodied voices and EVPs, in the basement.
Reports of shadow figures run rampant throughout the mansion, disembodied voices of past residents can be heard inside, and figures climbing and descending the main staircase in the house are all common reports.
The spirits of this house are awakening with each paranormal investigation that occurs and we are learning more and more about who they are, why they are there, and what they want with the living. This is truly a place you have to experience for yourself!