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1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum

Location Information

Date: 27 February 2021     Type: Museum

Location Title: 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum

City/State: Kansas City, MO

Investigation Times: 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Status: Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise: 06:53 AM   Sunset: 06:09PM

High Temperature: 63°F   Low Temperature: 33°F

Sky Condition: Cloudy  Wind: SSW at 17 mph

Humidity: 50%   Precipitation: 0%

Lunar Phase: Full   % disk visible: 100%

Pressure: 28.91 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Jennifer Sprague

Becky Ray

Tania Rounds

Lindsey Kadri

Neshela Duke
Madz Moore-Porter

Investigators Notes

Jennifer Sprague, Lead Investigator:  

We started off with a tour of the property with Alana. We then set up equipment for the Raudive diode experiment in the parlor room and other equipment throughout the house. Including various cameras, motion sensors, as well as recorders. 

We started as a group in the parlor for the EVP and Raudive Diode experiment (see the video for explanation). All members stood in a circle and each member repeated a personal question asked by another member that was repeated in a circle. This lasted approximately 20 or so minutes in which an odd thump noise was reported coming from where Becky was standing.

We did two separate EVP sessions in which we focused on serious questions for the first half then a light-hearted banter for the second half. We were curious to see if either session produced EVPs. No EVPs were recorded during this time and nothing was reported in either the regular recorders or the one with the diode.

We then did group EVP sessions in the Children's Room and Mannequin Room with no personal EVP results. However, three investigators reported slight physical ailments all on the top floor. Tania initially reported feeling dizzy on top of the stairs, I reported feeling uneasy upon walking in the children's room for a split second and Neshela reported during the tour feeling queasy upon entering the mannequin room during the pre-tour.

We then broke up into separate groups.

Times of interest reported:

 Tania: 9:42 PM -Pipe smell of tobacco upstairs

 Becky:: 9:05-9:10 PM- Reported hearing someone walking downstairs.

 Becky: 9:30 PM- Becky heard a woman sigh in the Dining Room area.

 10:24-10:26 PM- Lindsey reported an odd blip in her phone as if somebody touched the screen( all phones were in airplane mode to prevent disturbance)

 10:29 PM Loud thumps were reported again in the Parlor by a music box.

 10:44 PM- Another thump was reported by the music box by various investigators.

Also to note, Becky’s camera shut off randomly in the parlor room after our EVP session.

Madz and Jennifer also spent time upstairs sitting in a chair that was reported to have activity. Neither of us felt anything notable.

Other observations: A possible explanation of random sounds were coming from the front door and doorknob as the wind rattled, however, others who reported having experiences with hearing noise said that the noises they heard were not coming from the door. We compared noises to determine if they were similar to reports of individual investigators. 

We will continue to add any other info as it comes in from investigators as this will be an ongoing investigation. 

Overall, it was a nice investigation and we look forward to going back! Big thank you to Alana and the Westport Historical Society for allowing us to come out!  

Location History

As Kansas City’s oldest brick home, the 1855 Harris-Kearney House preserves the history of Westport and the Town of Kansas. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Harris-Kearney House Museum illustrates the lives of the first residents and their contributions to the formation of the greater KC area.

Colonel John and Henrietta Harris migrated from Kentucky in 1832 with their family and settled in the West Port area. Their first home consisted of a four-room log house on a farmstead located on the site of present-day 39th Street and Gillham Road. John prospered and became the proprietor of The Harris House Hotel in West Port. In 1855, John and his wife Henrietta built a two-story, all brick, Greek revival house “on a ridge just east of town.” The grand home was known as the “Mansion House.” The bricks and millwork for the mansion were made on the premises by African American slaves. Originally, Col. Harris’ mansion stood on 5 acres of land at the southwest corner of the intersection of present-day Westport Road and Main Street. The mansion house faced northwest overlooking the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trail (at this juncture, the road carried traffic servicing all three destinations).

​After Col. Harris’ death in 1873, his son-in-law, Col. Charles E. Kearney, moved his family into the house so his wife, Josephine (Harris) Kearney, could care for her mother, Henrietta. The ell or back wing of the house was added to accommodate the Kearney’s five children. Mrs. Harris lived in her “mansion house” until her death in 1881. The Kearney family lived in the house for the next twenty-eight years.

In 1922, the house was moved in two sections to its current location which was, in later years, part of the Gottfried Homung’s vineyard. The Westport Historical Society acquired the home in 1976 and restored the original 1855 portion of the house as a house museum that includes the Westport Society headquarters, a visitor’s center, and a small meeting space. 


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