The Haunting: Rockhill Tennis Club


One of my grade school classmates always had wonderful Halloween parties.  In the early years, we bobbed for apples, put our fingers into bowls of peeled grapes and spaghetti...the typical kind of fare.  But we turned 12 and everything got fancy - and seriously spooky.  Instead of her house, her parents rented out the Rockhill Tennis Club, an old mansion that industrialist and Kansas City Star founder William Rockhill Nelson built for his daughter at the turn of the century (and supposedly the oldest tennis club west of the Mississippi).  The daughter died young and legend has it that she haunts that old house.  After hearing the stories of doors mysteriously closing and other haunting tales, we all filed into a dark, candle lit room and did our best to conjure Ms. Laura Nelson Kirkwood.  "Oh, Laura...show us a sign!...Let us know that you're with us!," Brooke's dad chanted as we echoed in muffled whispers.  "Show us a sign!" All of a sudden, without the slightest breeze in this closed, dark room...the candles all went out.  Poof!  Surely, some trick, I thought!  Brooke's dad continued...something shook the table (probably his knee, I thought, despite the growing fear in his voice).  He continues..."Thank you for that sign, Laura...can you do something else?"  Suddenly, the candles all came ablaze!  Simultaneously!  "JESUS @#$@%#$ CHRIST!!!!!!!!" her dad yelled.  I was all too used to my father's swearing-laden road rage that would only emerge whenever I had friends in the car, but other people's parents just weren't that crass.  This had to be real!!!

2 comments

  1. Hollister - A quick update. The Rockhill Tennis Club is still a charming spot and many neighborhood families enjoy its facilities. It has one of the loveliest pools in town. Anyway, the Nelson owns the property and building and since the addition they are moving forward with plans to take back the property and use the space for offices. Totally within their rights, but quite a loss. Lawsuits and protests ensued, so we'll see how it turns out.

  2. Oh...that's so, so sad!!!! Offices!?!?!