haunted house

Sauer Castle Property – Haunted House of Kansas City ~ On the Auction Block

Sauer Castle, Kansas City, Kansas

UPDATE: The Sauer Castle Haunted House of Kansas City has its surrounding 11 acres currently up for auction according to a posting on the Unified Government’s website , as well as the house itself, in separate auctions. The properties were owned by Mr. Lopp, a descendant of the original Sauer family. They have been on the government website for a while now with no auction date or starting bid, so  we are unable to provide that information. The auction was scheduled for April 2020, but was delayed due to COVID. The total tax amount due as of September 2020 was $7,737.61, but that will continue to accrue until a sale is finalized. So how about being a close neighbor of the haunted castle?


Rounding a curve on a winding, residential street, a red brick structure looms over the landscape. Set behind long lengths of chainlink fence, one gets a sense of foreboding as if the carved lions framing the doorway and the windows in the tower are watching us. It is the Sauer Castle.

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Sauer Family

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 3.55.34 PMAnton Sauer came to the United States from Austria with his wife Francesca and five children in the 1860s. They first moved to New York City, but after Francesca died in 1868 and Anton’s tuberculosis worsened, he relocated to Kansas City.  There he remarried, had more children (total of 12) and built his c.1871 mansion, the Sauer Castle.

The Mansion

Although the architect is not documented, it is thought that Asa Beebe Cross (1826-1894), whose work includes the Vaile Mansion and Gillis Opera House, may have designed the home. In any event, the first structure constructed built on the property was said to be a barn to house the materials for the massive house project.

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 4.00.47 PMThe now deserted mansion originally stood on 63 manicured acres with room for Anton’s vineyard, a winery, bakery and pergola for outdoor dining. He spared no expense in the interior of his opulent home, either. Ornate walnut doors with sandstone lions on either side lead one into a large foyer with a stunning staircase made with Rosewood spindles.

Fourteen-foot ceilings, 12-foot windows and marble fireplaces graced the home. A wine cellar lay underneath and a music room sat adjacent to the parlor which had patterned wood floors covered with rich rugs.

The dining room walls were hung with paintings of religious figures, and a system of bells on wires could be rung from every room in the house to call for the servants.

Bedrooms were on the second floor, and the Sauer Mansion was one of the first homes in Kansas City to have running water. The servants quarters and children’s classroom was on the third floor, as was the entrance to the tower which afforded a spectacular view.

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The parlor.

The Lore

Anton chose the location of his home because it reminded him of this hometown along the Rhine River in the Swiss Alps. With views of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, it was the ideal setting for his large family. Little did he realize, however, that the house was built smack in the middle of what was once the Shawnee Indian trail. That trail later became part of the old Santa Fe Trail through which many wagons passed on their journey west.

In part due to traumatic events in the house, and partly due to its construction on ground where the Shawnee and settlers experienced hardships and adversity, some say the property is a hotbed of paranormal activity. Sadly, the house appeared to bring bad luck to its inhabitants.

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 3.42.42 PMAfter Anton died, his wife and daughters continued to live in the castle. But after Anton’s infant great-granddaughter tragically drowned in the pool, two people committed suicide and several deaths of natural causes occurred in the house, rumors were sparked that the house was haunted. Disembodied voices were reported, including shouting, laughing and crying, while doors were known to open and slam shut on their own. People also indicated a creepy feeling of being watched and reported objects shaking violently.

Anton’s daughter, Eva Sauer, with her family.



The Decline

Sauer CastleThe Sauer family, however, kept residence in this once-gorgeous Italian-style Villa for five generations until 1954. After they sold it, the next owner, Paul Berry, only lived in a small section of the house. He often resorted to fighting vandals, thieves and curious trespassers off the property with his fierce three-legged dog.

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 10.47.33 AMWhen Paul Berry died in 1985, the house was already in serious disrepair, but it fell into even more neglect and disintegration during the three years it lay vacant.

Carl Lopp, a descendent of Anton Sauer and New York socialite, purchased the home in 1988. He had plans of converting the mansion into a bed and breakfast, but as an absentee owner, the roof began to leak and windows were broken. You would think that as a descendent, Loop would have at least maintained the home. Historical societies have even offered to fix it up or buy it and put the family name on it, but Loop was unwilling.

Carl Lopp

The years after Carl Lopp purchased the mansion saw the greatest deterioration of the home. He allowed no one inside the home, but the exterior’s broken windows, falling-down iron work and unkempt grounds could be seen from the street.  In 1996, the “caretaker” was charged with stealing $30,000 worth of items from inside the house, including the crystal chandeliers. Soon after, Wyandotte County slapped an “unfit for habitation” notice on the home, and Carl Loop was found guilty of two housing court violations. His probation terms included that he pay the back taxes and come up with a plan to restore the mansion. A bench warrant was issued when he failed to do so.

Lopp visited Kansas City in 1997 for this mother’s funeral and was promptly arrested. His lawyer wrangled an appeal, however, arguing that Lopp still was initiating plans to restore the home. Lopp continued to play cat and mouse with the city/county for many years. Whenever the home was up for auction for back taxes, he would wait until the last minute to pay the taxes. For 20 years, Lopp and his lawyers insisted he had plans to restore the home, but nothing ever came of it.

The structure now lies abandoned and derelict.  Apparently, the ghost stories have kept trespassers continuing to vandalize the house, and the insurance company will not cover the expenses.

The parlor as it looked in 2007


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