Molly’s house was right on the corner across the street from the school. 

There were a lot of stories around town about how she had lost her little girl in a tragic accident. 

She hadn’t been seen much since that day. 

The kids often dared their friends to go up and knock on her door. They’d scatter every time they heard a noise within.

And then Becca moved to town. 

Becca was just 6 years old. She didn’t know about the stories. She didn’t know about the dares.

Becca forgot to go to the bathroom before she left for school. Her house was just up the road but she really had to go and didn’t want to be late for her first day.

She saw the house on the corner and ran up as the other kids screamed at her not to go. 

She knocked on the door, hoping desperately that someone was home and that they would let her use their bathroom. She really had to go!

Slowly, Molly opened the door. It had been many years since she’d had a visitor.

“Please ma’am, can I use your bathroom? I really gotta go!” Becca said as she jumped back and forth while holding her legs tight.

Molly opened the door wider and let the little girl in. She closed the door behind them.

The kids on the street ran. They were too afraid to see if Becca would come back out.

At school, no one said a thing. They didn’t know if they would ever see Becca again but they were too afraid of the lady who lived on the corner to say anything.

And then Becca walked into the classroom. Holding her tiny hand as she skipped along, was Molly. Both of them had bright, beaming smiles on their faces. 

Years later, Becca graduated from college. She was the valedictorian. In her speech, she advised the other graduates never to judge a person based on the stories you hear. You never know where you’ll meet that one person who will change your life forever. And then she looked down at Molly, sitting in the front row.

Photo and story ©️Nicole Bandes – All rights reserved.⠀

I hope you enjoyed my little story. I believe all places hold many forgotten stories. This is just one of the many possibilities. This particular story is the result of a real dream I had. I have been looking for just the right building to put with it and I felt this one was perfect.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

And they also hold real histories. Not all of the histories are known, but many are. And I hope to also share those whenever possible.

Vine Street Workhouse Castle was built in the 1890’s to replace an existing workhouse. It was meant to be a place of reformation but sank into corruption. The workhouse was officially closed in 1927 and the building served many purposes over the next several decades.

In 2014, Daniel Edwards sought to revitalize the building that had stood abandoned for more than 50 years. It is, as of 2021, still caught up in red tape and politics.


KSHB 41 “Developer under federal investigation conditionally approved for $1.2 million in KC tax money.

African American Heritage Trail “Vine Street Workhouse”

Abandoned Spaces “The Fascinating Kansas City Workhouse Castle” by Kelly Ludwig

This house is just one of many you can find while driving the state highways in middle America.

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