THE PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE       MISSOURI   ARCADIA ACADEMY BED & BREAKFAST (ARCADIA) BACKGROUND: The original Academy was built in 1846 as a Methodist High School by Jerome C. Berryman. During the civil war it served as a Union hospital from 1861-1863. In 1877 the Ursuline nuns purchased the school and turned it into a girls school. The Academy operated as a school until 1971 which marked the last graduating class. The Academy served as a convent until the nuns were moved to St. Louis in 1985. Now under private ownership the Academy has become a living antique, currently on the historic register as an historic district. The architecture is some of the most beautiful in Missouri. The chapel has some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world. The gymnasium has a unique roof truss system designed in Germany. The entire complex has over two hundred rooms and forty-seven toilets. The auditorium seats up to 250 people and was used for recitals, plays, and other productions. PHENOMENA: It’s been said many years ago an apparition of a Civil War soldier was seen walking the halls of the building. Pictures taken inside the school and on the grounds surrounding it show orbs, vortexes and mists. Apparently haunted by the nuns who once ran the school; doors open and close at night by themselves. There have been reports of hearing old Catholic hymns being sung, the apparition of a young, blond man inside the building and people claiming to have been touched or having their hair pulled by unseen forces. BELVOIR WINERY (LIBERTY) BACKGROUND: Belvoir, French for “beautiful view,” began its life as the Reed Springs Hotel in 1887. The hotel sold to the organization the International Order of Odd Fellows in 1895. The Odd Fellows used the hotel as a place to care for orphans and the elderly until a fire in 1900. The Odd Fellows constructed a number of buildings on what was for years a 240-acre working farm, but only three of the historical buildings remain amongst a smattering of others. The administration building, the “old folks” building, and the hospital. Nearly 600 people are buried in the cemetery on the site. It wasn't until 1923 that the hospital (the Old Hospital) was constructed on the northern end of the property. The Odd Fellows Home provided an excellent basic education for the children and orphans of Missouri Odd Fellows, and encouraged development in other areas as well. In 1908, the first instrumental music classes were offered and eventually a boys' band was organized that made annual tours of the state. PHENOMENA: Witnesses to paranormal activity here report growling, singing and occasionally being hugged. One server reported that his little daughter was conversing with a male in another room but when he checked he found no one there with her. Reports in the old orphanage include voices, music playing, footsteps and people having their pant legs tugged. In the morgue in the nursing home, people have been pushed and touched, seen dark shadow figures and heard voices. In the bunker, visitors have heard children singing. TRIVIA: The winery was featured on the Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters. BRANSON TITANIC MUSEUM (BRANSON) BACKGROUND: Guests step through the artificial iceberg into the museum, and receive a passenger boarding ticket, featuring the name of an actual Titanic passenger and the class on which the passenger traveled. During the tour, guests learn the individual stories of several passengers. At the end of the tour, guests are told whether their ticket holder survived.  It is one of two Titanic-themed museums owned by John Joslyn (who headed a 1987 expedition to Titanic's final resting place); the other is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The museum holds 400 pre-discovery artifacts in 20 galleries. Like the museum of Pigeon Forge, the museum's main exterior visual feature is the partial mock up of the original ocean liner. The construction consists of the front half of the ship, including its first two funnels. PHENOMENA: Staff has reported fingerprints and handprints on the glass display cases that will not go away with cleaning or return after cleaning. Wet footprints of varying sizes are found where no one has been or is supposed to be. Also sighted are apparitions of people in formal wear walking the corridors. A tall man in black is a particularly well-documented sighting. Several guests claim they have smelled cigar smoke in the third class elevator. Employees will very often hear their names called in a third class corridor. There are also reports of screams that emanate from inside the museum. TRIVIA: In a 2017 episode of the Travel Channel series, Ghost Adventures, Zak Bagans and the crew investigated the museum due to claimed paranormal activities that was apparently traced to actual relics from the shipwreck. CENTRAL METHODIST UNIVERSITY (FAYETTE) BACKGROUND: On April 13–14, 1853, Central Methodist University was founded by Nathan Scarritt and David Rice McAnally. The college was chartered by the Missouri General Assembly on March 15, 1855. It came about due largely to the diligent work of Nathan Scarritt and David Rice McAnally. Classes began on September 18, 1857, on a 1-acre campus with an enrollment of 114 students and a faculty of three. Samuel C. Major was the first graduate, in 1858. In about 100 years the school grew to a campus of 55 acres, enrollment of over 1,000 students and a faculty of 65. In 2004, it was granted university status and changed its name accordingly. PHENOMENA: In 1958, Dean of the Swinney Conservatory, N. Louise Wright, died during a piano recital in which she was completing a very difficult keyboard run. It’s said she and her playing partner, Opal Hayes, can still be heard inside the Conservatory playing duets and practicing their pieces. During a school concert in the 1960s band conductor, Dr. Thomas Erskine Birch, suffered a fatal heart attack on stage. In a sad irony, he was conducting Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, which includes a section called "The Catacombs," based on an area of the same name beneath Paris, France. Dr. Birch shortly after his death began to be seen around campus as students described a dapperly dressed man in the shadows smoking a cigarette. Some report him saying the words, "Nice night for a concert," before vanishing from sight. ELMS HOTEL & SPA (EXCELSIOR SPRINGS) BACKGROUND: The story of The Elms begins with the discovery of healing mineral waters in Excelsior Springs in the late 1800s. In 1880, when local farmer Travis Mellion's daughter Opal fell ill with a form of incurable tuberculosis, he asked campers in the area for advice. They suggested giving Opal spring water bubbling from the bank of a nearby river. Mellion gave his daughter the spring water to drink and bathe in, and after several weeks, she steadily improved and was eventually completely cured. During the town's infancy, more than 200 houses were built. The remaining hundreds of visitors who didn't stay in houses built camps or stayed in their covered wagons. In the late 1880s, entrepreneurs formed the Excelsior Springs Company and created parks, pavilions, and in 1888, The Elms Hotel. It all ended on May 9, 1898. A horrible fire burned the The Elms' wooden structure to the ground, but thankfully, there were no fatalities or injuries. By 1908, a second Elms Hotel was being built. By this time, the mineral spring waters were being sold worldwide and gaining international attention. PHENOMENA: The ballrooms are a particular hotspot with moving chandeliers, ghostly women in white, and male entities dressed in server uniforms. Strange noises including heavy breathing, bizarre animal noises, women screaming and doors opening and closing for no reason in the lobby area. The spa was a speakeasy in the 1920's and there is a story of a gangster who was shot there and now resides here eternally. It’s also said that visitors hear the sounds of children frolicking in the pool and the overwhelming feeling of being watched. It’s rumored that the spirit of the man who set fire to the hotel in the early 20th century still roams the property. There are claims of furniture being overturned in guest rooms -especially on the fourth floor - and the sounds of a door handle that jiggles from the inside. Bar staff claims to have been pushed near the outdoor pool late at night when no one was around and had liquor that’s locked up each night by two employees depleted. The levels are checked each night and on more than one occasion they change overnight.  TRIVIA: The hotel was visited in 2013 by Sy Fy’s Ghost Hunters. EXORCIST HOUSE (ST. LOUIS) BACKGROUND: It began in Maryland in 1949 with a 14-year-old boy, Roland Doe. His favorite aunt gave him a Spirit Board so he could talk to "the other side." Not long after using the board, strange and inexplicable events took place in his bedroom such as dripping sounds and shaking of a Jesus painting on the wall. Doe's aunt passed away soon after and this is when he began to exhibit strange behavior as well as claw-like scratches on his body. His family became concerned and sought help from Lutheran priests who believed Roland to be possessed. Out of desperation the family took Roland to stay with relatives in the St. Louis suburbs and here's where things took a turn for the worse. Roland's behavior became completely out of control and a team of Jesuit priests was brought in to save him from this demonic entity. The diary of one of the priests, Father Raymond Bishop, documents the paranormal activity in the boy's bedroom, from religious objects flying off the wall to bloody scratches appearing on Roland's body. This case formed the basis for the movie, The Exorcist. PHENOMENA: Ever since the attempted exorcism of Roland Doe rumors have swirled that the house is still possessed by an evil entity. In 2015, Destination America televised an investigation from the home. While it is now private property and the owners don’t speak about anything that does (or does not) go on inside. Here is Variety’s review of the DA television event (in part): “…Destination America isn’t exactly a top destination for most cable surfers, which explains why the Discovery-owned network would be eager to scare up viewers. Enter “Exorcism: Live!,” a two-hour special broadcast Oct. 30 marking the channel’s turn toward the paranormal that hardly merited an exclamation point, inasmuch as absolutely nothing happened. Yes, the various researchers and psychics who went into the haunted house — which provided the inspiration for the movie “The Exorcist” — spoke often of feeling cold and strange. But as is so often the case with these exercises, viewers at home simply had to take their word for it”. GOVERNOR’S MANSION (JEFFERSON CITY) BACKGROUND: The first Jefferson City governor's mansion also doubled as the home for the Missouri General Assembly, with the Missouri House of Representatives meeting on the ground floor, the Missouri State Senate on the second floor and the governor living in two rooms. Missouri's second governor Daniel Dunklin, after being elected in 1832, refused to move his family to the building. Construction of a new $5,000 mansion began in the autumn of 1833 and was completed in 1834. It was at the end of the same block as the original mansion/capitol. It had dimensions of 48 by 30 feet and a portico with four. The building survived the November 15, 1837 fire that destroyed the neighboring capitol when wet blankets were applied to the roof of the mansion. The mansion suffered a fire in the 1840s during the administration of Thomas Reynolds. Reynolds killed himself in the mansion in 1844. Governor Robert Marcellus Stewart initiated a campaign to build a new residence. Stewart rode a horse up the steps into the house and ordered a servant to feed it a peck of oats. Stewart also pardoned all the women in the state prison and had them work in the mansion. The General Assembly allocated $20,000 for a new mansion but, the American Civil War interrupted the plan. After B. Gratz Brown assumed office in 1871, several people said they would not come to large gatherings at the mansion because they feared disaster. In March 1871, the Assembly allocated $50,000 for a new mansion. PHENOMENA: It’s been said that some years ago, the spirit of the 9-year-old daughter former Governor Thomas Crittenden, Carrie haunted the attic of the mansion. Carrie died during the diphtheria epidemic of 1883. A workman once came down from that area to tell the staff of then- Governor Christopher Bond that his daughter had been up there with him all day. When told the Governor had no children, he left, never to return. A host of other activity includes the sound of audible footsteps on carpeted floors, disembodied voices, laughter reminiscent of a social gathering on the stairways and objects moving on their own. One guard left his job when he noticed the elevator acting erratically and he suspected a break-in. He drew his weapon as he hurried downstairs to beat the elevator there, but it continued to stop on different floors despite him continuously pressing the call button. Nothing or no one out of the ordinary was found to be responsible. HARNEY MANSION (SULLIVAN) BACKGROUND: Maj. Gen. William S. Harney Summer Home, also known as the Harney Mansion, is a historic home located in Crawford County, Missouri. It was built in 1856, and is a 1 3/4-story, eclectic dwelling constructed of native brown sandstone. The house has a rear wing added between 1869 and 1872. It was the summer home of William S. Harney, who purchased it in 1869. The mansion was used as the General's summer home until 1884 when he moved to Florida. In 1896, Theodore Hinchcliff purchased the masion from the Harney heirs. In 1960, the Hindhdliff's daughter, Lucy Hinchcliff Riggans, sold the mansion to Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hollander. The Hollander family gave the mansion to the William S. Harney Historical Society in the early 1980's. It is operated as a historic house museum. PHENOMENA: Passersby report seeing seeing anomalous moving lights and full bodied glowing apparitions either driving or walking by or peering in the windows. Footsteps and disembodied voices have been heard coming from inside the mansion after hours when no one is there. There also claims of physical contact by some visitors who also claim to pick up smells of lilac and pipe smoke. HORNET SPOOK LIGHT (JOPLIN) BACKGROUND: According to most accounts, it has appeared continually since the late 19th century, although it was generally not well known to anyone but locals until after World War II. Some date the first encounters with the light back to the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. However, the first documented sighting is generally accepted to have occurred in 1881, although some report sightings as far back as 1866. The earliest published report dates back to 1936 in the Kansas City Star. In 1946 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supposedly studied the "Hornet Light", but could not find a cause for it. In their words, it was a "mysterious light of unknown origin". Early residents of the area reported seeing lights in the forest, over their land, or even in their yards. During the 1960s, there was a general store in Hornet that gave out information about the light to sightseers. It included a "Spooklight museum". There have also been various establishments along the Missouri-Oklahoma state line that served a similar function, but they have since closed. During the 1960s and 1970s the roads where the Spook light usually appears were often packed with parked vehicles and people hoping to get a glimpse of the mysterious light. It has been suggested that the headlights of cars seen over the hills explain the light's appearance, which is sometimes said to bob up and down, dance, or even split into multiple globules of light. Other explanations for the light's appearance include atmospheric gases being affected by electrical fields. In 2014, professor Allen Rice, Ph.D. of the University of Central Oklahoma investigated the Spook light with a team of investigators called the Boomers and discovered the source of the light as car headlights and taillights 9 miles west of the viewing spot. It should be noted that there is evidence that strongly suggests the lights were visible before the existence of automobiles. PHENOMENA: There are of course, legends concerning the origin of the light with one being it is spirit of two Quapaw Indians who died there with another being it is the spirit of a decapitated Osage Indian chief using a torch to search for his missing head. A third is that it is the lantern of a miner whose children were kidnapped by Indians that is seen as he is searching for them. HOTEL SAVOY (KANSAS CITY) BACKGROUND: Kansas City's Hotel Savoy was built in 1888. It was built by the owners of the Arbuckle Coffee Company. In 1903 the original hotel was remodeled and the west wing was added featuring the Savoy Grill dining room. The Savoy Grill is the oldest restaurant in Kansas City. In the early 1900s, the Savoy was a luxury destination for travelers arriving by train in Kansas City. It was the first hotel seen by travelers as they entered the city from the old Union Depot. With the depression of the 1930s and the later shift toward suburban living, the hotel began to fall into disrepair, although the restaurant remained active. Renovation of the hotel into a bed and breakfast began in 1985. On October 23rd, 2014 a major fire destroyed the kitchen of the Savoy Grill. The historic restaurant area was not destroyed but sustained significant smoke damage. The fire was caused by a cook who was not paying attention. The restaurant was closed down and the hotel was evacuated. PHENOMENA: Staff members and hotel guests have reported hauntings at the Savoy Hotel. In the late 1800s, Betsy Ward lived and died in room 505 and one story claims that she committed suicide in the bathtub. Another claims that someone else was involved in her death. A turn-of-century .32 caliber pistol was supposedly found sealed in the wall when the apartment was renovated. Hotel guests and staff have heard strange voices, seen shadows, and heard doors open and close on their own in and around room 505. Stories also claim that the spirit of Fred Lightner still haunts his apartment at the Savoy. Other hauntings include a feeling of being followed on the second floor, where a restaurant manager was stabbed to death by the dishwashers in 1990. Many have reported the sighting of a small girl in Victorian dress on the fourth floor, and the elevator repeatedly gets stuck on the fourth floor or will send passengers to the sixth when they push the fourth floor button. JEFFERSON BARRACKS & CEMETERY (ST. LOUIS) BACKGROUND: The cemetery was established after the American Civil War in an attempt to put together a formal network of military cemeteries. It started as the Jefferson Barracks Military Post Cemetery in 1826 and became a United States National Cemetery in 1866. The first known burial was Elizabeth Ann Lash, the infant child of an officer stationed at Jefferson Barracks. The cemetery is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs on the former site of Jefferson Barracks. It covers 331 acres and the number of interments as of 2014 is approximately 188,000. A monument entitled Memorial to the Confederate Dead was placed in Jefferson Barracks on May 1st, 1988. PHENOMENA: There is a lengthy list of reputed hauntings at the location. One involves a Halloween party at the hospital where a man in a realistic Civil War costume showed up and received plaudits for his choice only to find no such individual was present at the party. Later, one of the organizers did indeed see a man wearing a uniform sitting on a wall and asked him if he was enjoying himself. When he gruffly responded h was, th gentleman turned away from him and looked back to see no one sitting where the man once was seconds earlier. The organizer then found out, like others had, that no such individual was at the function. Even during the Civil War, sentries reported seeing shadowy figures walking the grounds. The ghost of a solider with what’s described as a fresh bullet hole in his head has been seen near the powder magazine and would sometimes harass the living guards assigned to the area. In some cases the frightening soldiers would even abandon their posts after the encounter. The story goes the phantom soldier was killed during a raiding party on the magazine. Renovators working on the barracks in the 70’s reported hearing footsteps constantly inside the building hearing ghostly footsteps pacing the corridors of the building. Others have reported hearing the same thing in an otherwise empty building where the steps would stop and start again after being investigated. Lights are said to turn themselves on after being shut down with this happening multiple times as soon as the occupants leave the building. TRIVIA: The cemetery is the final resting place of famed St. Louis Cardinals baseball announcer Jack Buck. JESSE JAMES FARM (KEARNEY) BACKGROUND: Both Jesse and Frank James were raised in this house by their mother Zerelda, who was married to three different husbands and bore eight children. It was here that Jesse James was whipped as a teenager by Union militia who strung up his stepfather and burned nearby farms.It was also here that Zerelda watched as her son Archie was murdered by Pinkerton detectives in an attack where she lost her right hand. After Jesse was killed, he was buried here, where she could protect the grave from trespassers or souvenir hunters. Later, his body was re-interred at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney. PHENOMENA: Anomalous lights have been seen moving inside and outside of the buildings on the property. Visitors hear the sounds of horses, gunshots and cries of phantom entities out on the surrounding area. Staff report sensations they are not alone in the house, doors slamming on their own and sometimes hear hushed, disembodied voices. KANSAS CITY UNION STATION (KANSAS CITY) BACKGROUND: On April 8, 1878, Union Depot opened on a narrow triangle of land in Kansas City between Union Avenue and the railroad tracks of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad in present-day West Bottoms. Nicknamed the "Jackson County Insane Asylum" by those who thought it was too large, it was the second union station in the country, after the one in Indianapolis. The new depot was a hybrid of the Second Empire style and Gothic Revival. The lead architect was Asa Beebe Cross who "adorned the exterior of the building with intricate towers of varying heights, arched windows framed in stone and rows of dormers projecting from the steeply pitched mansard roof"; it had a clock tower above the main entrance that was 125 feet in height. By the start of the 20th century, over 180 trains were passing daily through the station, serving a city whose population had tripled during its first-quarter century of operation. In 1903, the lack of room for expansion and a major flood led the city and the railroads to decide a new station was required. In 1996, residents in five counties throughout the metropolitan area in both Kansas and Missouri approved the so-called "bi-state tax", a 1/8 of a cent sales tax, part of which helped to fund just under half of the $250 million restoration of Union Station. Renovation began in 1997 and was completed in 1999. The remaining money was raised through private donations and federal funding. PHENOMENA: There a few ghostly sightings in and around Union Station, with employees reporting the sighting of a woman in a black dress walking down the stairs after hours and apparitions of commuters carrying suitcases walking the building. There are also stories of train whistles being heard when none are in sight. But the most famous ghost is that of Frank “Jelly” Nash, who, along with 6 law enforcement officers who were returning him to Leavenworth Prison, was gunned down in the infamous Kansas City Massacre in 1933. It’s said his ghost still wanders the station, day and night, along with a few other men in suits seen outside the building who vanish when approached. KNOB NOSTER BACKGROUND: Knob Noster was platted in 1856. The community's name is said by the State Historical Society of Missouri to be a combination of a knob, or hill, near the town site, and the surname Noster, honoring an unidentified early citizen. A post office has been in operation in Knob Noster since 1846. Originally the town’s name was one word, Knobsnoster, which changed in the early 1900s and became two words “Knobs Noster”. At some point, the “s” dropped off becoming as it is known today - Knob Noster which is Latin for “Our Hills”. PHENOMENA: Urban legend alert >> There is a legend attached to the own regarding an old hermit who lived on a hill overlooking the town. He had a slave whom he relied on to do all his bidding which helped him to remain detached from the rest of the townspeople who grew very fond of the slave until one day he vanished and the old hermit was running his own errands. Suspicious, they descended on the hermit’s cabin demanding to know what had happened to the slave, but were dismissed by the old man. A few nights later, the town was hit by a terrible storm. A resident as making his way home when he saw a lantern shining on top of the hill. When he tried to see who was carrying it, a bolt of lightening and a crash of thunder hit followed by a blood-curdling scream. The following day the dead body of the hermit was found in the spot the lightening hit with a frozen look of terror on his face. It’s said the hermit still haunts the town and each time a huge storm is coming, his lantern can be seen. LEMP MANSION (ST. LOUIS) BACKGROUND: The original patriarch of the Lemp Family was Johann "Adam" Lemp, born in 1798 in Grüningen, Germany.  By 1840 he focused solely on the manufacture and sale of beer, forming Western Brewery at 37 South Second Street (about where the south leg of the Arch now stands). Adam Lemp’s beer became very popular due to the increase of German population in the area. Lemp was one of the first in the country to produce German lager, which was a great difference from the English ale and porters. The house was built in 1868 by St. Louisian Jacob Feickert.  William J. Lemp and his wife, Julia, moved into the mansion in 1876. In 1911, the house underwent major renovations including conversion of some space into offices for the Lemp Brewery. However, it was William Sr.'s fourth son, Frederick, born in 1873, whom he hoped to groom to take over the company. Unknown to William Sr. and his family, Frederick had significant health problems. On December 12, 1901, Frederick died of heart failure due to complication of diseases. William Sr. became despondent and slowly declined. He was dealt another blow on January 1, 1904, when his best friend Frederick Pabst died. On the morning of February 13, 1904, William Lemp committed suicide by gunshot, and died at 10:15 a.m. William J. "Billy" Lemp, Jr., was born on August 13, 1867. Like his father, he went to St. Louis University and then studied the art of brewing. The Lemp Brewery suffered in the early 1920s when Prohibition began. The brewery was shut down and the Falstaff trademark was sold to Lemp's friend, "Papa Joe" Griesedieck. The brewery complex was sold at auction to International Shoe Company for $588,000. On December 29, 1922, Billy Lemp shot himself in his office — a room that today is the front left dining room. Elsa Lemp Wright, the youngest child of William Sr. married Thomas Wright, president of the More-Jones Brass and Metal Company in 1910. They separated in 1918 and in February, 1919, Elsa filed for divorce. She cited, among other things, damage to her mental and physical health. The divorce was granted after a trial, but Elsa and Thomas soon reconciled and remarried in March 1920. Later that month on March 20, Elsa shot herself while in bed at their house at 13 Hortense Place. Charles Lemp, the third son of William Sr., was the final Lemp to live in the mansion, starting in 1929. He had left the brewery in 1917, to go into banking and finance. He had also dabbled in politics, influencing many south side wards. He never married and lived with his dog in the mansion with two servants, a married couple. In April of 1941, Charles Lemp sent a letter to a south St. Louis funeral home requesting that in case of his death, his remains should be taken by ambulance to the Missouri Crematory. His body should not be bathed, clothed, or changed. His ashes should be put into a wicker box and buried on his farm. There were to be no funeral held or a notice put in the papers. On May 10, 1949; eight years later, he shot his dog, then himself in the head, leaving the following suicide note: "St. Louis Mo/May 9, 1949, In case I am found dead blame it on no one but me. Ch. A. Lemp". PHENOMENA: During renovations in the 1970s, workers began to experience very odd things like; tools suddenly disappearing, doors slamming, bizarre sounds and the inescapable feeling of being watched. Some left the job, never to return. William Lemp Jr. had a son born with Down Syndrome that became known - heartlessly - as “the monkey-faced boy”. Guests and staff have heard his voice imploring them to come and play with him and toys left by investigators and guests in his attic bedroom are found in another spot, many are marked in their place before the door is closed. He’s also been known to playfully tug on people’s hair. There are sounds of footsteps running up and down the main staircase and the sounds of a dog panting and its nails scraping across the floor on the back stairway. In the William Lemp suite, the apparition of a bearded man bathed in white light has been seen by the window. In the “Lavender Lady” suite, named after William Jr’s. wife Lillian, the smell of that perfume is detected and a shadowy figure has been seen inside the room. The piano on the first floor is known to play by itself and glasses lift off the bar and fly through the air. Guests and staff have been touched in the dining room and the apparition of a man has been seen sitting at a table there before other diners even arrive. In the mansion basement dining room, a misty apparition has been seen walking through an archway, tablecloths are pulled off tables which are also suddenly found out of place and a feeling of being observed is commonplace. MISSOURI STATE PENITENTIARY (JEFFERSON CITY) BACKGROUND: The Missouri State Penitentiary was constructed in the early 1830s to serve the newly admitted (1821) state of Missouri. Jefferson City had been designated the state capital in 1822, and Governor John Miller suggested that the state's main prison be constructed there to help the city maintain its somewhat tenuous status against other towns trying to obtain the capitol for themselves. James Dunnica, a master stonemason who built the first Capitol building in Jefferson City in 1826, was appointed to oversee construction of the new prison, and $25,000 was allotted by the legislature for expenses. The facility opened for business in March 1836, the same month as the fall of the Alamo in Texas. Prisoners were employed during the 1830s in making bricks; the initial prison population consisted of one guard, one warden, fifteen prisoners, and a foreman for the brick-making operation with an assistant. Eleven of the fifteen prisoners were from St. Louis, and all were incarcerated for larceny except for one, who was imprisoned for stabbing a man during a drunken brawl. In 1868, A-Hall, also known as Housing Unit A and Housing Unit 4, was finished. The building was constructed of stone quarried on site and built mainly by inmates. Warden Horace Swift was the architect of the structure. It is still standing today, and housed inmates the day the prison was closed. The Missouri State Penitentiary was closed on September 15, 2004, and the new Jefferson City Correctional Center was opened. PHENOMENA: Referred to as “the bloodiest 47 acres in America, the prison has a long history of paranormal activity. One former guard tells the story of the time he was speaking to an inmate and saw another inmate with long blond hair and white T-shirt walk out a door during a head count. Knowing no one is supposed to be outside during count, he chased the man down through the yard, to the gates and found no one. The inmate told him he saw the man too and informed the guard there is no one in confinement that looks like that. In A-Hall, people claim to have been touched and grabbed, detected the pungent odor of sweat, watched shadowy figures moving about and witnessed the apparition of a man standing on the catwalk along with disembodied voices. There is an entity known as “Fat Jack” who has been seen wearing a white lab coat and carrying a clipboard. he’s been known to unlock doors and his ghost has been spotted walking through walls or standing stationary until finally vanishing. A female apparition has been seen in the women’s wing dressed in period clothing, spotted a former inmate in old prison garb and heard the eerie sounds of children’s laughter. Other phenomena include cell doors slamming, disembodied footsteps, loud banging, the smell of cigarette smoke, objects moved from place to place and feelings of dread, sorrow and being observed. TRIVIA: Famous inmates include Sonny Liston, who began his boxing career while incarcerated at MSP, women’s rights activists Emma Goldman and Kate O’Hare, and James Earl Ray, who managed to escape the prison in 1967, a year before he murdered Martin Luther King Jr. PROSPERITY SCHOOL BED & BREAKFAST BACKGROUND: The two-story, brick school was built in 1907 and named for the two-fisted mining camp that sprang up in the decades after the discovery of lead in a field. Although Prosperity is now little more than a handful of houses along County Road 200 northeast of Joplin, at the turn of the last century it was a thriving but sometimes violent town of 1,500 residents. By the 1940s, however, Prosperity's luck was running out, according to local historian Brad Belk. The school closed in 1962 and sat vacant for 30 years before being renovated into a bed- and-breakfast. The building was up for sale in 2019 with no buyers as of that listing. PHENOMENA:  People have reported the sounds children playing, whispering, and running down the halls. Guests claim to feel ghostly children crawling into bed with them, or tugging on blankets and there are myriad issues with electrical equipment. There are also reports of hearing school desks and chairs being dragged across floors. Doors will open and close by themselves, shadowy figures have been seen a videotaped (by Ghost Hunters) and the ghost of what is thought to be a nurse has been spotted reaching into a cabinet that now holds linens but at one time may have held medicinal supplies. TRIVIA: The former school was visited by SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. PYTHIAN CASTLE (SPRINGFIELD) BACKGROUND: Built in 1913 by the Knights of Pythias and later owned by the U.S. military. The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization, originally constructed the castle and detached power plant as a retirement home for needy members of the order and their widows and children. It was called The Pythian Home of Missouri. Springfield was one of seven cities competing for the construction of the Pythian home and sold 53 acres of land to the knights for $1 in 1909. It served as a meeting hall for the order and served in this capacity until in 1942. It is now privately owned by Tamara Finocchiaro and open to the public as a cultural arts and event facility by appointment. German and Italian prisoners-of-war were assigned here during World War II for medical treatment and as laborers. Some prisoners were kept in the detached powerhouse and laundry room behind the castle. The laundry room is still owned by the U.S. Army. PHENOMENA: On one occasion, the owner was walking through some paint drapes when she claims to have literally bumped into a spirit standing on the other side. There are reports of whistling coming from the foyer, the sounds of gatherings in empty rooms and disembodied footsteps all throughout the building. The sound of a young boy’s voice saying, “Hello’ has been heard in what was once the children’s dormitory on the second floor. Toys have been moved around by unseen hands. There is thought to be a more aggressive entity - perhaps a homeless man - in the basement and the sound of something being stacked down there is common. TRIVIA: It was investigated by the television series Ghost Lab in early 2011 and Ghost Adventures in November 2017. RAVENSWOOD (BUNCETON) BACKGROUND: Also known as the Leonard Home, it was built in 1880. This stately residence was built by Nathaniel Leonard and was not completed at his death in 1876, so his son Captain Charles E. Leonard finished the mansion and he and his wife Nadine Nelson Leonard lived here. The farm of 2000 acres, much of which was purchased from the government, was established in 1825 and seven generations of Leonard's have lived here.  The present owner is the sixth generation and his son is the seventh.  The previous house on this property was destroyed by fire.  Successive generations living in one place for over 100 years have accumulated a household of china, glass, paintings, and antique furnishings. PHENOMENA: Lights will turn on and off, doors close by themselves and a suit of armor appears to change its position. Music and the sound of laughter are heard outside the building. It’s thought the spirit of Nadine remains here as one day a servant went to her former room to get some clothing items and found the door locked from the inside. They eventually had to climb a ladder to enter through a window. They decided to disassemble the lock in order to open it but when the servant returned with tools, the door was open. Christmas tree ornaments have reportedly been tossed down the main staircase, a broken music box plays by itself, music and laughter are heard from the grounds and what appear to be lit lanterns have been seen in the trees surrounding the property. SPRINGFIELD LITTLE THEATER (SPRINGFIELD) BACKGROUND: The ashes of the Baldwin Theater, which burned on January 6, 1909, were not yet cold when the plans for a new theater on Walnut Street were actualized. The Landers Theater was designed by architects John and Carl Boller and was built in 1909 by John and D.J. Landers and R. W. Seward. Built for $100,000, the brick and terracotta building has been in continuous use either as a legitimate theater or a motion picture house since it opened with the musical The Golden Girl starring Lillian Russell on September 18, 1909. On December 18, 1920, the Landers suffered a major fire. The fire was first noticed at 12:45 p.m. The call was answered by fire trucks from all four stations in the city. After a few minutes, six streams of water were playing on the fire. Following the fire, the Landers was rebuilt and reopened on May 21, 1921, as part of the Orpheum Circuit by Ensley Barbour, and, under his management, touring artists, and vaudeville acts ranging from Fanny Brice to John Philip Sousa have appeared on The Landers’ stage. theatre-history/ PHENOMENA:  In 1920, a major fire broke out in the theater, killing the janitor and his apparition is often seen by the actors on stage, way up in the balcony, watching them rehearse. During the 1920’s, which was a time of racial segregation, a man was knifed in the 2nd balcony (“the colored section”), and died there. This entity is described as being a green orb, or phosphorescent haze, about 5 feet tall, is seen in the 2nd balcony and on the landing between the first and second balconies. The area where it appears is about 20 degrees colder than the temperature elsewhere. A tragic accident occurred when a baby fell from the balcony to its death, much to the horror of its mother. A baby’s cries can now be heard, as well as that of its mother trying to comfort it. Performers have actually seen an apparition of a baby falling from the balcony during rehearsals. Part of the fourth floor in the past used to be apartments, which housed touring actors and actresses. On the street in front of the theater people have observed a tall apparition of a long-haired, blond man, dressed in Elizabethan clothes peering at them from behind a curtain on the fourth floor in a room which is now a costume room. People in the theater building report that they sense a unseen presence following them, tapping them on the shoulder.  A middle-aged male apparition appeared as a solid form in the middle of the auditorium before the lighting and technical director as he returned from the basement, to make the security system work, as the theater was closed. Thinking that this apparition was a living man, the director asked the entity if he could help him. This apparition went behind a pillar and disappeared. The director described this entity as being nearly 6 ft tall, with long hair and a black and gray-peppered beard, has a big nose, full lips, bushy eyebrows. THESPIAN HALL (BOONVILLE) BACKGROUND: The Thespian Hall was built in 1855-7 for use by the Thespian Society, which contained reading rooms, a library and a theater. The second floor was used as a City Hall and also by the Masonic Order. When it opened on July 4, 1857, a ball was held there to celebrate its opening. A few years later, during the Civil War, Thespian Hall served as a hospital and later, barracks. In 1869, a German-American music society, the Turn and Gesang Verein, leased the theater portion of the hall, while an armory was set up in the basement (towards the end of the 19th century, the basement was converted into a roller skating rink). In 1901, Lon V. Stephens rescued the Thespian Hall from demolition, and hired St Louis architect J.L Howard to remodel it into the Stephens Opera House. It would then serve for over a decade as one of the main venues for touring stage shows in the state after St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1912, it was again transformed, this time into a movie theater, the Lyric, which it would remain for another six decades, closing in 1975. When the Lyric was once more was faced with the threat of being demolished, in 1937, the Friends of Historic Boonville was formed to prevent the loss of the great old theater, one of the earliest preservation groups founded in the Midwest, and the first in Missouri. Aided financially by the Kemper Foundations, the group took over the theater in 1975, and began the long task of restoring it to its original appearance. PHENOMENA: An opera singer had just completed a concert, and the hall was empty when her son went on stage to take a photograph. Later, when the family reviewed the pictures, they saw a woman standing in the back of the theater next to a column. She had grey hair, wore a white blouse with a collar and a dark skirt, and was carrying a pocketbook. However, her face was blurred. The family identified the woman as their grandmother who had died several years earlier and loved opera who also apparently likes to sit in the audience and has been spotted at rehearsals listening and then disappearing from the seats. Other ghostly occurrences at Thespian Hall include sounds of ragtime music and moving wig stands, which turn and face the mirrors when no one is there. haunted-places-missouri UNION SCREAMING HOUSE (UNION) BACKGROUND: In May of 2001, Steven Lachance and his three children were looking for a place to live after moving out of their apartment. He learned of a house in decent shape in the town of Union and went to an open house. The owner had many bids but selected the Lachances who happily moved in. PHENOMENA: Steven noticed that there were latches on the outside of the doors which he found odd but didn’t pay much attention to. The first hint of an issue was a painting that was hung and fell to the floor three times before it stayed put. Another odd occurrence was the sight of people crossing the street rather than walking in front of the house. One day, his son was sent to get a hose in the basement and came back terrified saying something “big” had chased him up the stairs. Soon they found lights on in the house after all had been turned off as they left for the day. There followed dramatic temperature changes and one Sunday morning, Steven noticed the wispy, dark figure of a man standing in the kitchen doorway. He eventually moved into the family room in which they were all gathered and eventually dissipated from sight. As they left for the day and locked the front door, a scream of pain was heard from inside the house. Upon their return, the son said the figure from his basement experience was now standing in an upstairs window. They found that other tenants had left in a relatively short time and had left belongings behind in the shed with one claiming she believed her dead father had come back to “visit” while she was there. Then the doors started to rattle one night followed by a huge banging sound, screams and the sounds of someone coming down the stairs with the whole house shaking. Steven tried to get to his kids but his door would not open until he basically broke it down. They left the house and watched from the top of the street as the entity inside seemed to go from room to room as if searching for them. They moved out of the house at that point. ZOMBIE ROAD (WILDWOOD) BACKGROUND: Zombie Road is a short road whose real name is Lawler Ford Road and is about 2 miles long through a valley of forest oak land hills and ends near the Meramec River in the Glencoe. The road, also known as Al Foster Trail, is closed to access during night. The 2.3- mile trail opens one half hour before sunrise and closes one half hour after sunset. It’s the site of one of the largest Native American burial mounds in the country. It was once merely gravel and dirt and was paved at some point years ago, but it is now largely impassable by automobile. It was originally built to provide access to the Meramec and the railroad tracks located along the river. Once used by the Army during the Civil War and now heavily patrolled, Zombie Road is a notoriously strange place. It is available for use by pedestrians and bicyclists. PHENOMENA: Some say this is called Zombie Road because the railroad workers who once worked here rise from their graves at times to roam about. Some insist that they have heard old time music, seen anomalous moving lights and other ghostly sightings from that forgotten era. Another tale tells of a patient nicknamed “Zombie” who escaped from a nearby mental facility never to be seen again. His blood soaked gown was later found lying upon the old road later named after him and he now roams the woods looking for victims. The area had had more than its share of murders, suicides and accidents. One legend involves the ghost of an old woman who screams at people from the doorways of one of the old houses but when investigated, no one is ever found there. It’s thought that the ghost of a wife of a judge named Della Hamilton McCullough who was killed by being hit by a train haunts the area in bluish-white form. There is also a ghost believed to be  a boy who died of a fall from the bluffs along the river whose body was never found. BACK TO TO PARANORMAL DATABASE