The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a religiously and politically independent fraternal order founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland. They constructed a number of buildings on what was originally a 240-acre farm in Liberty. Now known as the historic Odd Fellows Home District, it was established in 1900. It is now home to Belvoir Winery, an active business. This location is also said to be extremely haunted.
Only three of the historical buildings remain amongst a sprawl of elegant buildings in the hills of Clay County. This area is currently the home of the Belvoir Winery, and visitors often experience unexplained supernatural phenomena. The historic district is so well known for its hauntings that the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters filmed an episode there.
The historic buildings include the administration building, the “old folks home,” and the hospital. One of the buildings was also used as an orphanage at one time.
It is believed that many of the nearly 600 people who are buried in the cemetery on the site may still be lingering around, haunting the winery buildings. Ghost sightings have included orphan children, a mischievous man, and a singing old lady.
The stories of hauntings abound. People have heard odd voices and noises, including children giggling and running up and down the stairs. Doors have opened and closed by themselves.
The owner tells an account of seeing a little boy in a red shirt, blue knickers and brown boots, who appeared near the fireplace. Although the boy was visible, the owner could still see the details of the fireplace through him.
Children have been heard singing “Ring Around the Rosy” in the halls.
The owner’s daughter heard a little girl talk to her.
The piano has played on its own.
The stories go on and on.
Perhaps the most haunted building on the property is an old brick hospital that was constructed in 1923. Located on the northern end of the property, it is now known as Old Hospital.
It was the only medical facility in Liberty for quite some time, and even had its own laboratory. Over time, it became outdated, as the halls and doorways were not wide enough for movement of hospital beds and equipment. As a solution, the Nursing Home was built in 1955, and the hospital opened up to paying, non-members of the order.
On Friday nights each October, the winery offers public paranormal investigations. These events are so popular that they tend to sell out quickly.
The winery and its buildings are also popular with people in the supernatural business. Professional paranormal investigators such as the Ghost Hunters and CREEPZ have found remarkable amounts of evidence.
People have had some odd experiences during some of these investigations. On one occasion while investigating the hospital, a woman had to sit down after feeling unsteady. She stood after a few minutes, but then her head hit a wall, her eyes were rolling back in her head, and she was sweating. When she finally recovered, she had no memory of what had happened.
During the same exploration, investigators heard a deep growl coming from the room known as “the mischievous man’s room.” When they heard it again, one woman offered to check it out. As she walked toward the room, she felt an oppressive feeling, like doom or dread. Eventually, she retreated without continuing. The growling ended up being enough for the rest of the group as well. At this point, they were all ready to leave the building.
In the administration building, once used as an orphanage, meters went crazy when investigators sang “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
In an outbuilding once used for food storage, dowsing rods turned up some interesting activity. Supposedly, the orphans used to hide in this storage space in order to avoid their chores.
When investigators asked questions such as “Where are your friends?” the rods pointed to locations throughout the room. A conversation through the dowsing rods continued, and when it was time to say goodbye, one woman experienced the feeling of being hugged.
Voices, laughing and singing seem to be the most common evidence. However, some people have seen apparitions and shadow people throughout the grounds. One man saw someone peeking around a corner.
The feeling of being watched is also common. In addition, much like the woman experiencing the hug, others have reported physical contact such as being grabbed by the shoulders.
Belvoir Winery is an active business, and does acknowledge and capitalize on the hauntings and old buildings. Besides the public paranormal investigations in October, they also provide guided tours. Other events at the winery include a “Halloween Massacreade” on October 31 and Murder Mystery Dinners in November, December and January.
They are located at 1325 Odd Fellows Road in Liberty. For more information about the winery and events, click
Check out this spooky video by CREEPZ Ghost Commandos:
Have you ever visited Belvoir Winery or the Odd Fellows Historic District? Would you like to? Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it is sure to be an interesting experience.