I don’t know about you but I am a real fan of scary stories, especially when they are based on a kernel of truth. Usually, urban legends do stem from real stories, the truth of which can most often not be verified. Urban legends abound all across our great nation but here a few specific to Missouri. Continue with caution.
1. The Devil's Chair
The Devil's Chair (or haunted chair) is a common legend but the one specific to Missouri involves what is known as "The Baird Chair" in Kirksville at the Highland Park Cemetery. The legend goes that those who sit in the chair at midnight (or Halloween, or during a full moon) will either be punished or rewarded for bravery. Another suggests a hand will rise from a grave and drag you down into hell. Since all devil's chairs are in cemeteries, it's easy to imagine getting spooked by such a tale. However, in truth, the chairs were most likely placed there as monuments or even just places for mourners to sit.
2. Momo the Monster
Momo, which is short for Missouri Monster is an Urban Legend similar to Bigfoot. Supposedly, Momo is about 7 feet tall with a pumpkin shaped head, glowing orange eyes, furry and black with hair covering its face. It is reported to have a significant bad odor and has been seen up and down the Mississippi River. It is said to kill animals and purposely scare humans.
3. Zombie Road
The stories associated with Zombie Road outside of St. Louis are many. While the original name of the road was Lawler Ford Road, it started being referred to as Zombie Road in the 50’s. This is perhaps due to the stories of a “Zombie killer”, a creepy guy who lived in a shack in the woods and would attack young lovers looking for a place to be alone. As the years passed, the chilling stories continued, including ghosts, vanishings and strange noises. One of the most spine-tingling may be the frequently re-told story about the ghost of a man who was hit by a train and now haunts the area. The chilling part is that there is a real story in which the wife of a local judge named Della Hamilton McCullough was actually hit by a train and died in 1876. Since there are no other records of anyone being killed by a train in this area, it is widely believed that Mrs. McCullough may just be the actual famed ghost.
4. Dead Body Under the Bed
The legend goes that a couple checks into a hotel and throughout the night notice a strange odor. They call to complain, only to find the source of the smell is near the bed. Upon further examination, a dead body is found stuffed into the boxspring. The couple has been sleeping above it all night! The spooky part of this story is that it actually happened in a few places, including Kansas City. The body of a man was found at the Capri Motel in 2003. In this case, the man had been staying in the smelly motel for three days! Eww.
5. The Lemp Mansion
The Lemp Mansion currently operates as a restaurant and inn (and even the site of a murder mystery dinner theater!) and people flock there to see if they can observe something creepy. This 19th century mansion in St. Louis is said to be one of the ten most haunted places in America. Based on the several suicides and other deaths within the Lemp family at this location, the building is said to be haunted by several of their spirits. For example, the attic is said to be haunted by the “Monkey-faced boy” who was actually the illegitimate son of William Lemp Jr, who had been hidden away to avoid disgrace due to the scandal and because he had been born “deformed” (actually with down syndrome).
Are you familiar with any other urban legends in Missouri? Feel free to share them below in the comments!