Missouri is home to some of the most haunted sites in the U.S. Ghosts linger at many of these infamous locations after their lives were cut short from tragic accidents, murders, and even suicide. If you believe in the paranormal and are brave enough to visit, these 12 sites in Missouri give you the best shot at seeing a ghost.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Vaile Mansion - Independence
The Vaile Manson was constructed in 1881 for Colonel Harvey Merrick Vaile and his wife, Sophia. Sophia died in the home in 1883 from a morphine overdose while her husband was away on business. Visitors have claimed to see Sophia standing in the upstairs window. The mansion is now open for tours at 1500 North Liberty Street, Independence.
2. Savoy Hotel and Grill - Kansas City
Built in 1880, the Savory Hotel has many reports of apparitions. Room 505 is supposedly haunted by Betsy Ward reportedly who died in the room. Paranornal Investigators have reported hearing voices, seeing orbs, and even sightings of a young girl in Victorian clothing on the 4th floor. Currently the hotel is under construction but will re-open in 2018. Find Savoy Hotel at 219 W. 9th Street, Kansas City.
3. Union Station - Kansas City
Union Station in Kansas City is reportedly haunted by former workers and travelers. An apparition named Suggs Mailer is one of the most well known spirits that hangs around the station. After his retirement from the mail room the former employee was never seen again. Now reports of his spirit lurking in the basement have been reported. Workers also state seeing a woman dressed in black walking down the stairs after hours. Visit the historic Union Station at 30 W Pershing Road, Kansas City.
4. Governor's Mansion - Jefferson City
The Missouri Governor's Mansion was built in 1872. Former Governor Thomas Crittenden lived in the home with his family from 1881-1885. While living in the mansion his daughter Caroline passed away from diphtheria. A century later, during renovations, a contractor talked with a young girl as she played upstairs. After the contractor inquired about the girl to the house keeper he realized that he had seen a ghost and quit the project. Visitors can tour the home at 100 Madison Street, Jefferson City.
5. Jesse James Farm - Kearney
The Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri was the childhood home to the famous American outlaw, Jesse James. The family was terrorized by those looking to capture their outlaw son. His mother was injured and his half brother killed in bombing by police who were hoping to take Jesse in dead or alive (by order of Gov. Crittenden). Now open to visitors for tours, many have reported hearing gunshots, hoof beats, and whispers on the farm. You can visit the Jesse James Farm at 21216 James Farm Road, Kearney.
6. Lemp Mansion - St. Louis
The Lemp Mansion was built for the wealthy Lemp Family who owned a successful brewery in St. Louis during the late 1800's into the early 1900's. In December of 1901 the youngest son of the Lemp Family, Fredrick, died of health complications The head of the family, William Lemp, unable to cope with his son's death committed suicide in the home in 1904. Three other members of the Lemp family committed suicide in the home between 1920 and 1949. All members of the Lemp Family have since passed and the home is now a restaurant and event center. The mansion also offers guests rooms for those looking to encounter the ghost of the Lemp Family. Find the Lemp Mansion at 3322 DeMenil Place, St. Louis.
7. Pythian Castle - Springfield
The Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal organization, built the castle in 1912 as a home for children and widows of members of the organization.
Legend has it that children staying at the castle were forced to work in horrid conditions. The castle was commandeered by the U.S. government during WWII and used as a recovery home for wounded soldiers. The soldiers reported hearing screams and seeing the ghosts of children. The castle is now an event center and provides ghost tours on Tuesday and Friday nights. Visit the Pythian Castle at 1451 E Pythian St, Springfield.
8. Stephen's College - Columbia
Many ghost stories have been circulating about Stephen's College for decades. Senior Hall (pictured) is home to one of the college's more well known ghosts, Sarah. Sarah was reportedly a student at Stephen's college during the Civil War when she received word that her love interest had been killed for desertion and in response hung herself. Her ghost along with others who sing to students and tuck them in can be visited on campus at 1200 E. Broadway, Columbia.
9. Missouri State Penitentiary - Jefferson City
The Missouri State Penitentiary has one of the darkest histories in the state. The prison was home to violent criminals and unfortunately the violence didn't end after they got locked up. Ghostly sightings, unexplainable sounds, and horrible stories await you at the over 100 year old prison. Take a tour or stay overnight at the Missouri State Penitentiary located at 115 Lafayette Street,
10. Thespian Hall - Boonville
Thespian Hall in Boonville opened in 1857 and is the oldest theater west of the Appalachians. Reports have been made of an apparition of an older woman with gray hair and a white blouse visiting the
theater and sitting in the audience. Workers have also heard ragtime music and noted that items have moved and changed position on their own. Arrange a tour and find the Thespian Hall at 522 Main Street, Boonville.
11. Bellefontaine Cemetery - St. Louis
Stories of ghosts appearing as children have surrounded Bellefontaine Cemetery for years. One apparition is a young boy who runs in front of your car tricking you into believing that you have hit him. Visit on your own or take a guided tour. Find St. Louis' most famous cemetery at 4947 W. Florissant Avenue, St. Louis.
12. Central Methodist University - Fayette
The campus of Central Methodist University is haunted by two former faculty members of the music department. Dean of the department, N. Louise Wright, passed out mid-performance and died in 1958. Students have reported hearing her play the piano in the empty conservatory following her death. A few years later, conductor Dr. Thomas Erskine Birch died on-stage after suffering from a heart attack. Many have reported sightings of him on campus dressed for a performance and smoking a cigarette. Central Methodist University is located at 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette.
Have you visited any of these paranormal destinations? Tell us your ghost stories in the comments below.