In previous posts we’ve talked about haunted houses, haunted streets, haunted hotels, and much more. So now, in honor of Halloween, here’s another nod to some more Missouri ghosts and hauntings you may or may not have heard of. Enter at your own risk!
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. Bone Hill Cemetery, Levasy
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“Bone Hill” got its name from an old American Indian buffalo hunting practice in which the tribe frightened the buffalo into stampeding off a cliff, resulting in many dead buffalo that were then harvested. A large pile of buffalo bones was found near this cemetery’s location, leading pioneers to believe it was the location of this type of buffalo hunt. Story is, a pioneer family buried a bunch of gold somewhere near a stone fence on the cemetery grounds, planning to return and retrieve it after seven years had passed. However, they never did return. Instead, visitors report seeing a blue light that hovers over a stone wall, believing it to be the spirits of that family protecting their precious gold (The cemetery has also been known as Ebenezer Church Cemetery and Levasy Cemetery)
2. Lander’s Theater, Springfield
Built in 1909, Landers Theater is a four-story brick building that was built in 1909 on E. Walnut Street in Springfield and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In continuous operation since it opened despite a 1920 fire that nearly burned it to the ground, it has long been rumored to be haunted by quite a few ghosts, including a janitor who had perished in the fire who has been seen on the balcony. Another is said to be the ghost of a baby that had been accidentally dropped from the balcony. Witnesses have heard a baby crying or the sad “thud” of the fall occurring. In addition, green orbs and an inky black vortex have been seen in various places throughout the theater, and a blonde woman has been seen in the window on the fourth floor wearing Elizabethan style clothing.
3. Satan’s Tunnel, Hawk Point
This tunnel, once a railroad bridge, has been mostly taken back by nature, moss, and graffiti, and many believe it is haunted by ghostly figures. Long before, when the railroad was still there, a train struck a man walking along the tracks causing him to fall to his death. Another man was said to have been lynched in a tree near the entrance. The third story involves a man who at one time had made his home in the tunnel, who had been found dead with a look of fear still on his face. Besides the ghosts of these three men, or perhaps because of the negative energy drawn to the site by these events, a group of devil worshippers have been attracted to this location and perform rituals there.
4. Savoy Hotel and Grill, Kansas City
The Savoy Hotel, built in 1888, is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the United States west of the Mississippi River. In addition, its restaurant, the Savoy Grill, is the oldest restaurant in Kansas City, featuring stained glass windows, lanterns, and a large carved oak bar. Many famous guests have visited the Savoy over the years as well as a few less welcome spirits. The first involved a woman named Betsy Ward who lived in Room 505 in the 1800’s. One day she was found dead in her bathtub, but it was never clear whether it was suicide or murder. As a result, many strange occurrences have been reported from that room, and it is believed it is the ghost of Ms. Ward that haunts it. A man named Fred Lightner is said to haunt a different room, and a young girl wearing a Victorian dress has been seen wandering around on the fourth floor.
5. Pythian Castle, Springfield
The Knights of Pythias, an American fraternal organization and secret society, built this castle in 1913. Originally named Pythian Home of Missouri, it was first used as an orphanage and retirement home for children and widows of members of the organization. Legend says that children staying at the castle were forced to crawl through a steam tunnel in order to deliver laundry to a connecting building. The castle was commandeered by the U.S. government during WWII and used as a recovery home for wounded soldiers. The soldiers staying there during this time often reported hearing screams and seeing the ghosts of children. One veteran reportedly heard a conversation taking place on the second floor, even though no one was there. In recent years, the Pythian Castle was purchased by a private owner and has been opened up for tours. It has also been featured in TV Shows such as Ghost Lab, Haunted Collector and in the documentary Children of the Grave.
6. Stephens College, Columbia
St. Stephens College in Columbia is believed to have many ghosts, long part of campus lore. Pillsbury/Roblee Dorm Hall is said to be home to three ghostly women called the Blue Ladies who sing to students and tuck them in to bed at night. A baby is heard crying at night in Searcy Hall, said to be the spirit of a newborn who had been left in a locker by a student. At Senior Hall you might encounter the spirit of a women named Sarah, who is said to have hanged herself there during the Civil War after her soldier lover had been killed for desertion. Finally, Tower Hall’s entire fifth floor is said to have several ghosts residing there.
7. Avenue Theater, West Plains
Avenue Theatre, a 1950 Art Deco building in West Plains, has been the site of several reports of strange activity. A baby’s cries have been heard coming from the upper seating areas, flickering lights have been seen when it is dark, and props have been reported moved or hidden.
8. Rose Bed Inn, Cape Girardeau
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Rose Bed Inn is housed in a former home that had been built in 1908, and is said to be haunted by a ghost named Alex. Alex was a young man engaged to a wealthy lady who had expressed interest in purchasing the home, but did not yet have the money. The owners agreed to let Alex move in with them to start fixing it up, and ultimately learned that Alex was gay and had a lover he had been hiding from his fiance’. Alex disappeared soon after the two found out about each other, and eventually an odor led the owners to find Alex’s body hanging in the attic. It is said that Alex’s ghost now lives harmoniously with the current owners and is known to turn off lights, move or hide objects, smoke cigars (strictly NOT normally allowed on the property), and show himself to guests who share the name Alex.
9. Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant and Lounge in Warehouse Row
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Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant and Lounge in Warehouse Row is housed in a circa-1860 warehouse. It is said to be haunted by an unknown female ghost nicknamed Belle by a former bartender who claimed she showed him she liked the name he gave her by starting to ring a bell in the downstairs hall shortly after he came up with it. Belle has been seen in a 19th-century long dress, and noises and footsteps have been reported by customers and staff, as well as orbs appearing and even showing up in photographs.
10. Thias House, Washington
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Though the building is no longer open for business, it used to be open for tours and operated as a restaurant. During that time, witnesses reported the apparition of a lady combing her hair at the dresser in the master bedroom. In the attic, people have experienced the sensation of someone touching their shoulder. The woman’s ghost has also been seen wearing Victorian clothing and walking down the grand staircase. Oddly, a ghost cat is also said to wander the place, and his crying has been heard as well.
Have you heard these stories before? What is your favorite Missouri ghost story? Share in the comments below and have a Happy Halloween!!