Legends and folklore can be found in nearly every Missouri city. The legends pass on from generation to generation, and evenings spent exploring paranormal places are common for those interested in the supernatural. If you are looking for some interesting haunts in Missouri, be sure to check these places out. They will definitely give you chills.
Michael Schlueter Photography cropped
Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO
As the state’s capitol, Jefferson City, Missouri has a long history. Where ghosts are concerned, the Missouri State Penitentiary is notorious for its apparent paranormal activity. Dubbed the “bloodiest 47 acres in America” by Time magazine, the more than 175-year-old prison has been the host to more than 100 organized paranormal investigations that have turned up various pieces of evidence that point to the supernatural. Some investigations were conducted by members of Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters. Just a few of the experiences by visitors include apparitions, shadowy shapes, disembodied voices that will interact with guests, and other otherworldly phenomena.
Rivercene Mansion in New Franklin, MO
The Rivercene Mansion in New Franklin, Missouri is a great bed and breakfast that is wrought with paranormal happenings. The mansion was originally built by Joseph Kinney in 1869. Only one member of the Kinney family still remains at the mansion, but has long been dead. Noble William Kinney died at the age of 26 after falling down the staircase but the spirit of Noble has been sighted by guests and is said to still inhabit the mansion.
The Elms Hotel & Spa in Excelsior Springs, MO
The Elms Hotel & Spa combines a luxurious stay with thrilling haunts that might send chills up your spine. The hotel is known to be haunted, boasting legends regarding spirits that walk the halls and even hang out in the pool. Visitors have also reported seeing a spectre decked out in 20s clothing. Never fear, though. The spirits here are said to be rather benign. If you are interested in getting a glimpse of the hotel, check out the Ghost Hunters episode featuring the inn or book a stay, if you’re brave enough.
Stephens College in Columbia, MO
Formerly Columbia Baptist Female College, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri was home to the star-crossed love story of Sarah Wheeler and a Confederate soldier named Isaac Johnson. After hiding him away in the college, rumors of a stowaway soldier reached General Halleck of the U.S. military. Isaac and Sarah were thought to have tried to escape the college and drowned in the river, though another story suggests he was executed in the streets and Sarah hanged herself from the belltower in distress. Either way, Sarah’s ghost is still thought to wander Senior Hall and keep the students at Stephens on their toes. Eerie tales include that of the Pillsbury/Roblee Dorm Hall where the apparitions of the Blue Ladies are said to sing to students and tuck them into bed while other stories claim that you can hear a ghost baby crying in Searcy Hall because it was once abandoned in a locker.
The Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, MO
Take a trip to the capitol of Missouri and discover the plethora of paranormal happenstances at the Governor’s Mansion. The most notable story follows that of the daughter of Governor Thomas Crittenden, Carrie, who died of diptheria. After her death, she was once seen in the attic playing with one of the workers; who simply thought she was a neighbor’s daughter. Needless to say, he didn’t return after hearing about the ghost child. Other odd events include moving objects, phantom footsteps, audible voices, and eerie laughter.
University of Missouri Kansas City - Epperson House in Kansas City, MO
Earning a spot on Unsolved Mysteries’ "Top Five Haunted Houses in the United States" list, the Epperson House of the University of Missouri Kansas City is a labyrinth of ghostly happenings. The legend tells the tale of Harriet Evelyn Barse who died in the home at the age of 47. Witnesses report seeing her figure in the window, dressed in a gown, and the sound of organ music at nighttime. Also, in 1979, a patrol officer claimed that his car was hit from behind at the house when he heard the sound of shattered glass. When he went to investigate, he found nothing there. Security guards at the home also claim to hear phantom footsteps and have experienced other paranormal events.
Vaile Mansion in Independence, MO
The Vaile Mansion legends stem from the original owner, Colonel Harvey Vaile, whose wife was said to have overdosed on morphine after the colonel was accused of mail fraud and sent to Washington, D.C. for trial. It was found that Mr. Vaile was innocent, but he returned to find his wife dead. Her spirit, however, is said to have lingered around the mansion. After the Mr. Vaile’s death in 1894, the mansion was converted to an inn for a while. It also functioned as a private asylum, a mineral water company, and a rest home for the elderly. Occurrences of paranormal activity include sightings of an apparition in the yard, the indentions of someone sitting on freshly-made beds when no one has been around, and lingering negative energy.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Flint
University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO
Located in Warrensburg, Missouri, the University of Central Missouri is home to many stories of supernatural phenomenon. Stories tell of strange happenings regarding a student who was said to hang himself in Hawkins Hall and the ghost of Sarah, a pregnant student who was thought to have committed suicide. However, Yeater Hall is thought to be the most haunted area of the school. The ghost of the dormitory’s founder, Laura Yeater, is said to have imprinted itself upon the hall and still roams the school to this day. Students have experienced a wide variety of paranormal activity ranging from cold spots to scratches on male students, and flickering lights.
Belvoir Winery in Liberty, MO
For delicious wines and a possible paranormal encounter, head to Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Missouri. The winery was a home for orphans, widows, and the elderly in its prime, having been formed by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The formation included a school, cemetery, and hospital. The able-bodied residents all helped to care for the property. Reports of otherworldly activity include disembodied voices, children laughing and giggling when no one else is there, and doors opening and closing by themselves.
Oliver Anderson House in Lexington, MO
Built in 1853 by Oliver Anderson, the Oliver Anderson House in Lexington, Missouri was home to the Anderson family until the Civil War arrived in Lexington and federal troops confiscated the house for use as a hospital. Several skirmishes took place in the house, coating its grand staircase with the blood of murdered soldiers. Guests who have visited the home claim to have experienced the presence of these restless soldiers. One visitor even captured a chilling EVP recording that says, “You will die.”
1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum in Independence, MO
The old 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum in Independence, Missouri is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Civil War troops, most notably the spirit of Henry Bugler, who was murdered in the jail in 1866. As his restless soul remains, he is often seen in the center south cell, wearing a blue suit. Visitors have also experienced nausea upon entrance as well as cold spots, footsteps when no one is around, and malicious growling noises. The Premiere Paranormal Research Society also explored the jail, capturing evidence of activity. Having housed thousands of prisoners, it seems fitting that the jail is home to those imprisoned on earth.
Park University in Parkville, MO
Visitors to Park University in Parkville, Missouri may get more than just an education. The university is rumored to have been the site of the suicides of two female students during World War II. The girls hanged themselves in Herr House. Now, footsteps from empty rooms and other strange experiences frequently occur there. It is also said that the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater is haunted by the apparition of Jenkin David in his gray suit.
The Jesse James Farm in Kearney, MO
It makes complete sense that any place with an imprint of the infamous Jesse James would also be rumored to be haunted. At the Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri, the spirits come out to play. The farm has acquired a tragic history, as Jesse was whipped by Union militia members, his younger brother, Archie, was murdered by detectives, and his mother, Zerelda, lost her right hand. Witnesses claim to have seen moving lights inside the property, the sounds of horses, and an intense, ominous presence within the house, coupled with eerie whispers of the undead.
Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, MO
A once-famous brewery turned inn, the Lemp Mansion is not only home to lagers and great food. Spirits are also said to inhabit the old home, with origins dating back to when the Lemps’ troubles began in 1901. Frederick Lemp, the favorite son of founder William Lemp died at the age of 28. This was a major blow to father and head of the Lemp family, who soon became a recluse before taking his own life on February 13, 1904. The daughter of Lemp also committed suicide in her own home by shooting herself, only to be followed by her brother, Will, doing the same thing. Another member of the family, Charles Lemp, also shot himself. Because of the bloody history, restless spirits do seem to still inhabit the mansion with several paranormal investigations being held in within its walls. Now a bed and breakfast, guests report cold spots, electrical failures, a feeling of deep sorrow, tapping on their shoulders, and strange objects in their photos.
Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, MO
Not only are the Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri brimming with history, but they may also be full of ghostly inhabitants too. Established on October 23, 1826, the fort served as housing to soldiers who protected the settlers from Native Americans. It was also used as a military hospital, and in 1923, a Veteran’s Hospital. Ghostly reports date all the way back to World War II. It is said that Building 1 is haunted by a Confederate Civil War general who is often seen in the commander’s office. There are also claims of a man who makes himself at home at a desk on the second floor. Building 25 and Building 29 have also been purported to contain supernatural activity, such as flickering lights, phantom footsteps and a disembodied voice yelling, “Dismissed!”. The cemetery on site is also said to be haunted.
Morse Mill Hotel in Dittmer, MO
The Morse Mill Hotel in Dittmer, Missouri has a long history of being a haven for serial killers, gangsters, and other ne'er-do-wells. From outlaw Jesse James to the first known female serial murderer, Bertha Gifford, the hotel has been a speakeasy, brothel, murder site, Confederate Hospital, and even a Native American burial site. Visitors report being touched, hearing eerie footsteps in the night, seeing apparitions, and hearing voices call out to them. You can even hear some of the captured EVPs and check out some of the photos. If you still aren’t convinced, take the tour and see for yourself.
Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO
Missouri seems to have a penchant for haunted Universities. At Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, there are happenings that may be even scarier than final exams. Most notably, the university is said to be inhabited by founder Mary Easton Sibley, who established the school in 1853. From the Lindenwood Auditorium Ghost to the Sibley Chapel unseen piano player and the Cobbs Hall woman in white, it seems there may be some students who have not yet graduated.
Jacques Guibourd Historic House in St. Genevieve, MO
Drive east and you will reach the town of St. Genevieve, Missouri. Situated in the town is one of the area's most haunted buildings, the Jacques Guibourd Historic House. The Creole-style mansion was erected around 1784 and currently serves as a cultural museum because of its strong French ties. Reports of activity in the house include experiences of cold spots, tapping on shoulders, footsteps when no one else is on the premises, and presences felt in the house.
Creve Coeur Park in Creve Coeur, MO
In Creve Coeur, Missouri, the spirit of a young Native American girl is said to wander Creve Coeur Park. The legend surrounding the park tells the tale of a beautiful daughter of a Native American chief who fell in love. Some stories claim she loved a brave warrior who died in battle while others claim it was a French fur trapper who did not return her feelings. Either way, she became absolutely distraught and jumped from the cliff. Witnesses claim to hear her crying and to see her apparition on nights lit up by the full moon; Fittingly so, as ‘Creve Coeur’ translates to ‘broken heart’. Other legends tell of a woman who was murdered in the park and haunts the cliff near where her body was found.
Union Station in Kansas City, MO
Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri is not just a railroad station for the living. The station is supposedly haunted by the ghost of criminal Frank Nash, who, along with four peace officers, was killed during a rescue attempt. Nash’s spirit still wanders the station, faceless. Other reports include seeing a pair of polished shoes with no owner, and a faceless male figure walking around. The station itself has been investigated by the crew of the paranormal television program, Ghost Adventures.
Have you explored any of these places? Did you have any odd experiences? Tell your stories in the comments and share the article with your paranormal-loving friends!