This school was founded in August of 1833 and it is second oldest women’s college in the United States that is still operating as a female only institution.
They have a long list of alumni who became notable including actresses, a US Ambassador to the UN, a Vice-Admiral USN and the first female Senator from Missouri.
In 2004 the College started a program that allows students to foster shelter animals in student residences in exchange for scholarships.
Undergrad degrees are offered as well as Masters degrees.
The paranormal activity on campus is focused on 4 buildings: Tower Hall, Searcy Hall, Senior Hall and Pillsbury Dorms
The fifth floor of this building is closed off due to a fire. Although there are no fatalities related to this fire There is said have been a suicide when a girl who was raped on that floor that jumped off the roof – this is said to have happened in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s.
Students living on the 4th floor have heard furniture moving and people walking above their heads. This is impossible as access to the 5th floor is all but impossible.
Another story feels like just an urban legend; and all urban legends have some truth in them. A group of students managed to get the elevator to go to the 5th floor despite it being locked off from ascending above the 4th floor. Using a tape recorder – that thing we ghost hunters used before smart phones – and started asking questions but began feeling anxiety and as if they were not alone and left the floor.
When the students played back the recording they found 2 ghosts had responded to their questions: 1) a polite male voice and 2) a very pissed off female spirit who was described as rude and violent who identified herself as Stacy.
Apparently, a student found herself pregnant out of wedlock at a time when that was frowned upon – to say the very least – and was forced to give birth alone. She took the baby and hid it in a locker where it passed away.
This story cannot be verified historically but it is the explanation for the phantom sounds of a baby crying in this building that is frequently reported.
The Civil War took a heavy toll on Columbia with many sympathies lying both with the Union and the Confederates. After the battle at Pea Ridge the city and surrounding area fell under control of the Union.
A student – Sarah – came home to her room one evening to find a soldier dressed as a Confederate soldier. Her room mate – raised in Alabama – was a Confederate sympathizer and convinced Sarah to hide the soldier.
Sarah eventually fell in love with the soldier as she spent more and more time with him but she knew she had to get him out and safe in Canada. Alas, no secrets last forever, and eventually Sarah’s secret was discovered.
There are 2 versions as to what happened next: 1) this one is very romantic but not within historical possibility. The soldier was taken from Sarah’s room and shot as an enemy spy a couple of days later in full view of Sarah. Sarah immediately hung herself to death in the building’s bell tower. There’s one big issue with this version – the bell tower hadn’t been built at this time. 2) Sarah and her soldier lover escaped the campus but drown trying to cross a flooded river to freedom in Canada.
Either way the ghost of Sarah is said to haunt the building from then on. She is said to be eternally searching for her soldier boy hoping to join him in the hereafter. Her apparition is seen in the building seeming to be searching for someone. Those who have seen her describe her as very beautiful with strawberry blonde hair and almost waif like. She also said to be benevolent and almost peaceful.
There are also reports of Sarah playing the piano.
Whenever unexplained things happen – like disembodied whispers, objects moving on their own, electrical issues or a sudden chill - that leave you feeling as if you are not alone in this building its said Sarah is nearby.
People have also reported seeing doppelgangers of themselves in the halls and rooms here.
Allow there is no story behind this one many people have reported the apparitions of 3 ladies – nicknamed the Blue Ladies – who will sing you and tuck you into bed.
Even more frequently there are reports of a ghostly soft songs being song here when the ladies don’t show themselves.
By The original uploader was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:BriGuy1211" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:User:BriGuy1211">BriGuy1211</a> at <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:">English Wikipedia</a>.
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Cameragirl&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Cameragirl (page does not exist)">Melissa Kothe</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The first Elms Hotel was built on this site in 1888. On May 9, 1898 it was completely destroyed by fire. A second hotel was opened May 31, 1909 but also burned down; this time right after a large party in the ballroom.
Despite both of these hotels being massive – the second one having 300 rooms – and fire safety being nothing compared to today the 'official' history says there were “no fatalities or injuries”.
The current hotel – built with native stone by the Elms Realty Company – opened on September 7, 1912.
In the 1920’s and 30’s the hotel did very well as a Speakeasy – with nearby Kansas City was a center for organized crime – and hosted famous guests like Al Capone.
The hotel was sold in 1922 and 1925 respectively and then went bankrupt in 1932 when the American Medical Association declared that there were no benefits to mineral water – abundant in the local springs – despite numerous claims by local businesses.
In 1948 President Henry S Truman spent election night at the hotel and was woken with the news he had won. Earlier that same year the New York Giants had used the hotel as their training camp.
Sheraton bought the hotel in 1956 then quickly sold it and then re-bought it in 1960 when it went bankrupt again. The hotel was renamed the Sheraton Elms Hotel at this time.
In 1968 it bought by Gotham Hotels as Sheraton sold off some their old properties. In 1971 it went bankrupt again and was left empty until 1977 when local citizens bought it.
In 1991 the hotel was bankrupt again but continued to operate and in 1998 it got a $16 million renovation in 1998. In 2011 it was closed and under went another massive renovation before opening in 2012.
It is now owned by Hyatt.
The hotel is very open about it’s paranormal activity and even offers both ghost tours and haunted history tours.
The room in the basement where the lap pool is now is where the speakeasy used to be.
In this basement room the ghost of a gambler – who is said to have been shot to death in one of the room’s corners – is said to be active. His apparition has been seen sitting in the corner he is said to have died in.
A young child in the lap pool itself is known for grabbing people by the ankle who are swimming by. There is at least one review on the net that mentions being were grabbed in the pool by something unseen.
Phantom laughter is also heard in the lap pool area.
A maid, in 1920’s attire, is seen on the third floor apparently still fulfilling her duties.
Also, on the third floor the ghost of another woman – said to be a former guest – is seen wandering the halls. She is always in an extreme distressed state and many people report she looking for her lost baby. There are also a few reports that if you get to close her – or her to you – she will throw things and has pulled the hair of the living.
In the ballroom the chandeliers move on their own and the wispy forms of women in white gowns and men in server’s clothing are seen.
A multitude of unexplained sounds are heard in the hallways including: animal growls, heavy breathing, a woman screaming and something that sounds like electrical feedback.
The apparition of a blonde woman wearing modern clothes is seen but always sticks to the shadows so she is barely visible.
People have reported disembodied moans in the spa.
The doors in the lobby open and close on their own.
One guest reported the feeling as if an unseen baby had crawled into bed with them.
There is a report of door handle which can only be moved by someone inside the room slowly moving back and forth while the room was empty.
People have been pushed by unseen force on the deck of the outdoor pool.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions; disembodied voices; luggage and clothes being moved around while the room was empty; handprints of both children and adults appearing on windows; unexplained sounds from whispers to loud bangs; loud sounds of glass breaking but no broken glass can be found; electrical disturbances; light anomalies and feelings of being watched.
When Jefferson City was named the capital of the new State of Missouri in 1922 it was thought that building the State’s first prison in the city would solidify it being the capital.
In the early days of the State it was by no means secure that Jefferson City would remain the State Capital.
The stone mason who built the first State Capitol building was hired to design the prison. The State allocated $15,000 ($496,000 in 2023 dollars) to construct it.
The prison was built by the original 15 prisoners with one guard and the warden. 14 of the men were incarcerated for larceny and one for stabbing a man in a bar fight.
The prison was opened in March of 1836; the same month and year the Alamo fell in Texas for reference.
Notable inmates included Charles “Sonny” Liston who would become the World Heavyweight Champion boxer for 2 years until he was dethroned by Muhammad Ali; the gangster Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd and James Earl Ray who assassinated Martin Luther King.
From 1938 to 1965 39 inmates were put to death in the facility’s gas chamber. There were no more executions in the prison until 1989 when George “Tiny” Mercer became the only person executed by lethal injection at the prison.
When the Potosi Correctional Center opened in 1989 the prison transferred all 70 of the death row inmates to the new facility.
There were 2 major riots in the prison’s history. One in 1930 and another in 1954.
In 1974 Lillian Bonds became the first female correctional officer to work in a male prison in the State.
The prison closed in 2004 – at the time it was the oldest operating prison west of Mississippi River – when the new Jefferson City Correctional Center was opened.
The prison – once called the “bloodiest 47 acres in America” by Time magazine – is now open as a tourist attraction. Numerous paranormal tours are available as well as 2 types of overnight investigations.
Near the control room in some of the housing units a ghost nicknamed “Fast Jack” is seen. He is thought to have been a worker in the medical facilities as he is always seen in a white lab coat and carrying a clipboard. He usually speeds down hallways but is also known for walking through walls.
Jack once opened all the lockers in a room in a matter of seconds.
In Cell 48 – which was once home to a known snitch who was beat to death with a sledge hammer in 54 riot – people report a heavy feeling and a misty human form has been captured on the cameras.
In the old female wing the ghost of a woman in out dated inmate clothes is seen. Unexplainably, the ghosts of children and a dog are seen there too.
The apparition of a man dressed in an out of date prison uniform is seen leaning against a fence.
Other reported activity: apparitions of former inmates and guards; touches, pokes and prods by unseen entities; coins falling from nowhere onto the floor; time slips; disembodied voices; unexplained sounds from whispers to loud bangs; phantom smell of body odor and cigarette smoke; shadow figures; ghostly figures moving at speeds well beyond a living human; objects moving on their own; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; empathic sensations of dread, anxiety and sadness and feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
(Odd Fellows Home District)(Belvoir Winery)
Odd Fellows Road
Status: Former Hospital, Former Old Age Home, Former Orphanage, Partially in Ruins, Partially Repurposed, Private Property
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was formed in the United States in 1819 based on an order formed in England in the 18th century. Its mission is to provide shelter for those who cannot take care of themselves – the elderly with no financial means, destitute widows and orphaned children.
In 1835 they moved into Missouri and by the end of the 19th century they had built the Oddfellows Home on 240 acres of grounds. The buildings included a hospital, an old age home, a school and an orphanage.
There is also a small room that acts as an Odd Fellows museum with artifacts. Much is made of the skeleton of a former member of the Order although this is a common practice for the Odd Fellows. The bones are used as part of a secret initiation ceremony apparently as a reminder of our impending mortality – all members who donate their bodies to science come back to the Order as bleached skeletons once their usefulness to science is done.
It is unclear when the Oddfellows completely closed down this facility; probably sometime in the 1990’s. The Nursing Home was built in the 1950’s and by 1955 there were no longer any children on the property. Around this time the old school building was demolished.
The former orphanage has been repurposed by the owners of the site and now contains a winery and an inn. The remaining buildings have been badly damaged both by vandals and the climate and are in a partially ruined condition.
The grounds may be walked during the hours that the Winery is open but no one may enter the buildings unless they are on an official paranormal investigation.
In October ghost hunts are held on the property by the owners.
In the former storm shelter there’s a ghost of a little boy named Matthew. Reports indicate he likes to communicate with investigators and is sometimes with another ghost named Mark. It is said the orphans used to hide here to avoid their chores.
In the former nursing home is the ghost of an elderly lady who frequently complains about her meds not being on time. An old lady is also heard singing.
In the former orphanage – now Winery and Inn – the orphaned children still play with disembodied laughter heard as well as the apparition of a little boy in a red shirt, blue pants and brown boots.
The ghostly sound of children singing “ring-around-the-rosie” has been heard. Children are also heard running up and down the staircase and through the halls.
In the old hospital people have become dizzy and physically ill. Growling has been heard. Feelings of unease and not being wanted are frequently reported as well. People have also been touched by unseen presences; everything from a friendly hug to being roughly grabbed by the shoulders.
There have been a couple of cases of possible possession in the hospital as well.
1120 Main Street
Status: Famous Haunted House
Overnight Paranormal Investigations can be Booked
This house was built in 1854 for Armstrong and Eliza Beattie.
Armstrong became the city’s first banker and served as St Joseph’s mayor a staggering 5 times. A record that has never been broken.
Armstrong died in 1878 and Eliza passed in 1880.
The couple had no heirs, so the house was given to the Ladies Benevolent Society who converted it into a shelter for the homeless and other vulnerable populations in the city.
In 1895 it was converted into the Memorial Home for the Aged. This lasted for a century.
In 1995 the house’s use again changed; this time into a group home for the substance addicted and the mentally ill.
In 2004 it was sold to private owners who had plans to convert it into a bed and breakfast. It was during this renovation that reports of paranormal activity began.
Currently the house can be booked of 1 or 2 night paranormal investigations through the link to their website above.
This house is considered the most haunted in the city and one of the most paranormally active in the State.
When the renovations were being done some of the contractors had experiences so intense they refused to return to the site. Their paranormal encounters included full body apparitions, shadow figures and disembodied voices.
An experienced paranormal team was brought in and found that Eliza Beattie as well as other ghosts haunt the house.
Eliza is most commonly encountered on the second floor where she eternally patrols the halls of her once home. Also on the second floor, is the ghost of a child in one room that has been heard both laughing and yelling.
The basement – known as the most haunted place in the building – is the home of a very active male ghost. He has been seen walking through the floor and heard laughing; he is also known for taunting investigators.
The first floor kitchen is also very active with the apparitions of both children and adults reported here.
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/pasa/">Paul Sableman</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/8120422334/">Flickr</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
This house was built in the early 1860’s as the residence of the Lemp family. They were owners and brewers of Falstaff beer which was had a huge amount of the St Louis beer market previous to Prohibition.
Adam Lemp began the brewery and his son William Sr vastly expanded it. William Sr shot himself in the head in his bedroom after a long battle with failing mental health. His son, William Jr took over the family business but was extravagant with his inherited money. When Prohibition came in 1919 he would eventually sell the brewery cheaply and soon after shoot himself in the heart – many would say because he felt he failed his father.
William Jr’s sister also shot herself – although it is unclear if this was in the house or not.
The Lemp family lived in the house until 1949 and even used it as brewery offices until 1922 when the brewery was sold. The last Lemp – Charles – in the house committed suicide in his bed.
In the 1950’s the house became a boarding house losing most of it’s charm and uniqueness. In the 1960’s the construction of Interstate 55 destroyed most the grounds and one of the carriage houses.
The house is currently a basement restaurant and inn. 1.5 hour paranormal investigations can be booked including the use of an infrared camera on site.
It is said this house is never quiet for those who know how to listen.
The majority of paranormal activity happens in attic, on the stairway and the area of the basement that used to access the caves used for beer storage – the staff have nicknamed this area the “Gates of Hell”.
In 1975 when the mansion was being renovated into a restaurant and inn workmen complained of seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, having their tools disappear and feeling like they were being watched. Some even left the job site never to return they were so scared or disturbed.
The attic is said to be haunted by the “monkey faced boy” who was William Jr’s illegitimate son and was born with Down Syndrome. He was confined to the third floor of the mansion his entire life. People report seeing his face looking down on from the third floor windows to this day. Investigators have brought in toys and left them in the attic only to find them moved the next day when no one living had been in the attic since.
In the downstairs women’s bathroom – that was once William Jr’s private room – a man has been seen looking over the top of the stalls at women using the facilities. One woman went so far as to accuse the 2 men in the bar but the bartender verified neither had left their bar seats the entire time.
In William Sr’s old room there have been phantom sounds of someone running up the stairs and kicking the door. William Jr is known to have done that when he heard his father’s suicidal gunshot.
In the parking lot north of the mansion the phantom sounds of horses have been heard. Horses were once tethered in this area.
Other Activity: apparitions that suddenly appear before disappearing just as quickly; glasses have lifted off of the bar on their own or moved while untouched; disembodied voices and other unexplained bangs and noises; the piano in the bar will play on it’s own; light anomalies; electrical disturbances including lights turning on and off on their own; objects moving on their own including doors opening and closing and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
(St Louis City Insane Asylum)(City Sanatorium)(St Louis State Hospital)
5300 Arsenal Street
Status: Former Asylum; Government Offices; Partially Demolished; Address Given is for the Modern Psychiatric Facility Next Door
Construction began on this grand building at the highest point in St Louis in August of 1864. On April 23, 1869 the asylum opened their doors to first 150 mentally ill patients.
The site also contained 2 Poor Houses, an orphanage and a Hospital for Social Evils which seems to have been an early attempt at a Hospital for the Criminally Insane – commonly called Forensic Psychiatric Institutions now.
An Isolation Hospital was added later for those with contagious diseases.
Historically, 1869 was the only time the asylum had as many patients as it was designed for. Like every other psychiatric facility in the late 19th and early 20th centuries overcrowding and being understaffed became major problems. As soon as 1890 there was 250 patients.
In 1907 construction began on the new wings – which have since been demolished – and the facility began to take more of a Kirkbridge design. Administration in the center with 2 wings – 1 male, 1 female – and the most violent patients put the furthest in the wing; furthest away from administration. The hospital then had room for 2,000 patients.
In the early 1920’s another population explosion led to a new building being constructed for attendants’ living space which opened up part of the main building for more patients. However, by 1940 the facility population was at 3,844 patients and over crowded again.
In 1948 the asylum, which had already been transferred from St Louis County to St Louis City, was sold by the city to the State of Missouri for the grand sum of $1. The name was changed to the St Louis State Hospital at this time.
In the 1960’s the Louis H Kohler Building was constructed with 4 floors complete with its own wings and then quickly expanded to include 6 floors. The Missouri Mental Health Office moved into the building along with the patients.
As the 1980’s began, attitudes toward mental illness began to change. The creation of anti-psychotic drugs allowed patients with conditions that had always led them to be institutionalized for life to live and function in society.
The large asylums fell into disfavor and lost most of their funding as patients were moved in group homes or reintroduced to society. All of this led to a huge decrease of patient populations for the first time in the history of the institutions.
In the early 1990’s the East Wing of the main building was demolished. In 1997 a new facility called the St Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center composed of 4 wards and 14 cottages with housing for 212 patients opened behind the original main building. The remaining patients were either moved to the new facility or back into society.
This resulted in the west wing of the main building and the Kohler Building being demolished. The hospital was now the same as original building that was opened in 1869; albeit with no patients living there. Some State Government agencies have offices in the building but large parts of it remain empty.
The building is not accessible to the public.
Apparitions of former patients and staff; shadow figures and movement in the windows of the mostly abandoned building; possession by former patients; pushes, tugs and touches by unseen presences.
Disembodied voices including entire conversations and having your name called out; phantom noises including stretchers and wheel chairs being moved, bangs, scrapes, scratches and screams – there are reports of unexplained noises not only coming from the remaining building but also from areas where buildings used to stand; warm and cold spots; time slips; poltergeist activity including doors and windows opening and closing on their own.
Light anomalies, unexplained fogs and mists - some traveling against the air flow; feelings of not being alone, being watched – especially from the building’s empty windows, not being wanted and of being followed; empathic feelings of fear, loneliness, anger, hopelessness, sadness, being trapped and hatred; unexplained phantom smells and electrical disturbances.
(Lawler-Ford Road)(Al Foster Trail)
Highway 109 and Old State Road
Status: Former Road, Hiking and Biking Trail
This road was originally built in 1860’s and called the Lawler-Ford Road. The original purpose of the road was to provide access to the river and the railroad tracks. At the time it was gravel road for use by horses or horse and buggy – no cars in the 1860’s.
Although it was eventually paved it was never a main road and at only 10 feet wide with curves through dense forest that made it hard to see who was coming. By the 1950’s it was rarely used by cars but had become a teenage hang out.
Until the mid-1940’s this area was used as a resort. This has left numerous abandoned and degraded structures visible from the road.
In the 1950’s was when the road got the name Zombie Road. It probably got the name from an Urban Legend that there was a man who lived in the woods and would murder teen couples looking for privacy. He was called the Zombie Killer.
The road cuts through some the largest Indigenous Burial Mounds in the area.
The trail closes 30 minutes after sundown and opens 30 minutes before sunrise. Being on the trail after dark is trespassing and you will be ticketed if the police find you. So keep your exploring to the daylight hours.
Della McCullough was hit and killed by a train near this road in 1876. Her apparition is still seen and is thought to have been the start of the Zombie Killer legend.
Apparitions of the indigenous people from before the European settlement are reported. Apparitions of Confederate soldiers still roam the woods from the Civil War. Apparitions of men in late 19th early 20th centuries factory/industrial clothing are also seen.
Apparitions are also seen in the decaying abandoned houses in the forest. Often in the doorways or watching from the empty windows.
Groups of children have been seen wandering the woods. Strangely, there are no stories of single ghost children – they only travel in groups.
Shadow figures are commonly seen in the woods. There are other reports of what have been described as non-human entities.
Other Activity: disembodied voices; feelings of not being alone and being watched; electrical disturbances; unexplainable mists – some traveling against the wind and light anomalies.