Discover the most haunted places in Missouri that any ghost hunter or anyone interested in the paranormal needs to visit. Many of these haunted places have a rich Native American history, tales of murder and suicide and relentless hauntings of ghosts, demons and terrifying paranormal activity.
1. Lemp Mansion, St. Louis
One of the most haunted sites in the United States is the Lemp Mansion (circa 1868). The mansion was built over a network of underground caves used to store beer from the family's brewery. In fact, William Lemp used the network to walk to his brewery each morning.
Mansion Turned Into B&B
Today, the grand estate in a venue for weddings and private events. It also operates as a restaurant, bar and B&B. The number of reported ghostly encounters are staggering. It's believed that the Lemp family and a few other spirits haunted the mansion and surrounding grounds. Ghost hunting is a popular event at the Lemp Mansion with regular mansion ghost tours.
Ghosts of Lemp Mansion
Several Lemp family members died in the house and are said to be haunting the mansion. William Lemp and two of his sons committed suicide in the mansion. His wife died of cancer in her bedroom and it's reported an illegitimate son suffered from Down's Syndrome and was in the attic for his entire life. A sampling of the ghostly encounters include:
- Employees have reported a phantom ghost sitting at a table or a disembodied piano player.
- B&B guests have left in the middle of the night without any explanation.
- Phantom sounds of horse hooves along the road to the carriage house have been reported.
- Disembodied voices, objects moving by themselves, drawers opening and closing on their own are just a few of the many paranormal activities reported.
2. Screaming House, Union
When the LaChance family rented a home in Union, they had no idea that they were going to face one of the most violent hauntings in generations. A dark figure some identified as the spirit of John Crowe appeared and disappeared. This entity stalked and terrorized the family.
All these frightening encounters failed to force the LaChance family to abandon the house. However, when a screaming shadow turned up, the family fled the house. Paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren believed the screaming shadow was a demonic presence. The house is located on Christina and is visible from the street. Some of the various paranormal activities observed by the LaChance family include:
- Stomping and banging sounds
- Doors locked on their own
- Pictures fell from the walls
3. Black Carriage, Overton
The Black Carriage of Overton is a paranormal phenomenon that has its roots in a legendary ghost story. Located near the Missouri River is the small town of Overton and a macabre story of an elderly couple murdering their guest for his gold. The couple disposed of the corpse in the Missouri River.
Prosperity and Death
The couple seemed to prosper and expanded their wealth over the next few years. The wife was stricken with a mysterious illness. On her deathbed, she confessed to female friends how she and her husband had murdered their guest. After her death, the husband married a young woman.
Bride Slips Into House Undetected
When the newlyweds were riding home in their black carriage, a crowd of well-wishers impeded their ride home, so the old man climbed out of the carriage to chastise the crowd. His bride slipped from the carriage unnoticed and escaped into the house. By the time the carriage reached the house, the old man was still walking with the crowd.
Greetings From the Dead
When the driver opened the carriage door to let the bride out, everyone was startled to see the dead first wife dressed in black sitting in the carriage. She summoned the old man to join her, and when he did, the driver took them away.
Recent Sightings of the Black Carriage
Ever since that first appearance of the dead wife, there have been many sightings of the carriage in various areas along the river and in town. In 2012, eyewitnesses claim the carriage appeared one night near the railroad tracks off Route 98, moments before a train rattled by. Visitors can access Route 98 from I-70 at Overton, Missouri.
4. Jesse James Farm, Kearney
The James Farm was the scene of much heartache and violence, and is considered a haunted haven for unknown spirits. It's the homestead where Jesse and Frank James were raised by their mother, Zerelda, and stepfather.
- Jesse's stepfather was savagely beaten by Union troops searching for Frank and other bushwhackers in the area.
- Jesse's mother lost an arm from exploding flares thrown into the house by Pinkerton guards, searching for Jesse and Frank.
- Jesse's half-brother was killed on the farm during the Pinkerton bombing.
- People report hearing phantom hoof beats.
- Disembodied talking and whispering are a common experience of visitors.
- Visitors have reported hearing ghostly gunshots on the premises.
5. Jefferson Barracks and Cemetery, St. Louis
Jefferson Barracks has been an active military site since 1826 and with a national cemetery next door, ghosts are almost expected. Troy Taylor's book Haunted St. Louis notes several hauntings on the two sites.
Ghost Resident Sighted By Soldier
Visitors and soldier report strange anomalies and paranormal activities. The most haunted building is the Post Headquarters. A local soldier reported seeing a light inside the building and peered through the window and was shocked to see a 19th-century military officer writing by candlelight. He watched the ghost stand up and disappear.
Visitors Report Seeing Ghosts
Jefferson Barracks is open for tours, and the cemetery allows visitors. Some of the visitors have reported seeing a child ghost wandering among the headstones in the cemetery. Two other ghosts, a Confederate soldier and a Buffalo soldier of the distinguished black troop, have been seen at sunset.
6. Haunted Ravenswood Mansion, Bunceton
In 1880, Nadine and Charles Leonard built the 30-room Ravenswood Mansion on a 1,000+ acre estate that became a central Missouri showplace. The Leonards loved to entertain with all night dancing parties and would string lanterns from the trees surrounding their property.
Nadine died in her upstairs bedroom, and her body was transported to the funeral home. When a servant later tried to enter her room to collect her burial clothes, she found the door locked from the inside.
Nadine's Ghost Locked Bedroom Door
The author of Missouri Ghosts writes that a servant climbed a ladder outside the room to peer inside to see if someone was hiding there, but no one was there. After several attempts to pry open the door, a servant was sent to retrieve tools to break down the door. When the servant returned, they tested the door one last time and found it was unlocked.
Paranormal Activity at Ravenswood Mansion
Various paranormal activity has been reported over the years. Ravenswood has been open for tours, and sponsored ghost hunts in the past. Some of the reported phenomena include:
- A broken music box plays by itself.
- Christmas tree ornaments are tossed down the central staircase.
- Phantom music and disembodied laughter are heard on the lawn.
- Lanterns glow among the trees.
7. Governor's Mansion, Jefferson City
The Governor's Mansion is a gracious building set in lovely gardens. It has been the home of Missouri governors since 1872. The first Missouri family to reside in the mansion was Thomas Crittenden and his family. His favorite child, Caroline, died in the mansion at age 10 from diphtheria. The Governor never recovered from her loss.
Just a century later, the mansion was undergoing restoration. A contractor was working in the attic all day and when he was finished, he stopped by to talk with the housekeeper. He asked about the little girl who was playing upstairs as he worked, describing her as pretty and blond and about 10 years old. The housekeeper said there was no one else in the house, and the governor and his wife did not have any children. When the man realized he had been keeping company with a ghost, he left the house and refused to return.
Renovations Wakes Up Ghost
During a restoration project, the contractor stopped work for the day, but paused downstairs to ask the housekeeper who the young girl was playing upstairs all day. He described a 10-year-old blonde girl, but was confused when the housekeeper informed him no one was in the house and that the governor and his wife didn't have any children. When the man realized he'd been keeping company with a ghost all day, he fled the house and refused to return. If you take a tour of the mansion, you just might bump into Caroline playing in the attic.
8. Hermit of Knob Noster
Next to Whiteman Air Force Base in Mid-Missouri is the town of Knob Noster (a "knob" being an old name for a hill or small mountain). A hermit lived on the hill and with a slave who the locals liked; he was often seen buying the hermit's supplies. One day, the hermit began coming to town for supplies. When people asked about the slave, he grew irritated and refused to answer any questions. The townspeople gossiped the hermit had killed the slave.
Lightning Storm Kills Hermit
One night, there was a terrible lightning storm. A townsman reported seeing a lantern moving along the ridge when a bolt struck the same spot. The next day, several men went to check on the hermit and found him dead, apparently struck by lightning.
Eyewitnesses Report Lantern Light
Ever since, there have been reports whenever there's a storm of a lantern light moving over the ridge. Knob Noster is just off Route 50 in Missouri, right next to Knob Noster State Park.
9. Thespian Hall, Boonville
Thespian Hall is the oldest operating theater west of the Appalachians. Built in 1857, the brick building has served as a theater, dance room, library, movie theater, skating rink, stable, Civil War hospital, and church. It also has a reputation for being haunted. Tours are available to visitors by pre-arrangement.
Ghosts of Thespian Hall
One ghost story tells the hall was empty after an opera singer's performance. The performing opera singer's son darted onstage to take a quick photo of the hall. One of the photos revealed a woman standing in the back of the theater next to a column. The woman was gray-haired and wore a collared white blouse with a dark skirt. She carried an old style pocketbook. In the photo, her face was blurred and unrecognizable.
Grandma Ghost Loves Opera
The family identified the woman as their grandmother who died several years earlier and loved opera. Mrs. X also apparently likes to sit in the audience and has been spotted at rehearsals listening and then disappearing from the seats. Other ghostly occurrences at Thespian Hall include reports of phantom ragtime music. Eyewitnesses have seen a wig stand move on its own and turned so it faces the mirrors.
10. Central Methodist University, Fayette
The Dean of the Swinney Conservatory, N. Louise Wright died during a 1958 piano concert. Eyewitnesses claim to Wright and her best friend Opal Hayes continue to perform regularly despite the inconvenience of their non-corporeal bodies.
Conductor Haunts Campus
Sometime in the 1960s, conductor Dr. Thomas Erskine Birch died while leading the band in a concert. Soon after his death, Dr Birch was seen around campus in his formal wear and standing among the shadows, quieting smoking a cigarette. He often greets those who spot him with, "Nice night for a concert" and then slowly fades away.
11. Zombie Road, Wildwood
One of Missouri's most haunted places is a road called Zombie Road. The real name is Lawler Ford Road. It was the site of a large Native American burial ground. The gravel road is about 2.3 miles long and is no longer open to vehicles.
Zombie Road Ghosts
The ghosts of Native Americans, Confederate soldiers, workers killed in various accidents, wild children who run in packs, and those killed driving along the treacherous road are said to be among the spirits haunting the stretch of road. Shadow figures are a common sighting as well as various creepy and frightening creatures spotted along the narrow road.
12. Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City
The Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City is known as The Wall and as the "bloodiest 46 acres in America" has one of the most disturbing pasts of any penitentiary. The penitentiary suffered three riots. The worst one took place in 1954 with four inmates killed and 29 injured along with four prison guards injured. The most disturbing aspect of the prison is a gas chamber that was used to execute 40 men and women sentenced to death. Several types of tours are offered. All manner of paranormal activity have been reported, such as:
- People have been bitten and clawed/scratched.
- Fast Jack, a ghost believed to have been a trustee who worked in the medical facility, is seen walking about the prison, holding a clipboard and dressed in a white lab coat.
- The smell of cigarette smoke is reported by visitors.
- The phantom sound of cell doors being slammed shut are an eerie report.
- A female ghost in vintage clothing has been seen.
- Phantom footsteps and disembodied voices are heard by visitors.
- Shadow people are seen throughout the prison.
13. The Elms Hotel & Spa, Excelsior Springs
The Elms Hotel & Spa features luxurious accommodations. It is also said to be one of the most haunted places in Missouri. The hotel sits on 16 acres of gardens, swimming pool, spa, and indoor pool.
Spirits frequently are reported to walk the halls of the hotel. Some have been spotted sunning by the pool! Some of the spirits are described as wearing 1920s clothing. A speakeasy era gambler hangs out around the lap pool. These ghosts are docile and seem to be there for the same reason as the living.
14. Union Station, Kansas City
In 1914, the Union Station in Kansas City was built to serve as the hub for over 200 passengers every day. Today it serves as a cultural center offering educational and entertainment venues as well as catching an Amtrack train traveling west.
Ghost at Union Station
Some of the various ghost stories about Union Station are what you might imagine is one of travelers. These apparitions are seen carrying suitcases and walking along the halls. There is a recurring encounter of a woman wearing a black dress seen walking down the stairs. Some of the ghosts seen might be those of four law enforcement officers that included two FBI agents massacred outside the station by Pretty Boy Floyd's gang.