For a detailed look at the haunting here, plus an account of the horrific Bobby Greenlease kidnapping, see Troy Taylor's book Haunted St. Louis!
Haunted St. Louis
History & Hauntings Along the Mississippi
Haunting at 14 NORTH NEWSTEAD POLICE STATION
The Newstead Avenue Police Station, which was built in 1904, was located in the Central West End of St. Louis. For years, it operated as a precinct house and jail, becoming well known for its strange and violent past. The first major tragedy struck in July 1945 when a waiter named Edward Melendes was arrested for petty theft. At some point during the night, Melendes was beaten to death in his cell. Three police officers and the victimís cellmate were indicted for manslaughter. There was no evidence to ultimately convict the men and the prosecutionís case fell apart. Significantly, the accused officers resigned from the police force just two months after the murder occurred.
Horror returned to the police station in 1953 when it played a key role in the notorious Bobby Greenlease kidnapping case. The crime would shake the city of St. Louis and would have lasting repercussions for years to come. Part of the money vanished from this police station and it became known as a corrupt place. In 1960, the Newstead Avenue police station closed its doors for good. For the next five years, it sat empty until artist Howard Jones and his wife Helen, converted the place into a private residence.
They began to hear the sound of heavy footsteps in the studio at night, followed by a dragging sound and then more footsteps. . Stereo and electronic equipment in the place would be turned off and yet sound would still come from the speakers. The Jonesí unplugged everything and yet the noises continued. The only thing that seemed to help was when Jones began leaving the light on in the studio all night long. The burning lamp seemed to keep the ghostly intruders away.
In 1992, the building was purchased by Matt and Denise Piskulic, who opened VIP Graphics and divided the building between home and office. They knew that the house had been featured in Halloween newspaper and TV stories but the person they bought the place from assured them there was nothing to the rumors. Unfortunately, they started having trouble shortly after they moved in. Each day, the couple heard footsteps banging up the front stairs in broad daylight. One night, heard someone crying... then screaming.. a man letting out a long cry of pain.
Denise contacted the former owner and learned that he and his family had also experienced strange things in the house. Disembodied voices.... heavy footsteps and stranger still, handprints and footprints appeared on freshly varnished floors and clean windows.... prints that matched no one in the house. Finally, the family was terrified one night by the sound of screaming that echoed throughout the entire house - they left the house that night.
Despite the bad experiences of past owners, Matt and Denise were determined to make the house and business work. They would also report voices, apparitions and footsteps (heard as though on wood, but actually on carpet). In September 1992, Matt and Denise invited six psychics to the building. They claimed there were many ghosts in the old station house.... some of them permanent residents and others just passing through from one plane to the next.
Eerily, the psychics had no knowledge of the past history of the building and yet they were able to reveal many hidden aspects of the place. They stated that the station was filled with confused energy . The basement was believed to be the part of the building where most of the violence in the place had occurred. Unknown to the mediums, this was where the prisoners had once been housed. They also identified a number of ghosts who stayed on in the building, including police officers, jail inmates, a woman whose husband had worked at the station and even a teenaged girl. The psychics offered to "sweep the building with light" to get the spirits to move on, but Denise declined the offer.
In fall 2001, the building was taken over by an architectural firm and some other offices but according to their reports, the haunting continues. The glimpses of the people who arenít there continue to occur as do the ghostly footsteps, the opening and closing doors, the calling voices and the water faucets that turn on and off by themselves. The ghosts, it seems, are here to stay!
©Copyright 2002 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.
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