Haunted St. Louis
History & Hauntings Along the Mississippi

Along the muddy banks of the Mississippi River is the historical city of St. Louis, Missouri. The city has a grand and rich legacy that captures the very heart of America, from being the "Gateway to the West" to the home of one of the world's most spectacular World's Fairs in 1904. It also has a large number of ghosts...

The following sections are based on the book Haunted St. Louis by Troy Taylor (2002) If you are interested in finding out more about these stories, click on the book above!

The old newspapers of the city have claimed many ghostly tales and strange encounters including the stories of a reported ghost at the old Fourth District Police Station and Kate Black's ghost that is said to appear in her home between Sixth and Poplar Streets. The city's Southern Hotel was said to have once had a ghost as famous as the hotel itself, but unfortunately, this story seems to have been lost over the years. However, the Pacific House Hotel was the home to a strange occurrence in the 1870's that is still being talked about today!

In 1876, a salesman from Boston was spending the night at the Pacific House Hotel in St. Louis. He was in the city on business and to visit his parents, who resided here. During the night, the ghost of his sister awakened him in his bed. She had died from cholera in St. Louis during an epidemic a few years before. The man stated that the image of the girl was so vivid that she appeared to be solid and very much alive. She materialized for a number of seconds and was so clear that the salesman was able to see a long scratch or a mark that creased the side of the young woman’s face.

The salesman was so startled and shaken by the encounter that he told it in great detail to his parents at breakfast the following day. As he told of seeing his departed sister, his mother suddenly burst into tears. She confessed that she had accidentally scratched the girl’s face while preparing her body for the funeral and had used makeup to cover it up. She had been the only person who knew about this, thus convincing her son that he had truly experienced a meeting with his dead sister!

In 1913, St. Louis became known as being the home to one of the most celebrated cases in the history of Spiritualism. A housewife named Pearl Curran claimed to have made contact with a spirit named "Patience Worth", who said that she had been killed by American Indians nearly three hundred years before. Over the course of the next ten years, Patience dictated an massive number of stories, poems and novels through the Ouija board of Mrs. Curran. It has been said that the uneducated Pearl Curran could have never accomplished this on her own and only supernatural elements could have been involved. Judge for yourself!
Click Here to Read the Compelling Story of Patience Worth!

One of America's Most Haunted Places!

Perhaps the most haunted place in the city of St. Louis is the infamous THE LEMP MANSION , which can also be found on our list of the Most Haunted Places in America! Once home to a family that founded a beer brewing empire, it is now a restaurant and inn and a places that is home to many ghosts! Click on the Link Above to Read More of the Story behind one of the Most Haunted Houses in America!

Life Magazine Called the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis one of the Most haunted houses in America in 1980!

The Lemp Mansion and the Old Lemp Brewery Still Stand Today as Ghostly Reminders of Days Gone by!

St. Louis is also famous as the setting for the THE ST. LOUIS EXORCISM , a real 1949 case that inspired both the book and film versions of THE EXORCIST! Involving famous landmarks like the St. Louis University and the old Alexian Brothers Hospital, the story has earned St. Louis a place in the annals of paranormal history!

The city is also known for its mysterious underworld that have been called THE LOST CAVES OF ST. LOUIS! Over the years, strange stories have been told about these subterranean passageways.... caves that honeycomb the entire city!! One of these caves had long been a legendary haunted spot. Called ENGLISH CAVE, the stories claimed that the ghosts of a Native American man and woman still lingered behind. It was said that they were starved to death in an area of the cave that centered around Benton Park at Jefferson Avenue and Arsenal Street. Follow the link above and find out more about this cave and others!

Like many other cities, St. Louis has not only cemetery legends but a vanishing hitchhiker as well. Find out the history of the city's two most amazing old cemeteries and the elsuive ghost known as "HITCHHIKE ANNIE"!

For years, stories also circulated about a place called the EDGEWOOD CHILDREN'S CENTER, located in the Webster Groves area. The center was a collection of buildings that served as the St. Louis Protestant Orphan Asylum in 1855 and currently serves as a treatment center for abused and abandoned children. There are said to be a number of ghosts who manifest here, including a little girl who appears near an old cottonwood tree at dusk. Ghostly children have also been reported playing games on the lawn and another presence remains in the Rock House. 
This is the oldest building on the campus and dates back to around 1850. Adults living in the quarters on the second floor of the building say they often feel an oppressive uneasiness and report moving objects and phantom footsteps here. The stone house was built by an abolitionist named Reverend Artemus Bullard, which may explain the tunnel (measuring several blocks long) that was discovered in the basement many years ago. It was thought to have been a hiding place for slaves escaping to the north along the Underground Railroad. No one knows where this tunnel may have led to. The exit was sealed off in the 1890's after two children became lost in it and died. 

The OLD COURTHOUSE in St. Louis is also said to be the scene of strange happenings, although typically, they are denied by the National Park Service, who now operates the site. The courthouse was started in 1828 at Broadway and Chestnut Streets and was enlarged many times over the years until it was closed in 1930. Today, it is operated as a historic site by the Park Service, who conducts tours and special events here. According to a former employee, security guards who have worked here at night have had some bizarre experiences. They say that lights turn on and off; doors open and close when no one is there; and strange noises have been heard that are so frightening that one guard even called the St. Louis police department and waited outside for the officers to arrive. No one was discovered in the building! 

Those with an interest in military history in St. Louis have also heard about the legendary hauntings at JEFFERSON BARRACKS on the far south side of the city! Ghostly tales date back many years at this location and readers can found out more about these stories by following the links above or by checking out the books by Troy Taylor and by David Goodwin, a military officer at the post who penned a book on the subject in 2001 called Ghosts of Jefferson Barracks!

Another strange military site was the former Gratiot Street Prison, which was once the MCDOWELL MEDICAL COLLEGE. This was one of the strangest sites in the city and a place around which rumors of insanity, ghosts and death swirled. It was already regarded by many as haunted when it became a Confederate Prison during the Civil War. After that, it gained a new reputation for new hauntings! Follow the link above for a taste of madness, disease and horror!

One of the most famous ghost stories of St. Louis involves the legendary  GEHM HOUSE , which has been written about by Hans Holzer, Robbi Courtaway and others, including Troy Taylor (A complete and updated account of the house appears in Haunted St. Louis). Sometimes referred to as the "House on Plant Avenue", it is located on a quiet street in Webster Groves.

Another locally famous location is the old police station that can be found at 14 NORTH NEWSTEAD . Now home to thriving businesses, the building was once a station house where much in the way violence, bloodshed and corruption occurred. Many believe that these events from the past have left an impression behind! Follow the link above for a look at this chilling location!

© Copyright 2002 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

Bibliography & Sources for Haunted St. Louis Section
(For a Complete List, see Haunted St. Louis by Troy Taylor, from which this page is excerpted)

Allen, Thomas B. - Possessed (1993 / 2000)
Amsler, Kevin - Final Resting Place: Lives & Deaths of Famous St. Louisans (1997)
Bartley, Mary - St. Louis Lost (1994)
Courtaway, Robbi - Spirits of St. Louis (1999)
Deakin, James - A Grave for Bobby (1990)
Erdmann, Steve - The Truth Behind “The Exorcist” - Fate Magazine (January 1975)
Gilbert, Joan - Missouri Ghosts (1997)
Goodwin, David - Ghosts of Jefferson Barracks (2001)
Graham, D. Douglas - The Most Haunted House in Town - Fate Magazine (October 1994)
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen - Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Spirits (2000)
Hauck, Dennis William - Haunted Places: The National Directory (1996)
Holzer, Hans - Gothic Ghosts (1970)
Jarvis, Sharon - Dark Zones (1992)
Linzee, David - Infamous St. Louis Crimes & Mysteries (2001)
Opsasnick, Mark - The Haunted Boy - Strange Magazine (December 1998)
Riccio, Dolores & Joan Bingham - Haunted Houses USA (1989)
Rother, Hubert & Charlotte - Lost Caves of St. Louis (1996)
Roussin, Donald & Kevin Kious- William J. Lemp Brewing Company: A Tale of Triumph &
Tragedy in St. Louis, Missouri - American Breweriana Journal (March-April 1999)
Speer, Lonnie - Portals to Hell (1997)
Walker, Stephen - Lemp: The Haunting History (1988)
Winter, William C. - The Civil War in St. Louis (1994)