Ghosts of the Prairie


Columbia, Missouri

While this haunted house was destroyed by a training exercise fire for the local fire department in 1983, the concrete ruins and foundation still remain along a street in Columbia. The house may be gone... but the memories linger!

The house was known for many years as the Sutton House. It was a two-story frame house and named for the family who resided there. The house had been built before the Civil War and was lived in by several generations of descendants. It seems that two women of the Sutton family killed themselves in the house and some believe they may be responsible for the female ghost who has been seen and heard here. One of the women hanged herself in the barn in 1858, while the other followed suit, hanging herself from a tree in the year in 1940.

Later residents believe, however, that the ghost here may be that of a woman named Lucy Calvin. She had once lived in the house and loved the place. She also had a fondness for singing.... something which the ghost here did quite often. In fact, witnesses claim that the sound of a woman singing would sometimes fill the entire house.

One later tenant of the house stated that he lived in it for six years before he encountered the ghost. She appeared in his bed room and seemed to glide across the floor one morning. He also became aware of a presence in the house, something which visitors to the house often noticed. The sound of the singing never stopped and others often saw the apparition, too. He also wondered if the ghosts of children might also be present for it was not uncommon for him to hear what sounded like a child's marbles rolling across the floor.

One day, his landlord passed away and his widow did not want to sell the house. It was destined to be destroyed by a subdivision that was planned for the area. The tenant was about to leave the house when a strong wind blew through the structure. He heard a sound like someone was dragging something across the floor and then it stopped. There was no wind that day.... it seems as if the ghost was simply saying goodbye to the home's final living occupant.

Columbia, Missouri is located in the central part of the state and is about two hours west of St. Louis. The Sutton house once stood at 4933 Lake Valley Lane.

Copyright 2001 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.