[ Transcript for: Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to the Show-Me Stateís Most Spirited Spots ]
MS. ROBIN CARNAHAN: This is Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan. The following program is sponsored by Friends of the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri Secretary of State's Office. The State Archives hosts free monthly programs, like this one, at our office in Jefferson City.
We're now offering these programs on-line as well so that even more Missourians can learn about the rich history of our state.
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MR. JASON OFFUTT: (Applause.) Good evening. It's nice to see so many people here tonight.
Now, a couple of the questions I normally get first about my book are: Why Missouri? That one is a pretty simple one. I was born and raised in Missouri, closer to the other side of the state in a really small town near Kansas City.
The other question I get is: Why ghosts? And there's a fairly simple reason for that. When I was about nine or ten years old -- first, we -- I lived in a house that was over a 100 years old. Considering I was ten years old that was -- it's now over 130 years old.
Yeah. Excuse me. It had been a two-room school house that my dad actually went to school in. My grandmother taught there. But it was converted into a house. And one day I had walked outside of my room. I remember it was a sunny day. It was a Saturday afternoon. And I walked into the hallway were we kept our bookshelves. And there was a little boy there.
Now, this was a country school house. We lived about six miles away from the nearest town. And there were no other little boys around other than me. I remember what he looked like. He was looking at me very solemnly. He had brown hair, blue flannel shirt and blue jeans. But the most peculiar thing about him is I could see the bookshelf through him.
I'm asked, "Jason, do you believe in ghosts?" I never say I believe in ghosts because belief means you don't have to have proof to think something exists. And I've seen something. Again, I was a kid. Did I really see something? I think I did, but kids see a lot of things. Kids also hear a lot of things. I've got four-year-old who hears too much.
Anyway, we've got -- this I will be talking about later. This is a photograph. I was present when it was taken. This was taken up -- very, very close to Iowa but still in Missouri. There was nothing between the camera and this -- and this college student when it was taken. I just like to include this because I can't explain what that white line is.
But, now, let's -- well, I probably should mention something else about me. I teach journalism at Northwest Missouri State. I'm sure -- yeah, that was in the -- that was in the introduction. I don't call myself a ghost hunter.
In fact, when my book was coming out the publishers wanted to list me as Ghost Hunter Jason Offutt. I don't want to hunt ghosts. I love ghost stories. I love the paranormal as long as they're happening to somebody else. Okay. I don't want things to happen to me. Then it's not so fun anymore. Okay.
So I consider myself a journalist. Well, I was for 18 years for -- for various newspapers around the state of Missouri. So I approached Haunted Missouri as a journalist. I found these haunted spots mainly through -- through a lot of research. They have some historic significance to the state of Missouri. Places where they held battles. Well, I figured there is a probably a good chance there were ghosts there. We're going to talk about a few of those later.
I also wanted these spots to have -- to be open to the public. This is -- my book is sort of a travel guide to haunted Missouri. Anybody here who is interested in going to someplace where ghosts have been seen, you can go to anyplace in this book, they're all open to the public. Of course, like, Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal you have to pay $14 to get in, but you can still -- you can still go in.
As approaching this as a journalist, I not only researched the history of the spot and talked to people who have seen and felt and heard strange things. I also talked to people who felt that this was all baloney. So we have a -- if I may borrow the term "fair and balanced," -- fair and balanced look at ghosts in the state of Missouri.
I'm going to open this up to questions at the end of this. So I hope you guys have a lot. Let's go into the book, please.
And there's usually a picture, right there.
The picture you would be seeing is of the 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home and Museum as it says in Independence, Missouri. This was, of course, built in 1859. Its most famous guest—and he was a guest there—was Frank James. But before I get to Frank let me talk to Order No. 11. Anybody here who knows something about the Civil War will know what Order No. 11 is. It ordered people who were southern sympathizers to move to the nearest large cities where the Union could keep an eye on them. This -- that really bothers me. It's a really pretty building.
The jail housed a lot of people who didn't want to follow Order No. 11. The jail cells, which were pretty small, sometimes were crammed with 25 people. It was a pretty miserable time. So there was a lot of misery in these jail cells.
Frank James, I mentioned, was a guest. When he was finally put in jail he was considered a celebrity. Why not, he was Frank James. C'mon, he was -- he and his brother Jesse were two of the most famous people in the country and in the world, in fact. So his jail cell was left open. He was just trusted not to wander off.
He was allowed to smoke cigars. He ate dinner with the -- with the marshal and his family including his teenage daughter. And people came to visit Frank James all the time. They even brought him gifts. And his room looks pretty much like it did back then.
Some people think that Frank is still there, occasionally at least. In his room the bedding where he slept will look slept on after it had been fluffed the previous evening. The bed sheets will have been pulled down. The pillow will not be sitting in the same place where it was.
One Christmas they stuck a Christmas tree in -- in that jail cell and, I guess, Frank wasn't the most festive person in the world because the next morning it had been pitched out into the hallway.
People who work there, tour guides, have reported -- I -- I interviewed a number of tour guides. They have reported being there alone and smelling something cooking in the building although there are no cooking facilities, not even a microwave in the building. They will smell a cigar. That Frank loved to smoke cigars. No smoking is allowed in the building.
They also occasionally will hear the iron doors slam shut when no one else is in the building. One person I talked to decided he didn't really want to work there so much anymore after hearing the iron doors shut. Shadows of people are often seen in the windows if you're walking by on the street at night.
There we've got pictures. The Anderson House in Lexington, Missouri, is a gorgeous home. It was -- it's about 165-66 years old now. During the Civil War it was used during a battle -- the Battle of the Hemp Bales. It was used as a makeshift hospital.
In the Battle of the Hemp Bales, called so because the farmer here raised hemp -- raised hemp for clothing and for ropes and for other things. There were bales of hemp that people hid behind whenever shots were fired.
Anyway, the battle that was held here over 100 people were killed, people from the Missouri Militia and Union and Confederate soldiers. The house traded hands three different times during the battle. It was used, as I said, as a hospital. There are still bullet holes, cannonball holes and blood stains seen throughout the building.
One of the most interesting parts of the Anderson House other than the fact that it's still not heated in the winter and that's when I chose to visit it. It was pretty cold. I was actually hoping to walk through a cold spot; it might have warmed me up.
Is the land around the Anderson House has never been farmed since it was a hemp farm. So if you walk out there the grass you're walking is the grass that the battle was actually fought on. Tour guides there have reported seeing Confederate and Union soldiers walking around the grounds. I talked to one lady who was complimented by -- by some people on a tour there who said, "Those re-enactors are the best re-enactors we've ever seen." And the woman said, "You know, we don't have re-enactors here today."
There's a bar on the inside -- one of the inside doors, an old-fashioned wooden bar that locks the door from the inside. When some re-enactors were actually there and staying the night in the building, they were playing cards and witnessed it lifted up off of its cradle and tossed across the room. One of the tour guides I interviewed doesn't go up to the third floor anymore because up there alone as she was walking down the steps someone pushed her.
One of the things I was really highly disappointed about when I was researching this -- I was highly disappointed because I toured the Anderson House on a third grade field trip. And the tour guide said there was a big spiral staircase. And from the third floor they would push Confederate -- Confederate soldiers off of the third floor and if they were able to stand up and walk away they'd let them go. That's a great story to tell a busload of third graders.
I found out that that's not true.
Bone Hill Cemetery in Levasy has something strange. If you notice there is a blur on the picture. I have absolutely no idea what that blur was. It wasn't there in the picture I took seconds before it. And it wasn't there on the blur I took seconds after it.
Anyway, Bone Hill in Levasy has a very, very long history dating back to Native American times. It was called Bone Hill because that's where they -- when they -- when they killed buffalo, that's where they would slaughter buffalo and leave their bones. Called Bone Hill because when white settlers showed up it was littered with -- with sun-bleached bones.
The ghost story has to do, again, with the Civil War. When Order No. 11 was -- was passed a farmer who owned that area, before it was a cemetery, said, "I'm not staying here. People are going to get shot here. So I'm going to leave." Legend has it he packed up enough -- as many of his belongings as he could but buried money on the property along a stone fence that slaves built on the property that's actually still there.
He vowed to return in seven years to retrieve his money and reclaim his farm. Nobody ever saw him again. But seven years later people saw, reported to see, a white light bobbing up and down on the hill. Every seven years since then people have reported seeing that light.
I went out there during a time, during a seven year time and I didn't see anything. But I interviewed a number of people who were out there on the seven year cycle who chased lights all around the hill and never could catch up with them.
People who live in the area really don't like people like me who go out there looking for the light because the cemetery is closed after dark. Just remember that.
Fort Osage, the fort you see there is pretty much rebuilt. The actual fort that was built by a recommendation of Meriwether Lewis, I'm sure we all know who that fellow was, part of it is still there, not much. Much of it's new, fairly new.
Anyway, there are a lot of stories from people who worked there and from re-enactors about fairly common place ghostly activity: footsteps on the wooden floorboards, cooking -- cooking utensils flying across the room, the sounds of gunshots when there's really no gunshots. In one of the towers, Tower No. 4, people have reported seeing a soldier in that tower standing and looking out a small window.
But I think the most interesting ghost story has to do with an Osage Indian named Sans Oreal. That's the -- that was the French name he adopted meaning "made without ears." He was without ears because he didn't listen to anything anybody said. He did things the way he wanted to. They were at war, the Osage Indians with the Iowa Indians.
And Sans Oreal would tend to sneak into the fort during the night. The Osage Indians were friendly with the white settlers there. He would sneak in when nobody was supposed to be able to sneak in to a fort. But he got in and one night he snuck in to Mr. Sibley's room, which was locked, we're not sure how that happened, to show him -- to show Mr. Sibley the head of an Iowa Indian that he had just killed. He was extremely proud of himself.
That's not really the ghost story, of course, because that was back in the 1700s. The ghost story involving Sans Oreal happened in the 1990s. A group of re-enactors were staying there. And they were staying in Mr. Sibley's bedroom. That's part of the -- that's part of the fort that's actually still original. They were staying in the bedroom. The doors were locked. One of the re-enactors woke up in the middle of the night and saw an American Indian who he thought was just another re-enactor walk over to one of his friends, another re-enactor, who was laying there, lean over, whisper something in his ear and then cover the man up with a blanket.
And then the guy just disappeared so obviously he wasn't another re-enactor. The words he didn't understand but he remembered what the words were and finally looked, found out what they meant in Osage Indian. This friendly spirit leaned over and asked, "Are you warm enough?"
How many people here saw Rooster Cogburn? A John Wayne movie. He lost his battle -- he lost his eye at the Battle of Lone Jack. A fictional character, of course, but he mentioned Lone Jack. This is a small town not too far from -- not too far from Kansas City. It's almost a suburb at this point.
At the time of the Civil War it was sort of a crossroads. People going west generally went through Lone Jack before they got to the Queen City of the Trails nearby Independence. But a vicious battle was held here in 19-- or in 19--, 1862, August 21st, I believe, in which over 120 soldiers were killed, 100 horses, at one point, were dead and lying on the city square. The city square was completely obliterated by cannon fire.
A very young, very young Jesse James was supposed to be in the battle. That's kind of debated by history. But Cole Younger definitely was. The battle lasted a couple of days. There were 5,000 Union troops and only about 1,800 Confederate troops so you do the math. Guess who won?
A lot of -- there are re-enactments held today at the site of the battlefield although part of the land that was the battlefield is now a housing development. I'll get to the housing development first.
I was interviewing a re-enactor whose friend owned a house in that housing development. They decided to move when the guy's five-year-old son asked him to play marbles with him. Okay. We'll play marbles. I've got some marbles. And the son set up a marble set, correctly. And he played marbles correctly. And the father was wondering where his five-year-old son learned to play such an old game like marbles. And he asked his boy, and the boy said, "Oh, the man who lives in our basement showed me." So they decided to leave. And they sold the house and moved.
By the way, also, in my research I discovered that you don't have to disclose that your house is haunted in the state of Missouri. If you live in New York State, however, yeah, you can get sued if you don't tell people your house is haunted.
Anyways some of the re-enactors that I've spoken with who've lived in Lone Jack all their life saw things as teenagers that they saw again as adults. As teenagers they would occasionally see fires out in this field that's now a housing development. That's where soldiers camped. They would chase the fires and whenever they got close the campfires were not there.
When they started to leave they would turn around and look back and the fires would be back.
Later, when they were adults and actually doing re-enactments, one of them was -- about two o'clock, in the morning and it was his time to do guard duty. I didn't realize until I interviewed that they really take it that seriously. But he was -- he was doing -- pulling guard duty and he saw a man get on a horse and ride over a ridge and disappear over the side of the ridge. The next morning he asked who the rider was 'cause he thought it looked like one of the re-enactors. And it wasn't because that re-enactor hadn't even gotten there yet.
But then he noticed where the ridge was that he had seen the night before is now I-70. The ridge doesn't exist anymore. Three soldiers, Union soldiers are occasionally seen pulling -- pulling duty in the middle of the night at that housing development which is kind of disturbing for people.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield doesn't like the fact that it's haunted. They didn't really want to talk to me over the telephone. So I just drove down to Springfield and started talking to people who worked there. And they said, oh, yeah, this place is haunted.
The sounds of gunfire and cannon fire is heard down there. But one of the more interesting sites isn't something to do with the war, there is a teenage girl occasionally seen near the postmaster's house. The postmaster of that area in -- near Republic, Missouri, back in the Civil War days had a house. That's where the postmaster lived in a post office. And he had a teenage daughter and a young son. And occasionally this girl is seen walking through prairie grass, down to the creek, to fetch water.
Again, just like in other re-enactment stories they've been -- Wilson's Creek has been complimented on the -- has been complimented on the re-enactors there because they look so real. And it's actually, wow, they probably are.
I interviewed one gentleman whose father told him a story. His father told him when he was fishing, when he was fourteen, back in the 1950s, he was fishing with his uncle, and they saw Union soldiers come through the trees, march through the creek and march through trees on the other side and just keep marching until they disappeared. Trouble is they didn't hear them step on any twigs. And they didn't hear them slosh through the water. All they did was saw them.
This guy was fishing there, later, when he was an adult and he saw exactly the same thing. I wasn't there to see it. But I'm taking him at his word.
The Kendrick House in Carthage is a fairly not interesting building to look at. It's a big rectangle. But it was part of the Battle of Carthage. It was outside the City of Carthage. And the confederates used it as -- used it as a base. They kept horses inside the house so union soldiers wouldn't know they were keeping it as a base. And there is still hoof prints in the wood that was still soft whenever they took over the house.
From the balcony when Carthage was set on fire, the family before they fled and the Confederates took over the house, stood there and watched the entire city burn -- the entire city didn't go down, but a nice chunk of it -- a nice chunk of it did.
The house -- the main ghosts that seem to haunt the house are children who play in the backyard. Okay. I'm not sure whose children they were because the children who lived there didn't die but there is a trucking company that is now very close to this and they will often call and complain to the Friends of the Kendrick House that there are kids playing outside at ten o'clock at night. They're playing ball, they're wearing knickers. So probably not neighborhood kids.
Strange lights have been seen in the house. From the Missouri State University down in Springfield people have come up and spent the night in the house and have recorded strange glowing lights floating around the room -- rooms upstairs and strange noises. The kitchen that's set up downstairs to -- it's for show, people will come in the next morning after having set up the kitchen one morning and glasses will be turned upside down, silverware will be on the floor and strange things -- strange things like, like, that. I wouldn't recommend sleeping there, there are no beds.
Rockcliffe Mansion in Hannibal I would go to again even if not to look at the ghosts but just because it's beautiful. Rockcliffe Mansion was built by a lumber baron named John Cruickshanks. He was -- it's a huge house. And it was built so large because he was 5 foot 4.
He had a little bit of a complex to get over. Anyway, he built this huge house. His wife didn't necessarily like the house because it was too big. But there was no expense spared. In the early part of the 1900s they had a telephone and there is -- it's pretty neat there is a telephone directory the entire City of Hannibal that's really tiny because there weren't many phones at that point. There's mahogany. Most of the wood on the ground floor is mahogany. At the time, I don't know how much a yard of wallpaper cost, today. I really don't know. But the wallpaper that he had papered his house was over $200 a yard in the early 1900s.
This was -- this mansion was named by the St. Louis Post Dispatch as the most magnificent house west of the Mississippi. I later found out they named a number of houses the most magnificent house west of the Mississippi. But this is still pretty beautiful.
He loved the Mississippi River. The room where he lived, which at the time, he lived in the room where his wife lived in another room, his room faced the river. And he would often lay there and stare at the river. And when he got sick and later died, he died facing the Mississippi River.
The bed is still there in exactly the same spot it was because when John died, his wife who hated the house so much just grabbed her kids and moved to a house next door leaving everything, all of the furniture, all of the clothing on display there was all the Cruickshanks. They just left it in the house. The house was vacant for about 50 years. And nobody really vandalized it. There were a few windows broken. Some of the wallpaper was snatched off just to prove, hey, look I'm a teenager and I'm cool. I went in this spooky house and stole wallpaper.
But everything in there is original. When it was purchased and restored a woman and her husband lived there for a while as caretakers. I interviewed her. She would often hear the door downstairs to the kitchen open and shut. And footsteps walk up the stairs. She would often walk out to the landing to look and see who was walking up the stairs and never see anyone.
She later saw someone standing down in the bar area having a drink. A little guy about 5 foot 4 and looked surprisingly like a picture that they have hanging up in the downstairs, one of the downstairs rooms. So Mr. Cruickshank obviously loved the house so much, he's still there.
When I was there I took a picture of the bed where he died. A bed that the side where he slept on keeps sinking as if somebody had slept there the night before no matter how much the bed gets fluffed.
Automatic focus camera, I tried to focus on the spot where he died and my camera would not focus. I focused on every other spot on the bed but the spot where he died, it wouldn't focus. That is the only strange thing that happened to me in the house.
The caretaker told me that she had somebody play with her hair all the time. Okay. Fortunately, again, that didn't happen to me.
Well, a lot of you, if you're interested in ghosts I'm sure you've probably heard of the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, another very attractive building. It is a bed and breakfast. They are happy with the fact that it's haunted. They promote the fact that it's haunted. And a lot of people stay there just to try and see something.
This has a very -- the building has a very tragic, tragic past. The Lemp Family were immigrants from Germany. The father Frederick owned or the father -- I'm sorry. The father was William; one of the sons was Frederick. William owned a grocery store and later saw, you know, those Busch Brothers are doing a really good job with their brewing company. Let's start a brewing company. So they started the Lemp Brewing Company and became immensely wealthy and then they bought this house, which was very close to the brewing company.
Then Prohibition came around. They didn't fair so well during Prohibition. Frederick Lemp died under mysterious circumstances in the house. Later, his father William Lemp committed suicide in the house. William Lemp, Jr., committed suicide in the house. William Lemp the Third, he switched things up. He had a heart attack and died in the house.
But it was Charles Lemp who, I think, did the most interesting death or had the most interesting death in the house. He did kill himself, but before he did he kills his dog. He had a Doberman Pinscher that he loved. And he knew nobody would like the dog, and nobody would take care of it so he shot the dog before he shot himself.
And since then people have heard dogs barking. Guests who stay there overnight at the bed and breakfast will complain that somebody had a dog in their room. And, of course, dogs aren't allowed. They will hear the nails of dogs of tramping across the hardwood floor that now have carpets across them.
I took friends of mine with me, friends that live in St. Louis that wanted to come when I did my research. And when I was touring the house my friend and his wife were downstairs. My friend's wife wore shorts. And she knew nothing about the dog but told me afterward that a dog brushed up against her leg. There wasn't a dog there when she looked, but she felt the dog brush up against her leg.
In the Lemp Mansion is one of the few things that really happened to me when I was researching the book. If you go look for anything haunted you're generally not going to find it. I'm sorry to tell you that, that's just reality. But it was in the mid-90s outside and upstairs there was no air conditioning so it was tad bit hotter. And I was sweating profusely. And as I was walking through the old servants' quarters, I hit a spot that was so cold I stopped sweating immediately and goose bumps raised up on my arms.
I stepped out of the spot about a foot and a half. And started sweating, again, because it was extremely hot, I took a step back it was ice cold again. I decided at that point I should see what the second floor looks like. They have ghost tours there every Monday, by the way, if you're ever in St. Louis on a Monday night.
The Vaile Mansion in Independence may be one of the prettiest places that I went. It's a Victorian mansion built in the late 1800s by the postmaster of Independence. I guess postmasters were extremely well paid back in the 1800s.
This house had running water. They had -- it had its own water tower, back in the day, it's not there anymore. The postmaster, however, was -- well, he was extremely big on parties. He loved society and his wife Cecilia he wanted her to be a huge part of society. And she was extremely embarrassed when he was brought up on mail fraud charges.
So while he was going under trial in Washington D.C. she took an overdose of morphine and killed herself. She died in -- on the second floor. I spent about five hours up until about five o'clock in the morning, on the spot where she died and I didn't experience anything. But people, tour guides and tourists who've been there have reported seeing Cecilia Vaile standing on the second floor landing looking for people to walk up.
One tour guide who was walking past a room heard a woman's voice say, "Don't come in yet." She looked in the room and the room was empty.
People hear their name spoken by a female voice as they're walking around the second floor. One of the even sadder aspects of this building happened in the early 1900s when it was an insane asylum. The third floor they conducted lobotomies on the critically insane. There is still a door up there where they kept dangerous people. There's still bars on the door. And, excuse me, if this is too graphic but it still smells like urine in the room. I think that would have probably disappeared after all this time, but it sure hasn't.
This is absolutely gorgeous, not the picture. Not the picture.
If you'll look in the glass there's a -- to the bottle on the far left there is a man with a beard and a hat. And off of his left shoulder is a smaller picture of a woman with large hair. The person I spoke with who took this picture of her friend, the bartender, said the guy in the sailor's hat and the woman with the big hair were not there when she took the picture.
Anyway, Big Cedar Lodge is owned by Bass Pro Shops. This is down at -- very, very close to Arkansas at Table Rock Lake. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. The woman supposedly in that picture is Dorothy Worman. The Big Cedar Lodge, the first home down there was built by Mr. Worman who was a railroad mogul. He was extremely wealthy. And he was -- he married a very, very young woman who absolutely hated being in the middle of nowhere.
She hated living in this house. And in her early 20s she ran away to Mexico. And she died in Mexico under mysterious circumstances and I guess being a loving husband, I don't know, brought her back -- brought her body back to the place she hated most on the planet and buried her there.
Wow. Funny thing is she's the only ghost people see there. People have reported waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a woman standing at the end of their bed. Others have reported seeing a woman in clothing from the early 1900s sitting at the edge of their bed crying.
She has been seen in a white nightgown walking on the shores of the lake. A rocking chair on the back of the house where she ran away from will move, will rock back and forth. Strangely enough the rocking chair sitting right next to it won't move, just one of them moves. And it's always the same one.
I stayed the night in one of these rooms, hoping, of course, not to see anybody. And I didn't. I didn't have any disturbing visitors but there are a lot of stuffed wild game in the room and waking up to see a turkey vulture starring at me, probably, not the most fun thing.
But anyway the lodge is gorgeous and now I'm in a commercial mode so I should stop.
Yes. (Question from the audience.)
Can we go back?
The large bottle looks like maybe Glenfiddich over here to the left. Right to the right of it and above is a man with a beard and a large mustache and it looks like a fishing hat.
Do you all see that? Does anybody see that?
Okay. And right off of his left shoulder and down a little bit is a much smaller head. It looks like a woman with large hair. And, again, the woman who took the picture was just taking a picture of her friend, who's the bartender.
Another place in Carthage, Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast, another very, very pretty building, it was built late 1800s, like, 1899, maybe. I don't remember exactly.
It was built by another lumber baron. And this guy owned a lumber company and built this house. His first name was Albert. And he was a very friendly fellow. He loved to smoke. And he would smoke at the end of the walkway that led out to the street.
He used -- he would do that and he would wave at people who walked by. I didn't experience anything at the house when I was there. Oh, by the way, he died in 1925. He's not still around.
I didn't experience anything there personally, people have. They've reported smelling smoke in the house. And people aren't allowed to smoke there. I interviewed a newspaper columnist with the Tucson Citizen. His name is Corky Simpson. He and his wife stayed there and he woke up, in the middle of the night, and saw a man wearing a derby, smoking a cigar, standing at the end of his bed.
And I don't understand how people can do this, he went back to sleep.
I stayed in that room. And I didn't wake up in the middle of the night. The guy might have smoked there the entire evening, I don't know. But when I -- when my wife and I were leaving the Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast we walked down the walk in the front of the building and when we got to the very last spot of the walk before we hit the street, we had to stop because we smelled cigar smoke.
I stood off of the sidewalk and I walked around to see if wind was blowing the cigar smoke from anywhere else and I smelled nothing until I stepped back on to the end of the walk.
So maybe Albert is still out there, waving at neighbors who can't wave back.
The 1069 -- called so because that's their street number -- Salon and Spa in St. Charles, Missouri, is a fairly common building. A couple of the owners, previous owners died in the building. If anybody -- it's really strange because it's a salon and spa and when I went there most of the customers were guys.
All of the women who worked there looked like they had just stepped out of a Diet Pepsi commercial so that's probably why.
So ladies, if your husband's -- if you're in St. Charles and they want to get their hair cut, don't let them.
Anyway, most of the activity here -- and they're open at ten o'clock, at night. I don't know if that's common. But it's usually late at night when only one or two people are working there and they hear the radio upstairs pop on for no apparent reason. And for some reason it's usually Sinatra.
They will hear footsteps upstairs when they know nobody is upstairs. When the new owners were having new telephone lines installed the telephone repair man ran screaming out of the basement and never returned.
They couldn't even track him down to find out what he had seen. Guests or not guests, the people there who have -- who were there to get their hair done have often been sitting and waiting for their appointment and bottles of shampoo would just fall off of the shelves.
Again, I'm not sure I would want to get my hair cut there. The -- all the people who work there, all the beauticians keep prayer cards at their desks or not their desks but their stations. And will often say prayers during the day because hairdryers will come on for no apparent reason. And chairs will start turning when nobody is there pushing them.
Mount Gilead School in Kearney, Missouri, I want to mention something -- someplace else in Kearney. Anybody have any idea who's famous and from Kearney?
Jesse James, of course. This isn't about him.
Anyway, this school was built and it was a two floor school house during the Civil War. Teachers would take their students out just to watch soldiers marching by. There's a cemetery right next to it because you'd find a lot of churches with cemeteries right next to schools that were built around that area. The most famous in the cemetery is Abe Lincoln's second cousin.
I'm sure none of us know what his name is. I don't either because the tombstone was stolen back in the '50s. Anyway the -- it is now a state historic site. And it's been remodeled back to what it looked like back in the '50s or the '40s when it was still a schoolhouse. And people who went to school back then said that they did a pretty good job.
People who work there, when they take the tour from the building -- from the school building over to the church and they come back, they've occasionally reported that a blackboard that they had erased before they had walked out, had words written on it.
They've -- the second floor, now, is not part of the tour. It's an apartment for people who work -- work for the Clay County Parks and Recreation Department. People who have lived there have reported foots -- footprints or footsteps on the stairs. But one guy I interviewed said, "I'm not afraid of anything except that building."
For Christmas he decided to decorate. And the lights he put up he kept finding on the floor when he came home. Well, one night he decided that, you know, I'm not going anywhere tonight. I'm putting these lights up and I'm going to watch them until, oh, wait a second they're falling down. They weren't just falling down they looked like somebody was ripping them down.
Later that night something hit him and knocked him out of bed and he decided to look for someplace else to live.
One of the more interesting stories the schoolmarm who works there and gives tours during the day had worn a family heirloom, a brooch and lost it. Searched the building, searched the grounds, had other people help her search the grounds, couldn't find it.
A couple of weeks later she was getting ready to leave and looked out the window and there was a cat sitting next to her car. She had absolutely no idea why a cat was there. They didn't keep a cat. She never saw a cat there. When she walked out toward the cat the cat was gone. But where it was sitting was that brooch.
She's not promising the cat brought it but she has no explanation as to why the brooch was there.
This is where I teach, not the explosion part and not the railroad part, but at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. What you're seeing at the top is a -- was Residence Hall. That was the creative name for their residence hall. Behind it was a railroad yard that no longer exists. A tanker exploded there in 1950. The explosion was so big it was seen 75 miles away.
It tore through the third floor of this building and injured a number of students. One of them a woman named Roberta Steel. She was a freshman from St. Joseph, Missouri. She was not killed in the explosion but she was badly burned.
She was treated and eventually died of liver poisoning from the treatment they gave her at a hospital. But in the '60s this building was renamed Roberta Hall after this young woman who had died.
And ever since then people living in Residence -- or Roberta Hall have all reported the same types of things, drawers, watching drawers being pulled out of dressers, seeing things knocked off of -- knocked off of their dressers, having their radio turned on while they're sitting there looking at a radio that's off.
One young woman I interviewed just a couple of years ago saw somebody walking around her room and thought it was her roommate until she rolled over and saw her roommate sleeping in a bed in the same room. Again, she rolled over and went back to sleep.
One of the more interesting stories, I think, came from the 1980s. I interviewed a woman who went there. And the doorknob kept turning on her room -- or on the room where she was living. And she kept yelling, "Come in, come in!" Nobody would come in and so she got up and opened the door --
(Tape One, Side A Concluded.)
MR. JASON OFFUTT: -- only then to remember that they were the type of door knobs that when you turn the door knob on the outside of the door, the one on the inside didn't turn.
So she's convinced that something was inside her room trying to get out.
Senior Hall in nearby Columbia, it was a finishing school for young proper southern ladies during the -- during the time of the Civil War. Sarah Jane Wheeler was a young lady who was sent to this finishing school. And there was a battle that happened close by and a Confederate soldier was chased and he ran and hid in the girl's dormitory.
The soldiers who were after him were much too -- too gentlemanly to storm into this girls -- girl's residence hall and drag the guy -- drag the guy out. The guy was slightly injured, the soldier was slightly injured, and he stayed there for weeks until he was healed. And during that time he and Sarah Jane Wheeler fell in love.
The stories are kind of mixed. The stories -- a couple of stories are he ventured outside, tried to escape and was shot dead by Union soldiers. She was angered and saddened and threw herself to her death out a window. Another story is that the two escaped during the night, during a rainstorm and drowned in a nearby creek. I got both of these stories from historians who agreed that nobody really knows which one it is.
But the ghost of the young woman is occasionally seen here. I interviewed a man who teaches at the university, he teaches theatre. He taught back in the early 1970s. It was his first year there, he decided let's have a séance in this building.
So he got a lot of students, they went up to the top floor to have a séance. There were two reporters from the Columbia Tribune there to do a story on the haunting.
And while they were doing the séance the windows were closed but a breeze appeared and blew the flames out. People screamed. They also heard a scream from outside and went to open the door and saw the photographer and reporter running down the stairs at them.
They asked what was wrong and they said, "You didn't see the soldier and the woman?" And then they left. So everybody got a little spooked and left.
A little bit later students who weren't with the teacher and the other students at the séance were walking by Senior Hall, after a party, and a woman dressed in white said, "If you see your teacher, Peter, tell him he's no longer allowed in this building."
And I don't know if he's ever been back.
Yeah. That's what I've always said to people, if I was in a house and disembodied voice said, "Get out." I would leave.
Yeater Hall, in Warrensburg, Missouri, at the University of Central Missouri, now, this is where I went to school. And the top window, there, there was a rumor when I went there, don't look there you'll see a woman staring at you.
I came to find out that that's still a rumor there. There -- the third floor of Laura J. Yeater Hall named after the woman who raised enough money to build this dormitory. She taught there, she taught Greek and Latin back in the early 1900s and was upset there wasn't a dorm just for women.
So it took her decades to raise enough money, but she raised enough money. The building was built and it's named after her. And people think that she haunts the building.
The third floor is shut. Nobody's allowed up there. It's padlocked. The owner -- the only people who have keys are people in the housing department. And there are very few keys to that floor. But strangely -- they say it is shut off for two reasons, there's not enough demand for just women only housing on campus and, two, there are electrical problems they just haven't gotten around to fixing yet.
Well, since nobody is allowed up there, it's really strange that a light keeps popping on in one of the rooms. And somebody from housing has to go up there, un-padlock the door, turn the light off and leave. One of the people I interviewed said they even took duct tape and duct taped the light switch down. And when she went up there to turn the light back off, the duct tape had been pulled away.
The day I went up there, the director of housing took me, saying ghost stories, I don't know what happens with the light but it has nothing to do with ghosts. We walked down this hallway. We walked by the room. I decided -- you know, hey, this is the room. We should probably take a look to see if the light was on. And it was.
And he reached in and clicked the light switch down. We walked two doors down, turned right around and came back. And I poked my head back in the room and the light switch was in the up position and the light was back on. That can't happen unless somebody turned it on. Nobody was up there because there was no way up there other than how we came. And if somebody was up there we sure as heck locked them in the dorm.
Central Methodist University in Fayette has a lot of typical ghost stories in dorms. Doors will lock for no apparent reason, water faucets will come on for no apparent reason, you'll hear doors slam, things of that nature. But the interesting one happens outside -- outside this tower.
Inside is a concert hall and there was a professor, Dr. Tom Burch, who graduated from Central Methodist and then got his doctorate and the University of Missouri and went back to Central Methodist to teach. And he was the -- he was the choir -- he was the music director.
He loved the spring concert. And during the spring concert in 1950, he died of a heart attack while he was directing the piece The Catacombs and fell dead into the drum set.
I interviewed somebody who was there, who said it was pretty terrifying to see somebody die and fall into a drum set. But a number of times since then, during the night of the spring -- that night of the spring concert walking across campus people will occasionally see a man dressed a tuxedo standing outside those doors.
And if they get close enough to him, he will say the same thing, "Nice night for a concert, huh?"
Remember the first picture or the second picture, I guess, we saw of the young lady and the light twirling around her. It was taken at Workman Chapel, northeast of Maryville, Missouri. This chapel was built in 1901 by John Workman, who was a preacher. And it was used until 1950. There is a cemetery there that is no longer used. John is buried there along with a couple of Civil War soldiers. The building of the chapel is abandoned. The floors are fairly rotted out, the windows are gone and the doors are gone. It's a pretty popular party spot. There are beer cans and busted bottles everywhere.
But people going out there have reported seeing Civil War soldiers riding horses in the fields around it. They've reported hearing a church bell ring where there has been no church bell at Workman Chapel since 1950.
They've seen black figures walking around the cemetery at night. And occasionally the ghostly figure of a woman will be seen standing at the door of the Civil -- of the -- of the chapel. The night I went out there I didn't see anything. But I felt claustrophobic. I never feel claustrophobic, no matter how small a room I'm in. And I was standing outside.
I don't know if it was just me, but I took a picture and the picture I took was one of two pictures I took for the book that had a small glowing orb in the middle of it where nothing else was there.
Anyway, it is pretty spooky. We take students out there once a year to go on ghost hunts. I'm doing that next Wednesday. And usually one student, at least, will have to go to the bathroom and will be too afraid to go find -- find a tree.
Hazel Ridge Cemetery in Brunswick. Brunswick, being the pecan capital of the world, is extremely -- extremely odd. It's not used anymore. The newest gravestones were from the 80s. I found this one when I was contacted by some amateur ghost hunters who have been going out there. They've been to this cemetery over 100 times.
They've mapped this cemetery dozen of times. And each time they go there it's a little bit different. Trees are in different spots from where the maps that they've made. Tombstones, they claim, where in one spot were now in another. One of the ghost hunters, I interviewed, said he was leaning against a tombstone and it disappeared. It didn't fall over. It just wasn't there anymore. And he hit the ground.
When I was out there I didn't notice anything strange except for a bunch of cows staring at us from a field right next to the cemetery. I grew up on a farm. We raised cattle and boy they moo a lot. These didn't make a sound.
The ghost hunters have said when they've been out there, they went out there to camp one night and as they were setting the tent up, they went back to the car to get something, and when they got back to where they were going to camp, the tent was folded up and back in the box.
They elected to go home.
Peace Church Cemetery, the figure -- the historic figure that is buried at Peace Church is not buried in Peace Church Cemetery just because of who he was. His nickname was -- was Bad Dog. He was a serial killer back in the 1950s. He was – God, it's rather embarrassing; I can't remember the guy's name. It'll come to me in a second.
Anyway, he was a troubled young man who went off on a cross-county -- cross-country killing spree. He killed a family who were from Illinois, just on vacation. He killed the mom and dad, the kids and their dog, after having them drive him all around the American southwest. He ended up killing a couple of sheriff's deputies, also. And the family he drove back to Joplin and dumped their bodies down an abandoned mine shaft. Bill Cook was the guy's name.
Anyway, when he was finally caught in Mexico, he was put in trial in California. He was killed and his body was paraded across the American southwest because it was a really famous case. It was the basis of the movie The Hitchhiker made in '52, I believe. It was also based on -- this is the case that some of Jim Morrison's lyrics for the song Riders on the Storm were based on this case.
Anyway, he was buried in the middle of the night. He was sneaked in to the cemetery because they were afraid people wouldn't let them bury him in a nice Christian -- nice Christian cemetery. So they had to bury him outside the cemetery. They had -- they never marked it. But people going to this cemetery will see, at dusk, will occasionally see the black hulking figure of a man wandering the outskirts of the cemetery.
When I was there, I did not see that. But it is very spooky nonetheless. People don't take care of it anymore. The tombstones are not taken care of and the grass has grown very tall. So it's a very depressing place. And there were chicken bones arranged in a pentagram on the ground when I was there. So, yeah, people do visit.
The Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph is really kind of creepy just because of all the tools that were used in the psychiatric profession back in the '30s. That's scary enough.
The museum is located in this building. The psychiatric center is located in a building behind this that is now a state penitentiary. But it was a psychiatric -- well, it was a crazy house is what they called it back in the day. In the days of westward expansion when the building was constructed people who didn't really want crazy Aunt Agnes to come with them out west would just dump her off here. Or if Uncle Billy was a bit of a drunkard they would drop him off here, too. Or if their parents were just a little bit too old for the trip, yeah, they'd leave their parents at this building, too.
The first few winters were really cold and a lot of people were dying -- a lot of people died. They didn't know the names of most of the people who were just dropped off. If the people were too old, the people were too insane they just buried them under a rock with a number on it.
During its years as a psychiatric institution up through the '30s, '40s, '50s and into the '60s patients would report seeing and talking with disembodied spirits that wandered the halls, but, of course, they were mental patients so we're really not -- nobody is really sure if they were really seeing things or not.
It wasn't until nurses and doctors reported seeing and hearing things, that people started to take -- take the haunting serious. You can't go into the former psychiatric institution unless maybe you get arrested after doing something very bad. But in the museum, itself, things seemed to have followed -- followed the museum over to this building because people who work there will hear footsteps and they will see black shadowy figures walking and roaming the halls, right before they're ready to close up. And they are anxious trust me, to close up.
This is my favorite story in the entire book because it's creepy before we get to the ghost.
Mark Twain Cave was discovered by a hunter in 1820 when his dog chased a bobcat into a hole. He waited until the dog came out because he didn't want to go find the bobcat. But what you see here is not the original hole. They blasted this, years later, when the person who owned the land said you know, I can charge people money to come in.
It was later purchased by St. Louis physician named Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell. He was working on efforts to preserve, perfectly preserve a human body. He needed someplace that had constant humidity and a constant temperature. This has constant humidity all year round and its 52 degrees all year round. So he had the spot he just didn't have a dead body.
And then his fourteen-year-old daughter died. Okay. He had a body. So being a loving dad he took her body and stuffed it in a glass-lined copper cylinder, filled it full of alcohol and hanged it from a ceiling -- the ceiling of one of the rooms in this building -- in this cave. Now, Mark Twain wrote about this in his book Life on the Mississippi and claimed he had no part of it. I don't necessarily believe that, but that was his claim.
Older children from Hannibal would make the three mile trek down to this cave taking with them younger children. They'd light lanterns and torches and walk in to the -- walk in to this cave, telling ghost stories. They would eventually lead all the little kids back into this far room where somebody during the height of one of the stories would unscrew the lid and drag the head of this fourteen-year-old girl out by the hair.
Needless to say, the parents of Hannibal weren't really happy with this dead girl hanging in their cave and eventually petitioned the guy to move it. And he -- the girl is buried in St. Louis.
But tour guides -- this became a national -- a national park in the 1970s. Tour guides have reported seeing this girl wandering, not just wandering through the cave system, but when they're giving tours, poking her head out from behind boulders and laughing at them.
The Elms Resort Hotel in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. When I was in my early twenties I bartended at the Elms and whenever I had to restock the bar I had to walk down into the bowels of the building. I didn't know about the haunting but it was pretty darn creepy.
This hotel was built three different times, burned down twice. One of the times it burned was in 1912. And it was during a costume party and every partygoer got out. All the coal shovelers keeping the place heated didn't. And they ended up dying in the fire.
One of the most active parts of the haunting of the Elms Hotel is people reporting hearing banging pipes in this wall. Well, this wall had a lot of pipes, back in the day; there are no pipes in that wall, now. But they -- people think that it may be the coal shovelers banging on the pipes asking for somebody to come and rescue them.
Anyway, the Elms have a great history. It has mineral waters in Excelsior Springs. The -- they were thought to have healing properties so people would come from around the world to get healed by the mineral waters. FDR came. Lots of famous people stayed here. Jack Dempsey, the boxer, stayed at the Elms. Al Capone stayed here. He had his own private room. Harry S. Truman, the night he won the election, we all know the picture where he's holding up -- holding up the Tribune that says Dewey defeats Truman. He had stayed at the Elms -- he was just leaving the Elms on a train with -- when that picture was taken.
People have reported seeing a phantom cleaning lady walking around one of the floors. A phantom vacuum is heard. I talked to some guy who worked there during a remodeling session and he chased the noise of a vacuum around the floor for a half hour and finally gave up.
A woman, dripping wet, reportedly searching for her baby who drowned in the downstairs European wading pool is seen wandering around downstairs. A lot of creepy things have been heard at this -- at this hotel, but if you're ever in Excelsior Springs it's beautiful, go see it.
Back -- back to Kearney. Frank James was not born at the James farm. He was born in Kentucky. But he died here. Jesse was born here, however. The building was restored. The inside was restored to -- to as best they could. A lot of the furniture there was furniture that the James family donated whenever the county bought this and turned it into a historic spot.
Ghosts seen there have been Zerelda James, the wife of Jesse. Yes. Zerelda was his mom. Zerelda was also his cousin. Guess which side of the family that his wife came from.
Frank has been seen here, often, looking out the window for visitors because later on in his life, again, he was famous. He lived there until he died. And he would conduct tours. He charged people a dime to get in. He would conduct tours of the farm. His wife Annie has been seen out there by re-enactors. But it's not just the seeing that's interesting. Occasionally somebody will appear in a picture who wasn't there before, when the picture was taken.
Someone who insulted Zerelda, the mother, during a tour was hit by the ear piece of a phone that just happened to fly as far as it could and hit her in the head. In this house was -- Jesse's mom lost part of her arm when the Pinkerton Detective Agency threw an incendiary device through a window, which also killed Jesse's half -- younger half-brother.
Hey, you can probably see that place if you go outside.
This is just a small story from the Governor's Mansion. The only person to -- or the only -- a ghost of a girl has been seen there. And the only girl who ever died in the Governor's Mansion was the daughter of Governor Crittenden.
And she was only seen by some people working upstairs on the heating and cooling system. It was during Governor Kit Bond's administration. And one of the workers came down and said, "Could you please ask the Governor to tell his daughter to leave us alone? She's standing up there talking to us. We're trying to work." And then he was told that Governor Bond had no daughter, much like the telephone repair man at the other site, this guy left never to come back.
Anybody been to Arrow Rock? It's not that far away. I love Arrow Rock, Missouri. It's kind of frozen back in the 1800s. It's a beautiful little town.
The Old Tavern Restaurant has a story that's a fairly common story. Back when people were traveling west they would often stop here. And a woman came by stagecoach alone, which for the 1800s was kind of strange. And she didn't have any bags with her, which was also kind of strange. And she rented a room and went up to the room.
People staying at the end reported hearing screams in the middle of the night and when they awoke the next morning there were bloody footprints down the stairs and out into the snow to where the ledge that drops off hundreds of feet into the Missouri River was. So they speculated she had -- she was not married, had a child out of wedlock and killed both of them. The cries of babies have been -- of a baby has been heard there a number of times.
Also, the ghost of a woman has been seen there after hours because, in like a lot of these historic spots, somebody lives there. The woman I interviewed who lives there has a seen a woman standing downstairs dressed in garb from the 19-- from the 1890s -- or not 1890s -- I'm sorry, the mid 1800s. She's also seen the figure of a man standing at the end of her bed staring at her who kind of faded away.
She now runs a bed and breakfast somewhere else.
The Old Tavern Restaurant, I -- the people who run the restaurant now, don't really like to talk about the ghost stories. Although, they do say that things come on and off inside the building for absolutely no apparent reason.
Spook Lights in Seneca, Missouri, down south of Joplin. This thing is a glowing orange sometimes white sometimes yellow will of the wisp, basketball-size, that will be seen coming down a gravel road that leads from Missouri into Oklahoma. The legend behind this is that a young -- young American Indian whose father was the Chief wanted to marry a person her father didn't approve of. So they jumped off of a cliff together and committed suicide.
The legend behind the Spook Light is that this is one of the young lovers searching for their lost mate. Whatever the legend behind it, ever since the early 1800s, this light's been seen. American Indians reported seeing it before -- to white settlers when white settlers moved here. White settlers since that time have seen it.
I interviewed people who have seen it back in the early part of the 1900s up 'til today. What the light does today is it bounces down the road, dances on the hood of your car, comes through your window, causes like an electric feeling as it is passing through and then disappears and makes its happy little way down through the window -- or down through the -- down the road.
I spent the night there. I followed the advice of a woman who had seen the Spook Light about six times. She told me to go find the spot with the most beer cans and park there.
I did. The scariest thing I saw was about two o'clock in the morning a teenager hood surfing down -- down --
If you don't know what hood surfing is; it is someone standing on the hood of a car while somebody else drives. But so many people have seen this that I lend some credence to it.
In 1946 the Army Corps of Engineers came down to prove what this thing was or wasn't. They couldn't find any evidence for it. They saw it. And they placed the blame on lights from passing cars. This doesn't explain what people saw back in the 1800s.
All right. Pythian Castle in Springfield. I didn't know there were castles in Springfield. There's like 20 -- or not in Springfield, but in Missouri. And there's like 20 castles in Missouri. This thing was built by the Knights of Pythias. This was a home for young girls, abused and abandoned girls, orphans. And it was built in the early part of the 1900s.
There were -- there was a death there. One of the young girls was raped and killed and they blamed it on one of the -- one of the men who worked there. And he was taken out and hanged. This guy's ghost has been reportedly seen in this building.
It was taken over in the -- during the war -- during World War II, it was taken over by the Army. In unrepaired parts of this building are still stencils "U.S. Army" across some of the doors. It's an absolutely gorgeous building that I would not spend the night in. They are turning it in to a bed and breakfast.
If you've -- have you ever heard -- anybody here not heard of EVPs? Electronic Voice Phenomenon. This is when you take a recorder, place it in a room where nobody is and leave. And when you come back and listen to it voices will be on the recording. The night I was there with ghost hunters -- not the "ghost hunters," but ghost hunters from the area -- we did this in a few rooms. And voices on an audio recording that weren't there before were there. And words like, I killed him, were on the voice -- were on the voice -- voice recordings, which was pretty interesting.
I felt extremely uncomfortable in this building. Standing on the second floor there is -- in the theatre, a big beautiful theatre there, I all of a sudden -- all of sudden my face and my hands got hot, that I felt like I was standing next to a wood burning stove. Although I was standing next to a window where a nice cool breeze was coming through and the rest of me was perfectly comfortable. I don't know what that was. It could've been anything, but I've never really felt like that before.
In the basement, a lot of people have reported seeing soldiers in the basement, some German soldiers, some American soldiers. German soldiers were tortured for information down there. One room which is the interrogation room has bullet holes in the wall because some of the German soldiers were less than eager to give the information that they had, so there was a lot of -- a lot of bad feelings in this.
Also, in Springfield the Landers Theatre. Gorgeous, gorgeous old building. There was one reported death in it. Back in the days of segregation African Americans watched movies, watched stage plays on the balcony. There was a fire in the building. And as people were rushing out a woman dropped her baby and it was trampled to death. That is the one recorded death.
People will hear a baby cry in the middle of the night in the theatre. People do live in the theatre, there are some apartments there.
One gentleman, I -- who lived there for about 10 years occasionally would report waking up in the middle of the night and was kind of concerned because he should be seeing street lights but there was something black standing between, like, a dark blacked human-shaped shadow standing between him and the window. He would see that often on the third floor.
Downstairs one night after he had shut up -- shut the -- shut the place down he was walking near the bathrooms and all of a sudden, toilets -- the ones that flushed by themselves -- started flushing. And he walked in and nobody was in the bathroom. These are the toilets that something has to walk in front of to go off. I'm not sure why a ghost would need to use urinals.
But all these urinals started going off. Later that night, before he walked upstairs he noticed a man in a jean jacket that had white fur around the collar. That was pretty common back in the 1970s. He approached this guy and started talking to him. The guy just turned and walked away, which made him angry. So he followed him into the theatre and when he got in there the guy was gone.
So this guy didn't die there, he's not sure why he's in the theatre. Maybe he just wants to see a good movie.
Hotel Savoy in Kansas City. When I went it was undergoing quite a bit of work. It's in a U-shape. And two-thirds of the U were finished, one wasn't. Before I found anything about this hotel I went to the section that wasn't -- that hadn't been fixed, yet. And I walked down each of the floors. When I got to the fourth floor, I broke out into a sweat. I got really uncomfortable, my chest hurt, I felt panicked, I had to get out of there immediately and I left.
When I started interviewing people about the building somebody who had worked there for a long time said on that floor is where people a lot of times report seeing the ghost of a 10 year old girl. Maybe something was there when I was there and didn't want me there and I don't know. But this girl is reported there. Carts, food carts, the noise of them walking back and forth, squeaking back and forth down hallways are reported by guests. Of course, when they open the door nobody is there.
But I think the most interesting aspect of the Hotel Savoy is a Canadian businessman who always requests the same room. One of the guys who works there, who has worked there for years finally asked him why he requested the same room. And the Canadian guy said, "You know, I don't know who it is because I never see anybody but whenever I sit down on this bed after a long day, I get my shoulders rubbed."
Yeah. I'd keep coming back, too, I guess.
Marceline, the boyhood home of?
AUDIENCE: Walt Disney.
MR. JASON OFFUTT: Walt Disney. Walt Disney. Main Street, Walt Disney said when they dedicated a school to his name, of course, back when Walt was still alive said that Main Street USA at Disneyland was based on Main Street of Marceline.
The café, which has since closed unfortunately, was -- has always been a café and there was a well in the basement when it was originally built. Marceline was built around the railroad. And a lot of railroad workers stayed in Marceline. Supposedly one of them, back in the early days, killed a woman and threw her down the well. Not surprisingly the only ghostly activity seen in this café has been that of a woman.
People have seen a woman dressed in white walking by the window when the place is closed. People working there, if they're there alone have seen a woman in white out of the corner of their eye.
One woman, in the bathroom, looked in the mirror and saw the woman standing behind her. She's friendly enough. One woman who was cleaning up, she was there by herself said, "Where's my towel?" Well, a towel flew across the room and hit her in the head.
That seems to be -- is that it?
(No audience response.)
All right. Fantastic. I think I need to give this up to somebody else.
MS. ROBIN CARNAHAN: Hi, this is Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, again. I hope that you enjoyed our program.
For more information about Friends of the Archives or to find out more about other on-line programs and upcoming presentations please visit our website at www.sos.mo.gov.
(Tape One, Side B Concluded.)