Last updated on January 18th, 2023 at 09:33 am.
Ghosts and paranormal stories in Missouri are legendary. They come from the many historic places, civil war battlegrounds, haunted hotels, and many of the caves in the Show-Me state. Ready to explore ghosts Missouri style and learn about ghostly sightings, the oldest prison west of the Mississippi and more? Keep reading to learn about the 23 most haunted places in Missouri!
Ready to find some of Missouri’s most unusual residents? Ready to explore the otherworldly side of Missouri?
The state of Missouri is known to have an enormous amount of paranormal activity and ghostly sightings. Missouri is filled with historic places, haunted hotels, and the oldest prison west of the Mississippi River.
The history of hauntings in Missouri includes the St. Louis home that the book and movie The Exorcist was based on and the Lemp Mansion, which is considered one of the ten most haunted locations in America.
You can simply type into Google, “haunted houses open near me” or “haunted locations in Missouri” or even better, scroll through our list of Missouri’s most haunted places.
Disclosure: Before you travel, please check what’s open and be sure to follow all local guidelines to keep yourself and others safe! Please know that ads are how we pay our bills and keep our blog free for you to enjoy. We also use affiliate links; if you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Ghosts Missouri …. a History
Jason Offutt, author of Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to the Show-Me State’s Most Spirited Spots, said he doesn’t call himself a ghost hunter but loves ghost stories and the paranormal as long as they’re happening to somebody else during a 2008 lecture
Jason is also a journalism instructor at Northwest Missouri State University and syndicated humor and paranormal columnist, who has done extensive research on ghosts and hauntings in Missouri and written the definitive travel guide to haunted Missouri.
Missouri is home to over 6 million people, as well as the many ghosts that linger in its haunted places. The state has a glorious history that has left some hauntings in its wake. In fact, there has been quite a lot of battles and bloodshed in Missouri.
Often called the ‘Gateway to the West,’ Missouri was home to Jesse James and his gang of outlaws and train robbers and the bushwhackers Bloody Bil’ Anderson and Sam Hilderbrand.
During the Civil War, thousands of battles were fought here because the state was bitterly divided between supporters of the Union vs. Confederate. All that death has no doubt attracted some spirits of the hereafter and more.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Missouri’s cemeteries are the stuff of legend, and they are renowned worldwide for their famous graves and poignant locations.
So if you want an offbeat holiday, let’s go ghost hunting in Missouri.
23 Famous Haunted Places In Missouri
Ready to feel the chills up your spine and the hair at the back of your neck stand up? What about feeling an unfamiliar brush against your arm as you explore strange places in the dead of the night? Or hear a whisper, but nothing’s really there?
Get ready to experience all that and more when visiting these Missouri haunted places:
Lemp Mansion in St. Louis
Initially owned by Johann Adam Lemp, the mansion symbolized wealth and power when he built St. Louis’ first beer dynasty.
Lemp started with a small brewery in 1840, close to where the Gateway Arch stands today. By 1879, it was one of the most successful businesses in the area and ruled the St. Louis beer market.
Eventually, the business was passed down to William Lemp, who lost his son and a close friend to a fatal illness. As William’s physical and mental health decayed, he shot and killed himself on the morning of Feb. 13, 1904, in his second-floor bedroom. Thus began a series of events that brought tragedy after tragedy to the family name.
William’s son Charles also died by suicide. Charles had an illegitimate son who was rumored to have Down Syndrome and was kept hidden in the mansion. The boy also ended up shooting himself – marking the 3rd suicide in the family.
The ghosts of the troubled family are thought to inhabit the place, haunting it night and day.
The house is said to be haunted by several members of the Lemp family, there are three areas of the old mansion that have the most activity — the stairway, the attic, and what the staff refers to as, the “Gates of Hell” in the basement.
The attic is said to be haunted by William, Jr’s illegitimate son, referred to only as the “Monkey Face Boy.” This poor soul, born with Down’s Syndrome, spent his entire life locked in the attic of the Lemp Mansion.
The restaurant has been reported apparitions appear and then quickly vanish, unexplained voices and strange noises come from nowhere, and glasses will often lift off the bar flying through the air by themselves.
Address: 3322 Demenil Pl in St. Louis
The Exorcist House in Bel-Nor
The Exorcist House is considered one of the most haunted places in the world. History.com lists it as one of the six horror movies based on true stories.
In March of 1949, a cadre of Jesuit priests from St. Louis University commenced the exorcism of a 14-year old boy. They prayed over him, did their best to cast out the demon they believed posses him, and saw things they could never explain.
This story became the inspiration for a 1971 novel and a 1973 film; both called The Exorcist.
The ‘real-life’ exorcism lasted two months – starting at the private home of the boy’s family. This is where they had witnessed tables flipping over and hangers flying out of closets when the entity was enraged.
The 3-bedroom colonial house in a charming neighborhood doesn’t look all that sinister when you first enter it. But there is no discounting for the fact that Satan himself slept here. The property is still tainted with tragedy because it can’t hold onto an owner for too long, and visitors also talk of feeling an unearthly presence that doesn’t want them around if they stay too long.
Many ghost hunters have visited the house and it’s currently open for tours with Haunted Journeys
Address: 8435 Roanoke Dr, Bel-Nor
Zombie Road in Wildwood
This is a rather innocent-looking 2.3-mile section of old railroad tracks on Rock Hollow Trail in Wildwood. But go down the road, and you might spot some of the shadow people who watch over it.
Legend has it that it is one of the largest American Indian mound sites and was used by the Union Army during the Civil War.
So it’s no wonder that folks say they’ve seen specters of confederate soldiers, Native Americans, and even lost schoolchildren around the trail. Many people have spotted the ghosts of quarry workers maimed by machinery, casually walking here.
One of the most eerie stories about Zombie Road:
The story goes that a man escaped from the nearby mental hospital and disappeared nearby. Later, they could only find his blood-soaked clothes to identify him.
Address: Al-Foster trail, near the intersection of Highway 109 and Old State Road.
Ravenswood Mansion in Bunceton
Ravenswood Mansion was built in 1880 for a wealthy couple, Nadine and Charles Leonard. They lived a comfortable life here until Nadine died at the age of 90.
However, legend says that Nadine’s spirit never left the premises. In fact, once, her family servant tried to enter the room to gather Nadine’s clothing but found the door locked from inside. So scared of what she might do to anyone who impeded on her solitude, they left the mansion to Nadine’s ghost, and the family retreated to a few rooms at the back of the house.
The Ravenswood Mansion is still haunted with many unexplainable events including lights on the property that turn on and off on their own, and doors that swing open and slam shut by themselves. In addition, old orchestra music can sometimes be heard at the premises.
Make sure to be very respectful when visiting this haunted mansion; you don’t want to make Nadine mad!
Address: Ravenswood Farm, Main House, Rural Route 1, Bunceton, Cooper County, MO
Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City
The Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City was once the largest prison in the United States, housing 5,200 inmates at its peak. But it wasn’t a safe space for anyone during its time as a prison. In fact, they called it the bloodiest 47 acres in America because of its history of escape attempts, riots, suicides, and of course, death row.
The prison was closed in 2004 and today it’s considered one of the most haunted sites in Missouri. You can tour the dungeon cells, but the place is so spooky that anyone visiting must sign a waiver of liability. They also go so far as to caution anyone with asthma and heart conditions to consider their visit.
Better not split up with the tour group because visitors hear voices, see humanlike shapes and figures, and even witness full apparitions.
The Tennessee Wraith Chasers from the Travel Channel have declared the Missouri State Penitentiary as one of the oldest and most haunted prisons in the Midwest.
Address: 115 Lafayette Street, Jefferson City
Jesse James House & Farm in Kearney
The Jesse James Farm and Museum is located in Kearney, which is just under an hour from Kansas City.
This farm is where the infamous outlaw Jesse James and his brother Frank James grew up and it is said to be haunted. James’ parents moved to the farm in 1842. Jesse and Frank created the James Gang and are famous for robbing banks and trains in the West from 1860 to 1882.
After Jesse was murdered in 1882, he was brought to the farm and buried in the side yard. His remains were later moved to Mount Olivet Cemetery.
The farm is also the site of the raid on the family by the Pinkertons where one of the other James brothers was killed and the mother Zerelda lost her arm. Union Militia also strung up Zerelda’s husband and tried to burn their home on the farm.
Witnesses have claimed to see unexplained lights in the farmhouse even though it has been locked for years.
Many people have reported other mysterious things here like hearing doors slamming, horse hooves stomping, whispering conversations and movements are seen in the building but never recorded on security cameras.
Address: 21216 Jesse James Farm Road, Kearney
Thespian Hall – Boonville
The history of Thespian Hall dates back to 1838 when sixty leading citizens of Boonville founded an all-male dramatic group called “The Thespian Society.” This unique group soon became the talk of the town, and everyone in the community supported it wholeheartedly.
In 1855, they built the Thespian Hall as “a monument to the liberality and good taste of our citizen”. It took two years to complete the 4-story Greek revival building. With its libraries, 18 ft. tall ceilings, and an expansive basement, plenty of its dark corners were inevitably haunted.
Today, it’s the oldest theater still in use west of the Alleghenies, was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.
Often a gray-haired female spirit is seen wandering Thespian Hall – and she has been captured in photos. Other puzzling events on-site include sudden outbursts of ragtime music and moving wig stands.
Group tours of Thespian Hall are available by appointment and cost $5. Call 660-882-7977.
Address: 522 Main Street Boonville, MO 65233
Pythian Castle in Springfield
Pythian Castle was built in 1911-1913 by a fraternal organization called the Knights of Pythias. It initially served as a space for widows and orphans but was later bought by the army. Then, the military made it an O’Reilly Service Club for enlisted men. At the same time, the guardhouse had prisoner cells.
Later on, the building became a part of Veteran’s administration 500 bed Tubercular hospital. Eventually, it was sold off. But its rich history continues to follow it.
The castle is home to spirits that are often seen wandering the ballroom and the basement.
Pythian Castle is open for history tours, haunted tours, and ghost investigations.
Address: 1451 E Pythian Street, Springfield.
Beattie Mansion in St Joseph
When the Beattie Mansion was built in 1854, it belonged to Armstrong and Eliza Beattie. But in 1895, it became a memorial home for the elderly. In later years, it also served as a group home and refuge to the city’s mentally ill and substance abuse addicts.
News Press Now reported that, local psychic Mary Ann Podrasky believes with the mansion’s history of housing distressed souls, some of the spirit and misery of those displaced and unwanted people is left inside the structure today, manifesting in strange occurrences and events.
So if you visit the site, don’t be surprised if you hear disembodied voices, a lady humming, and observe shadowy figures.
To schedule a visit to the Beattie Mansion or for general questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Building1120, Main Street, St. Joseph, MO
Elms Hotel And Spa in Excelsior Springs
The Elms Hotel and Spa has burnt down twice. The first fire was in 1898 and the second in 1910. Both times the building was reconstructed, but in the process, it became home to some unwanted guests who don’t plan to leave anytime soon.
At one point, the Elms became known as a famous speakeasy. This is because many gangsters, including Al Capone, were attracted to it. They conducted drinking and gambling parties, which sometimes led to violent brawls.
Today, the victims of violence still haunt the building. For example, a spirit said to be a man killed by a mob gangster roams the halls.
This is one of the best ghost adventures in Missouri as the hotel offers paranormal tours throughout the year.
Address: 401 Regent Street, Excelsior Springs, MO
Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City
Located on Madison Street in Jefferson City, the Governor’s Mansion was built in 1871, and was once the official residence of Missouri’s governors.
The mansion’s history is connected to Missouri State Penitentiary because most of the building’s construction was done by inmates.
The paranormal activity in the area can be traced back to the Crittenden family. During Thomas Crittenden’s time as a governor from 1881 to 1885, there was a diphtheria outbreak.
The spread of the disease took the life of his nine-year-old daughter, Carrie. And now, her ghost is said to occupy the house.
Address: 100 Madison Street, Jefferson City
Rivercene Mansion in New Franklin
Rivercene Mansion dates back to 1869 when it was built by riverboat captain, Joseph Kinney. But the death of his son, Noble Kinney, leaves the building with a scarring memory.
Noble Kinney died by falling over the second-floor balcony and landing on the 8th and 9th steps of the main staircase. Moreover, why he fell remains a mystery. What’s even more surprising is the occurrence of strange events every time people enter the boy’s room. These included the shower turning on and off and temperatures going from one extreme to another.
Today Rivercene Mansion is a 9-bedroom Bed and Breakfast.
Even today, the mansion remains a spooky sight where people witness cold spots and eerie sensations.
Address: 127 County Road 463 65274 New Franklin USA
Stephens College in Columbia
Founded in 1833, Stephens College is the second oldest female college in the United States, and is rumored to have many ghosts.
Locals say the Pillsbury dorm hall is haunted by three women named the Blue Ladies. Additionally, these ghosts are thought to sing to students at night.
Searcy Hall has also witnessed the cries of a newborn spirit – a baby left behind a the locker by a student. Furthermore, there is a ghost known as Sarah, who was the lover of a civil war soldier, who is said to lurk around the campus.
Address: 1200 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO
Vaile Mansion – Independence
The ghostly tales of the Vaile Mansion start with its owner, Colonel Harvey Vaile.
He was charged with defrauding the government twice but was declared not guilty both times. Then, in 1883, his wife Sophia was found dead at home with a morphine overdose. Previously, she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, but her suicide still left many shocked.
Now, people report spotting a ghost that resembles Sophia Vaile. It looks out of the windows and spends time on the floor she died.
The Vaile Manion tour is both a history tour as well as a glimpse into the living in Missouri in the 1880’s and also the why this victorian home is so important.
Address: 1500 N. Liberty St. Independence, MO 64050
1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum in Independence
Also located in Independence is the Jackson County Jail and Marshal’s House.
Famous outlaw William Clark Quantrill, as well as Frank James of the James Gang (Jesse James’ older brother), were housed at the 1859 Jail
The former Jackson County jail was built in 1859 and included 12 cells as well as the home for the marshall and his family. Military and civilian inmates were held at the jail.
An Independence paranormal investigation group have reported that some visitors claimed to feeling chilled or nauseated in certain areas of the jail. Others report hearing footsteps and voices.
Find out for yourself on a self guided tour!
Location: 217 N Main St., Independence, MO 64050
Belvoir Winery in Liberty
As a prior home to orphans, widows, and the elderly, Belvoir Winery is said to be the most haunted winery in Missouri.
The property that is now the winery has a dark and haunted past with many reports of paranormal incidents.
Several buildings on the current winery property that were once the Odd Fellows orphanage and nursing home are vacant. Several ghost hunters have visited and Fox4 KC has reported on the paranormal activity.
From child apparitions to shadowy figures, the winery is home to many ghosts. The odd feeling in the house is perpetuated by all old hospital equipment and school supplies remaining intact.
The winery is also a Bed & Breakfast and the owner has said that some guests have checked out in the middle of their stay because they are too scared to finish the night.
Address: 1325 Odd Fellows Rd, Liberty, MO
Oliver Anderson House in Lexington
Built in 1853 on what is now Delaware Street, Oliver Anderson House‘s paranormal activity stems from its role in the Civil War.
When the Civil War was brought to Lexington, it led to the battle of Lexington. During the battle itself, the house changed hands thrice.
Anderson – a strong advocate of slavery – was evicted by the Federal troops. The house was then used as a hospital.
Despite that, it was not free of violent skirmishes. The damage from cannon shots and rifles are apparent in various parts of the house. For example, a ceiling hole remains to this day, marking the cannonball shot at the house.
So, the ghostly presence in house number 1101 belongs to the Civil War participants – both the soldiers and the rebels.
Address: 1101 Delaware Street, Lexington, MO
Park University in Parkville
Park University is our 2nd haunted college to make the Ghosts Missouri list! When the college opened in 1875, the initial concept for this university was for students to receive free tuition in return for working half a day in the college’s farm or printing plant.
However, the agreement did not sustain long-term. In the meantime, the area witnessed two violent wars – the Civil War and World War II.
During the latter, two female students hung themselves in the Herr house on campus. And people believe their ghosts still linger because there have been reports of hushed voices being heard. Moreover, students report hearing phantom footsteps coming from empty rooms.
In addition, people on campus recalled seeing a hooded figure, spirits in the astronomy tower, and a gray-suited figure on campus.
Address: 8700 N.W. River Park Dr., Parkville, MO
Morse Mill Hotel in Hillsboro
The Morse Mill Hotel is a pre-civil war hotel and was a popular getaway during the 1920’s and 30’s for many famous and infamous guests including actress Clara Bow, actor Charlie Chaplin, pilot Charles Lindbergh, gangster Al Capone and outlaws Frank and Jesse James.
It is also said that Bertha Gifford, the first known female serial murderer also stayed at the Morse Mill Hotel.
The place bears marks of the Civil War; some people even believe that the hotel might have helped the rebels return to Hillsboro.
The hotel has been a brothel, murder site, and a native American burial site and a Confederate soldier burial ground. Still, most of the spirits seen are said to belong to tortured souls of slaves.
In fact, the slave dungeon under the hotel is where the widely known spirit of Edward resides. Want to learn more about the many ghosts including Edward that call the Morse Mill Hotel home? Book a night if you dare!
Address: 8850 Morse Mill Spur Road Dittmer, MO
Phelps Grove Park in Springfield
Phelps Grove Park is over 100 years old and contains remnants of the Civil War. However, it was only in 1914 that it became both a park and a neighborhood. Despite it being a lively area, an eerie trail haunts its past and many ghost stories are told about the area.
To this day, the park is haunted by the bride who died on her wedding day. While she and her husband drove the car through the park, a crash led to their demise.
Since then, people recall seeing the faint ghost of the bride in a white wedding gown and a lacy veil. Although no one has seen the groom’s spirit, but who knows, maybe it’s also lurking around the park.
Address: 950 E Bennett St, Springfield, MO
Springfield National Cemetery – Springfield
Since Springfield National Cemetery was an area near where several wars took place, it’s no surprise that this place is haunted.
Located at E. Seminole Street, the cemetery is a resting place for the bodies of many dead soldiers.
It was initially created to be a burial space for Union soldiers who died in a battle near Springfield. But now, the cemetery also carries the remains of other war veterans. For example, soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Spanish-American War, and World War II are buried here.
As a result, people who visit the cemetery see apparitions, foggy sites, and walking shadowy figures. In addition, orbs and glowing gravestones have been reported and photographed here.
Address: 1702 E. Seminole St., Springfield, Missouri
Union Station in Kansas City
Built-in 1914, Union Station in Kansas City was once a hub of activity for over 200 passengers who passed through daily. But as train travel reduced, so did the station’s popularity. Eventually, it was closed in the 1980s.
In 1996, however, the station was renovated and restored as a landmark and a working train station. Even though the renovation was completed in 1999, strange sightings were reported during it.
No one knows why, but while the renovations were ongoing, employees repeatedly saw a woman in a black dress. She always went down the steps and would suddenly disappear. On top of that, people saw phantom travelers carrying suitcases. They even heard train whistles when there were no trains in sight making it one of the more haunted buildings in KCMO.
So if you’re in Kansas City, be sure to visit this historic haunted station.
Address: 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City
John Wornall House in Kansas City
Built in 1858, the John Wornall House briefly served as a hospital for injured soldiers during the Civil War. One of the most significant battles of the region, The Battle of Westport, broke out just a short distance from the house.
Spirits of injured soldiers are said to roam the house. Others visitors report seeing the ghost of a Union soldier standing guard inside the house. Candlelit tours allow visitors to experience the haunts for themselves.
Address: 6115 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO 64113
Whether it’s the spirits of the Civil War soldiers or the ones of wealthy inhabitants, Missouri has designated haunted places and many unsolved mysteries.
Spread across the entire state, these places are often on travelers’ bucket lists. While some want to see the truth behind the legends, others want to experience the eerie sights for themselves.
If you’re looking for a thrill or embarking on a Halloween adventure, these 23 places will give you the goosebumps you crave.
This is just the tip of the Ghosts Missouri iceberg.
We have a long list of additional haunted places in Missouri we want to research, visit and add to this list including; Bone Hill Cemetery in Levasy, Fort Osage, Haunted Castle House in Brumley, Wyeth Tootle Mansion in St Joseph, the town of Lone Jack, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, The Kendrick House in Carthage, Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast in Carthage, Rockcliffe Mansion in Hannibal, Big Cedar Lodge, 1069 Salon and Spa in St. Charles, Mount Gilead School in Kearney, Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Senior Hall in Columbia, Yeater Hall at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Central Methodist University in Fayette, Workman Chapel, northeast of Maryville, Hazel Ridge Cemetery in Brunswick, Peace Church Cemetery in Joplin, Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Mark Twain Cave, Old Tavern Restaurant in Arrow Rock, Spook Lights in Seneca, Landers Theatre in Springfield, Marceline Cafe in Marceline, Hotel Savoy in Kansas City, Alexander Majors House in Kansas City, Bingham-Waggoner Estate in Independence, Hotel Bothwell in Sedalia, Walnut Street Inn in Springfield, and Anderson House in Lexington, Missouri
As we explore each of the above, we will update this article with more haunted & spooky Missouri location details.