Springfield was founded in 1833, but long before that the area was populated by Native Americans who thrived here thanks to the rich natural resources that Missouri offered. However, there has been great conflict here. First when the US Government forced Natives out of the area to settle them on a reservation in Kansas and then again during the Civil War. One thing is for sure, Springfield, Missouri certainly has some interesting ghost stories to tell!
Join us as we explore some of the most popular haunted places in Springfield MO:
11 – Springlawn Estates and Sheedy Farm
One of the most common ghost stories in Springfield Missouri revolves around the so called ‘Albino Farm’. It might be something more like an urban legend rather than a genuine haunting, but we decided that it was just creepy enough that it should still feature on our list! Springlawn Estate dates back to before the Civil War and it was the envy of everyone in town. The Sheedy Family who owned the town were hard workers and had earned everything through hard work and determination. However, the family was also touched by tragedy and the eldest son committed suicide on the land leaving the Estate in the hands of one of the Sheedy daughters. She is said to have hired an Albino man to oversee the estate. He turned out to be a violent and ill-tempered man and was accused of several gruesome murders.
The property became run down after this and was auctioned off in the 1970s before the home burned down in 1988. Since then rumours have grown that the Albino Man fathered many children and there was something of a Colony of Albino’s living here – hence the local nickname ‘Albino Farm’. Despite there being no evidence to support this version of the tale, people still swear they see Albino hillbillies flitting about in the woods!
10 – Springfield National Cemetery
It often seems like all cemeteries are haunted and Springfield National Cemetery is certainly no exception! The cemetery was established in the 1860s and is apparently haunted by several Civil War soldiers who are buried there. As well as apparitions of the soldiers, witnesses have also described seeing certain headstones glowing and capturing strange mists and light anomalies in their photographs.
9 - Phelps Grove Park
The ghost that is said to reside in Phelps Grove Park is known to locals as ‘the Bride Under the Bridge’. The legend surrounding her states that a newly married couple lost control of their vehicle resulting in a fatal crash that claimed both of their lives. The bride is now spotted in the evening, always standing under the third bridge in Phelps Grove Park and holding up the hem of her wedding gown. Those who have seen her say that she has no features, instead there is only empty darkness where her face should be.
8 - Drury University
Drury University is one school with a long history! It first opened its doors in September of 1873 when it had just 39 students enrolled. However, over the years the campus was gradually expanded and now covers 80 acres. Drury University is also one of the most haunted places in Springfield MO and with very good reason – the university is built on what was once an Indian Burial Ground and was also right in the midst of Civil War battles. In addition to this, Smith Hall is built on land where several Victorian homes once stood and there is documented evidence that there was a young girl who died in a fire in one of the homes. That same little girl is one of the ghosts that is said to linger on Campus, always searching for the teddy bear that she had gone back into the burning house to retrieve.
Students have seen an apparition of the little girl and describe her as being dressed in a pink dress. There are also reports of various other examples of paranormal activity including students getting locked out of their rooms, drawers being pulled out and students’ teddy bears being moved around the room while they are out at class. There are also other spirits haunting Drury University including one at Clara Thompson Hall who plays the piano and another at Wilhoit Theatre who makes the lights flick on and off.
7 - Gillioz Theatre
The Gillioz Theatre opened in 1926 and it is now rumoured to be one of the most haunted places in Springfield MO. The stories of a ghost in the theater began in the 1960s when people first started to report the apparition of a little boy in the building. He is most often sighted around the restroom area.
A projectionist of 30 years (Martin) who died in the projection room on a New Year’s Eve screening is reportedly haunting the theater. Still keeping an eye on the smooth running of the place, he’s often as a shadow figure that moves, typically in the balcony, though there are sightings on the main floor of the theatre, and even some activity on the stage and at the rail of the stage system.
A light switch was turned off recently on the stage manager, and it’s assumed it is Martin, taking care of business in his longtime home.
6 – Walnut Street Innbook a room at the walnut street inn
Walnut Street Inn is a three storey Victorian bed and breakfast that was originally built some time in the mid 1880s. For many years now guests have been reporting paranormal activity. The most common complaint is that they just feel as though there is something in their room with them even when they are alone – almost like being watched. However, the activity seemed to step up a gear in 1998 after some renovation work was carried out and seemed to stir things up a little. After the construction work guests started to report seeing an apparition of a woman sitting at a table against the wall. Some of them have tried to talk to the lady, but she simply disappears when they try. It is not clear who the lady is, but many believe that she could be a former owner who has stuck around to keep a watchful eye on her former home.
5 - Southwest Missouri State University
The Freudenberger House, known locally as the Freddy House, is a bit of a hotspot for paranormal activity on the Southwest Missouri State University Campus. The property was built in 1959 and named after a Latin professor who taught at the school for more than 40 years. It is now said to be haunted by a female ghost who students refer to as the ‘Dorm Mom’. She is usually spotted on the 5th Floor of the building.
4 - University Plaza Hotelstay at university plaza
While a lot of haunted hotels use their resident spooks as a selling point by offering ghost tours and spooky themed weekends, the University Plaza Hotel would much prefer to keep their ghostly guest on the down low! It is felt that given the fact that they are selling themselves as a premier convention center and meeting space, having a reputation as one of the most haunted places in Springfield MO would be a hindrance. However, it is common knowledge that the hotel is haunted by ‘The Colonel’ and staff are generally very open about this fact! He is almost always spotted by staff some time between midnight and 4am in either the ballroom or the back hallways. He is described as an old man dressed all in black. It is believed that in life The Colonel was a highly decorated Civil War hero and that he may have owned the plantation house that once stood where the hotel is now.
3 - Campus Inn
Campus Inn, or Bass County Inn, is said to be haunted by a male spirit named Carl who is apparently a former bus boy. Staff have said that they have seen Carl in the kitchen area as well as wandering in the halls. Guests have reported seeing just a pair of legs beneath tables and upon crouching down to see if someone is hiding underneath, but there is never anyone there! Some of the staff have also spotted him out of the corner of their eye suddenly darting into a room, but when they investigate the room will be empty! Carl seems to be totally harmless, he probably just misses his job at the inn, but the other ghostly resident is a little more malevolent. There is a female apparition who is not exactly friendly and has been known to push or hit guests!
2 – Landers Theatre (Springfield Little Theatre)
Some would say that Landers Theatre is the most haunted place in Springfield MO. It is said to have been haunted since the 1920s when a stage hand reportedly hanged himself from the high rigging that runs above the stage. Staff say that he mostly wanders around on the catwalks, but on a handful of occasions audience members have seen an ‘extra’ cast member who should not be on stage in the form of a male apparition!
1 - Pythian Castle
At one time, Pythian Castle was a senior citizen’s home and also an orphanage. It was built back in 1913 by the Knights of Pythias and has long held a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Springfield MO. In fact, it is so well known that it has become something of a regular on the paranormal television shows. It is now a private venue which offers regular ghost tours and hosts a variety of events.
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