Haunted Places in Springfield and Branson, MO
Ghosts, haunts, spooks, call'em what you will. Ozark Mountain towns never lack for ghosts stories, and ghostly presences, odd sounds and orbs have been reported on numerous occasions in many of Springfield's century-old buildings, as well as other locations. Want to seek out some of Springfield's most unusual residents? Here are some places to consider.
The Landers Theatre is said to be haunted by ghosts: a 1920s janitor is sometimes seen in the balcony; a baby accidentally dropped from the balcony long ago can be heard in the empty theater. Orbs have been seen inside the building, and from the street some see a tall blond in Elizabethan clothing peering out a 4th floor window. 311 E. Walnut Ave.
Pythian Castle Ghost Tours This early 20th century building has its share of secrets, and - maybe - some residents who never really left. Look for them during a ghost tour, or during an overnight ghost hunt hosted by The Paranormal Task Force. Springfield's only official ghost tour. 1451 E. Pythian St. 417-865-1464
Springfield National Cemetery It should come as no surprise that the large cemetery at 1792 E. Seminole St. is said to have its share of haunts. Apparitions, orbs and even glowing gravestones have been reported and photographed here.
University Plaza Hotel This modern hotel, meeting place and convention center was built on plantation land once owned by an honored Civil War hero.It's said he visits the ballroom and back hallways of the hotel between midnight and 4 am, dressed all in black.
Phelps Grove Park This peaceful neighborhood park is also home to a ghost bride, killed in on her wedding day as she and her new husband drove their car through the park. She is seen near the third park bridge in the evening, holding up the hem of her wedding dress, but her face is not visible.
Ghouls at Schools
Even institutions of learning seem to have their share of transparent visitors.
At Drury pianos are said to play by themselves in a music hall, and a little girl in a pink dress has been seen in the dormitory. A Victorian home once stood where the dorm now stands; it burned to the ground and the child, inside,perished. Another haunting explanation is that part of the campus was built on an old Indian burial ground and was also a scene of Civil War era bloodshed.
On the MSU campus, the top story of a 5-story residence hall seems to be the home of a ghost referred to as Dorm Mom.
Springfield Central High is reportedly atop caves that open in Doling Park on the north side of town. Locals say that during the Underground Railroad years, escaping slaves were caught and hanged in the cave, and you can still hear the screams in the basement of the school. Is it just rowdy teenagers...or something more ghostly?
Paranormal sightings have also been reported in buildings all around the area, from the old Court House to several buildings on Park Central Square. Many cave tunnels from the Doling Cave were part of the Underground Railroad, and run under north Springfield.
Haunted Springfield? You'll have to visit and decide for yourself.
Ghosts in Branson
Dead actors, Civil War soldiers, wandering children...rub your goosebumps and track down some of the most famous of Branson's lingering residents. For starters, late actor Cameron Mitchell, well-known in the mid-to-late 1900s, is said to haunt the city wearing a a dark suit. He ogles tourists through shop windows.
And at Inspiration Point, it's said a ghostly Civil War soldier flees on horseback during nighttime productions at the Shepherd of the Hills amphitheater.
You can take a guided tour of the paranormal in old downtown Branson. The guide tells stories of historic Branson and of the unexplained: the captured, killed bank robber haunting the train depot; the wraiths at the cemetery; a bed and breakfast with insubstantial guests, and more. 888-840-8485 for reservations.
It's rumored that Noland Rd, a few miles outside of Branson has some strange manifestations. Drive the road on a dry day, and unexplained small handprints show up in the dust on your vehicle. (Head north on W. 76 Country Blvd, then right onto Old 76 which Ts with Noland Rd. on the right hand side. Noland becomes Sycamore Church Rd, which junctions with Hwy 248. Head south and turn right onto Gretna Rd, and you'll be back in town.)
The latest haunting news comes from the Titanic Museum, where several crew members have reported fingerprints that won't go away despite repeated cleanings; wet bare footprints where no one has walked; and see-through guests in formalwear strolling the corridors.
Need more spooky thrills? Visit Eureka Springs, AR with its many haunted places.