Hermann, Missouri is one of my favorite places to visit in this area. Only a little over an hour’s drive from my house, I love taking a weekend or day trip to this lovely little German village to enjoy the food, wine and scenery.
Although so close to home, the geography and trees of the area are totally different from Hannibal’s, and it is refreshing to drive to Hermann to get away for a bit.
I recently discovered that the White House Hotel at 232 Wharf Street in Hermann has been the subject of quite a few ghostly tales over the years.
The lot was sold by the inhabitants of Hermann to John S. Bottermann in 1804; and, the three-story brick building was built in 1868 by Francis Rippstein, and houses 36 beautifully-restored rooms.
As nearly a million guests have stayed overnight at the White House Hotel in its 141 years of serving the public, and people being who and what we are, naturally there have been some incidents of a dark nature…and the accompanying stories of hauntings that often go along with these occurrences.
In 1899, a lady broke off her relationship with her boyfriend (did they call them that in 1899?) for another man, and he hanged himself in the attic of the hotel, to be found by hotel staff.
In 1915, a man drank lye and was found by staff dead in his room that had been severely damaged by the lye.
Old clothing and rags were found in 2008 during the renovation of a third floor bathroom. They were men’s clothing and had slashes and were covered in old heavy blood stains.
Some of the ghostly sounds heard by guests since 1915 include “loud clanking and banging at night”; the organ in the lobby playing loudly at odd hours; and, moving dolls in the doll room.
What is most interesting and unusual in this instance, is that the ghostly occurrences can be explained:
The “clanking and banging” heard at night since 1915 is only the steam pipes; the organ playing turned out to be the owners’ nine-year-old son sneaking out of his room to scare the guests; and, the dolls that are part of the doll collection owned by an owner’s mother, were actually being moved around by another young man…a bit older…who was being quite imaginative with a ball of string!