Haunted Morse Mill Hotel in Missouri
The Morse Mill Hotel is located in the tiny community of Morse Mill in the Meramec Valley of Jefferson County, Missouri. The building was originally built in 1816 as a farm house. In the mid-1850s, the property was purchased by industrialist John H. Morse who turned the building into a hotel, speakeasy and brothel.
Morse Mill was, at one time, a “glitzy” resort area, and the hotel was evidently well-known during the Roaring 20’s to many well-to-do citizens of St. Louis as well as travelers from all over the world. Famous people including Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, Charles Lindberg, Jesse James and Al Capone stayed in the hotel at one time or another.
The glamour of Morse Mill ended when the Lake of the Ozarks area become increasingly popular; and, the flood of 1993 finished off most of what was left of the little town.
Morse Mill is also the birthplace of serial killer Bertha Gifford, a farmer’s wife, who murdered her victims with arsenic during the early 1900s. She is said to have been responsible for the deaths of possibly 20 people, mostly neighbors, including many children from 1906 to 1928.
Gifford and her first husband managed the Morse Mill Hotel for a time, and Bertha’s remains are interred in the area.
One report states that after Gifford was charged, and was awaiting her murder trial in jail, she would pace the cell and “how like a wolf” and make “other ungodly noises.” She was found to be insane, and sentenced to the Missouri State Hospital for the Insane in Farmington until her death in 1951.
Some of the paranormal activity reported in the four-story edifice is believed by many to be the work of Bertha Gifford and includes equipment failure, footsteps, a feeling of being touched, extreme cold, objects being moved around the room, visitors being attacked with scratched and shoves, voices, a black mist, the smell of tobacco and glimpses of shadow people. EVP readings have captured knocks, footsteps, whisperings, growls from the fireplace area, and one very cool one of a male voice saying “Mr. Morse.“ There are also many unexplainable anomalies in video and photos including orbs, odd lights and apparitions.
Several investigations have been conducted by professional paranormal researchers, and the results are easily found on youtube.com.
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