Kirkwood Public Library’s Pop Culture Dive – Missouri Paranormal
For as long as humans have lived, we have shared stories. While some of these stories record our lives, they also record things that we cannot explain. According to this 2016 investigation, 44% of teens aged 13 to 17 believed in ghosts while 41% of adults aged 18 and over still believe in ghosts. Today we’re going to explore the ghost, alien, and cryptid sightings that have occurred right here in Missouri. Resources will also be included for you to draw your conclusions. The data was collected from Statista and the referenced articles are from NewsBank, both Resources free use via Kirkwood Public Library.
Missouri is known for its beautiful cliffs, huge Mississippi River and – Oh! Did I mention his haunted places? You read that right, even the official Visit the Missouri website recommends must-see haunted places. From the ghosts of the Lemp mansion to the Pythian castle, there are many places you can visit nearby.
If you are from Saint-Louis or the surrounding area, it is likely that you have heard of the Manoir Lemp and the chilling story of the Lemp family. Lemp: the haunting story is as filled with history as it is with speculation about the ghosts that roam the mansion.
Pythien Castle located in Springfield, Missouri was considered certified haunted. Built by the Knights of Pythias, the Pythian Castle was once an orphanage intended to house those in need. Finally, in 1942, the US military requisitioned the castle to serve as a rehabilitation and entertainment center for troops during World War II. While today Pythian Castle functions as an event space, the castle contains stories of torture and suicide that attract the interest of ghost hunters everywhere. Even the Ghost Adventures show (season 15, episode 11) graced the halls of Pythian Castle.
Do you like to explore the outdoors? You can hike on Zombie Road. An offshoot of the Al Foster Trail in Wildwood Missouri, Zombie Road has always been haunted. Some people believe the area was once a former Native American cemetery, while others believe an orphanage was in the neighborhood as well, although there is no strong evidence to support either. belief. While ghost sightings are less certain after dark, you’re more likely to find teens haunting the trail in search of a paranormal experience.
Want to learn more about Missouri’s unique ghostly history? From the Smiling Ghosts of Meramec Caves to the Spirits of Jesse James’ Family Farm, Spotlight Book from Kirkwood, Missouri Public Libraries The Big Book of Missouri Ghost Stories is a great read for those interested in local paranormal hotspots. Maybe you would like something local? Check Haunted Webster Groves: Legends and Firsthand Tales of Ghosts in Webster Groves, Missouri, a book that records haunted experiences all over Webster! Other great Missouri ghost reads include Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories and Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Show-Me State’s Most Busy Places.
The truth is out there, and most Americans agree. According to this 2018 survey, 54% of American adults believe that it is very likely that the United States government is withholding information about UFOs from the general public. Let’s also not forget 2019’s Alienstock, a music festival whose origins came from a Facebook event to storm Area 51.
Like the rest of the United States, Missouri is teeming with UFO sightings. Referring to the National UFO Reporting Center, Missouri had 1866 reported sightings, with around 90 of them in the past year. Probably the most well-known UFO event here in Missouri is the alleged a UFO crash at Cape Girardeau, which occurred in 1941 – six years before the famous Roswell accident in 1947. It is alleged that the Reverend William Huffman was called that night to Cape Girardeau to read the rights of those who died in an accident in plane, but what he saw was not what he expected.
Shown above is the Cape Girardeau UFO crash in 1941. It was submitted by Michael Huntington UFO Researcher highlighted in the article 75th anniversary of the alleged UFO crash at Cape Girardeau.
Want to learn more about aliens and unidentified flying objects? Check UFO hunters: volume 1 by William Birnes.
Kirkwood UFO sighting report. Click to enlarge the image.
The paranormal is not the paranormal without cryptids!
Did you know Missouri has its own cryptid? The Missouri monster “MOMO”, also known as the swamp monkey, is said to be tall, has a pumpkin-shaped head, a long tail that sweeps across footprints, and hair covering its entire body except for its red eyes. . First seen in 1972, MOMO was the first reported to be seen outside the bedroom of a 15 year old girl. From there, a wild goose hunt ensued and people from all over the United States came looking for MOMO the Monster.
MOMO isn’t the only cryptid roaming Missouri. Ozark Howler, a bear-sized beast with thick limbs, long black hair, and horns on its head. He’s said to roam southern Missouri with a scream unlike any you’ve heard before.
There is also the Nixa Hellhound aka “Booger Dog”. It gained popularity after someone called a Springfield Missouri radio station saying they had seen it just outside of Nixa, Missouri. The DJs, finding it funny, renamed the hellhound “Paul” and created a Facebook page in his honor. The appearance of the animal is described by Valerie Schremp Hahn, author of the St. Louis Post Dispatch article Feature on Creatures: The Beasts of Missouri and Illinois and Why We Love Their Stories. She writes “A commentator on a blog on the Nixa Hellhound claimed to have seen it, writing: “It looked like a deer and a dog had a one-night stand, to be honest.” If you want more information on these Missouri cryptids and other interesting information, check out Weird Missouri: your travel guide Missouri local legends and best kept secrets.
In conclusion, whether you believe in the paranormal or not, its effect on us is significant. Booze and spooky hiking trails are not independent of the areas they reside in, but also shape the culture of the humans around them. In Cape Girardeau, UFO Crash has become something of an urban legend. We relate to the MOMO sightings and speculate if the light we saw in the night sky may have been a UFO. These phenomena bring us together; something we need now more than ever.
Thanks for stopping by and reading the Pop Culture Dive! Did you find something new? If you have any other related media that you would like to shout out or something you enjoyed, feel free to leave a comment!
Alex G. Williford is a Reference Librarian at Kirkwood Public Library. They enjoy reading graphic novels, playing video games, and watching cult classic movies. Some of their favorite creators are Toni Morrison, Octavia E. Butler, NK Jeminsin, and Naoki Urasawa.
This press release was produced by Kirkwood Public Library. The opinions expressed are those of the author.