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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

Ghostly Abode

“The ghost house, located on Sac River, on the Everton and Dadeville Road, is creating a great deal of talk among the supernatural believers now. Several of the Ash Grove boys who are mining in that vicinity, tell some weird and hair-raising stories of the doings at the ‘haunted house.’ They declare, with much solemnity, that they’ve seen black cats come from nowhere, that blood trickles down the walls, that skeletons walk about and motion those present to depart, and our boys say they got. One of the boys declared solemnly that it was sure no place for a person with a weak heart to go. The Greenfield Vidette has had several articles about it from a local writer by the name of ‘Bill,’ and it begins to look as though either some practical joker in that vicinity had rigged up some ingenious contrivance or else there is some peculiar structure about the house that creates this seeming ghost. Several of our local stout hearts are talking of going down soon and investigating. Colonel T.J. Killingsworth, Gaither Smith, and Judge C.W. Reece will probably go the last of the week, provided they can get satisfactory equipment, hospital supplies, including an ambulance wagon ready by that time. They have tried to enlist Charles Cagle as guard, but Charles claims he has been there once and that he had seen all he cares to see for a lifetime. Howard Ragsdale can’t be induced to go, as he claims about 15 years ago, he in company with some Everton boys, while returning from Dadeville to Everton about midnight saw the house from the road and saw enough to satisfy them there was something ghostly about the place. But probably a substantial number of brave spirited men can be secured to go with the above named trio soon to make an investigation. The real history of the place is about as follows:

“It is the old Guy Clopton homestead; was settled in about the year 1834, something like 15 years ago a peddler was supposed to attempted [sic] to stay there all night. His pack was found, but no trace of the peddler was ever found. About 10 years ago a woman living at Dadeville left her home one night, she was tracked to this house, and next day her body was found in the river below this old house. It was supposed she committed suicide, but no one ever knew.”

Ash Grove Commonwealth, April 13, 1916

A letter to the editor was sent to the Ash Grove Commonwealth in reply to the previous article.

“Mr. Editor:

“We notice an article in The Commonwealth last week about ‘the haunted house’ in this vicinity, and beg to say that six of us young fellows, George Johnston, John Smith, Allen King, Ralph Gettys, Frank Jerome, and James Pierce, all known in and around Ash Grove, visited that house one night last week. Of course we were unbelievers in ghosts and things before we went, but had about changed our minds before we got back. The performance started about midnight, and we stayed until twenty minutes after twelve. We were satisfied. As to what we saw and heard, it is hard to describe. Strange noises could be heard upstairs, as if people were walking and talking. We went up to investigate, and our light went out for some unknown cause. Finally we got it started again, but could find no trace of spooks. We went downstairs, but had no more than reached the floor below when the performance set up again. This time stealthy footsteps were heard coming downstairs. We watched the stair door closely but no one could be seen, although the footsteps apparently passed through the closed door and on down towards the river. Within a very few minutes afterwards we heard cries as of a woman screaming down there. Perhaps we didn’t run, but we might have... ‘passed some who were a running.’ We do not pretend to explain this, but ask the non-believing to come down and see for themselves whether there is anything in it or not. [Signed] One of them.”

Ash Grove Commonwealth April 27, 1916

There are many articles about this “ghost house” printed in the local papers. The stories caught the attention of a reporter from Kansas City who visited the house himself to investigate the hauntings. The "Bill" articles in the Greenfield Vidette and others on the supernatural can be found online with your library card through the Library District’s database.  

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