The location was originally home to the Reed Springs Hotel – later changed to the Winner Hotel - equipped with electricity and running water in the 1880s. The Elms Hotel & Spa in nearby Excelsior Springs was tough competition, and the Liberty hotel went bankrupt and then burned down. In 1900, the property was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Home and an orphanage, nursing home, hospital, 240-acre farm and cemetery were run on the site. Reports indicate as many as 10,000 individuals have died on the property since its beginning.
When renovations began to turn the Odd Fellows Historic District in Liberty into the business it is today, Belvoir Winery, some interesting artifacts from the building’s former days, were found on the second floor including old buttons and hand-made domino most likely left behind by previous orphans.
A canteen, conductor’s hat and pouch dated 1917 were found inside a wall by workers during the renovation, probably hidden by one of the injured WWI soldiers who recovered at the hospital.
Renovation work does tend to bring out paranormal activity, and workers and guests began reporting hearing the sounds of children playing and laughing, piano music, footsteps from invisible walkers, and shadows. There have also been reports of clothes being pulled on and items moved from one place to another. Loud bangs and footsteps have also been heard in the nursing home and morgue area.
Jesse Leimkuehler, manager of the winery and function center, didn’t believe in spirits of the paranormal variety until his employment at the winery. He has since heard voices and footsteps, not only at night but also in the morning. Setting up tables early one morning, he overhead his two-year-old daughter talking with someone who wasn’t there. He heard an adult voice say to his daughter, “Well, hello, little one.”
Many paranormal investigations have been conducted at the winery in recent years, including one by Jason Hawes and the rest of the crew from the paranormal reality show “Ghost Hunters” of the Syfy channel.
The investigators picked up some interesting EVPs and energy readings with their equipment. They heard a piano being played in the nursing home building, and the sound of something being dragged. In the orphanage building, they received strong responses to their questions.
The winery does feature paranormal investigations as well as wine tastings coupled with talks about the paranormal.
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