Browsing through “real” bookstores is always a treat for me; but, a bookstore with ghosts is even more delightful.
The Book House is located in an old Victorian farmhouse on Manchester Road in the St. Louis area and is known for its paranormal activity.
The house was built in 1863, and the original owner was George Keith, a ship captain. In the last part of the 1800s, boarders were taken in and resided at the home. According to some, the farmhouse also operated as a brothel during that time.
In the 1920s, a family named Thompson purchased the property and home, and own the home currently.
The house was used for a doctor’s practice at one time. It is believed that he also ran a “dying room” hospital and morgue as well in the farmhouse.
In the 1960s, a family rented the house and operated a wedding chapel at the residence. The 1970s and 1980s saw the house operated as an antique and craft shop as well as a flower shop.
It was in 1986 that The Book House opened for business in the Victorian farmhouse.
Most of the paranormal activity centers around the ghost of a little redheaded girl called Valerie. She is believed to have drowned in a well there.
Customers and employees have reported hearing the little girl giggling and moving books around. She also turns lights on and off, and has been glimpsed climbing onto the roof of the building and walking past the windows.
There is also a spirit they call “The Dark Man” in residence at The Book House. This figure that usually appears in the late night in the basement area, is always dressed in black, surrounded by a cold draft “and a sense of fear.” Thankfully, he doesn’t show up too often as even the little redheaded girl appears to be frightened of this spectre.
A more recent spirit to show up at The Book House is called “the Smoking Man.” It is believed that he was delivered to the shop along with a parcel of books that had been donated from an estate. He walks around smoking a pipe, accompanied by a strong smell of smoke.
Visitors to the store have also reported feelings of being watched, having their clothing tugged on, and an encounter with a little four or five-year-old girl with blonde hair. I assume this was Valerie.