Not far from where I live, a couple of hours drive, near St. Louis, is the small community of Webster Groves. On a quiet street, Plant Avenue, in the 300 block, is a large two-story house constructed of wood and brick. From all appearances, there is nothing about this house to distinguish it as any different from the other lovely homes in the area. Except, of course, this particular house on Plant Avenue has been haunted since 1956.
Built about 1890, the occupant to live longest in the house was Henry Gehm who was considered to be a loner, and rather eccentric. After his death, the house was bought by a family named Furry. The first odd experiences reported were from Mrs. Furry. She was awakened every morning at 2:00 a.m. by being shaken, yet there was no one around. One night, she was awakened by the sound of something heavy hitting the headboard. When Mrs. Furry turned on the lights, there were no signs of any disturbance. She began to hear footsteps, and a securely fastened heavy sconce fell from the wall. Mr. Furry also admitted to hearing strange sounds in the house. Years passed, and the Furrys got used to the way things were. In 1965, they moved out of the house, and it was rented to another family.
A short time after this family moved into the house, they also began to experience some weird occurrences. The family dog would cower and shake for no reason; the family members heard muffled voices, and footsteps running up and down the stairs; dresser drawers would be found ransacked, and the clothing scattered about; doors would open and close by themselves, and a typewriter would begin to operate without any human hands around it. Once a broken music box was repaired suddenly! The family often saw hazy, human-like shapes accompanied by an unexplainable cold.
It became apparent that at least one of the ghosts was that of a child. The sounds of a small child crying were heard often. Small footprints and hand prints were found in the attic dust around a doll house that was moved from a high shelf to a much lower one
There is even account of Mr. Gehm appearing to the lady of the home in 1966 to direct her to a hidden doorway in the attic, where she found a secret chamber, but it was empty.
This family moved out not long after to a new home that they had built themselves alleviating the possibility of any hauntings by previous owners. Sometimes, though, it isnít the house, but the land itself that might be haunted. Hopefully, before building their new home, they checked out any possibility of old cemeteries or Indian burial grounds in the area!
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Hauck, Dennis William. Haunted Places: The National Directory. NY.: Penguin Books. 1996.
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Longo, Jim. Haunted Odyssey: Ghostly Tales of the Mississippi Valley. St. Louis: Ste. Anneís