Saint Louis is a city that has always been on the leading edge—blazing the trail Westward at the beginning of our nations’ history. The first Freeway in the country, a stretch of Interstate 70, opened in 1956. Saint Louis also lays claim to the first Olympic Games in America. They were held in 1904 in what is now Forest Park. It was the first time Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were introduced. Athlete George Coleman Poage took the bronze in the 200 and 400-yard hurdles, he was the first African American Olympian to medal.
There is an endless history to explore in Saint Louis, but the present day has its attractions too. The City Museum has a ten-story slide and attractions that kids will enjoy! There are three transportation museums within the city limits. The city is as passionate about the Cardinals Baseball Team as they are about their toasted Ravioli (technically fried) and Frozen Custard.
After a fun day exploring the University City district or the neighborhood’s antique markets, we have the perfect evening activity. As the sun sets on Saint Louis the shadows darken, and a different side of the Gateway City shows itself.
St Louis has a haunted history that is unrivalled in its fascinating human stories. Join our nightly tours with our professional guides and in just 60 or 90 minutes we will show you the dark and dreadful side of ‘The Lou’.
Our tour will reveal the sordid tales and festering underbelly that hides in plain sight during the day. Our stories of death, misery, and the human heart’s turmoil will illuminate a whole new history of this jewel of the South.
Our guides are passionate local storytellers who love sharing the tales that lurk in St Louis. A good tour guide is the secret ingredient in our popular and well-reviewed tours. They hold the key to any good tour, and we have some of the best guides in St Louis.
We also pride ourselves on being able to tell even locals a thing or two that they did not know. St Louis Ghosts is a perfect ‘staycation’ activity to get to know a different side of your home city. We welcome locals who always give a different slant to our tours, with new details, personal stories or a slightly different take on the accounts.
So when the sun goes down, come and see a different side of the Gateway City with St Louis Ghosts.
Saint Louis and the rivers surrounding it are key to understanding it’s past. The Mississippi flows fast and dark past St Louis. The river has brought trade and commerce, goodness and evil to the city since its earliest days.
The ancient city on this site was a prosperous trading post. Indian nations brought goods here to trade from as far away as Mexico and Minnesota. At the confluence of three rivers, the city was larger than New York in its prime, which was somewhere between 600 – 1400 AD.
The city was named Cahokia, and the sophisticated civilization used astronomy to position the mounds so that it would appear as if the sun would rise from the end of a line of the earthen mounds at the Summer and Winter Solstices.
The last great mound was excavated by early European settlers in 1869. Only a part of one of the earthworks remains on the West bank of the River. The Osage Nation bought the land in 2009 to preserve the ancient monument. With such a long history on this site, the scene is set for supernatural happenings from the beginning.
Add to this history the intense energy that early settlers brought, and it is easy to see why ghosts would feature heavily in the legacy of St Louis. The frenetic taming of the land and converting its riches into monetary wealth also created problems. Lead smelters once dotted the landscape, the noxious fumes of brick kilns polluted the air. Thousands died prematurely, in accidents and from poverty and disease. Fire also claimed the lives of hundreds, including the disastrous inferno of 1849. The fire destroyed 23 steamboats and 430 buildings in the waterfront district.
St Louis is also a city of invention. Look at your shoes. You will notice the left is a different shape than the right. The Brown Shoe Company of St Louis, MO was the first company in America to manufacture different shaped shoes for left and right feet. Hard to imagine a time without that crucial distinction. St Louis has yet more firsts. The X-Ray was first seen here, the first ice cream cone too. St Louis TV station KSD-TV was the first to air a weather forecast delivered by a person of color. Dianne White delivered the nationwide first on September 8, 1962.
Among this landscape the city’s culture also grew, hosting authors T. S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams as well as a vibrant music scene. Saint Louis grew extremely wealthy from the industrious freed slave laborers pouring in from the South. The high society circling the wealthy industrialist and brewing families, strict Germanic families of Anheuser, Busch, Lemp and others created a vibrant underground of vice and deviance. This was often literally underground. St. Louis is built upon a natural network of caves. A lower layer of Cherokee caves and a newer layer on top, the vast majority associated with brewing. Essential for the lagering process, especially pre-refrigeration, the caves also had other uses.
Underground beer halls complete with live music popped up in the summer months. One of the caves was converted into an underground swimming pool. The old Lemp mansion was connected to the wealthy family’s brewery via a network of caves. Members of the Lemp family would walk to work through the tunnels.
The tunnels were also used during prohibition, to both make and store illicit booze. Rumors of several murders in the tunnels and reports of hauntings make the tunnels a popular place to explore for urban archeologists.
These layers of history, heartbreak and human tragedy all build up into a ghostly presence in St Louis that is hard to deny, but irresistible to tour with St Louis Ghosts.
The polite streets of Saint Louis only change a little at night, so we should all be on our best behavior. Here’s some tips!
If things get spooky, take a breath. If things get really spooky, try to take a pic! We’ll publish the best ones!
Imagine that your grandparents are along for the tour, and if they are, Welcome!
Do not provoke the spirits.
Being polite will hopefully keep any spooks we meet on side. Unless we meet a poltergeist, in which case, run for the hills, or the caves!
Saint Louis is not a dangerous city, far from it. But it might be tempting to wander off, so buddy up and stay together. We haven’t lost anyone yet.
Watch your step.
Apart from slipping into a lagering cave (not as tasty as it sounds) the streets of St Louis are super safe. Still, watch your feet, and try not to join the spirit world yourself.
Andrew was knowledgeable about the history of St. Louis. I'd go again in a heartbeat