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Urban Haunts Six Spooky Spots In Downtown Springfield
Submitted by Lillian Stone | Downtown Central
Downtown Springfield is home to some of the area’s most well-preserved historic buildings. With history, of course, comes the occasional legend. Since Halloween is just around the corner, we’re exploring some of the thrills and chills that come with downtown Springfield’s “haunted” history. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, join us in exploring some of the spooky legends that make our history so special! After you explore downtown’s spookiest spots, make sure to check out more phantasmal fun from our friends at Murney.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Little Theatre
311 E. Walnut St.; 417-869-1334
The beautiful historic Landers Theatre is home to Springfield Little Theatre—in addition to several alleged wandering spirits. The theatre’s many reported ghosts include a janitor who was reportedly killed in 1920, when the theatre suffered a near-catastrophic blaze. Another spooky tale involves a baby that was dropped from the balcony during a performance. Some actors swear that the baby’s cries can still be heard from the stage. Additionally, some passersby also report seeing a tall apparition with long blonde hair and Elizabethan clothing looking down from the fourth floor window. The list goes on to include a mysterious green orb and an ominous presence known as the Black Void.
334 N. Main Ave.; 417-863-9640
Established in 1978, the Hotel of Terror is one of the oldest “haunted” houses in the area. Originally opened as a safe destination for creepy Halloween fun, the hotel is equipped with a 96-foot slide and some very spooky sound equipment—although the chances of encountering spirits are unlikely. The hotel is officially open for the season, and tickets are $14.
1000 E. Madison St.
Missouri State University’s Freudenberger House, also known as Freddy House, is a five-story residence hall known for its “Dorm Mom,” a female ghost that apparently spends her time on the fifth floor of the building. Little is known about the origins of the Dorm Mom, but she is said to be mostly benevolent other than causing a few bumps in the night. In fact, some say that she sticks around simply to help new students feel at home in the residence halls.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
325 Park Central East; 417-863-7843
The historic Gillioz Theatre first opened its doors in 1926 and, like many of the historic buildings in the area, is home to its fair share of spookiness. Some patrons have reported seeing a ghostly little boy lingering near the bathroom area, but we suspect it’s just Jeff Houghton hiding out after a Mystery Hour screening.
333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway; 417-864-7333
Little-known fact: The stunning University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center is also rumored to be home to a restless spirit. According to legend, the towering hotel was built upon what used to be plantation land. It’s said that the former plantation owner, affectionately called The Colonel, can be spotted in the wee hours of the night. He’s an older, distinguished gentleman dressed all in black.
Photo courtesy of Walnut Street Inn
900 E. Walnut Street; 417-864-6346
With its signature pink exterior, the Walnut Street Inn is one of the most recognizable buildings on historic Walnut Street. It’s also said to be home to a guest who just won’t check out. A woman in Victorian dress has allegedly been spotted by several guests throughout the property. She seems to be benevolent—she’s probably just enjoying the inn’s legendary hospitality!