|OLD GASCONADE CITY HOTEL INVESTIGATION
APRIL 14, 2007
MISSOURI PARANORMAL RESEARCH conducted an investigation of the historical old Hotel in
Gasconade, MO on April 14, 2007. In attendance from Missouri Paranormal Research (MPR) were
Steven LaChance & Son Elliot, Greg, Judy, Tom, Theresa, Tim, Matt, Dennis, Jay, Ross and Bryan.
Local weather conditions for this investigation for the time period of 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. were
cloudy with drizzles, wind calm to from the NW to 10 mph, temperature was 46 degrees
Fahrenheit dropping to 44, dew point was 37 raising to 38 then dropping to 36, barometric pressure
was 29.93 rising to 29.97 and relative humidity was 71% rising to 79%.
Lunar data was a Waxing Cresent Moon at 10% Full. Solar X-Rays were Normal and the Geomagnetic
Field was Quiet.
Gasconade City lies on the Gasconade River, near its entrance into the Missouri River, and on the
Mo. Pacific Railroad. The town was so named because it lies near the mouth of the Gasconade River.
Gasconade City is chiefly distinguished for having been the first county seat of Gasconade County
and also for having once come within two votes of securing the capital of Missouri, instead of
The building we investigated appears to be a turn of the century two story brick structure which has
served many purposes since it's inception in an undetermined year. The building has served as, in no
particular order: a brothel, a general store, a tavern, a clinic with an alleged morgue, a hotel, and now
a private residence. More extensive research has to be completed for further historical details.
Also within a couple of blocks fo the building we investigation is the site of the Great Gasconade
Train disaster of 1855.
"On July 1st, 1851, residents of St. Louis turned out to celebrate the start of construction of the
Pacific Railroad, connecting St. Louis with the Pacific Ocean and California by late 1855, the line was
completed 125 miles west to Jefferson City. Plans were made to celebrate the construction and
promote further development of the line, by a special train of invited guests and dignitaries who
would travel the new route to the state capital and convene with the Governor. Included in the guest
list were the Mayor and City Council of St. Louis, the National Guard and band, Company A of the St.
Louis Grays, many high ranking professional and businessmen, a number of state and county officers,
and representatives from other railroads. Little did the passengers know, all aboard had been invited
to the single worst railroad disaster in Missouri’s history.
The train left St. Louis in a gloomy heavy rain on November 1st, 1855 with six hundred passengers
aboard 14 cars. A supportive crowd cheered the train on as it departed on that rainy fall day. The
atmosphere aboard the train was one of celebration. The band played and drinks were served. When
the train reached Hermann, an additional car was attached to the train and a company of uniformed
soldiers and a band of musicians joined the rest of the passengers.
Initially, the chief road engineer had planned to stop the train at the Gasconade River bridge, so the
guests could see the new 760 foot long structure. Due to being behind schedule a fatal decision was
made to not stop and continue on to the Jefferson City destination. When the train reached the bridge
over the Gasconade River, the temporary wooden trestle work between the east bank and the first
pier collapsed. The train plunged 36 feet into the river. Only one car remained on the tracks after the
disaster. The steam engine and seven cars fell through the broken timbers, with the others cars
rolling down the embankment. Over thirty individuals were killed with hundreds injured seriously. The
survivors were confronted with a scene of horror. A moment of silence was soon interrupted with the
hiss of the partially submerged locomotive, the shrieks of the wounded and the sounds of breaking
glass and splintering wood as the trapped passengers worked to free themselves from the wreckage.
The less seriously injured passengers struggled to drag the injured and dead from the wreckage and
collapsed timbers. Mangled bleeding bodies were carried in the torrents of rain to nearby shanties
for shelter. Late in the afternoon, many of the wounded were moved to Hermann where a hotel was
converted to a temporary hospital.
The rain continued through the night and the next day when a special hospital train was sent from St.
Louis to Hermann and to the wreckage scene. Survivors with few injuries worked with railroad
employees to carry bodies of the dead and load them into freight cars. Survivors were loaded into
passenger cars. The once soldiers of celebration, now crudely bandaged or carried on stretchers,
overwhelmed by the atmosphere of tragedy, were relieved to be aboard a train to go back home. But
the tragedy was prolonged by the events that followed.
When the train approached Boeuf Creek, east of the present day New Haven (17 miles east of
Hermann), the hospital train was stopped. Boeuf Creek was a raging torrent and out of its banks from
the continuous rain of the last two days. Trees washed down stream by the flood waters, piled up
against the bridge pilings. Railroad engineers feared that this bridge would also fail if the train
attempted to cross. Another train was brought from St. Louis to the east side of Boeuf Creek bridge.
Survivors, able to walk, made their way across the bridge and boarded the train on the east side. The
severely wounded and dead were left aboard the original hospital train. Engineers decided to push
the cars across the bridge one at a time and then bring the locomotive across. Once those who could
walk were clear of the bridge and aboard, the first car was pushed to the edge of the bridge. Just as
the car approached, the entire bridge collapsed and disappeared into the raging flood waters. The
train load of seriously injured and dead were shuttled back to Millers Landing (New Haven).
Arrangements were made for a ferryboat to take them, the next day, to the town of Washington where
they would once again board the hospital train to take them back to St. Louis. Through the rain filled
night, 31 rough coffins were made to transport the dead. The most seriously injured finally returned to
St. Louis on November 3rd.
The entire St. Louis was stunned by the disaster. Prominent citizens and leaders had been lost and
included: E. Church Blackburn (president of the city council), Henry Chouteau, Calvin Case
(Industrialist), and Mann Butler (attorney and Kentuckian historian). Two of the best known clergyman
of the city, Rev. Dr. Artemas Bullard of the First Presbyterian Church, and Rev. John Teasdale of the
Third Baptist Church were among the dead. Public mourning took place during the next two days
(Sunday and Monday). Washington King, the mayor of St. Louis, survived with injuries and proclaimed
Monday, the 5th day of November “a day of cessation from all labor as a tribute of respect to those
who are most deeply stricken by this terrible blow, and a day of heartfelt thankfulness and gratitude to
God by and on account of all who are saved from death.” Businesses were closed and the churches
were opened for worship.
Mostly, the society of today has forgotten this event in the time line of our state history. It is an event
that we and our off spring should remember. The disaster speaks of the enthusiasm of earlier citizens
to address the transportation needs of our state..... a determination that was not dampened by the
Gasconade disaster. "
Now this bridge has been sent to the bottom of the river and replaced finally with a new one.
The current owner, Drew, who purchased this property in 1996 and his companion Donna related many
experiences and occurrences concerning this property.
Drew has had multiple experiences over the last 10 years. (has been a resident for 15 years) The
incidents started as strange noises such as the floor creaking when no one was walking on it and
other minor noises which could be normal given the age of the building. The experiences increased
to doors shutting and slamming on their own. The experiences increased again to the owner being
awakened from a deep sleep to hearing a voice which he believes to be his fathers. Then Drew
actually has seen a shadow apparition at the end of his upstairs hallway on several occasions. The
occurrence takes place at the door to the room where a man shot himself with a hunting rifle on an
undetermined date. Drew sees the shadow figure at the end of his hallway, walks toward it, and it
disappears. This has happened quite a few times and as early as a couple of weeks ago.
A guest who stayed with Drew had their 6 year old child say that they saw a man without a head in that
room. The mother of the child said "tell him to leave, go to the light" the child responded that he
wasn't going anywhere.
Lisa, who had originally contacted MPR will not return to the house after she had an incident. She and
her boyfriend were staying the night in a room connected to the owners living quarters. They had the
door shut, and the owner was in a room behind them. They were awakened in the middle of the night
by the doorknob being rattled. The rattling became more and more intense. Then it would stop, and
start again a few hours later. This happened several times throughout the night.
Drew claims that the antique doorknob won't even stay in the door and gets knocked out by the
apparition, who apparently like things to be left open. All this being said, Drew says that the spirit or
spirits that occupy this large building are not threatening to him and he does not mind them.
We were also told the story of a man who was shot between the eyes after walking out the front door
of the tavern within the past decade and of the brutal rape and murder of a young girl there in the
past as well. Agarin, more research will have to be conducted to verify various historical facts.
For this investigation video recorders with and without infra red extenders and night shot capabilities
were used. Various digital still cameras, EMF meters, voice recorders, IR Thermometers and radiation
detectors were also utilized throughout the investigation.
MPR members arrived on site between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. in which they conducted some interviews of
the owner and friends. After this, everyone was given an inside tour of this building. Equipment was
set up in various places of the building with a 2 hour lock down of the second floor being conducted
while attempting interactive EVP sessions in areas on the first floor. Equipment was broke down at
11:30 p.m. with team members heading home around midnight.
1. The swinging door leading into the tavern swung open towards investigators without explainable
cause when approached.
2. Unexplained audible voices were heard by some investigators in various areas.
3. A grapefruit sized illuminated ball was observed by an investigator after entering the second floor
area after lock down.
4. A piece of plaster was witnessed by many as if thrown across a room where no plaster was visible
5. Investigators witnessed the vibration of a pantry door with no explainable cause.
6. A human sized shadow apparition was observed by two investigators moving very quickly in a room.
Several digital and film still pictures were taken by various investigators along with several hours
worth of video and audio. Full analysis of all gathered stills, video and audio will take some time to
No remarkable evidence was captured during this investigation.
While the human experiences were numerous, no evidence was captured. However, Paranormal Task
Force feels that the sheer amount of human experience at this location would warrant a follow up
investigation for further attempts to capture such needed evidence to substantiate an actual
Follow up investigation were conducted on June 16th and August 25th of 2007. Reports will be
Gregory Myers, President
Paranormal Task Force, Inc.
|PARANORMAL TASK FORCE
OF THE OLD GASCONADE CITY HOTEL
Report Completed December 27, 2007
|History and Profile of Area
|Haunting Legend and Facts?
|Human Experiences and Oddities
|Potential Evidence for Analysis and Evaluation
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