Until my daughter went off to graduate school in Saint Louis I had only been to the city twice in my life. This past summer we visited Marin and spent two full days touring the city.
And of course I can’t visit anywhere without taking in a ghost tour. It’s not so much that I’m hoping to see a ghost as much as I really enjoy learning about the history of the people and places. The tour we chose in St. Louis (which claims to be the fourth-most-haunted city in America) was a haunted history tour along Laclede’s landing with guide David Riordan. David’s family has lived in St. Louis for over 180 years. He was an incredible story-teller and entertainer.
Below is the Eads Bridge was originally to be built 40 meters south of where it is today, but was moved and built atop a haunted cave that claimed the life of anyone who slept in it.
David shared his knowledge of the tale that inspired the movie The Exorcist. He also spoke of the famous St. Louis Fire, the cholera epidemic, stories about the Lemp Family brewery and mansion, underground caves, steamboats, gangsters and even a story of Abe Lincoln being involved in a duel on Bloody Island. At one time an island sat in the middle of the Mississippi River and it fell under no state’s jurisdiction. There were no laws on the island where men could literally get away with murder.
Our tour departed from the famous Morgan Street Brewery and weaved a path through Laclede’s landing.
Below was my favorite place was Clamorgan Alley, which David claimed was the most haunted street in Saint Louis. The Alley is located between present-day 1st Street and 2nd Street and was originally called Commercial Alley. It’s named after fur trader and Jacques Clamorgan (1730–1814).
The street is also famous for it’s spectacular views of the arch but back in 1849 a cholera outbreak claimed the lives of thousands of people. The alley was used as a depository for the dead bodies. David claims there so many bodies stacked in the alley that you couldn’t walk from one end to the other. Eventually Irish immigrants were hired to transport the dead across town and bury them.
What is your favorite activity to do when you visit a new city?