If I set a story in St. Louis, Missouri, it will be a ghost story. St. Louis has a long and weird history of ghosts, ghouls, and demons. For example, the most famous exorcism in the US took place at a hospital in St. Louis.
The young man who was possessed is in his 50s or 60s by now, but still resides there. He has never publicly spoken about the event, but several persons involved have. One of the psychiatrists involved in it came forth to say the exorcism was the only time he had ever felt true evil and it made him a believer in both God and the devil. A few years ago, one of the priests broke his silence and said the things he saw gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. Levitation, speaking in dead languages (including Ancient Babylonian, Sumerian, Aramaic, and Ancient Egyptian were listed), unnatural movements, the boy even climbed the wall and hung from the ceiling if the reports are to be believed. But that’s just one case of supernatural activity from the city, there are hundreds more.
- Patience Worth – Patience Worth was a writer that managed to find a publisher at a time when it was nearly impossible. Add in the fact that she was supposedly dead and well, you have the stuff for a TV movie. And yet, it happened. Worth was supposedly a settler that had died, however she dictated her memoirs to an average woman via a ouija board.
- Lemp Family – The Lemp family was among the most successful in St. Louis, until they started dying. Some say it was a curse, others mental illness, whatever the cause there were 3 suicides and one untimely death that brought the Lemp lineage to a halt. However, it was said that Johann “Adam” Lemp was cursed almost as soon as he arrived in St. Louis in the 1830s.
- The Second Exorcism – The city has a large Catholic following. Their Mardi Gras isn’t quite as big as New Orleans, but it is almost as fun. It’s really no surprise that the Archdiocese there keeps an exorcist in house. What is surprising is the amout of exorcisms approved in the 1960s and 1970s by the Archdiocese. Whereas most seemed to go fine, this one didn’t. In the early 1970s, a young woman was taken to the hospital believing she was seriously mentally ill. After several months, someone decided it was demonic possession that was really the problem. An exorcism was performed and it seemed to work, but then, well the whole thing went sideways and the girl was back at it. It was never released why everyone thought she was possessed, but she someone slit her wrists while wearing a straight jacket in a mental institution. The case was ruled accidental, but how she managed to slit her wrists remains a mystery.
- UFO over the Arch – The St. Louis Arch was built as a monument to western expansion. It is still called The Gateway To The West and flying over it is highly restricted. However, in 1971, that airspace was breeched. There is no evidence that it showed up on radar, but hundreds of people reported seeing “something” hovering over after about three minutes, it just seemed to disappear. Those that attempted to get pictures said the photos was just orange, as if something had washed it out.
- The Disappearance of the Mrs. Lee – Mrs. Lee was talking to a neighbor in 1938. She went into the house to get them both something to drink and never came back. The neighborhood came out to search for her, but she was never found. Neither was evidence of foul play or her leaving on her own. Where she went and how she got there is still a mystery.
- The Devil in St. Louis – The devil seems to make more visits than most supernatural beings and it would be a shame if he didn’t appear in St. Louis. However, it appears that he did, in the 1880s. Even better, he supposedly burned down a building. Reports are sketchy on the encounter, but the few that can be found said a man dressed all in black with hooved feet and a tail, set fire to house just by touching it. Three people are said to have witnessed the incident.
So while St. Louis never really had the crime problem, they seem to be a hotbed of supernatural activity.