September 9, 2015 5:17 pm

This old hotel, located at 8850 Morse Mill Spur Road, is a 1816 farmhouse, with famous guests like Clara Bow, Jesse James, Al Capone, and Charles Lindbergh. Also, Bertha Gifford, who lived and worked there at one point, was an infamous serial killer who poisoned children and adults with arsenic laced chocolates.

There have been reportings of strange images caught on film, footsteps, voices, cold breezes, and apparitions through the years.

This was taken on the stairs to the Attic, in total darkness. Not till they got home did they learn what had been captured!

The Morse Mill Hotel, located in Jefferson County, MO is full of history and mystery. The building was constructed in 1816 as a farm house while the area was still ruled by the Spanish under Louisiana Territory. John H. Morse purchased it in 1856 and added on making it the structure it is today.


The hotel heyday was during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The elite of St. Louis visited often. It was a close weekend getaway to escape the sweltering summers in city. Other guests came from all over the world including Africa, Switzerland, Cuba, Philippines Islands, Bombay India, London England, Berlin Germany, Austria and Hong Kong China.

One of my personal favorites marked in the register is Saturday, September 5th, 1931 Zarna and her trained seal Suzanne. The famous guests include black and white film star Clara Bow, Betty Boop was created in her likeness. Tom Mix, a black and white cowboy film star. Pilot Charles Lindbergh and gangster Al Capone also marked they stay here.


This 4 story building is in the process of being renovated. Cautiously we allow the exploration of something that is unique, its hard to explain but consistently those that enter day or night hear, see or feel things that have no logical explanation. For years people have said, they sense nothing evil but something just moved in front of me or touched me. Hearing footsteps is my personal favorite. When I walk in, turn off the alarm and hear footsteps across the upper floor I now just go about my business. If you want first hand experience, truly wish to know…….30 minutes SW of St. Louis is your answer. It will rewrite your perspective.


Jesse James and his Brothers stayed here. They are known to associate with Mr. Morse, and that a lot of their actions could be traced to them stealing for the Confederate Army gain. One of them was a cartoonist, drawing in the register.


Bertha Gifford lived, worked here-1 of the 1st female serial killers in the Nation. She killed numerous kids, and many adults w Arsenic Chocolates for the kids. She worked at the Hotel, and is buried nearby. She was an exceptionally gifted cook, go figure!


Al Capone rumored to use this as a rest house, speak easy, gambling. The Historians traced his movements to here at the time that he was building his gambling & whiskey operations. He served great Whiskey from here, some of which still exists on the shelves of local grandparents that say it never ran dry at the Morse Mill Hotel. It is also a undisputed fact that Police would never dare to enter this neck of the woods, knowing it was out of their reach.

Some evidence suggests hotel may have helped the effort to return rebels back to the south. It is referred to as “the Secession Railroad” or “the Chip Trail.”

Built of Maple, and Limestone . The structure is 4 stories tall. 5,300 sq. ft.

In front of the Hotel the Stone Wall was built by freed Slaves, hand carved of course.

Charlie Chaplin marked his stay here! He was a known ’Womanizer’. A nearby elder woman says when she was a child her Mom would complain about this Chaplin man carrying on with young girls.

This place has been a private home, speakeasy, brothel ,half way house, Confederate Hospital, Underground Railroad, Indian Burial, Post Office, multiple murder scene spanning decades, hanging scene and several known murderers have visited and stayed here.

Today visitors are sometimes greeted by the activity, which tends to begin when they 1st enter, even during the daylight hours. The caretaker has noticed that if people enter in good spirits they meet and experience great things. People that enter that need to settle issues in their life that drive bad attitude do not get the level of what others experience. Spirits feed on, or ignore the energy people enter with in our opinion…

Whatever these spirits are they are not stupid, they will out fox you, shut your equipment down, touch you, contact you even possibly walk past you so fast you will freeze. As a eyewitness I will tell you the residents are very fast, and paying attention. For those that can make it to our side, they have got things to say.
If you do not believe, or want to but need proof come visit. We can’t promise but we have a steady list of eyewitness accounts that suggest your going to have something to talk about after you visit. BRAVERY REQUIRED.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella