October 11, 2018 by
There is a reason St. Charles, Missouri, has a historic reputation. People have been living (and dying) in the area for far longer than most towns west of the Mississippi have existed. In fact, the city, first known as Les Petites Cotes (“The Little Hills”), has been home to a recorded settlement for more than two centuries.
Since its official founding in 1769, the area has seen more than its fair share of people — from Native Americans and 18th century French Canadian fur traders, to Lewis and Clark and Daniel Boone, to German winemakers and Oregon Trail hopefuls. Some of them only stopped by on their way out west, while others settled down to stay, lay down roots, build homes and, eventually, pass on from this world. Or so we’re taught to think.
Today, many homes built by early St. Charles residents are still standing. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the historic streets of St. Charles have a haunted reputation to match. The area is full of ghost stories, spooky legends and haunted tours anyone can take for a few bucks charged by a dramatic tour guide. But what if you could hear the chilling stories straight from the people who work with these historic houses day in and day out? People who have built a career on knowing everything about the homes of St. Charles?
While a seller isn’t technically legally required to reveal if a house may be haunted (more on this below), that doesn’t mean they won’t. And sometimes they don’t need to. Every now and again, a realtor figures it out without the homeowner having to say a word.
Read on for five times Meyer Real Estate agents and rental managers were spooked by some of the creepiest, haunted houses in St. Charles …if you dare.
1. When You’re Followed Home
One day, a Meyer Real Estate agent found herself with fellow agents touring the building that housed the first hospital in St. Charles, established by nuns in 1885. Several floors of the building were located below ground level, and it was in a small cement room on one of these floors that the agent found herself looking at a strange layout with ridges in the floor and a closed door. As she started for the door, she was suddenly overcome with nausea and felt disoriented. Frightened, she stumbled through the confusing building, trying to get out. She didn’t feel better until she was outside. Understandably, she didn’t mention this to her coworkers.
After the tour, the agent picked up her five-year-old daughter and drove her to school. On the way, the little girl said something strange from the back seat of the car.
“Mom, let my friend in,” she said, looking out the car window. When her mother pointed out there was nobody outside the car, her daughter insisted: “Let my friend in! Stop the car. Let my friend in!”
The little girl had never had an imaginary friend in her life. Not before that day — or after. Needless to say, the agent did not stop the car.
2. When the Dead Flirt
There’s a particular white house with a covered porch and a small window in the front gable built in the 1940s in St. Charles. At the time that a Meyer Real Estate agent was managing the property, the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows were dressed with romantic white lace curtains and built-in bookcases. In other words: a quaint charmer.
So, when a maintenance man came to the agent with his story, she was surprised. She’d asked him to take a look at the furnace, because the home, which had no AC, was chilly year-round, whether it was ten degrees outside or one hundred. But he left before his work was done, completely spooked. He heard a woman’s voice singing, he said, but when he went to see who it was, the singing stopped, and there was nobody there. This happened repeatedly, until the man left. “Sounds like someone was flirting with you,” the agent joked.
A few years later, there was a fire on the property, and the place was full of construction workers restoring the house for months afterward. When they were finally done, the real estate agent toured the place, which was beautiful once again. But as she was leaving, a shy young worker stopped her. “Has anybody ever said anything about weird stuff happening here?” he asked.
The worker explained that one night he’d been working in the house late, by himself.
Or so he’d thought. He said he was working in the bathroom when he heard something fall in the other room. He went to investigate, only to find that a saw had fallen on the floor. He picked it up, put it on a bench and went back to the bathroom. A few minutes later, it fell again. Scared, the worker put it back and left the house, pausing only to glance in the dining room window. And from there, he could see the saw had fallen on the floor again. Like someone, or something, was messing with him. Or flirting.
The next tenant mentioned a strange thing as he handed over one of his rent checks to the real estate agent. He said he put up blue Christmas lights on the house one night, but when they turned them on the next night, the lights were suddenly red.
The strangest part of all this? No woman ever reported any unusual experience in the house. Just the men. That is, until one woman flagged down the real estate agent on the street.
The woman was looking for information on a different rental property, she explained, because they needed to move out of the white gabled house. When the agent asked why, the woman said only, “That house is crazy.”
When the agent repeatedly tried to get more information out of the woman, she revealed that she and her daughters had moved into the house after she separated from her husband, but shortly after that, her husband began staying with them a few days a week. And after a man moved in, well …
All the woman would say is, “The house is just crazy!”
3. When the Buyer Wants Paranormal Activity
One Meyer Real Estate agent was showing a potential buyer around a historic home in St. Charles when the buyer brought up a strange subject.
“I wonder if this house has ghosts,” he said, looking around the upstairs hall of the home. Not knowing how to reply, the agent suggested they ask the current owners, who happened to be outside. And their answer stunned her.
As a matter of fact, both the husband and the wife had seen something strange in the very upstairs hallway where the buyer had felt compelled to ask about ghosts. What had they seen? A complete stranger, a woman in a dressing gown, at the end of the hallway, near the bathroom.
To the agent’s utter surprise, the buyer liked the idea that the house had “activity.” Though, the agent notes, the man did not end up buying the house, so perhaps he wasn’t as brave as he let on.
4. When a Coincidence Is More Than a Coincidence
While exploring a cute gingerbread-style house built in 1925 with her fellow real estate agents, one woman found herself alone as she approached a stairwell no one had explored yet. But before she could enter the staircase, she suddenly felt extremely ill. She says she was sweating but felt extremely cold and thought she would vomit or pass out. Needless to say, she left the house quickly and tried to put it out of her mind.
A few years later, the woman’s mother-in-law came to spend Halloween with the family, and the kids begged their mother to entertain them with her haunted house stories. They’d heard them all before, but their grandmother hadn’t — and her reaction as the agent began the gingerbread house story stunned them all.
First, she quizzed the agent on the location of the house, only to find her suspicions confirmed. She revealed that she’d grown up on that very street and then lived there as a young bride waiting for her husband to return from World War II. More importantly, another young woman had lived a few doors down, in the gingerbread house. She, too, was awaiting her husband’s return from the war.
Tragically, the woman’s husband had died in the war. And when she found out, she was so distraught that she had died by suicide. In the stairwell.
5. When Mom and Dad Aren’t Ready to Move Yet
There is one particular home in the Old Town district of St. Charles that gave a Meyer Real Estate property manager continual grief over the years. That grief started when one tenant stopped paying rent and disappeared. The man’s clothes were gone, but there were dirty dishes in the sink and the bed was unmade — as if he’d left in a hurry. After some time, according to protocol, the man’s belongings were disposed of, the locks were changed and maintenance set to work cleaning the house.
It was in perfect condition when the manager began to show the house to prospective renters. But one day, she entered through the front door to find a two-foot-wide, charred black circle in the living room floor, as if someone had built a fire there. The agent immediately called the police, and an officer came to escort her through the house.
They found no trespassers, or any signs of forced entry, but they did find even more damage. A human-sized hole had been knocked into the wall near the kitchen, and a mysterious white substance oozed down the door to a room on the second floor. Even more worrying, in one bedroom, the floor was blackened and charred, burned beyond repair.
There was only one last place to check: the attic. After searching for similar damage, they found everything was in order and turned to leave. That’s when they saw writing on the attic wall: God cannot destroy what lives hear. “Here” was misspelled, and the writing looked like it had been there for years. The manager and police officer left the house immediately, but they stopped short as they reached the front door. Scrawled on the wall beside the door, with what must have been charred wood, were the words:
You will never sell this house. I will always be here.
The agent asked the police officer to speak with the neighbors, to see if they’d seen anything, but the officer did not. No further police work was done, and the owner of the house — who lived far away — had the house fixed up to be rented once again.
First up was a young couple. Two weeks after they moved in, the keys to the home were on the agent’s desk, along with a note that read, Sorry, but we had to move, with no other explanation.
The second tenant was a single woman who lasted four months before she dropped the keys off at the manager’s office and explained, “I had to move out. I can’t say why. The owner can keep my deposit.”
Third was a family, who, shortly after moving in, appeared in the manager’s office inquiring about a way to get out of the lease. When she asked why, they fessed up: they’d taken to sleeping in the living room because every night, at one a.m., they heard what sounded like a man and woman yelling at each other. And it was coming from the attic.
With this information, the manager called the owner of the property to explain the situation. To her astonishment, the owner laughed and said, “That sounds like Mom and Dad.”
When the manager asked him to elaborate, she already expected his reply. Both of the man’s parents had passed away in the house.
Some of the above stories have been adapted from a memoir written by
You can now order From the Trenches, a real estate tell-all about a myriad of adventures, from murder and fire to crazy animals and quirky people. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Ask a Realtor: Do sellers have to disclose their haunted houses in St. Charles?
It’s a superstitious house-hunter’s worst nightmare: you buy a beautiful old house, only to discover things going bump in the night. The easiest way out, of course, is to sell it — pronto! But if it were to become known that the home is occupied by something inexplicable, surely no one would buy it. So do you really have to disclose the house’s haunted history?
It turns out the answer depends on the state you live in. Although the wording may be different across the country, most states have residential real estate laws that require a seller to disclose “material facts” to a potential buyer. This generally includes things like pest infestations, mold problems, boundary disputes, square footage and, of course, structural issues. But what about paranormal activity, murder, death or religious rituals? After all, we all know The Exorcist occurred in St. Louis!
Unsurprisingly, Missouri law, like in most states, does not explicitly mention ghosts. But it does mention “psychologically impacted real property.” Is that a fancy way of saying haunted?
Not quite. The Missouri law goes on to give a very narrow definition of “psychologically impacted property” as any property that was the site of a homicide or suicide, or a property where an occupant was infected with a disease unlikely to be transmitted through the occupancy of a dwelling. And, what’s more, the law stipulates that the fact of a property being psychologically impacted is not “material” and thus not required to be disclosed in a real estate transaction!
This is in stark contrast to states like California, which requires the disclosure of any death on the property in the last three years (or longer, if a seller explicitly asks). And other states have adopted legal terminology that requires sellers to disclose a home’s “stigmas,” which can be defined more broadly. Comparatively, Missouri law is pretty vague.
That doesn’t mean you want to risk your buyer being unhappy — or taking you to court for breach of contract or fraud. Even if not outlined in state law, disclosures should be given about all major events or facts regarding the property in order to avoid lawsuits. Besides, you never know when a home’s macabre past will intrigue a buyer!
A seasoned real estate agent will be able to assist you in determining what to disclose and how in the course of a sale. The agents at Meyer Real Estate have been buying and selling haunted (and not-haunted) houses in St. Charles and the surrounding areas since 1959.
Whether you’re looking for a little paranormal activity or want none of it, we’re ready to be your listing agent or your house-hunting (ghost-hunting) ally. Search our homes for sale here, or contact us today to learn how we can help you list your current home — and get it sold fast!