MORSE MILL HOTEL - MORSE MILL, MO - AUGUST 6, 2009
Morse Mill Hotel was built by John H. Morse in the 1870s. The Hotel is a three-story frame house, built of maple and limestone, with a New Orleans-style balcony on the second floor, and a "widow's walk." There is an abandoned mill dam down the road on the Big River. Its use as a hotel began sometime in the 1920s, and saw the likes of Al Capone, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplain, and Jesse James and his gang. However, this is not what gives the Hotel its infamy. No, that would be Bertha Alice Williams Graham Gifford. Bertha Gifford was married to her second husband, Eugene Gifford, and lived her life at the Morse Mill Hotel as a simple housewife during the early 1900s. She loved to cook for people and make candy for children. Unfortunately, she also liked adding arsenic to her recipes. She was accused of murdering 17 people over 20 years, including her first husband, Henry Graham. She was arrested in 1928, had a three-day trial in Union, MO, and was found guilty by reason of insanity. She was commited to the Missouri State Hospital #4, where she died in 1951.
Reported activity: We were given a three-page, typed list of reported activity by the Hotel's present owner, Patrick Sheehan, who has recently begun its restoration. Reportedly, several paranormal investigation groups and psychics have experienced objects moving/being lifted, apparitions, locks unlocking, glowing orbs of light, sounds of things being thrown on the upper floors, people being shoved and scratched (when being disrespectful), footsteps, voices, a black mist, and pipe tobacco, to name a few.
We began our investigation at approximately 6:30 p.m., and left the Hotel at approximately 3:00 a.m. We had no personal experiences of paranormal activity nor did our equipment record any paranormal activity. That said, we were still thrilled to be given the opportunity to freely investigate this historic hotel, and honored that it was entrusted to us for an overnight. If you are given the opportunity of an investigation, please respect this infamous piece of the past. Now, let's take a walk around the property.