The Morse Mill Hotel

The "Future" Pre Civil War B&B!

Our History!

  • THE BUILDING The Morse Mill Hotel, located in Jefferson County, MO is full of history, as well as lot's of 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 that it is today. Mr. Morse was a Bridge Engineer, Confederate sympathizer, among other things. Built of Maple, Oak, Cypress and Limestone .

  • VISITORS 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 St Louis. The 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 on 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 their stay here. Jesse James, and his brothers as well. Charlie Chaplin marked the register of 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 the young girls.

  • THE PARANORMAL: Those that investigate the Para-normal  have experienced many unique events. We consistently when entering 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…….45 minutes SW of St. Louis is your answer. It will rewrite your perspective. If you don't wish to meet the spirit world, you best not stay long. Bring a flashlight, and lot's of bravery you may need it to keep from running. Funny thing, you will not out run them! The spirits can move in a blink of eye, thru floors, up walls, down the hall.

  • CONFEDERATES: 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 a stone archway in the register. 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.

  • THE CISTERN ROOM: We have eye witness accounts from elders, they say 60 years ago as kids they use to play in the tunnel beneath the basement floor, that went from beneath our basement floor under the road to the river edge into the ice house shed across the street. In the future, we will enter the 22' deep cistern in the basement floor, and open the wall that closed off theg,

  • SERIAL KILLERS: Bertha Gifford lived, and worked here-1 of  the 1st female serial killers in the Nation. She killed numerous kids(19), and adults w Arsenic Chocolates for the kids. She worked at the Hotel, and is buried nearby. She was an exceptionally gifted cook, go figure! It is believed to be her husband who she poisoned, that is seen in full body, trench coat at the window North end of the hall 2nd floor.

  • GANGSTERS: Al Capone used this as a rest house, speak easy, and 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. Legend is the moonshiners, lived in these woods.

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

  • THE RENOVATION :  We put back load bearing walls, that someone in the past took out. We raised the entire 1st floor 3 inches, the 2nd floor 3 1/2 inches, and placed steel I beams, and a 980 lb x 38 ft long wood beam to correct the compromised structural integrity. We have insulated the walls, using closed cell Foam to achieve peak efficiency going forward. We 14 years ago deconstructed the General Store from the same era on the property and de nailed every piece, and put on racks to wait till we had a use. All the old flooring, has been saved and has been refinished now. Someday soon music will flow, kids will play, families will laugh, memories will be made here. Like we promised, we may not be moving fast, but we are moving forward. Our goal is to provide a place to relax, enjoy the river or a quiet picnic in the shade. We are not trying to be a 5 star hotel. We are going to be unique, but small in scale. We may not have neighbors in mansions, Olympic pools, valet parking, or curb appeal yet. But we have a history that is long, and that for some people is one of the draws to this place.






     The Tour Guides meet your party at the front of the building, and check you in. They give a brief History, as they walk you thru the 4 floors so you've a general idea of where stairs, and the rooms are, such as the Slave Dungeon, Attic. Pay close attention, and keep quiet-lot's of activity is reported during these introductory walk thru's.

     Next is the fun part, the guides will demonstrate techniques that tend to bring forth Paranormal Activity.Then you can use our equipment, and go explore the part of the building your drawn to. Or play it safe, and stick with the guide!

     REMEMBER-Bring flashlights, recording devices, extra batteries leave in car, dress for cold, wear comfortable shoes, bring water-no booze!


Suggestions from the Guides!

     When we conduct a Paranormal Investigation, we all walk thru the building. Our goal is to take a few minutes to share the history. As well as let you see the interior, so you know the layout of the interior. We won't tell ghost stories, unless asked. We want you to experience your own.

     Prior to entering the building, we suggest your group have a discussion about your visit- Speak to your group, about the following details we’ve identified from years of tracking paranormal tours. Doing this will help ensure you have the experience you seek!

  • When you 1st enter, do so quietly. Pay close attention to your surroundings as you walk thru. Pay attention to where your group is, so if you hear footsteps in the attic above you. You'll know if it's someone in your group. A lot has happened in the first 15 minutes of a tour!

  • Bring Flashlights, fully charged, and if you have extra batteries we suggest you leave in the car. They have a way of being completely drained upon entry.

  • Bring anything that records, shoot video, still photo's, digital recorder. Fully charged of course, but leave the devices in the car till your going to use them.

  • Be respectful, and brave. Do not use racial slurs, or mouth off using vulgar language. Especially in the slave dungeon. If someone near you is ignoring this warning-get away from them quickly!

  • Big men draw a few of the spirits out, especially if the living is acting foolish, rude, arrogant. The only people that have been physically thrown are large, cocky men. If someone near you is ignoring this warning-get away from them quickly!

  • When someone gets scared, simply exit the building and walk away till you feel settled-never run! Besides you can't out run them! DON'T SCREAM!!!

  • Take pictures in sets of 3, the 2nd or 3rd tends to capture things your eyes will not see.

  • Pay close attention to your senses, when paranormal activity happens it happens extremely fast. DON'T SCREAM!!!

  • Try to maintain a code of silence, if people are chatting your going to be missing things. We suggest a group leader remind their team-stay quiet!!!

  • Try to get everyone to property, parked, and ready to enter 15 minutes before your scheduled time, feel free to walk around the building taking pictures.

  • Do not arrive intoxicated-we will not let you enter!

  • All smoking is done by your vehicle, nowhere near the building.

  • Dress for cold, expect the temps in building to fluctuate.

  • Share what you experience, even if it's not logical. Odds are good the "Guide", can connect with the source of your experience. Usually the spirits will start engaging a group, at first in a small way. 

  • Remember you have 6 senses, pay close attention to all of them!

  • Remember this is real, nothing is fabricated. Therefore  no one should be here against their will.

  • No one should be brought here, unaware of the potential for a paranormal event! It has been our experience, that you will get exactly what you bring. If angry, you'll get anger. If high energy, fun, it can make the activity go full throttle upon entry


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