> The Ghost Hill, Guelph, Ontario
Prosperity School Bed & Breakfast
Joplin, Missouri, USA
A School for Ghost Hunters
In the small town of Prosperity, Missouri is a two story brick school house was built for the children of the miners living in that town. This haunted place has become a school for ghost hunters.
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In the movie “The Green Mile”, a condemned prisoner told Tom Hanks, playing the head guard, of the happiest time of his life: newly married and living on a mountain with his wife, and wondered if Heaven may be returning to where he was happiest. Hanks replied he believed that very thing, comforting the doomed man.
But what if Heaven was a return to your happiest time? How many of us would choose childhood, or elementary school. Recess was the most important part of the day, adults were kind to you, and you looked forward to playing with your friends. No worries about mortgages, stocks or car payments. Just play…
In the small town of Prosperity, Missouri, just outside Joplin, a two story brick school house was built for the children of the miners living in that town. Classes were held there from 1907 until 1962, when the district was consolidated and the school closed. The building never had indoor plumbing.
In its day, the school held some 1,200 students. When it closed, there were only 32 children going there.
The building sat idle, at least as far as the living goes, for 30 years. In the 90’s, it was restored as a bed and breakfast, more as a labor of love than with hopes of great financial gain. The hard wood floors still show scuffs and stains of generations of children playing there, the old chalk trays still circle the rooms where slate blackboards use to hang. For the new owners, Richard and Janet Roberts, the past is not just a silent memory, but a group of active spirits playing and running the halls of the old school, as if recess has never ended.
While the Roberts were not told the place was haunted by the previous owners, they could not have been happier to find out. They had stayed at the haunted Crescent Hotel in Arkansas, the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana, and Cloudcroft Lodge in New Mexico looking for ghosts.
“Many of the stories are repetitive,” Janet said as she handed me an eleven page document of the haunting reported here. “ From the beginning, we got so many stories from guests that I began to write them down.”
Janet and Richard have had several ghost hunting groups there, and none have left disappointed. John Zaffis, noted demonologist, and TV’s Ghost Hunters stars Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson have spent the night here. Chris Moon, founder and editor of this magazine, has had his Telephone to the Dead here as well, and has spoken to a small girl and a teacher.
Ghostly sounds of metal on metal strikes have been heard, as if someone was working on metal plumbing. However, only plastic pipe have ever been used there. Shadow people have been seen by the owners and investigators alike. Often, they hear someone walk through the building late at night, even though no guests are there. A family member of a former custodian confirmed that he would walk through the building each night, turning off lights and locking the doors.
They’ve heard the shushed whispering of children, doors opening and closing by themselves, and even piano music where no instruments remain. One guest, a retired school teacher, left a note in the guest book: “ As a retired teacher, I love the atmosphere. I heard kids reciting their multiplication facts last night!”
Another guest reported feeling her foot touched, then a small hand taking her own in the gentle grip of a loving child. Goosebumps and cold spots are reported often, and photos reveal unexplained faces in mirrors or blank TV screens, bright orbs or energy streaks, and one time the body of what appeared to be a nurse in uniform reflected in a doorway.
During Chris Moon’s visit, according to Janet, they made contact with Sadie, a six year old girl who reportedly died after a fall down a stairway in 1906. Also present were children Theresa, Ben and Billy, and a school teacher named Ann. Ann had made a comment that “her man” had given her a black eye. Later, Janet noticed a framed class photo on the wall she had placed there years ago. Looking closely at the teacher, she noticed the eye appeared to be black.
Nick Corey, local author and founder of Jasper Haunts, a local ghost investigation group, has spent a lot of time at the B and B. His evidence includes a woman saying “We aren’t living. Am I dead?” Another said “Can see the light. We can see clearly.” He has also taken a video of what appears to be a blur going by a doorway. Stopping the video at one point, the face of a small boy is clearly visible; with an expression on his face as if he was caught taking a cookie.
Unlike some haunts, the spirits here seem happy and playful, under the careful watch of a custodian and teacher. A stay here for the open minded would let some of the childlike wonder and happiness go home with you, along possibly with a desire to play.
Dan Terry is a published author
Which includes Haunted Times Magazines
Visit his website :: www.spookstalker.com
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