Find out what part of the Mississippi River is said to be the most haunted.
Ghosts of the Mississippi River
You could say it’s just the ghosts of the Mississippi that haunt the river every October.
Specifically, we’re talking along the banks of the Mississippi River from Tower Rock to just past Cape Girardeau.
Our friends at Heartland Weekend talk with haunted historian Christy Mershon who says this stretch is said to be the most haunted part of the river.
In fact, barge workers today regularly claim to hear screams and cries for help during this time of year. But when they go to investigate, no one is there.
Mershon says the paranormal activity likely stems from the massive boat accidents in the 1800s — two of which were so deadly, they caused a change in our maritime laws.
Rewind to Oct. 29, 1869, the steamer Stonewall was traveling near Neely’s Landing, filled with hay, mules, oats, flour and 257 passengers.
According to reports, the boat hit a sandbar and caught on fire likely because a lighted candle fell on a bale of hay.
Fire quickly spread through the boat like a forest fire. Those on board found their fate either in the river or the fire itself.
Today, there is no marker for those who died that evening.
The Mascotte Disaster
Fast forward to Oct. 5, 1886. A steamboat accident near Neely’s Landing left at least 35 dead.
The boat left Cape Girardeau with a full passenger list headed to St. Louis.
Records show just a short time after, an explosion occurred blowing fire in every direction.
Eventually, the smokestack fell across the gang plank where passengers were attempting to escape.
All those not killed by the explosion or the falling stack likely drowned. Even worse, there was little record of who was on board.
The big question: do these passengers haunt the Mighty Mississippi?
Historians like Mershon say yes.
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