Haunted Jesse James Farm, Kearney, Missouri


James Home in Kearny, Missouri by Kathy Alexander.

James Home in Kearny, Missouri by Kathy Alexander.

It should come as no surprise that the Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri is said to be haunted. Given the violent temperament of some of its inhabitants, the untimely death of Jesse James, the violence that occurred on the property, and the tragic death of Jesse’s younger half-brother Archie, it would be more astonishing to hear that the property had no tales of ghostly activity.

Both Jesse and Frank James were raised in this house by their mother Zerelda, who was married to three different husbands and bore eight children. It was here that Jesse James was whipped as a teenager by Union militia who strung up his stepfather and burned nearby farms.

It was also here that Zerelda watched as her son Archie was murdered by Pinkerton detectives in an attack where she lost her right hand. After Jesse was killed, he was buried here, where she could protect the grave from trespassers or souvenir hunters. Later, his body was re-interred at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney.

Frank James at Farm

Frank James “merchandised” his past right up until the time he died. Here, he stands at the age of 70 before the gate of the Jesse James Farm, where curious spectators could pay 50¢ to see the farm and for just a little more money, could even buy pebbles from Jesse’s grave.

The James Family Farm has said to have been haunted for more than a century. Evidently, home to a number of lingering spirits, lights are said to move about both inside and outside of the property buildings. Others report hearing the sounds of pounding hooves, muffled shots, and cries that are reminiscent of the area history, dating back to events of the Civil War.

Today, wide arrays of mysterious happenings occur in the house. Reports are frequent that lights are seen inside the building long after it has been locked up for the evening and movements are often seen which are never registered on a security monitoring system. Staff reports that feelings of a presence within the home are extremely intense. Others report that on foggy mornings, hushed voices and the sounds of restless horses can be heard from the nearby woods. However, when they follow up, there are no signs of a disturbance or tracks within the trees.

The Jesse James Farm and Museum is located at 21216 James Farm Road, Kearney, Missouri.

Contact Information:

The James Farm and Museum
21216 James Farm Road
Kearney, Missouri 64060

Also See:

James Younger Gang – Terrorizing the Midwest

Jesse James Missouri Attractions

Robert Ford – Jesse James’ Killer

Missouri Border War

Quantrill – The Man, the Myth, the Soldier

Zee James – Jesse’s “Poor” Wife