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Union Missouri Haunting - Page 2

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Church Street in Union Missouri 1912Sunday night.  We were sitting in the living room talking. I was getting ready to take a trip the following morning to Indianapolis for work and we were discussing their plans for a stay Grandma’s. The kids had their backs to the living room, for which I am still thankful for because the memory of what happened next still haunts my dreams to this day. I noticed it first out of the corner of my eye . A quick glance. Something moving, standing at the kitchen doorway that led into the family room. Not something - some one. I looked toward it again. It was a dark figure of a man, even though there was full light. He was solid in form except there was a moving, churning, dark gray, black smoke or mist that made up his form.


I looked down because I was sure I wasn’t seeing this and that my eyes were playing tricks on me. One or two good rationalizations and we could go on with our lives without incident. A few moments passed and I was sure that when I looked up again that it would be gone. But, he was still there and he began to move.


Moving into the family room and pausing in the center of the room, his form was still a mass of churning, turning blackness. He stood there for what seemed an eternity, but in actuality it was only a few moments and then he melted into the air. Gone. I remember the thoughts that were racing through my head. " I have two choices. We could run out of the house screaming into the night like those crazies you always see in the movies. You know the ones that are always based on fact. Or, the other choice, we could get up quietly, leave the house and figure all of this out.” My hands were shaking uncontrollably. "That’s what we’ll do. We will go quietly, orderly, as if nothing was wrong”


Standing up on shaky legs, I said in my calmest daddy voice,  "Let’s go get a soda and see grandma." My youngest was instantly excited at the prospect of a soda before bed and the older two looked at me as if I lost my mind. "Come on guys it will be fun.” Thank God, my car keys were on the coffee table in front of us. We moved orderly out the front door and I turned to lock the door,  when a loud painful scream of a man came from inside the house. It sounded as if he was screaming in pain, so loud that it could be heard throughout the neighborhood and the dogs began to bark. To hell with orderly, "Get in the car!” I screamed at my children. 


At a dead run we headed to the car and to drive to my Mom’s house, which is still a blur to this day. I was in a panic and I knew that we had to get away from the old white house. But before we were away from the neighborhood, my youngest son, in a very scared voice, said, "Daddy the basement monster is standing in the upstairs window.” I looked back and sure enough the black form was standing in the window watching us leave.


That night we stayed at my parents’ house. Early the next day, I gathered my things and left for my business trip. I had a whole week of rationalizations by the time I returned home to pick up my children. Where else were we to go? I had put everything I had saved, and then some, into the move. We had no other choice but to go back to the big old white house. Besides, after a week of talking myself out of the events of that night I was ready to return, so on Friday night we returned to the house. The weekend went by without incident, though we got very little sleep.


I was taking another extended weekend to make up to my kids for my week away. On Saturday we explored the big shed at the back of the yard and in it, we found a number of personal belongings that appeared to belong to different people. My parents convinced me that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to call the strange old landlady and ask her some straight forward questions about the house.


It was to be one of most awkward and strangest phone calls of my life. Once I was able to reach her, I carefully chose my words and asked in a normal voice if any of the previous tenants had ever mentioned a ghost. Well of course, she said at first, that she could not remember. However, she went on to say that one female tenant had claimed that her dead father came to visit her, but the old woman always thought she was crazy. The landlady said that some of the stuff in the shed had been left behind by the girl, but she couldn’t get her to come pick it up.


The other stuff in the shed evidently belonged to a man who had lived there but left in the middle of the night, leaving behind his things. But, no she had never heard of anyone talking about the house being haunted. I asked her how long ago did these people live there? And she said, "Not much more than a year honey, why do you ask?” The phone call wasn’t of much help. And it didn’t calm my fears much, but what else could I do?




The rest of the long weekend came and went. I actually had convinced myself that it was just a one time ordeal because nothing more was happening. That was until Monday night. I was on the phone with my mom. The kids were off playing in my bedroom which was located on the first floor. While on the phone, I began to hear the inside doors rattling. Listening closely, they rattled again and I yelled at the kids to quit playing games. I told my Mom that everything was okay, just the kids playing tricks. The rattled again, this time harder. So , I scolded the children this time louder to behave and stop playing tricks. At this time they rattled louder, but before I could scold my daughter’s scared voice cut me off., "Daddy, I’m in here reading and my brothers are asleep.” Now I will try to recreate what happens next to the best of memory. Some of it I remember clearly. Other parts are a blur to this day. Just as soon as I heard my daughter the temperature in the house instantly dropped a good thirty degrees. With it came the feeling of the electrical charge running through my body. Along with its energy a horrible stench that I cannot describe permeated the room. And then, the screaming started - softly at first, but building in momentum. I yelled through the phone to my mother to come help - we were getting out. Then the whole house began to shake and come alive. From the above I could hear something large coming down the stairs. Boom. Boom! BOOM! The screaming of the man over and over. The screaming of my daughter, "Daddy what is happening!” Along with this came the thought that one of my two bedroom doors connected to the stairs. BOOM! BOOM! It was coming down those stairs! I had to get to my children! The whole house was alive with noise. The floor beneath me was shaking as I made my way to the bedroom door.  I felt something behind me and I knew I didn’t want to turnaround to see it! . BOOM! SCREAMING!  A new scream mixed into the man’s scream - this one from a child. BOOM! SCREAMS! BOOM! I made it to my bedroom door but it wouldn’t open. By this time I, too, am screaming. Throwing myself against the door it still wouldn’t budge. I continued to throw myself against the door again and again until it finally slammed open.

My daughter was in shock by this point. I instructed my middle son to grab his brother and run out the front door and head for the car. BOOM! BOOM! SCREAMS! My daughter won’t move and I finally had to slap her to bring her to life. Finally responding, I grab her and head for the door as I hear the other bedroom door slam open behind us. It was on our trail and I new I couldn’t let it reach us. The whole house still shaking and alive with noise and something big on our heels. When we reached the front door and out onto the porch, I slammed the front door behind us. As we got into the car we could still hear the noise coming from the house. I drove away and parked at the top of the street where I could still see the house and wait for my parents to arrive. We could see "it” searching through the house. Searching! Searching for us! It’s blackness moving from room to room methodically.

That was our last night in the house. My children never returned. When I returned to get a few of our things on several occasions I never went alone. Everyone I brought into that house with me would also witness something happen . A scream. Whispers. Pounding from the floor above. It was not selective anymore at who it let hear its fury. I remember what the old lady said to me as I turned over the key.  Standing there, the whole side of my arm and torso still bruised from throwing myself against that bedroom door, she said, "Some people are meant to live in an old house like that. And some people aren’t. I never thought you were the old house type.” And I guess she was right.


About a month after moving out of the old house a friend sent me a web site address that she wanted me desperately to see. "Put John T. Crowe, Union, Missouri into your search engine,” she said. When I did, the face of a man came onto my screen. The same face that showed up in a picture my brother took in the fruit cellar one afternoon while I was packing for the move. The man was famous. The land itself famous, with a history dating back to the civil war.


Captain John Thomas Crowe (1841-1923). Photo courtesy Missouri Commandery

of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

About a year ago, someone I know saw a police car race up to that house one night and witnessed a family running out of its front door in their night clothes.


As for the house today - the old lady turned it into a dog kennel this past fall. I guess she ran out of people that could live in a old white house like that one.


You see I do believe in ghosts. I still drive past that house every once in awhile and when I get enough nerve I look up at the upstairs window and it’s there. Watching. Waiting. Angry. Sometimes its screams still wake me from my sleep, its infectious scream creeping into my dreams, turning them into nightmares. I still don’t sleep very well. In my dreams I see a faceless man standing in that basement washing away blood from his naked blood covered body. Grunting. Panting. Breathing.


The breathing you’d hear when you were alone with it in a room. The breathing you would hear when you knew it was there. Heavy. Labored. Breathing. Yes, I do believe in ghosts. I do believe in ghosts. And maybe you should too?



Updated: March, 2017



About the Author:  Steven LaChance started  a forum after having lived through this story and its effects.  However, as of October, 2007, it is no longer active. He authored the book "The Uninvited: The True Story of the Union Screaming House" in September 2008. 



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