Built in 1890 by Bart Adams as a summer home, the house on Plant Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, is known by the second owner’s name—Henry Gehm. Gehm lived in the house from 1906 until 1944. He died in the 1950s from spinal cancer at a local hospital
By all accounts, Henry Gehm was a bit eccentric. Examples: He owned railroad cars and, in the early 1900s, he leased many of them to traveling circuses. He dealt in gold coins and hid them in different places on his property. The first indication of a haunting was in 1956 when S. L. and Fannie Furry bought the house.
When S.L. and Fannie Furry bought the house in 1956, the first supernatural incidents emerged.
Fannie Furry reported:
- Being shaken awake at 2:00 AM while sleeping.
- Hearing hammering sounds on her headboard. The banging was so loud, she was sure the headboard broke. When she turned on the light, it undamaged.
- A thumping against the windows at night, but she could never identify the source.
- Finding a heavy wall sconce lying on the floor.
- The sounds of footsteps going up and down the stairs at all times of the day and night. She felt like someone was searching for a lost possession.
Soon, other family members experienced eerie incidents.
S. L. reported:
- Awakening to see a misty form drifting, then gliding into the hall. S.L. followed the enigma into his youngest daughter’s bedroom, where the mist vanished.
The Furry’s three-year-old daughter:
- She asked her parents about the older woman dressed in black who came into her room at night. Fannie questioned her. The young girl said she was talking about a lady who had a little boy with her.
- Later, she told her mom sometimes this woman spanked her with a broom, but it didn’t hurt.
The couple, having endured the ghostly activity for nine years, decided it was time to move.
The next family to move in was the Walsh family. They moved in In November 1965, their ten-year-old Wendy and twenty-year-old Sandy. They did not know of the hauntings.
Clare Walsh reports:
- One evening, the family dog accompanied Fannie in the kitchen. Unexpectedly, the canine cowered and began quivering. Right after, Clare watched a white, misty form sail into the living room and hesitated for a moment before it vanished.
- She heard footsteps traveling the house at night. She, too, felt as if a person was looking for something.
- Clare felt a presence before hearing rapping on the bedroom window.
- Claire Walsh sensed the spirit of a little blonde-haired girl in the attic. She also heard children running up and down the stairs and found writing made by a child with a handprint.
She decided to research the history of the house. She asked the neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Kuru, if anything strange had happened in the place. The Kurus told her they considered buying her home. They didn’t.
It seems the man across the street frequently stayed in the home. He told the Kurus he believed it to be haunted. Clare talked to the man across the street. He said Gehm hid valuables in various places in the house, and he was sure it was Gehm’s ghost returning to find his treasures.
After this discussion, Clare thought about the house and the oddity of the attic door refusing to remain closed. She knew she had closed it; when she returned, it was open again. Her husband and daughters reported hearing footsteps and also hearing the door to the attic creak as it opened.
She thought the best place to start searching for treasure was the attic.
Clair discovered that the stairs to the attic had a tread that opened and exposed a hiding place underneath. A treasure could have easily been hidden there at some point in the past.
- One day, Clare had an impulse to go to the attic. She found the door standing open. The last time that Clare had been there, everything was in order. She was shocked to discover everything out of order. A heavy chest of drawers stood open; one drawer was dangling on its side. Blueprints filled the bureau. When she inspected the prints, the name printed on them was that of Henry Gehm.
- In March of 1966, Henry Gehm’s spirit appeared and directed Mrs. Walsh to a hidden doorway in the attic.
- Behind the door was a secret chamber, but it was empty. Rumor was Gehm buried gold coins somewhere on the property.
The activity increased. Clare reports:
- The footsteps continued.
- She found the dining room’s breakfront open, and objects in its drawers rearranged.
- One day, Clare discovered her dresser open and her clothing scattered. Wendy told her mother she saw a person opening and closing her mother’s dresser.
- The family heard muted cries.
- The typewriter in Wendy’s room worked by itself, lights turned on and off randomly, and their dog became bewildered and scared.
- The family discussed the situation. They thought there were at least two ghosts, Gehm’s and a child’s. They decided to move.
Presently, the Wheeler family and their three children live in the house. They feel it’s haunted.
- The Wheelers had a dog who would stand at the top of the stairs, with his nose pointed and tail raised in the air as if he was staring at something that they couldn’t see.
- Their son Jack woke to the bed shaking on its own. He reported seeing the ghost of a man in old-fashioned clothes.
- Mysterious noises emit from the attic.
- Bedclothes are disturbed, and there are indentations on mattresses as if an invisible entity is sitting or lying on them.
- A misty white form materialized in the pantry.
The ghosts are believed to be Henry Gehm, his wife, and a grandson, who was six when he died.
Wheeler said he initially thought about allowing investigations. On second thought, though, he decided to live quietly and raise three children at the house. For years, he turned down interview requests.
“Haunted houses either die off, or they get commercialized,” Wheeler said then. “We’re glad ours didn’t get commercialized.”
Sources: Anomalien.com https://anomalien.com/haunted-gehm-house/;
Haunts of Missouri: https://hauntsofmissouri.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/the-gehm-house/