Visiting New Madrid in October puts the tourist in town just in time to take one of the city’s well-known Ghost Tours! The city has an abundance of historic events in its past and has much to offer current-day visitors. New Madrid is located in the Missouri Bootheel not far off of Interstate 55.

The curious and the adventurous are kept busy exploring haunted sightings that can be found amid Missouri cities, communities, and country sides. Attempting to explain the unexplained in mysterious settings is the challenge. Seeking out haunted places can lend itself to scary adventures. New Madrid is considered by some to be “one of the most haunted small towns in America.” Why is New Madrid area so popular for those looking for paranormal activity? Earthquakes, floods, fires, the Civil War, and murders are just a few of the reasons that ghost investigators find this to be one of their favorite “haunts.”

Literally, this is a town with a past for disasters. The three New Madrid major earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 were felt widely over the entire eastern United States as well as many southern states. Six large after shocks were felt throughout 1813. The prominent 1889 Goodspeed history book, said “that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. The crew of the New Orleans (the first steamboat on the Mississippi, which was on her maiden voyage) reported mooring to an island only to awake in the morning and find that the island had disappeared below the waters of the Mississippi River.”

The Civil War also contributed to today’s apparitions. According to history, the 1862 Battle of Island Number Ten involved “an island at the base of a tight double turn in the course of the river that was held by the Confederates from the early days of the war. The Union victory marked the first time the Confederate army lost a position on the Mississippi River in battle.”

Murders and deaths helped make the town a good place for ghost hunting. The Hart-Stepp Home is one of New Madrid’s historic sites. The first two rooms of the house were built in 1832. There are accounts of several deaths among the families living in the house. The original cemetery is now the local golf course. Only one marker remains recognizing the death of a five-year-old child. Other incidents include an “axe-wielding” slave owner and other historical descriptions of murder and mayhem.

The Ghost Tours, about two hours long, are the third weekend in October. Private tours of ten or more can be arranged any time of the year.

New Madrid was founded in 1788. The New Madrid Museum has several exhibits in regard to the area’s history. The museum is housed in the former Kendall Saloon at the foot of Main Street. Email the museum for more information at

There are many haunts to explore in the Lake area, too. To mention a few of the towns, visit Crocker, Brumley, Windyville, Lebanon, Richland, Waynesville, and Fort Leonard Wood or Linn Creek. There are countless stories by residents and visitors who reveal their accounts of eerie happenings surrounding these areas.

Whether it be lights and smells or apparitions and sounds, orbs, heat, cold, or just a “strange feeling”, Missouri glows with accounts of ghosts and hauntings. Most vintage cities have Ghost tours that are available. Looking for ghosts? Google “Missouri haunted places” for a vast selection of sites to visit. Happy haunting!