In Springfield, MO, quite out of character for the area, stands the 105-year-old, limestone, Pythian Castle. Rich with history, it was built as a home for the aging fraternal order Pythian knights, their ill family members, and orphans. It later held German and Italian prisoners of war. In peacetime, it acted as a hospital for […]

In Springfield, MO, quite out of character for the area, stands the 105-year-old, limestone, Pythian Castle. Rich with history, it was built as a home for the aging fraternal order Pythian knights, their ill family members, and orphans. It later held German and Italian prisoners of war. In peacetime, it acted as a hospital for injured US soldiers. There are many recorded deaths on the premises, and several paranormal tales from its private owners and visitors alike.

While scrolling with coffee and sleepy eyes one day, I saw an advertisement for an overnight ghost hunt on my Facebook feed. Delighted at the idea of surprising my cryptozoology, paranormal, and all things zombie loving husband, I bought two tickets for his birthday. I was too groggy at the time to picture myself there or to be worried.

We drove up to the ominous castle, towering above us. Its fierce looking gargoyles glowered down like a warning. I immediately wanted to go back home and felt a sickness in the pit of my stomach. I nervously glanced over at my husband in a sort of 'last chance to ditch' desperation. His excitement was  like that of a 5-year-old boy who had just arrived at Disney Land. At that point, I knew there was no turning back.

Initially, we were with a tour group of about 30 people. We walked the halls and empty spaces of the dark, damp, and cold castle together. After, everyone went their separate ways. My husband and I trailed off to the basement, where the owner of the castle had photographed several ghostly apparitions. The room where we stood had housed the elderly knights in hospital beds. Many had passed on there. According to our tour guide, many had suffered there as well. I felt the chill of a breeze walk up the back of my neck and turned quickly to only darkness. My husband was about 30 feet from me in the large, lonely room, taking flash photos in the dark. With a racing heart, I withdrew my cell phone from my coat to try and capture an EVP, electric voice phenomenon.

 

I hit record.

 

'Hello, my name is Jennifer. I come in peace and would like to ask you a few questions. Are you here with me?' (Silent pause). 'Did you die here?' (Pause). 'Can you give me a sign if you can hear me?'

I stared hesitantly at my phone. All of my alarm bells were screaming at me. My skin was covered in goosebumps from the temperature and my adrenalin. I looked at the illuminated green triangle which would play back the recording and with much dread, pushed it.

 

There was no 'me' on that recording. My voice was non-existent. What I heard sounded demonic. It was gasping, heavy breathing, moaning, and growling. My heart jumped from my chest and I ran to my husband. 'You have to hear this! I want to go home!' I played the recording for him, and we looked at each other wide-eyed and horrified. I played it again. My whole body shook uncontrollably as I wondered if we were safe.

That's when I saw it. The date on the recording was several months old. Confused, I thought back in time. I remembered the night I couldn't sleep because my husband was snoring like the motor of a mufflerless monster truck. I had recorded him so that he would finally make a doctor's appointment for his sleep apnea. The demon on my cell phone was just my stubborn husband. After the recording, and months before our castle visit, he had gone to a doctor and was prescribed a c-pap machine. I'm not sure why I never deleted the memo, but it definitely came back to haunt me. Fortunately, we made it out of the otherwise uneventful ghost hunt and my husband's snoring has greatly improved. I'll keep an exorcism on the back burner though, just in case.