Thursday, April 9, 2015

AtoZ challenge: H - Haunted Hannibal



Picture
 The AtoZ Challenge letter today is "H." I'm featuring Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, MO.



Hurry! The tour starts soon!


Ghost Tours

"America's Hometown" is also sometimes referred to as "Haunted Hannibal." The Hannibal History Museum, located next to the Mark Twain Museum, hosts nightly excursions especially popular in the fall around Halloween.

Twain's last night in Hannibal: 

Rockcliffe Mansion, built in 1898 by John Cruishank, is the place Mark Twain stayed during his last visit to Hannibal in 1902. Of course, the old mansion slash B&B is said to be haunted. You can experience a spooky night's unrest and see for yourself if the rumors are true.


Rockcliffe Mansion - Exterior - Winter.jpg
Rockliffe Mansion (photo: Wikipedia)

Stillwell Murders

Hannibal was home to wealthy citizen Amos J. Stillwell and his wife. He was found in his bed on December 30, 1888, murdered with an ax. The whole story can be read in the New York Times. The mansion has since been torn down. (Who wants to live in a house with that reputation?) A bank's parking lot sits on the empty space, full of eerie noises and haunted happenings late at night.

Tom Sawyer's infamous graveyard scene

Of course, we provide several ghoulish graveyards (circa 1830's) close to the Mississippi River. It is debatable whether or not the "Old Baptist Cemetery" was the one Mark Twain used to describe his lovely graveyard scene in Chapter 9 in his book Tom Sawyer. And, yes, it's creepy even in the daytime. I came across Becky Thatcher's (aka Laura Hawkins) dad's headstone. Historians think Twain used the "Old Cemetery" as writing inspiration, which was abandoned after the Civil War to make way for a housing development. Does that mean those bodies are still buried underneath the residential area?! CREEPY.

Poster in the Hannibal History Museum
If you come for a visit, be sure to check out the Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tour. Not sure if Edgar Allan Poe will be your tour guide, but you can see for yourself if our town is truly "Haunted Hannibal."

21 comments:

  1. I would love to go on a ghost tour! I used to watch those ghost hunting shows all the time. I even write about ghosts. I guess you could say I'm enamored by them. Haha! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, me too. I love to be scared. Maybe that's why I write suspense and mysteries.

      Delete
  2. Very interesting and actually, inspiring! For my crazy writer mind lol. Gorgeous pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I know, the ideas are endless here in Twain's Town.

      Delete
  3. I knew you'd have a haunted mansion in your town. I've thought about doing a haunted mansion tour around the US. You know, sleep in the haunted rooms from CA to NY. I'll have to add yours to my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so cool and so creepy! You're one brave lady:)

      Delete
  4. Hi there - Seems many towns have their own 'ghost story' to offer tourists. I'd actually like to visit the graveyards (circa 1830's). BTW, I gave a shout out to your blog on my 'H' post today on FictionZeal.com. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw! Thanks so much:) Yes, the graveyard is super close to his house and the Mississippi River.

      Delete
  5. Hi there - Seems many towns have their own 'ghost story' to offer tourists. I'd actually like to visit the graveyards (circa 1830's). BTW, I gave a shout out to your blog on my 'H' post today on FictionZeal.com. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. With a name like Hannibal, it's got to be a haunted town... I wonder if that's where Thomas Harris got the name for Silence of the Lambs?

    Thanks for spookily sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I get that all the time. "You live where? Is that the real name of the town?" That would be interesting to find out.

      Delete
  7. Thank you so much for this post I love travelling around the A to Z tours and learning loads of new stuff. I like Mark Twain's writing, so this really interests me. So glad I found you from a shout out on Diane Coto's blog FictionZeal.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. The only one I'd steer clear of is the bank's parking lot. I'm thinking it might look a little suspicious exiting my car and standing near a bank in the middle of the night.

      Delete
  9. Graveyards are fascinating. I've never seen a ghost, but I wouldn't rule them out!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bodies buried under a residential development? Makes me think of Poltergeist.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Jennifer for stopping by. I would stay in a haunted bed and breakfast. Why not? It would be a totally new experience.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I bet that would be awesome in the fall!

    Heather

    ReplyDelete