Ghosts & Haunts In Missouri
  Springfield Central High School Stories

I was reading through the Springfield listings and noticed that no one had posted anything about Central High School formerly known as Springfield Senior High School.  Under the school grounds and the building itself there are caves that run north east to Dowling park to where the mouth of the cave is still accessible (although it is gated off you can still walk about 20  feet into the mouth of the cave.  The story goes that back in the time of the underground railroad that there were some folk that were caught and hanged in the cave.  It is said that there have been screams heard in the basement. Although the building has undergone recent construction what used to be the lunchroom and is now the band room there is (or used to be don't  know if there still is) an access to the cave.  This used to be used like a  cooler for the school to let cool air from the cave into the building. There is also a haunting that I myself have experienced, in what is now the Missouri State Building located in Springfield on the North side to the square.  I have experienced and old elevator, now mind you there is no  power to it . . . no advanced technology to it, it is an old elevator that has  been out of service for years, and the doors open and close on it at random for  no reason.  There is also located in the basement an old bank vault, at one  time before the State offices took over it used to be the biggest bank in Springfield.  The vault door is stands open as it will not close.   With two men pushing it gets with in a foot of completely closing and it is as if someone is pushing against the door from the other side.  There is glass on the back side of the vault door you can see all the gears inside. One  night in passing I noticed that the gears were turning.  I thought that maybe it had a time set and that was what was making it go but upon further inspection there are no wires, machines, timers or anything that could be considered technical, in it around it or on it. And here's the kicker.. . . . . where the bank vault now sits used to be the old access to the Dowling cave.  Once the bank vault was built they sealed it off.  this is the same cave that runs under Central High School. Coincidence. . . . . . I think NOT!!!!  There are is a strange feeling at night in the building as though you are being watched. I have never seen anyone or anything that appeared to be human in origin but who's to say that their aren't. Keep doin what your doin If anyone can add to this please do I would love to know more if there is more to know.
M

I lived caddy corner across from central high school in Springfield.  across the street is a catholic Latin mass church with a 150 year old basement library also with cave access. While living in the home i discovered it was the first on that street and the first post master of Springfield's home.  I did research and found photos of him in 1904 allowing a black man to wear a postal employees uniform this was against policy at the time.  this made me wonder about the underground railroad etc. So we checked are basement and the two access points sealed up to the caves one heading toward the church one toward what is now the city hall (formerly the post office). intrigued I searched for more to no avail till one afternoon while mowing the lawn I noticed a moving curtain in the upstairs no one else was home so i went up there... nothing. continued mowing and again saw movement but this time I saw a black girl young looking at me. Freaked about the situation i spoke with roommates the one sharing the top floor said he had heard strange noises and I had too previously but he had also had an experience seeing a black girl in the stairwell.  A month passed and we discovered the last family had suddenly left without notifying neighbors with whom they were close to.  Then in June 05 I found it.  The pantry had a hollow wall I tore out to discover old stairs leading to an old room. Sealed off the room and the design of the house seemed to try to conceal this room. Inside were old knitted blankets laid out like a bed and a poorly made tin plate both of which were kept. I moved 2 months later..
D B

Hello, I was the guest that posted the origional information about the hauntings at Central Highschool. This picture was taken in 1909 after Central went through its first expantion. The expantion is the part of the building to the right. The signature on the bottom left of the photo reads DuNcan photo 1909. I aquired this photo while attending high school at Central. I did a school project on the history of the building and its history. The photo was origionaly published in a year book for Central Looking at the photo, the the building sits with the main front entrance facing south. The entrance to the cave would be located, looking at the building just to the left of the new addition their is a small set of steps that lead to two windows, the cave entrance would be in the basement just below those two windows. With in a few years the building went through another expantion, an almost duplicate of the main structure was built on the far east side(extending from the new addition added in 1909) The tower you see in the center of the main structure was struck by lightning and calapsed. When the second addition was added it too had a tower, but after the origional one calapsed the second one was removed. Part of the origional auditorium was also damaged, so repairs were made and it was converted to class room space. And once again in the 1930's the building was added to again. This addition was to be the new auditorium, and lunch room. It would stand connecting to the first addition and extending south. Since then Central has gone through many expansions and revaping. In late 1998, central began to tear down, and rebuild central to make it "larger" to accomadate the growing student population, and to modernize the older parts of the building. However, despite all these changes the origional steps leading to the main entrance have remained intact. I hope that this peaks someones interest, or gives a reason for someone to add to it. Thanks
JN

  I was 16 yo when I went to Central High School, From the first time I walked into the school (basement) I always had a funny feeling.  And, yes it was colder in the basement than anywhere else, The old lunch room had its moments too.  That was the strangest school I have ever been in.       Former Central High School Student (32 yo)
JB


As a 1985 graduate of Central, I feel as though I should share some of the stories of my Alma Mater with you.  As a teen, I developed a deep and abiding love of the historic building I eventually graduated from.  One thing is true about Central:  it is haunted.  Here is what I know from my own exploring--and stories from sources I believe--from the fourth floor down.    Fourth floor--was at one time used as a gym, and contained climbing ropes.  A less-than-healthy student was required to climb to the top of one such rope, and fell to his death.  Soon afterward, this area was converted to storage and closed to all students.  In 1985, there was one stairwell leading up to the attic left accessible.  The attic was locked by both a keyed knob, and several hasped-padlocks.   Third floor--has several rooms reported to be haunted.  The notorious room 301 was used as a "study hall" during my senior year.  Several of us maintained a feeling of being watched or persecuted for the time we were in the room.  The door would occasionally "stick", but did indeed lock and unlock itself--prompting the proctor to keep it propped open as often as she could.   Second floor--safe, except for one stairwell off to the left of the main staircase.  This staircase appears to reach only the second floor, but originally led to the attic.  This stairwell haunts my nightmares--something bad happened there, I don't know what--but it follows me into my dreams even now.   First floor--is haunted in the general area of the main staircase.  There is a feeling of tense anticipation, fear, and coldness encountered in this area.  Beneath the stairs are two entrances leading down into a cellar (trophies used to be stored there), a sub-cellar (more storage), and a sub-sub-cellar.  Rumor had it that Central was a stop on the Underground Railroad.  While I cannot substantiate this claim, it might explain some of the other occurrences.   Basement--All I can say is that the hallway is "full", as are the girl's basement restroom, the area known as the "pit", and the room once used by the journalism students.   The theater/auditorium area has it's own ghost--in the balcony--one who feels very angry.  I would like to have explored below the stage, but was not in a position to do so at the time.   This is not a place to find oneself after dark--one would not be alone.  If you have the opportunity to visit the campus, take note of the stairwells--particularly the main one.  Sincerely,
 D M


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