Although Bart Adams built the house on Plant Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri as a summer home in 1890, it’s known as the Gehm House, named after its second owner Henry Gehm. The eccentric man lived in the house from 1906 until 1944.
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 that the building is haunted was in 1956 when S. L. and Fannie Furry bought the house.
Gehm House – First Paranormal Incidents
Fannie Furry was repeatedly shaken awake by spectral hands at 2:00 a.m. while in her bedroom. Once, she heard hammering sounds on the headboard of the bed that were so loud that she thought the headboard was broken.
When she turned on the light, it was intact. Next, she heard the sound of something thumping against the windows at night, but she couldn’t find anything that could account for the noises.
One morning, Fannie found a heavy sconce that had been attached to the wall lying on the floor. This was followed by the sounds of footsteps treading up and down the stairs during the day and night, as if someone was searching for something and couldn’t find it.
Soon, other family members experienced the eerie incidents. S. L. awakened to see a filmy form drifting in his bedroom then glide into the hall. He followed it into the youngest daughter’s bedroom. The child was sleeping and the phantom vanished. He convinced himself it was his eyes playing tricks on him. The couple didn’t discuss the incidents.
One morning their three-year-old daughter asked them about the old woman dressed in black who came into her room at night. Fannie asked her what she was talking about and the girl said the women had a little boy with her.
Later, she added that the women, sometimes, 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.
Gehm House – Mrs. Walsh’s First Paranormal Incidents
In November 1965, the Walsh family rented the house and moved in with ten year-old Wendy and twenty year-old Sandy. They weren’t informed about the hauntings.
Clare Walsh, accompanied by her dog, was making dinner in the kitchen. Suddenly, the animal cowered and quivered with fear. She saw a white, misty form that glided into the living room, vacillated for a moment, then vanished. She heard strange footsteps that appeared to roam the house at night, as if someone was looking for something and felt a presence and heard rapping on the bedroom window. She decided to research the history of the house.
She asked the neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Kuru, if anything strange had happened in the house. They told her they almost bought the house several years ago, but the man who lived across the street talked them out of buying it.
He was, often, a guest in the home and believed it was haunted. Clare talked to the man across the street. He said a prior owner of the house hid valuables in various places in the house and was convinced that Gehm’s ghost returned to find his treasures.
Gehm House Investigation Continues
Clare remembered that the attic door refused to remain closed. She searched the area and discovered that the stairs to the attic had a step with a tread that could be opened to expose a hiding place underneath. Her husband and daughters also heard footsteps and the door to the attic creaking open.
One morning, Clare had an urge to go to attic. She found the door standing open. She entered the room that used for storage. The last time that she had been there, everything was in order. She was stunned to discover everything had been moved.
A heavy chest of drawers had been opened. One drawer was hanging on its side. Clare found it was filled with blueprints. She picked up one. The name imprinted on it was that of Henry Gehm.
The footsteps continued. The dining room’s breakfront was opened and object in its drawers were rearranged. Clare’s dresser had been opened and her clothing, scattered. Wendy said she saw someone opening and closing her mother’s dresser. She learned that her and her husband’s bedroom had been Gehm’s.
They heard muted cries, the typewriter in Wendy’s room worked by itself, lights turned on and off and their dog became befuddled 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.
Gehm House Today
June and Robert Wheeler and their three children live in the house and don’t doubt the fact that it’s haunted. They 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 saw the specter of a man in old-fashioned clothing in his bedroom and woke to his bed shaking by itself. There were mysterious sounds in the attic, bed clothes disturbed, indentations on mattresses and a misty white form that 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 embraced the phenomenon, but then decided to simply live quietly and raise three children there. 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.”