• Matt


Updated: 5 days ago



There have been many paranormal occurrences and ghostly sightings reported at this beautiful historic hotel resort over the years, including poltergeist activity. Two devastating fires destroyed The Elms in 1898 and 1910, and although no fatalities ever occurred in either fire, rumors have it that one of the spirits that resides here was involved in one of the fires. Both guests and staff have reported the feeling of unearthly presences in several areas throughout the building, as well as unexplained noises and the occasional glimpse of one of the three main spirits that haunt The Elms.



The building that stands here today is the third incarnation of The Elms after the previous two burnt down. This time the hotel was built fire-safe by Elms Realty Company who used native Missouri limestone, with steel frames and reinforced concrete. The hotel held it's grand opening on September 7, 1912, where over 3,000 people attended.

During the prohibition years, the Elms reputation grew as a popular speakeasy. As such, the hotel attracted several known gangsters, including Al Capone who was known to conduct all-night drinking and gambling parties. On one of his visits here it is said that he lined up and tipped several staffers, each with a one-hundred-dollar bill.

In 1948, Harry S. Truman spent election night at the hotel. After Truman predicted victory to his staffers at his headquarters at the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, he then went to the Elms, avoiding the attention drawn to his home in Independence. In the morning he was awakened with the news he had won the election.

Vintage photo showing guests relaxing in the hotels rear garden.

Throughout its history, the hotel has been the site of other notable activities, including serving as a training camp for boxer Jack Dempsey, and as the summer camp for the 1948 New York Giants football team.

This significant landmark in Excelsior Springs has been troubled with financial difficulties and has seen bankruptcy on many occasions in it's lifetime. Thankfully it has always managed to pull through those troubled times and thus so keeping it's wonderful past alive. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



This is a beautiful, elegant, well maintained property, inside and out, as you would expect after having multi million dollars worth of renovations a few years ago. Although the elevator was out of order on our visit.

The corridors, bar, ballroom and lobby were well lit, whilst he staircase to the upper floors, and corridor that led around the back of the ballroom were dimly lit.

The hotel lobby as seen from the staircase. The entrance double doors are known to swing open by themselves. The tiny tiles on the floor are from Italy and were all cut and laid by hand, it took about a year and a half to complete.

It is always difficult to to investigate a public place due to noise from others and there was music downstairs in the lobby area and outside the main doors.

Temperature throughout the indoors was comfortable, although the lap pool and hot-tub area was stifling humid and hot due to the heated water.



Sun Rise



​Sun Rise (Next Day)

7:45 A.M.

1:00 P.M.

6:19 P.M.

7:42 A.M.

Moon Phase

Moon Rise

Crosses Meridian


​​Moon Set

​Waxing Crescent (32.4%)

1:39 P.M. (SE)

6:10 P.M. (23°)


​​10:45 P.M. (SW)

Minimum Temperature

46.4 °F

Mean Temperature

54.7 °F

Maximum Temperature

68.0 °F

Mean Sea Level Pressure

No data.

Mean Dew Point

43.5 °F

Total Precipitation (Rain and/or melted snow reported during the day)

​No data.


9.9 MI

Snow Depth (Last report for the day if reported more than once)

​​No data.

Mean Wind Speed

2.19 MPH

Maximum Sustained Wind Speed

10.24 MPH

Maximum Wind Gust

​​No data.



  • Elizabeth (Team H)

  • Matt (Team H)

  • Jay Sanning (Tour guide)

  • Around 20 attended the tour but we were left to our own devices afterwards.



Audio Recorders:

  • Tascam DR-08


  • Go-Pro Hero 7

  • Minolta MN35Z

  • Cell Phones


  • Ovilus (Ghost Hunting Tools)



We were at the hotel to attend their ghost tour, but were able to be left to our own devices afterwards to do a spot of our own investigating.

On listening back to the audio taken from the Tascam DR-08 as we walked around the hotel during the tour, some static and blips can be heard at various intervals.

  • Two separate occasions of static can be heard when our guide started talking about the Hollow Waters Mineral Water Bar in town and the history of the healing water from Excelsior Spring. One was 7 seconds long and the other 10 seconds.

  • A mixture of blips and static can be heard frequently when we were in the lap pool area. Not sure if the humidity of the area could have caused the device to malfunction, but highly doubtful.

  • 13 seconds of static heard when walking up the stairs from the lap pool.




When we arrived I wanted to get some outdoor shots of the building before we went inside, and whilst I was doing this I also turned on my Ovilus. At first no responses we coming through, that was up until I approached the fountain located at the front, opposite the main entrance. This area is where the original foundation and Elms Hotel once stood before fire destroyed it. From here on in the Ovilus was active. I found it odd that Wolf appeared on the list five minutes after switching the Ovilus on, as the previous night I was dressed up in a wolf costume for a Halloween event that we attended.

When our tour guide was telling us about room 347 becoming the hotels Scratching Room, where many people have been left with red marks on their body by an unseen hand, my Ovilus displayed the word Fingers as well as the words, stabbed and stab.

<- Click to expand [Matt's Ovilus Word List: The Elms]


As I got closer to the hotel asking questions with the Ovilus I met a staff member outside the front entrance who I got talking too. Whilst discussing the hotel and her own personal paranormal experiences the Ovilus began to light up. Once we had finished talking it died down.

Felt something grab my thigh on the third floor whilst on the tour.

Felt nauseous whilst in the Truman Board Room. It felt like the front of my throat was restricted. Also I felt pressure and started getting a headache, which then lifted not long after I left.



Due to the sheer amount of evidence that has been documented over the years by staff and guests alike, The Elms is, beyond all doubt, very haunted! We only had a few hours here to conduct our investigation, but there is definitely a vibe of the supernatural in the air and the few experiences we did have seemed to clarify this.



Our guide for the evening, Jay Sanning, who then let us have free reign to investigate until 12am, after the tour had finished.

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