Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dining with Weston Ghosts and walking tour 2016

Moon and orb over Price-Loyles House, Weston, MO
Descendants of Daniel Boone*

“Oh, very good,' interrupted Snape, his lip curling.

'Yes, it is easy to see that nearly six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter.

'Ghosts are transparent.”

- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Couldn't have asked for better timing this year. Center stage in October: Ghosts and a Full Super Moon. If you missed it, more Super Moons are on the way for 2016. Weather.com

Weston's 2016 Dining with Ghosts and Walking Ghost Tour kicked off the
first of three SOLD OUT nights with perfect fall weather.

Several Main Street shops host ghosts.
Top floor of this
building is now storage
- Basketballs can be heard on the old court.

Crisp and warm night air, light breezes
and the sound of an occasional walnut dropping. The highlight of the night: an Owl serenade.

Perennial favorite, Weston Cafe has been the scene
of some of the town's darker history. 

More recent sightings of the unexplained include
a guest from the 2015 Ghost Tour apologizing
for almost running into the woman volunteer 
who was working back in the kitchen. 

There were no volunteers working in the kitchen. 

To add a bit of background - 
tour volunteers have said the Cafe location
has a different feel to it and at least one who is said to have had a sighting chooses not to return.

Others simply prefer not to go any further than the front of the cafe. The 2015 guest had requested to use the restroom and met the kitchen "volunteer" in passing on her way out.

A new site earning a stop on the tour this year is the Weston Bend Candle Company. Stepping into the store one is immediately immersed in a world of wonderful aromas.

The back story: Now occupying a corner, the candle store had been in the middle of the same block. The old location still retains a very pleasant aroma hinting of its former retail incarnation.

No paranormal activity had been experienced at the prior location. Might have been due to that location being converted from an alley when the space for stores was at a premium. Different story now.

Unusual activity began shortly after the owners began moving in. While working to get the store up and running, the owner thought he saw a shadow, similar to a person crossing the room in the unoccupied front area of the store.

The movement was subtle enough he wasn't quite sure what it was he saw, except he knew whatever it was, it was an odd thing to witness in an unoccupied space. The experiences are varied and the activity continues. An eventful tour.

Great news if you can't make the tour or if Weston is too far for a visit, Verna Kowertz now has a book detailing the haunted history of Weston, Missouri. As soon as I get the photo, I'll add it. Order one from Weston Main Street Galleria.

Thank you to the Volunteer Ghost Tour Guides/Weston Community Theater
More info about the *Daniel Boone house: History Nut of Missouri Blog
More Missouri Haunts: Show Me Scary
Main Street Galleria on Facebook 
Plan now for Christmas in Weston - Father Christmas and a Magical Glow (from Christmas Past)
Visit WestonMo

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The lively spirits of Weston, MO - Haunted Highlights

“Ghosts don't haunt us. That's not how it works. They're present among us because we won't let go of them."

"I don't believe in ghosts," I said, faintly.

"Some people can't see the color red. That doesn't mean it isn't there," she replied.”

- Sue Grafton, M is for Malice  

October once again and the time has come to share spooky tales and feast with unseen guests.

Travelers who are curious about history and open to a few (or more) unexplained encounters will enjoy exploring Historic Weston, Missouri. Rich with Civil War history, peppered with haunted sites, there is a good chance one will have a memorable encounter after a visit here.

We of course suggest
Main Street Galleria
as the first stop

- offering several resident ghosts -
and hosting ghost investigations
for those who are up for a spirited challenge.

Reviews, ghost investigations
and encounters
are noted on some of our other blog posts.
Our ghosts are active. It isn't a question of whether one believes in ghosts.

Job applicants are asked in the interview: Are you comfortable working in a haunted building?  


The Main Street Galleria selection of old-fashioned candy favorites
will satisfy any sweet tooth
and the working soda fountain
offers the classic flavored phosphate.

Ghosts are reported on all three levels of the building.

However, as with most haunted buildings, they don't work on demand or follow a schedule.We can suggest there will be no doubt when you encounter a ghost.

Across the street,
The Saint George has reported sightings and encounters from employees and guests 

-- including the guest who wondered
why there were loud children
roaming the halls at night --

The guest was informed
there were
no children
staying in the building.

That's enough for a start....

For more stories of Weston ghosts
read a few of our blog posts on ghost investigations and/or plan to attend
the next Halloween Session
of Haunted Walking Tours and Dinner
- Ghost Tales of Weston ...

Our tour guides from the
Weston Community Theater joined us in 2014
to escort visitors to the sites and share
the details of the happenings behind the hauntings.

The collaboration was a success and our dinners sold out! And that looks to be the case again this year (2016) ... What can we say, plan again. The ghosts will still be here next year. And maybe you will too!

Tours are informative but an added bonus might include staying at a B&B when the locals often add a few more pieces of the puzzle. There are several homes said to be haunted that are not on our tour agenda, yet.

And we are patient...

If you have had an experience with any ghosts in Weston, Mo., please connect and let us know!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A haunting we will go ... Weston Ghosts

I'd like to see a ghost. It would confirm there's an afterlife. - Marlon Wayans

Living in a town full of ghosts may not suit everyone but a quick rundown of the local shops shows there are some who thrive in this atmosphere. Whether the locals have seen one or not, those who escort the tourists on the ghost tours say they have found it easier to linger in areas that are well lit. Enough said.

Ghosts have been encountered in numerous locations throughout the town and in the surrounding vicinity of Weston, Missouri. So not all of them are on the tour but one location that does feature an extremely active ghost at the present time is a building that was recently converted from storage to a residence.

You can see for yourself the response of the startled resident as he investigates unexplained noises with his dog in tow. He posted his encounter on Youtube: "Weston Swinging Light Ghost - *language*


Main Street Galleria is certainly among the thrivers of the local shops. No doubt the sweet shop is a popular draw with excellent pie and fudge as sample temptations.

This year's Dining with Ghosts is again combined with a walking tour of local haunts that offers insight and background on the featured residences and, in some cases, residents: both living and/or deceased.

One couple got the fright of their life during a stay at a local B&B. As the story goes, they had just settled in for the night with a tray full of snacks when the full blown embodiment of the deceased walked through the room.

They promptly called the host and departed. Their haste in vacating was evidenced in the up-heaved food trays and the entire room left in disarray. Note that a spirit rarely shows up on demand but that room remains available upon request.

You are invited to the final night of this year's tour. The festivities start at 7pm Friday, October 30th. No costume required but a healthy appetite is welcome.

Call for reservations. Tickets are $45 per person. 816-640-2825.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Weston Community Theatre.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Glow - Father Christmas in Weston, Mo

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

The Annual Holiday Homes Tour in Weston, Missouri brings a special glow to the town, a timeless aura of Christmas past and present.

The purpose for the celebration, like a Norman Rockwell Christmas Card, is not to impress  a special message or serve as decorative cover for a hidden agenda.

It's a chance to share the good vibes of the season. It's about the experience.

Doors of select homes are opened for a few brief hours to entertain tourists with historic background while enjoying the unique decor of each family in residence and a glimpse into the relevant history of the house.

Shops and eateries bustling with activity, decorated for the season, fill with tourists celebrating and shoppers canvassing the goods for novelty and sentimental treasures.

Locals and visitors mix and mingle and for a time the atmosphere becomes one of a community homecoming long overdue. Tis the season of smiles, pre-Christmas elation laced with good-natured anticipation. Of something wonderful or just something nice. And pleasant. A change for the good.   

Sounds of laughter and jovial banter add a cheerful uplift to the scene. Strangers let down their guard for a time to simply bask in the atmosphere of celebratory camaraderie. Such is the unlikely result of a simple walk through the small main street throng.

You can feel it in your heart. Joy. And it feels so good, gentle, warm and flowing. Nothing grandiose, and yet, it's enough of a something that one wants to hold onto the glow and cherish that element for the duration of the season and more if possible.

What it is? That something is an elevated sense of more. Then again, it might be the ghosts.

No words will work for this description. It's about the experience.

Fond remembering, the sights in 2014, and the annual visit from Father Christmas.

There is a quaint charm in small town celebrations and festivals that offers one a chance to experience the season's revelry in a more intimate environment amidst low key fanfare.

Memories are just as rich and the lure to return grows ever more seductive when one realizes small is by no means less.   

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

High Tea and Christmas Homes Tour

 High Tea in Weston -

Bring Your Friends and Enjoy, Relax, Take a Break, and Warm Up in Style.
We are offering High Tea just for You During the Homes Tour

$12.95 Plus Tax and Gratuity

December 6, 2014
2:00PM - 5:30PM

Tea Leaf reading. As you can see, the cow jumped over the moon... We need a new book for that one.

Accepting Reservations now
Upstairs Tearoom above Main Street Galleria on the Corner, 501 Main Street, Weston, MO 

*Dec. 5, 6 & 7 - 2014  
Tour through five historic homes in Weston, Missouri – This year’s homes tour features three antebellum homes, a 1920’s cottage and a downtown loft.

To celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the “Christmas Candlelight Homes Tour”, Weston’s favorite traditions will be back.  Downtown street lamps will be aglow. Streets leading to the tour homes will be lined with luminaries and Weston’s Father Christmas will be on hand to greet visitors.

Father Christmas knows magic happens whenever wishes are involved.
*Source info and tickets.

*Updated with pics: 12/29/14. High Tea featured a complimentary Tea Leaf reading. And, indeed, Father Christmas dropped by to offer a bit of holiday cheer and paused for a photo op with Verna.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Captain and his Desk - 10/22/99

Blast from the past ... The Ghost in the Desk - October 22, 1999, 3:42 PM

"In the picturesque little town of Weston, Missouri, there is a story tailor-made for Halloween. It's about an antique shop, an antique writing desk... and a ghost. KCTV's Steve Dawson exhumes the details. 

Civil War Captain James D. McCarty. To proprietor Virginia Treese, he's an old friend. "He's been with me four years and he is not a bad ghost. He is like a guardian angel, not a bad ghost. Doesn't walk around, doesn't make a lot of noises. But we do know he's around."

The rest of the story -- *Source 

Is Verna the only one who sees the ghost of the Captain? No. Several employees and visitors have had encounters. Could it happen to you? The answer will require a trip to Main Street Galleria in Weston, Mo.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Main Street Galleria and Tea Room in the News

Thanks for stopping by. You might have heard about our resident ghosts. If not, these interviews will fill you in. And if so, there may be a few extra details in the telling.

10/31/14 - Verna Kowertz,(owner) talks about the Ghosts of Weston and Main Street Galleria on Conscious Living with Wendy Garrett on Empower Radio. Click link here or in the top right sidebar.

10/30/14 - Ken Newton at St. Joseph News-Press interviewed Verna for a feature story. Read full story on the site.

An excerpt:  

On a corner property on Main Street in Weston reside the spirits of Frank Leon “Beno” Hillix and his wife, Creola. They for decades ran a drugstore on the site, a business inherited from Mr. Hillix’s father.
Verna presenting Ghost Tales of Weston
April 2014

Ms. Kowertz, now the proprietress of the Main Street Galleria & Tea Room, says she knows of the presence of the former occupants.

“We have some that just love this place and they want to stay,” she says.

Creola, who died in 1973, 15 years after her husband, had worked with Dr. R.J. Felling and had been a comforting presence for many relatives and people in the community.

“She’s still here watching out for us,” Ms. Kowertz says, remembering the time she climbed the stairs in the empty store and heard a female voice say, “Who’s coming up here?”

That, the Weston resident says, was Creola, who has also addressed her on two other occasions.
“She’s the only one that has ever talked to me,” the store owner says. “The other spirits, they just kind of have a feel.”

That includes Capt. James McCarty, the Civil War officer who once owned the desk that Ms. Kowertz bought in 1995. Spirits, she says, inhabit anything they like, places or things. Capt. McCarty came along with his desk, but she doesn’t mind sharing.

And the rest of the story is at this site (link). 

Thank you, Ken Newton at St. Joseph News-Press!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Ghostly Tale -- posted on a forum in 2006

by Slarti » Mon May 08, 2006 10:02 pm

Ghost, ghoulies, spirits and other paranormal critters

First off, I totally agree with Garble that most of the time things are explainable by tricks of the mind, natural phenomena or sleep paralysis (and I love the ghost hunting plumbers too!). There are just too many things about the human mind that could cause a person to have a random, unexplainable experience. However, there’s a lot we don’t know about the mind and the world around us. Who is to say some people don’t tune into other planes of existence, or that maybe, maybe, maybe the dead really don’t simply cease to exist and can interact with the living on some level. Nobody knows for sure.
Corner of Main and Thomas St.

I’m always fascinated by the paranormal, and most everybody here knows I’m a newspaper reporter too. Last year for a Halloween story, I got to join a group of ghost hunters for an investigation and wrote a story about it.

Edited to post story.... I forgot it was so long!

It wasn’t a dark and stormy night when the ghost investigators descended on Weston last month, in fact it was sunny and sticky, but that didn’t make their night at the Main Street Galleria any less spooky.

Three members of Northwest Missouri Paranormal Research (NMPR), based in St. Joseph, came to the Galleria at the invitation of owner Verna Treese to see if they could catch first-hand some of the supernatural activity Treese has been experiencing for years at the antique shop.

The Galleria has stood on the corner of Main and Thomas streets for more than 100 years, serving much of that time as a drug store owned by the Hillix family. The family no longer owns the building, but some of them may still be hanging around long after their deaths.

Ever since she purchased the building and moved into the basement years ago, Treese has known she is not alone in the Galleria. While living in the basement, she encountered the building’s former owner – Beno Hillix. Beno would linger around Treese when she cooked Italian food, which was apparently one of his favorites. He would also occasionally touch her or make the smell of cigarette smoke fill the basement.

One ghost in the building was interesting, but then there was the top floor. Employees would occasionally find items moved or come upon a rocking chair rocking all by itself. Pictures hung on a certain wall will occasionally fly off, sometimes breaking the frame.

After hours, Candy shop at Main Street Galleria, Weston, MO
Treese has even heard this one speak to her.
“It was a woman’s voice, and she spoke to me when I was going downstairs one day,” she said.

Treese thinks this ghost may be Creola Hillix, wife of Beno.
The store is also home to Treese’s “guardian angel,” a Civil War captain named James McCarty. McCarty came to Treese when she purchased the desk he used during the war and has been with her ever since.

“He moves around with me,” she said. “And I know he’s around.”

The Captain’s desk has its own cubby hole behind the register, decorated with Civil War era items and a large painting of a scantily-clad mermaid.

“I originally had another painting there, but I couldn’t get it up there,” she said. “So I decided to try this one and it went right up. He likes women.”

Treese has lived with her ghosts for years, and over the years has been featured in magazines and on Larry Moore’s Halloween Ghost Stories for Kansas City Channel 9. She’s also had several paranormal investigators, including psychics visit the store.

“This is the first time I’ve had anyone like those guys here though,” she said.

Those guys are the guys of NMPR, a paranormal investigation group that takes its approach to the supernatural from The Atlantic Paranormal Society, the group featured on the television show “Ghost Hunters,” which airs on the Sci-Fi Channel. TAPS is known for its more scientific approach to ghost hunting, where they set up video cameras, take readings with gauss meters and infrared thermometers and walk around with voice recorders trying to catch words from the other side.

The members of NMPR start an investigation by interviewing the witnesses of the paranormal phenomena and researching the history of the location. They will then do a walk though to establish the areas of activity and take baseline readings of the temperature and electromagnetic fields in each area. Once readings are taken, the team sets up video cameras for remote surveillance and turns off the lights, both to eliminate electrical interference and to make the spirits feel more at home. While they record the area, they may walk though it, snapping photos, taking more readings to look for fluctuations and checking the general feel of the area.

They may also try to capture electronic voice phenomena (EVP). During an EVP session, the investigator turns on a voice recorder and asks questions of any ghost that may be nearby. Sometimes, upon playback, the recorder picks up unearthly voices that the investigator didn’t hear at the time the recording was made.

Roger Shultes of NMPR conducted the initial interview and walkthrough with Treese, and detected a couple areas with unusually high concentrations of electromagnetic fields. Also, during his first visit he discovered a cold spot on the stairs which followed him and Treese down the steps and to the front door.

Treese said she believes the Captain likes to frequent that area of the steps because she often displays tin plaques on the wall featuring pretty girls.

“One time I had a customer go upstairs and we heard a crash,” Treese said. “He called back down and said he was okay, but that the ghost didn’t like him. Later on he told us the item that hit him had flown off the wall of the stairwell and he knew it was intentional because of where it hit him.”

NMPR is led by Brycen Johnson, who arrived later in the evening to join the investigation. Johnson, Shultes and other members of the group experienced unexplained noises, unexpected power failures and other creepy activity during the investigation. In the basement, the smell of cigarette smoke appeared several times and one investigator claimed he felt a door push shut behind him. Shultes saw a shadowy figure walk across the room and start up the basement steps. On the top floor, several sets of brand new batteries died premature deaths in digital voice recorders, and investigators heard items sliding across shelves. All evening, tiny, odd things would happen. Things that individually were merely interesting became, as they accumulated, more than just coincidence.

At around 1 a.m., the team packed up their equipment and headed home to go over their findings.

Once the hours of footage, piles of photos and files of audio recordings had been checked, the group came up with only a few nuggets of possible activity. Johnson recorded a voice he believed sounded like a child, but couldn’t determine exactly what he was hearing. Ironically, the other possible proof turned up in the photos taken that night by the Citizen. Three photos taken in the basement have white blobs on them. The blobs may be nothing more than dust, but of the dozens of photos taken that evening, only those three have anything mysterious about them. The photos may be of “orbs” which some paranormal investigators believe are balls of energy that sometimes materialize in haunted places.

The possible orbs appeared in the photos in the same areas where batteries had failed earlier in the evening and where Shultes saw the walking shadow.

While the investigators certainly didn’t capture Casper walking across the room in broad daylight, they did experience enough to pique their interest and would like to visit the Galleria again.

“Just because we didn’t get much doesn’t mean nothing is there,” Shultes said. “Ghosts don’t perform when and where you want them to.”

Treese wasn’t surprised the NMPR team encountered at least a few odd things in her haunted store – after all, she’s been living with them for years. In fact, just a day after the team left, one of Treese’s employees reported Beno told her he didn’t like the mentholated, filtered cigarette Shultes had left in the basement for the spirit who in life was a heavy smoker.