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Home Archives Haunting on East Eldon

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Witness: Kevin Verdine
Location: Saint James, Missouri
Date of Encounter: Mid-late 1980s

I grew up in a small, rural town in central Missouri. My childhood was very unsettling for several years while my family lived in one particular house. We lived at East Eldon in Saint James, Missouri for nearly ten years. Almost each and every night I would wake up as a young child in a cold sweat. I would have horrific and graphic nightmares and would feel completely helpless. Not even entering my parent's room and sleeping with them would ease the fear. These nightmares continued for the duration of our stay in that house. When we moved, I never had another nightmare like those again.

It wasn't too long after the nightmares began when I noticed certain things that were abnormal. I had a shelf in my room where I would display my favorite toys. On many mornings, after arranging the toys in a certain manner the previous night, I would awake only to discover the arrangement had completely changed. At first I thought my brother had been playing tricks on me but to my astonishment the phenomenon continued even when he spent nights in others' homes. After moving to our new home nearly ten years after living at Eldon street, I began displaying my toys again. They never experienced any strange movement again.

Most children spend their Saturday mornings getting up early to watch cartoons. I used to do that as well as a child. That stopped after I began having paranormal sightings and fleeting feelings of being watched. I would sit in our living room alone with the television on watching my favorite cartoons each and every Saturday morning. My parents and older brother would still be asleep. On occasion I would become very frightened as I would notice personages walk pass me in the adjacent hallway. There was never any face to distinguish them but they always appeared in a silhouette of either complete darkness or whiteness. They never lingered. They only walked past the living room entrance from one end to the other — always moving from the entrance to the kitchen to the entrance of the bathroom.

Many of my nightmares had the bathroom as the main location. It was this same bathroom where, while showering, I would hear a man's voice — deep and demanding. He would call me by name and tell me to shut up. The first time this happened I was home alone. I never showered in that house again without making sure someone else was in the house with me. As a child in the house I was terrified. I never mentioned any of this to my parents until I was older, long after we had moved and everything was normal. My father told me I should have mentioned this sooner as there was one thing our parents kept secret from us children as to not alarm us. In the early 1960's a man killed his wife in the hallway and then himself in the bathroom. I wasn't sure what to make of this. When I was older I checked the local library's newspaper archive for evidence and came across this article from 1964:

It had been ruled that Frank Harris shot his wife to death and then killed himself following a heated argument in St. James Saturday. Phelps County Coroner Paul Null said that the evidence given by three witnesses checked out and the facts of the case were apparent and that no inquest would be necessary in the case. Local authorities gave this account of the tragedy: The couple began arguing at their home at East Eldon sometime early Saturday morning about some money Mr. Harris had given to Mrs. Harris the day before. When the argument threatened to get out of hand Mrs. Harris went to a neighbor's house where she summoned the St. James City Marshal Clarence Wisdom. This police report was received 6:45 a.m. When the marshal arrived he found Mrs. Harris was suffering from a head wound received apparently when she was trying to escape from her angry husband. The marshal took Mrs. Harris to the Stricker Clinic and returned to the scene to arrest Mr. Harris. Harris was taken to the St. James City Hall where he was fined $10.00 and cost by Police Judge Clarence O'Sullivan. The fine was suspended provided that Mr. Harris wait at the City Hall until Mrs. Harris was able to pack some clothes and leave their home. However, Mr. Harris said that he was in possession of Mrs. Harris car keys and that he had fouled up the wiring on her car. He said he would fix her car if he was allowed to return home. He was then released in the custody of the Marshal who was also accompanied by Mr. Harris' brother Al Harris. When the three men arrived at the Harris home they started Mrs. Harris' car and went inside the home where Mrs. Harris was preparing to leave. But she could not find her glasses so all three men went outside to look for them. When the men were looking near a fence two doors away which Mrs. Harris had climbed earlier in the fracas, Wisdom noticed Frank Harris was not with them. He hurried back to the Harris home but he was too late. In the few short moments Frank Harris had apparently shot his wife Frances Harris in the heart with a 16 gauge shot gun. Authorities said he then apparently went into the bathroom where he shot himself with the same double barreled 16 gauge shotgun. He then staggered back into the living room and fell near his wife. The shooting occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Mr. Harris was 78 years of age and Mrs. Harris was 67. Funeral services for the couple were held at the First Christian Church in St. James Tuesday afternoon. Don Wortman, minister of the Christian Church in Belle officiated at the double services. Mrs. Don Romine was soloist, accompanied Alex Pompe, Jr. They were buried in the Masonic cemetery here.

The interesting things I noticed were the following: 1) The incident took place early on Saturday morning. This is comparable to the same time that I would experience paranormal sightings. 2) Mr. Harris shot himself in the bathroom where I would hear a violent man's voice. He then staggered back into the living room, making his way through the hallway to get there. These are the main places where I would see or hear ghostly occurrences.

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