A glass bridge is suspended above a field of 9,000 red poppies, each flower representing 1,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. This living symbol is one of the many powerful exhibits within the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the only museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to World War I and dedicated by Congress as the nation's official World War I museum in 2004.
Designed by Ralph Appelbaum, who also lent his expertise to such landmarks as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National World War I Museum integrates first-person accounts into a narrative that flows through its permanent and visiting exhibitions. The museum's collection comprises World War I artifacts such as field artillery, a 1917 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and unopened cigarette packs from a 1914 Princess Mary Christmas Box. Beyond the exhibitions, the museum extends to Over There Café and a gift shop.
Vintage red trolleys and horse-drawn carriages still roll through the streets of St. Louis. Though sometimes caused by a rip in the space-time vortex, more often than not they're part of the St. Louis Carriage & Trolley Company's leisurely history tours. A certified guide leads these trips in trolley busses or carriages drawn by some of the company's 17 elegant horses, including Percheron draft horses, one Clydesdale, and one Belgium. The tours—which can be customized—pass sites such as Union Station, Peabody Opera House, and the picturesque Laclede's Landing.
Dark things happen inside C.O.R.N.'s haunted maze. Unspeakable creatures roam its depths, searching for lost souls or those who don't find the path out quickly enough. The maze is lit by the moonlight from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on weekends, but with hours of 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on All Hallows Eve. While guests get out safely, the memory of what they've seen lingers, much like that jack-o-lantern that somehow stays on the porch for four weeks after Halloween.
Originally built as a one-room house in 1816, the Morse Mill Hotel grew to 5,300 square feet under the watchful eye of engineer John Morse, a former Confederate officer and suspected warlock. In its present state, the hotel may house ghostly figures who once took up residence in one of its 33 rooms. Jesse James and company signed their marks in the guest register, and a famous female serial killer, Bertha Gifford, was kept in the hotel's employ; a nearby gravesite marks her resting place. A burial ground for Confederate soldiers, relics of Al Capone's old brothel, and a dungeon also add to the sinister air. An expert paranormal guide leads amateur ghost gumshoes through the 33-room, four-story Morse manse, providing advice on where to find the friendliest demons. If they dare, guests are encouraged to snap photos to document their occult encounters with phantoms, specters, or eerily expensive minibars.
Once the pastoral farm of a young couple, the site of Mr. Bill’s Thrills is now a bloody, cobweb-covered nightmare. In life, the lovers were happy with their peaceful matrimony. But they were soon driven mad by the macabre phenomena they witnessed on their property: slaughtered livestock, rotted crops, scarecrows who vanished from their posts. The breaking point came when the husband killed his wife after mistaking her for an intruder. Tortured by grief, he now stalks the grounds, exacting revenge upon anyone who dares disturb his privacy. The trespassers’ remains, along with those of the madman’s long-lost love, are strewn throughout the Haunted Barn and the Trail of Terror, grimly portending the horrors that hide just out of sight. Like entering into a game of demonic doubles tennis, groups of four at a time are released into the darkened land, plagued by a sense of isolation and fear as they encounter the farm’s maniacal owner and other terrible denizens.
From their perch on drifting kayaks, visitors explore Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake, floating past geese and groundhogs who chitter on the banks of the man-made lakes. Twenty-seven miles of placid waters snake around foliage that hides hiking trails, deer, and even bald eagles, and guests can traverse the surface in 3- or 5-mile stretches as guides point out the wildlife.