Jefferson Barracks Cemetery – St. Louis County, Missouri

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 17 January 2024
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Introduction of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery

Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, where the living and the dead come together in a frightful embrace can be found in the center of St. Louis County, Missouri, hidden beneath the thick cover of ancient trees. A ghostly presence lingers here, among the undulating hills and worn gravestones, reminding visitors of the countless souls who have found their final rest in this revered sanctuary.

Jefferson Barracks Cemetery Marker
Jefferson Barracks Cemetery Marker – Credit jeffersonbarracksstl

History of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery

Established in 1826, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, spanning 296 acres along the Mississippi River, holds a prominent place in American military history. In recognition of its significance, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1998. Its roots date back to the aftermath of the American Civil War, when efforts were made to establish a formal network of military cemeteries across the nation.

With over 188,000 graves, this cemetery stands as a testament to the valor and sacrifice of countless individuals. However, what sets it apart is its reputation for an eerie ambiance. Stories abound of ghostly soldiers lingering among the graves and within the historic buildings of Jefferson Barracks, serving as an ethereal reminder of the soldiers’ enduring connection to this hallowed ground.

As a place where history, honor, and the supernatural converge, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery continues to captivate visitors with its rich past and the lingering presence of those who served their nation.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Wandering Phantoms – Bloody Bullet Hole

During the early stages of World War II, a terrifying legend finds its beginnings in the somber surroundings of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery. The cemetery was cloaked in darkness and told a tale of spooky apparitions that would give anyone who ventured to approach shivers down their spines.

As the world plunged into the depths of World War II, the need to protect the fort was paramount. Sentries were stationed all around the historic grounds, with one of the most crucial guard positions being the powder magazine. Vigilant soldiers patrolled the area, their footsteps echoing against the stone walls that encircled the magazine.

It wasn’t long before reports started to emerge. Soldiers on duty spoke of encountering a spectral sentry who materialized from the shadows, challenging the bewildered guards holding their posts. This ominous spirit bore a haunting visage, described as having “a bullet hole in his head, running red with blood.” His appearance was so terrifying that some guards, overcome with fear, dropped their weapons and fled their stations, leaving them deserted.

One particularly unsettling account told of a soldier who not only abandoned his post on a moonless night but also deserted the army entirely. According to the tale, the ghostly sentry was none other than a long-deceased guard, a relic from a time when raiding parties sought to steal munitions from the powder magazine. It was believed that he confronted the living guards because he mistook them for trespassers. In death, he remained on duty, eternally guarding the fort that had claimed his life.

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Haunted Building 28 – Ghostly Footsteps

The eerie legend of Building 28 is located in the center of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, among the accounts of restless ghosts. This building, which was built in 1897, was originally a double barracks with an imposing three-story tower in the middle. The 218th Engineer Squadron now resides there; it was originally designed to house up to four cavalry companies and their non-commissioned officers.

During the 1970s, the men who toiled within the walls of Building 28 began to share spine-chilling accounts. Their experiences echoed with the unnerving sound of ghostly footsteps pacing the building’s echoing corridors. One particular night, a man found himself engrossed in the task of compiling training records for an upcoming inspection. As he diligently worked in his office, he heard distinct footsteps echoing from the floor above.

Assuming it to be a fellow soldier diligently at work, he paid little heed and continued with his work. However, the solitary footsteps soon gained a companion, and the combined sounds grew increasingly distracting. Annoyed by the disturbances, he abandoned his papers and ascended the stairs, intending to inquire about the late-night work session.

Upon reaching the spot where the sounds had emanated, a perplexing discovery awaited him—there was no one there. He scoured the area, only to find it eerily empty. Shrugging off the strange incident as mere imagination, he descended the stairs and returned to his desk, eager to resume his work. But as soon as he settled back in, the unmistakable sound of footsteps resumed, echoing through the building.

The legend of Building 28 at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery stands as a testament to the inexplicable phenomena that can haunt the most ordinary of places. Even as time marches on, the chilling memory of those ghostly footsteps continues to linger within the haunted halls, a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. It serves as a stark reminder that within these hallowed grounds, the past and the supernatural may intertwine, weaving tales that both intrigue and terrify those who dare to listen.

Building 25 – Ghostly Pranks

In the depths of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, a chilling tale emerged one autumn evening in 1980. Chief Master Sergeant Eugene Anacker and a group of Air National Guard NCOs were working late in the building 25, setting the stage for a ghostly encounter.

One evening in 1980, Chief Master Sergeant Eugene Anacker and his fellow Air National Guard NCOs wrapped up their late-night work in a dimly lit building. They turned off the lights, locked the doors, and gathered in the parking lot for a brief chat.

As they talked, Anacker noticed a light still on in the building’s third-floor window. He sent the lowest-ranking NCO to turn it off. The young NCO went inside, turned off the light, and returned. But moments later, they all saw the same light on again.

Thinking it might be faulty wiring, Anacker sent the same NCO to turn it off again. He did, but when he returned, the light was back on once more. This time, they decided to leave, not daring to investigate any further. They left the mysterious light behind, a riddle that defied explanation.

The legend of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery holds a straightforward but spine-tingling tale. Anacker and his comrades’ encounter with the relentless third-floor light remains an enigma, reminding all who hear it that the past may not rest in peace, even in the most ordinary of places. This eerie story serves as an enduring mystery, inviting those who dare to ponder the unknown and the spectral in the heart of the cemetery’s history-laden grounds.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Jefferson Barracks Cemetery

Renowned for its rich history and haunting mystique, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery has garnered widespread attention in numerous documentaries and television programs exploring the enigmatic world of the afterlife. Notably, it played a prominent role in the gripping series “Ethereal Echoes: Uncovering the Haunted Past,” where investigators delved into the cemetery’s chilling tales and spectral encounters.

In the realm of literature, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery has left an indelible mark, with works such as “Ghosts of Jefferson Barracks: History & Hauntings of Old St. Louis” by David Goodwin and “Haunted Missouri” by Jason Offutt. These literary creations unravel the supernatural legends surrounding the cemetery, weaving captivating narratives of its spectral legacy.

Today, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery stands as a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and paranormal seekers alike, drawn by its mysterious presence in popular culture and media. This historic site exudes an aura of intrigue and the supernatural, extending a haunting invitation to all who yearn for an immersive encounter within its captivating and spectral ambiance.


We leave Jefferson Barracks Cemetery saying goodbye with a strong sense of amazement and wonder. This holy place, where many heroes and common people alike find their everlasting rest, exudes a haunting beauty that makes a lasting impression on everyone who visits. The eerie reminders of the cycle of life and death are all present in the history’s whispers, the solemnity of the graves, and the sense of connection to the past. As we leave, we take with us not just the memories of the lost, but also a deep respect for the secrets that are veiled within the earth’s crust and forever embraced by Jefferson Barracks Cemetery’s uncanny embrace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Jefferson Barracks Cemetery located?

A: Jefferson Barracks Cemetery is situated in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Q: Are there any legends associated with Jefferson Barracks Cemetery?

A: Yes, the cemetery is steeped in eerie legends. Some of the notable ones include the ghostly tales of the powder magazine, Building 25’s stubbornly lit third-floor light, and the spectral sentry who patrols the grounds.

Q: What is the legend of the powder magazine at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery?

A: The legend speaks of ghostly sentries who, during World War II, challenged living guards near the powder magazine. These threatening spirits, believed to be soldiers killed in an earlier raid, often appeared with a bullet hole in their heads, and their encounters were so terrifying that some guards deserted their posts.

Q: Can you tell me about the mysterious third-floor light in Building 25?

A: The legend involves Chief Master Sergeant Eugene Anacker and others witnessing a light on the third floor of Building 25 that repeatedly turned on after being switched off. Even after multiple attempts to extinguish it, the light continued to defy explanation, leaving them with an eerie mystery.

Q: What is the story behind the spectral sentry at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery?

A: The spectral sentry is said to be the ghost of a guard killed during a munitions theft attempt at the powder magazine. Even in death, he continues to confront living guards, mistaking them for trespassers. His appearance, with a bloodied bullet hole in his head, struck fear into those who encountered him during World War II.

Q: Are there any other ghostly legends at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery?

A: Yes, the cemetery is rife with tales of paranormal activity. Some visitors have reported ghostly apparitions, strange sounds, and eerie sensations while walking among the graves. These encounters have contributed to the cemetery’s reputation as a haunted site.

Q: Is Jefferson Barracks Cemetery open to the public?

A: Yes, Jefferson Barracks Cemetery is open to the public. Visitors are welcome to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers and explore the historic grounds, which hold not only legends but also a rich tapestry of military history.

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