Stacey and I originally wanted to visit Hannibal for all of the Mark Twain fun, but we ended up doing more than just that.
Our very first stop in Hannibal was this adorable little coffee shop on Main Street called Java Jive. It was a beautiful building filled with little trinkets and teas that you could buy. The coffee was delicious, and one of the most exciting parts was that they claim to be the first coffee shop west of the Mississippi! Fun!
Main Street was the quintessential tiny town, main street.
In the Hannibal History Museum there were a lot of fun little things, it was free, and it is the building in which Mark Twain first used the name ‘Mark Twain’ instead of Samuel Clemens.
We climbed to the top of these stairs to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. Stacey had found this and she was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t go up in it. From up here though, you can see the Mississippi, and I’m sure in the spring it’s an absolutely beautiful view.
I had read about the Rockcliffe Mansion. When we drove around the bottom of the hill the main gate was locked, but we thought we would just drive up to the top and see what was going on. Well, the top gate was open, and we saw a couple of cars parked, so I thought we could just walk around and see what was going on. Well, we walked around for a bit until the owner of the house came out, informed us that it was now residential and not giving tours at this time, and then walked us to our car. Whoops! I really felt bad afterward, but it really was a beautiful mansion!
Stacey wins the award for finding the coolest activity of this trip… We took a Haunted Hannibal Tour through the owners of the Hannibal History Museum!
Lisa was incredible and Stacey and I managed to get a private Haunted Tour, so we got to kind-of customize our tour. She took us by the old Jail, a haunted restaurant, the fetus house, a few mansions and a hidden cemetery that is supposedly the one from scene in Tom Sawyer where Dr. Robinson is murdered by Injun Joe. Each location, of course had some creepy stories, but at this hidden cemetery we actually got hands on with some dowsing rods. Lisa explained that these are used to find spirits by picking up on their magnetic energy. She said that it could be water or minerals, but when you’re guided to something, you ask questions and direct the spirit, and this is how you know that it is indeed a spirit speaking to you. Stacey was immediately directed by the rods to a tombstone of a person who died on Stacey’s birthday. CRAZY!
I wouldn’t say that I’m a superstitious person, or that I would say I believe in ghosts or spirits, but I am easily startled, I hate scary movies and I definitely have the personality that I would lay awake and think about creepy things all night. So, when I used the dowsing rods and they immediately pointed me in a specific direction, I was a bit creeped out, then the rods suddenly crossed, which Lisa said meant to stop. I asked if there was someone there who wanted to talk to me- if yes, swing right, and if no do nothing, and of course they swing right. Lisa gave me options of questions to ask the spirit at the stone plainly marked ‘H’ and the rods responded over and over by either crossing, going to one direction or opening. Then, Lisa asked the spirit to hug me, and without giving any direction the rods swung around and touch my opposite elbows- like arms crossed around me in a hug (hence, the terrified look in the top right below). After that I felt like I had spoken to enough spirits and was thoroughly creeped out. Stacey took the rods back, and they led her to a grave marker with the letter ‘S’ on it, but it wasn’t as talkative. However, when we looked back on it the rods led us to someone who died on Stacey’s birthday, and then the two other graves we were led to were marked by Stacey’s initials!
If you’re in Hannibal, I would highly recommend this tour. It was so much fun and really reasonably priced at 15 dollars. We were out for over an hour and a half, Lisa was full of history and creepy stories, and transportation was taken care of. Seriously, so much fun!
Who would have known that there was so much to do and see in Hannibal? To read about the Mark Twain Houses and Interpretive Center, click here, and for to check out what’s happening at the Mark Twain Museum Gallery, click here.
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