Avilla, Missouri

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Shadow Folk are known to haunt the old abandoned part of this historic village along Route 66. The shadowy people can be seen walking along the street and going about daily business, usually from the corner of your eye. The Avilla Death Tree is haunted by Civil War-era bushwhacker Rotten Johnny Reb. It is unknown exactly which tree it is, but a legend in town says it is said to be haunted by the headless ghost who not only seeks his head, but also vengeance upon the townsfolk.

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Geographic Information

Avilla, MO
United States
37.1953342, -94.12966219999998
Jasper County, Missouri
Nearest Towns:
Avilla, MO (0.0 mi.)
La Russell, MO (5.3 mi.)
Reeds, MO (5.8 mi.)
Sarcoxie, MO (8.7 mi.)
Carthage, MO (10.0 mi.)
Carytown, MO (11.0 mi.)
Stotts City, MO (11.8 mi.)
Fidelity, MO (13.4 mi.)
Jasper, MO (13.6 mi.)
Golden City, MO (13.8 mi.)


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Comments (3)

  1. Hi I am with an paranormal team called haunted house investigation team ( hhit ) you can look for us you tube twitter or Facebook we just got back from doing a investigation here and after going and talking to the locals which were not the friendliest. Lol but some have lived here their whole lives and have heard nothing about the shadow people or the death tree myths ever or some have just heard in the past year and they believe that the story’s are made up crap. But we did get to talk to one of the locals and got a lock down on a building rite neXT to the ” bar ” smack dab in the middle of town he gave us the keys and let us stay until we wanted. We started off good had some noises and a few evps. At like ten thirty we started having a lot of people driving by reving their engines and flipping us off! Some were standing out of the bar yelling things. The people were making us feel very uncomfortable so we decided to end or investigation early because we did not want things to escalate. People here are very standoff and rude they did not want us here and from the guy that owns the building we were at the people were harassing him also for the past few years! I could say that this is the worst and unfriendliest town that I have ever been too we drove along way to do this and we’re let down and very disappointed. If I were you I would mark this off your bucket list and move on from here but if you decide to go be careful of the people and good luck we will be posting a video up of what we did get in the little time and show how unfriendly the people were thanks for reading

  2. These old Civil War legends are not common knowledge to the idiots living in Avilla today. The oldest citizen of Avilla right now has only lived there since around 1962 (and cannot remember what he tells you from day to day), and the crazy locals know very little about there own history. Avilla in 2015 is a refuge for meth-heads and senility.

    I lived in Avilla during the 1960’s, and I knew many of the old timers then. At that time, Burt Stemmons (a direct descendent of Thomas Stemmons from the old Civil War Era store) would sit on his front porch and retell the stories he learned from his ancestors. Burt would whittle the most amazing items with his pocket knife, and he gave me a long wooden chain that he made from a single stick of wood. While whittling, he told me many stories about the ghosts that were about, and that is when I learned about the dead man’s skull that was hung from an apple tree as a warning to Confederate bush-whackers. That was ultimately the cause of the downfall of the town. There is a single dark spirit there, and I know from personal experience that he exists. If you have ever smelled a dead human body, you will never forget it, and such is an experience with Rotten Johnny Reb.

    A warning to ghost hunters going to Avilla: The area is dangerous at night. Most of the people with any sense has moved far away from there, long ago, and only the crazies remain. They might be tweaking on meth, or possessed by Rotten Johnny, but whatever you want to believe – the danger in Avilla is real. Better to stay away from this cursed town.

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