- Wednesday, August 30, 2006 -
The below article was published in the Union - MISSOURIAN on Wednesday, August 30, 2006.  This article
is Copyright © 2006 by The Missourian Publishing Company.  All Rights Reserved and reprinted here
with permission of the MISSOURIAN, editor Bill Miller and General Manager Bill Miller Jr.
"Ain't Afraid of No Ghost"

These members of Missouri Paranormal Research, Tom Halstead, left, and Steven
McClanahan led a small group on a tour of Tri-County Restaurant in Villa Ridge
Friday, Aug. 25. This photo was taken on the upper floor, where many audio
recordings and strange images have been captured. Missourian Photo.
Ghostly Patron
Shakes, Rattles,
Rolls at Tri-County

- Missouri Paranormal
Group Investigates

By Michelle Oyola
Missourian Staff Writer

Tri-County Restaurant at Villa
Ridge is quickly becoming
famous all over the country,
but not because of its home-
style meals or its location on
historic Route 66.
People are becoming curious
about the restaurant because
of one of its recent patrons —
a patron of the paranormal sort.
Missouri Paranormal Research
(MPR), a local paranormal
investigative group, is
currently studying what
members believe is a haunting
at Tri-County Restaurant. The
group was founded in 2004 by
Steven LaChance of Union and
includes members from all
over the Greater St. Louis area.
This is not MPR’s first
investigation; they have
studied over 50 sites in the St.
Louis area. However, MPR
members are excited about
this haunting because the site
is more active than most
places they have investigated
in the past, LaChance said.
In addition, MPR investigator
Tom Halstead of St. Ann
captured a video of what MPR
members can only call a
“ghost” in the restaurant’s
basement. The video of the
hovering figure bathed in blue
light is being posted on Web
sites of other paranormal
groups all over the country.
MPR has so far conducted two
all-night investigations at the
restaurant: the first on Aug. 12-
13 and the second Aug. 19-20.
A final investigation will be
held Sept. 23-24, and two other
paranormal investigative
groups from the St. Louis area
will attend.
LaChance said Tri-County
Restaurant is too large for one
group to handle, and the extra
equipment and people will help
them explore the entire site.
During an investigation,
members use audio, video and
photography equipment as well
as their own human senses.
MPR aims to collect “evidence”
of hauntings by somehow
recording paranormal activity.
Tri-County Restaurant has
produced plenty of “evidence,”
LaChance said. MPR
investigations resulted in many
audio (called Electronic Voice
Phenomena, or EVP, in the
paranormal investigative
world) recordings of voices
responding to investigators,
doors slamming and pots and
pans banging into each other.
Members also have taken
photos of misty areas in the
bathroom and in the upstairs
area. Videos were taken of
doors locking behind
investigators and light bulbs
flying through the air.
The blue figure was recorded
during the Aug. 19
investigation. The entire
basement was “locked down”
when the image was captured,
meaning motion detectors
were placed at the entrances
of the basement to ensure no
one came in or out.
One investigator said she saw
a blue light go through the
floor, and others heard rattling
noises in the kitchen.
LaChance then rushed to the
basement to check the video.
He gasped when he saw the
figure glide across the camera.

‘Something’ Teases
Workers at Restaurant

Laurel Brown of Union owns Tri-
County Restaurant. She first
contacted MPR about a month
ago after hearing about the
group from two of the
restaurant’s waitresses.
“We knew something was
going on,” said a waitress
who wished to remain
anonymous. “A lot of
Brown, age 28, took over the
business two years ago.
However, she has worked at
the restaurant since age 15.
She heard stories about the
haunting since she started
working at the restaurant, but
she didn’t witness it herself
until age 20.
Brown said unseen hands have
rubbed her neck, and she has
heard someone whispering her
name. Other female workers
have experienced affectionate
touches on their shoulders and
hands. Doors also will
inexplicably lock the men out
of certain areas, Brown said.
Blenders come on with no one
around, and some co-workers
have witnessed creamers and
coffeepots flying off the walls.
It’s not just co-workers who
have had an encounter with
this unseen guest. One
customer came up to the front
desk and announced that the
restaurant was haunted — the
salt and pepper shakers and
ketchup bottle on the table had
moved around with no one
touching them.
Karen Brown, Laurel’s mother,
said she never believed in
ghosts. That changed after she
attended one of MPR’s
investigations at the
restaurant. She and a MPR
member stood at the top of the
stairs and listened to pots and
pans banging around in their
immediate vicinity. It was pitch
black, but she knew no one
was there.
“Then I (got) the heck outta
here!” Karen Brown said.
LaChance said he was excited
and shocked when he got the
call about Tri-County
Restaurant. LaChance first
formed MPR to help area
people with their paranormal
experiences. His goal has been
to encourage people to come
forward with their stories.
“People need to realize we live
in a hotbed of paranormal
activity,” LaChance said.
Tri-County Restaurant is the
fourth local case MPR has
LaChance said a variety of
factors could have resulted in
the current phenomena. Entire
books have been written about
hauntings along Route 66.
Investigators also have heard
rumors of a crime being
committed in the restaurant’s
upper level, which once
served as sleeping rooms for
travelers. They are currently
trying to find documentation of
the crime. LaChance also
believes this entire area is
susceptible to hauntings.

A Tour of the Restaurant

A Missourian reporter, also with
Laurel Brown, two MPR
investigators and an
investigator’s friend all toured
Tri-County Restaurant on a
dreary morning Friday, Aug. 25.
One of the investigators was
Halstead, whose camera
caught the blue figure. The
other investigator, Steve
McClanahan of Collinsville, Ill.,
is a new addition to the MPR
Halstead brought his digital
camera, while McClanahan and
Halstead’s friend both used
video cameras during the tour.
The group first visited the
upstairs area, where many EVP
recordings and strange
pictures have been captured.
The walls which used to
separate the different sleeping
rooms have been knocked out.
There is now a main area that
can be accessed through a
door, a smaller room and a
narrow hall that leads to what
used to be an office. Another
door is located in the office.
There are signs of construction
on the upper floor.
McClanahan said there were
plans to renovate the area for
a short time. Many paranormal
investigators believe
construction activity can “stir
up” paranormal activity, he said.
In the smaller room, Halstead
pointed to where he took a
picture of a misty figure. While
the group was looking around,
a loud banging was heard from
the main area. The sound
resembled a door slamming on
its hinges three times.
The group all exchanged
glances and hurried back to
the main area.
The door they had entered
through had been left open,
but it was now shut. While the
group looked through the door’
s window to check for
someone playing a prank,
another slamming noise was
heard all the way down the hall.
A human source of the noise
wasn’t found that day.
The tour continued in the
basement. The group had to
use flashlights in the pitch
black, avoiding debris and
puddles. The air was moist and
warm. Halstead pointed out the
broken glass where the
floating light bulb had
apparently crashed. He also
showed where his blue figure
had walked.
While in the basement,
McClanahan explained the
difference between paranormal
“evidence” and common
experiences at a haunted site.
The noises the group heard on
the upper floor that day were
not evidence of a haunting, he
said. Any skeptic could
interpret the story as people
goofing around or even their
own senses playing tricks on
them. Evidence must be
recorded with audio and video
equipment, McClanahan said.
The tour concluded in a dining
area, where many people have
seen faces peering through
the windows. Nothing else
abnormal happened during the
rest of the time spent at the

Busy Schedule for MPR

MPR members have been busy
recently as they work to bring
their stories to the public.
The Tri-County Restaurant
haunting has resulted in a
string of interview requests.
LaChance appeared on Fox 2
News Tuesday, Aug. 29, during
its morning show to discuss
the Tri-County Restaurant case.
In addition, he has appeared
on radio shows broadcast by
satellite in the United States,
Canada, the Pacific Rim and
Locally, he will be a guest on
KLPW Monday, Sept. 11, at 11 p.
m. and will take phone calls.
LaChance also has been telling
his personal story of  
experiences in a house in
Union. He first formed MPR
after he and his family lived in
the home, which he believes is
haunted. After he tried to seek
help from a variety of
paranormal groups, he decided
to form his own.
MPR and other paranormal
groups from all over the U.S.
investigated the home. Unlike
the Tri-County Restaurant case,
investigators now believe the
Union house is occupied by
something with evil intent.
LaChance wrote a story about
his experiences in the Union
home. It will be published in
“Weird Hauntings,” a book in
the “Weird U.S.” series. It will
be available through Barnes &
In addition, “A Haunting,” a TV
series on the Discovery
Channel, will air an episode on
the Union house as part of its
third season. The episode is
scheduled to air in October or
November, he said.
LaChance and his family and
another former tenet of the
home, Linda Marsh, as well as
her family, were all interviewed
for the episode. A psychiatrist
also was interviewed on
demonic possession.
MPR members constantly
update their Web site, posting
case reports and “evidence” of
hauntings. Members also
sponsor live chats.
Information on Tri-County
Restaurant, the Union home
and other cases is available at
The below picture and clip was published in the Union - MISSOURIAN on Wednesday, October 4, 2006.  
This article is Copyright © 2006 by The Missourian Publishing Company.  All Rights Reserved and
reprinted here with permission of the MISSOURIAN, editor Bill Miller and General Manager Bill Miller Jr.
Investigators Seek Proof of Paranormal Patron

Three paranormal groups teamed up to investigate Tri-County Restaurant in Villa Ridge Saturday, Sept.
23.  Members of Missouri Paranormal Research, Midwest Paranormal Investigative Association and
Spook Stalkers, as well as guests all stayed at the restaurant overnight.
The below article was published in the Union - MISSOURIAN on Wednesday, August 30, 2006.  This article
is Copyright © 2006 by The Missourian Publishing Company.  All Rights Reserved and reprinted here
with permission of the MISSOURIAN, editor Bill Miller and General Manager Bill Miller Jr.

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