North of Springfield, Missouri (in the SW of the state) is The Albino Farm. Some say that the farm was actually a group home for albinos and other social “outcasts”, others say it was a hospital for the same, while still others say there was an albino caretaker who used to threaten trespassers with a shotgun. The version of the story that I enjoy the most was told to me by old friends. I’m no storyteller, but here goes!
Springlawn Farm was just a regular livestock (cows, specifically) farm, owned by a family with three daughters near the turn of the 20th century. Not having any sons to work the farm, the father hired an albino caretaker to help with the manual labor and taking care of the cows. This caretaker was very asocial and hostile towards any visitors, whether expected or not. One day, the father died in a farming accident leaving massive debts and only the albino caretaker to be able to do the hard work on the farm itself. The caretaker’s attitude didn’t really help the farm sell any livestock, and gradually the debts increased. A few months after the father died, the mother also passed away, leaving the three daughters alone on the farm with the caretaker.
The caretaker’s reputation for violence against pretty much anyone that wasn’t the family affected the daughters’ ability to attract suitors, meaning that it was less and less likely as the months and finally years went on that the farm would be able to continue as an agricultural business, much less a home.
Finally a few years after the parents had died, with little to no payments being made on the massive loans against the farm itself, the bank sent a man down to serve foreclosure papers. The caretaker, enraged not only at the unwelcome visitor but also at the thought of losing what he had come to think of as “his” farm, killed the man and burned his body. When police came looking, he claimed to not know where the man was and to threaten the officers with violence if they came back; since they had no proof of any wrong doing they did nothing about the situation but did inform the caretaker that the property would be foreclosed and that he and the family would either need to make arrears with the bank or move off of the farm so the bank could sell it for debt repayment.
A few month passed after this incident – paperwork takes a long time even now, and back then life was at a much slower pace – and finally the bank decides they have to act after having received no replies to their written correspondence. They get a police escort and prepare to forcibly remove the family from the home if necessary. When they get to the farm, the place is overgrown and the stench of death is nearly palpable. As they make their way from the entrance to the main house, they see starved, dead cows everywhere. They come through the forest into the clearing where they are met with the burned out husk of the main house, and while going through the wreckage police find the burnt bodies of the three daughters. No other bodies are found either in the main house, the barn, or the storage sheds, and there is no sign of the albino caretaker.
The police decide that the caretaker went crazy and killed the daughters, then either killed himself or ran away. They clean up the place and the bank tries to sell it but cannot get anyone to buy the place. Every potential buyer who visits the place is overcome with a sickening dread and the overwhelming feeling that they have to leave the farm immediately, and no one buys the property. Eventually, the bank goes belly up because they can’t rid themselves of this property, and the place falls to obscurity.
Now they say that anyone who trespasses on the farm feels an incredible sense of dread, and those that stay too long disappear never to be heard from again. Neighbors report smelling smoke or seeing a bonfire on the property regularly, and despite numerous investigations from the police over the many, many years, nothing is ever found when the reports are made; only old fires likely started by partying or thrill-seeking teenagers.
The real story? Not nearly as exciting I’m afraid. The farm was indeed owned by a man with three daughters, and he did die and leave his farm to his wife and children. No mention of an albino caretaker, but it’s likely the sisters did hire help for the farm, perhaps even an albino man.
Here’s a fantastic writeup and photos of the place, along with a couple of other local legends and the “facts” (as much as can be gleaned from surviving reports at any rate) of the matter.
- The Tall Tale Of The Albino Farm | Springfield Report
- Springlawn Farm (Albino Farm) – Underground Ozarks
- Answer Man: What was ‘albino’ farm? Was there an albino?
- Springlawn, Hatchet, Winoka: The truth behind the tales | Ozarks Alive
Also, I hope I don’t have to say this, but please do not trespass on this property. Not because of spoopy scary ghosties, but because it’s illegal to do so. Don’t be a dick.