Some things have been bothering me during my continued research of Mrs. Bertha Gifford, the woman from Catawissa, Missouri who allegedly poisoned seventeen people in the early twentieth century. There’s two huge glaring big ones, the number of children that died and her spirit that is rumored to haunt the Morse Mill Hotel. I’ll start with the children first because that one bugs me the most.
Some people, in the attempt of making money on people visiting and doing paranormal investigating on the Morse Mill Hotel, are trying to make people believe she murdered most of her victims there and that most of them were children. That’s not true. Nope, nada. It’s generally believed there were seventeen (I’ve come across another three that I can’t say one way or the other), and out of those seventeen, only eight, let me repeat that, EIGHT were children. (List of names here.) I firmly believe that people really need to do the research before they try to sensationalize their business (or websites for that matter) before they make that comment. I, myself, have been researching Bertha for ten years now. Naive at first, I’ve since learned there’s more to the story. To be honest, her victims are allegedly her victims. One can’t know for sure of everything that went on. It was a different time back then and that’s something people have to remember.
Next is the alleged haunting by her at the Morse Mill Hotel. Okay, first this. If you wanted to escape a place you felt trapped, would you honestly go back there and haunt it? The only tie between her and that Motel is the fact that her and her husband Henry Graham ran it at the turn of the century. Henry might haunt it but not Bertha who desperately wanted to escape Morse Mill and run away with gene. I believe Henry does haunt there. There’s some that believe that Henry’s spirit doesn’t think that Bertha poisoned him. Well, truth be known, that she more than likely not told him she was. If there was one person that I believed Bertha poisoned, it was Henry, so she could be with Gene. There’s been a story coming out of the old courthouse in Union, Missouri that her spirit haunts there. I’ll reserve judgement there. It may be possible
All in all, I believe she’s out there, maybe at the old farmhouse, or the cemetery she was buried in. Her spirit is somewhere, awaiting with a reckoning to all that misplays her story or defile her memory. If you want to go that route, tread lightly, Bertha will be displeased and you might not like the consequences!