It’s the first of October, Fall is in the air, temperatures are cooling down – so, naturally, it’s time for the first installment of our new spooky series: Murder Monday! Over the next five weeks, we’ll highlight some (true!) local stories that could inspire you to sleep with your nightlight on. We don’t judge. Read ahead – if you dare!

For our first installment, we’ll introduce you to the Pig Man, whose spirit may still wander parts of historic Murphysburg in north Joplin.

The story starts with a devastating fire, which nearly destroyed a quaint home near Main St. early in the 20th century. It sparked in an upstairs bedroom, and after a long and fiery fight with the flames, Joplin firemen were able to save the home, but not before – as legend has it – a man perished before fire crews could save him.

The home itself was salvaged: looking at it today, you’d never know it was nearly brought down to a smoldering pile of rubble. We’ll remain coy as to its exact location, but suffice it to say the house has a sinister reputation among a locals who know the story.

One Joplin man – who prefers to go unnamed – has been inside the upstairs bedroom where the fire first began. He considers himself a rational man, but when he entered that room, an inexplicable, eerie feeling came over him. He needed to get out of the house, and he wasn’t sure why. Even upon standing on the sidewalk, peering through the dark windows at the stairwell indoors, our source says he felt frightened to even be associated with any spirits who may live inside.

A variety of residents have lived in the home over the past 50 years. Many don’t stay for long. News crews did puff pieces in the ’90s. A popular national “ghost hunting” show tried to detect paranormal activity. But the most harrowing story comes from a former resident, who describes the ‘Pig Man’ in question.

Many years after the fire, the homeowner told her story about the Pig Man – when visible, the poltergeist resembles a man with a misshapen face – who haunted the residence. Perhaps the spookiest story involves our invisible ‘Pig Man’ physically carrying a young, terrified child down the steps of the house. After that, the resident and her family refused to spend time upstairs, where most of these ghastly encounters occurred.

So, the next time you’re in north Joplin late at night, especially during these spooky Fall months, watch out for the ‘Pig Man’ – he may be just around the corner.

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