Detouring to the top of a high cliff, I stopped to see an old friend. On a clear day, she’s hard to miss, built on the edge of this bluff and sticking out of a forest canopy like a Bavarian castle. Her gestation period took thirty years to complete her thirty-one rooms, sprawling along the cliff in the arts and crafts style of the 1890s. Her builder was an attorney, a deft politician who helped establish the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Nowadays his blufftop fortress, the Bothwell Mansion, is a state historic site, and it suffers from an affliction common to most of us as we mature. At a distance, it’s regal. Up close, you see its age spots.The house has every ingredient to be haunted. It’s isolated, a perfect playground for poltergeists and paranormals lurking behind its stone walls, under its gabled roof, at the edge of a towering cliff…

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