Hotel of Terror in downtown Springfield faces condemnation

Springfield City Council will meet Monday night and one of the items on the agenda is a bill...
Springfield City Council will meet Monday night and one of the items on the agenda is a bill that will condemn the popular haunted house Hotel of Terror on Main Street.(KY3)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:39 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:47 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Springfield City Council will meet Monday night to discuss a bill condemning the popular haunted house Hotel of Terror on Main Street.

Forty-five years ago, the Hotel of Terror opened its doors and frightened many guests who walked through its haunted walls. Now city council will decide if the city can begin the eminent domain process to acquire the building to fix the main street bridge and move forward with the Renew Jordan Creek Project.

The Main Street Bridge is deteriorating. Large buses, emergency vehicles, and trucks can’t drive over it. City leaders say the bridge can’t be repaired until the building is removed.

The owners of the Hotel of Terror and the city began negotiations on the property in 2019, and now the city wants to hire a third party to determine “just compensation” for the building. Still, owners of the haunted house say that the business is directly tied to the building, and the offers are just not high enough.

“We’ve hired a consultant that specializes in relocation assistance to assist the property owner in relocating his personal property to reestablish his business in a new location,” said Chris Dunnaway, City Principal Engineer. “So that’s also been included in the offers, but we just don’t seem to be making any progress with this, and so if we want to keep the projects on schedule, we need to, you know, it’s time to move forward.”

“A haunted house is different than, say, a car lot,” said Hotel of Terror owner Sterling Mathis. “You move the cars and some file cabinets and desks, and you can go any building, and in the town, with this, we build these props in the building. They are attached to the walls built into the building. Its skeletons and things are molded into the walls. So you can’t just pull them out, you’ve destroyed them, and then you’ve got to start over.”

Mathis says he is willing to move the hotel of terror to his other haunted attraction Dungeons of Doom, located just down the road, for the right price. If the city and owners can agree, condemnation proceedings will be terminated.

The city council will meet at 6:30 in the Historic City Hall and take public comments.

To report a correction or typo, please email