Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cab Driver David Riordan is the Keeper of St. Louis' Haunted History

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge David Riordan, the man behind tours of haunted St. Louis - PHOTOS BY BENJAMIN HOSTE

Ghosts are said to roam St. Louis' riverfront where thousands have succumbed to cholera, duels and other untimely deaths, and, for a price, David Riordan -- a former commodities-baron-slash-lawyer-slash-millionaire-turned-cab-driver -- will be your guide.

Walking through Laclede's Landing at night is scary enough without the promise of spooky stories. Riordan takes tourists under subway tracks and through dark alleyways near the Gateway Arch, corners typical St. Louisans avoid at night.

"If someone comes out of the woods with a chainsaw, run like hell; it's the real thing," Riordan tells his tours.

A seventh-generation St. Louisan, Riordan meets groups at Morgan Street Brewery, then guides them to spots like Clamorgan Alley, which Riordan calls "the most haunted place in St. Louis by far," where thousands of bodies were stacked during an 1849 cholera outbreak until Irish immigrant workers moved them across town.

"I have smelled death here," Riordan tells St. Louis writer Rebecca Koenig in David Riordan, Post-Recession Renaissance Man.

click to enlarge Clamorgan Alley, near the Arch in downtown St. Louis.
  • Clamorgan Alley, near the Arch in downtown St. Louis.

What's really scary is that the Arch grounds will be closed for renovations next year, forcing even St. Louis' long-standing Fourth of July event Fair St. Louis to relocate to Art Hill in Forest Park.

"I'm like, 'This sucks,'" Riordan tells Daily RFT. "But the world has changed since last night.

"I might not be driving the cab much longer."

Read about Riordan's big idea to save his business after the jump.

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