Welcome again, Extreme Ghostbuster trainees! Without further delay, let's jump into our second case study of Paranormal America: St. Louis, Missouri. That's right -- the entire city (and surrounding areas). While some call it the Gateway to the West, it might be more appropriate to call St. Louis the Gateway to the Weird. By the time you're done reading this, I'm confident you'll understand why.
St. Louis' paranormal roots sprouted nearly 2000 years ago with the original inhabitants of this rich and ecologically diverse region of the Mississippi River valley: the mysterious civilization of the Temple Mound Builders. Though there is very little definitive information regarding who these people were or why they disappeared, the impressive remains of the city they once occupied at Cahokia (on the east bank of the Mississippi in Illinois) have given scientists and paranormal investigators many clues. The most obvious suggestion is that they were prolific "mound builders" -- massive mounds constructed of wood and earth (120 of which are still preserved at Cahokia today). The largest of these mounds is pyramid-shaped, stands over 100 feet high, takes up fourteen acres of land, and is said by spiritualists (who frequently gather nearby) to be a massive source of psychic energy. (My spectre detector must have been out of batteries-- I got a flat reading, again). It is thought that this - the largest mound - was the home of Cahokia's principal ruler as well as a temple where religious ceremonies (often involving human sacrifice) were held (another mound contains the bodies of 300 of these unlucky Cahokians).
At its peak in A.D. 1200, it is estimated that Cahokia was the home of over 20,000 people (larger than the population of London, England at that time) and was part of a major trading network along the Mississippi. Only a couple of hundred years later, Cahokia appears to have been mysteriously abandoned by its inhabitants.
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