Kirksville Devil's Chair – Kirksville, Missouri - Atlas Obscura

Kirksville Devil's Chair

Another in a long tradition of legends regarding infernal seats. 


The actual name of this marble monument located in a Missouri cemetery is the “Baird Chair,” but locals know it better as the Devil’s Chair.

The myth of the Devil’s Chair says that something dreadful will happen to the person so bold as to be seated in it at midnight (or on a particular evening, such as Halloween). In the case of the Baird Chair, an undead hand will emerge from the grave and drag the seated person to Hell.

This chair was placed by William Baird, a prominent banker in Kirksville.  Baird himself is not buried at the cemetery.  Instead being buried across town in the only mausoleum in Forest-Llewellyn cemetery.  In addition, Baird’s home is now the chamber of commerce.  The bank he owned is now Pagliai’s pizza, where a picture of William Baird standing next to his car in front of the bank can be seen on the wall.

Highland park cemetery is also the resting place of Harry Laughlin, the father of Eugenics in the United States and arguably one of the largest influences in Hitler’s actions against Jews. Though Harry Laughlin’s grave is unmarked, he is buried with other family members and a small HS can be found on the back of the stone.

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