Originally, The Fifth Ward School at 851 South Fourth Avenue was built in 1854. However, it burned down the following year and was rebuilt in 1857, making it one of the oldest buildings in Louisville. It would later be renamed the Monsarrat School, after the first principal, Laura Lucas Monsarrat in the early 20th century. During the Civil War, the basement of the building was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad. Slaves were hidden in churches and various other buildings as they made their way north from Confederate states so they could become free. Kentucky was technically neutral in the Civil War. So in order to become free, slaves had to cross the Ohio River into Indiana which was a free state. Later in the war, the building would also be a hospital for injured and wounded Union soldiers. During World War II, the building became a dormitory for soldiers on leave from Fort Knox. In 1937 after a flood damaged the Louisville Free Public Library the Monserrat became home to The Natural History Museum until 1977. Today, the Monserrat building is used as apartments. Due to its history as a Civil War hospital and a stop of the Underground Railroad, it is really no surprise that many locals claim the Monserrat is haunted. The ghost of a young slave girl has been spotted on occasion in the basement where slaves were hidden 150 years ago. Ghosts of Union soldiers have also been spotted throughout the building, and residents in the apartments have experienced paranormal activity such as strange noises and lights that turn themselves off and on.
To learn more about the Monsarrat and over 60 haunted locations be sure to check out the Louisville Ghost Map in the iTunes App Store for only $1.99.