The Pythian Home of Missouri, also known as Pythian Castle, in Springfield, Missouri was originally built in 1913 by the Knights of Pythias and later owned by the U.S. Military.
It was once believed that German and Italian prisoners-of-war were held there during World War II But later research found that no German nor Italian prisoners were held in the castle itself, although P.O.W's were there. They were kept in the army hospital out back of the castle. This bit of information was featured on the Sy Fy channels Haunted Collectors.
The building was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 2009. The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of October 16, 2009.
The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization, originally constructed the castle and detached power plant as an orphanage and retirement home for children and widows of members of the order. It was called The Pythian Home of Missouri. It also served as a meeting hall for the order. It served in this capacity until in 1942 during World War II when the United States Military commandeered the facility for use in conjunction with adjacent O'Reilly General Hospital in entertaining and rehabilitating injured U.S. troops. It was renamed The Enlisted Men's Service Club. The facility featured a movie theater, ballroom, bowling alley, pool hall, library, and arts and crafts area. Some of the most famous movie stars, comedians, and entertainers of the era performed in the theater while the ballroom was host to big bands playing for the dancing pleasure of the troops. After the war the building was retained by the military for use as a reserve center until it was sold as surplus in 1993.
It is now privately owned by Tamara Finocchiaro. Renovations have been completed to the property including a new driveway and parking area. As of August 1, 2010 the castle has been reopened to the public for use as a cultural arts and events facility. It is available for special event rental including weddings, proms and corporate parties and offers public events such as history tours, murder mystery dinners, and holiday events. To add to the castle's many identities, it is also considered by some to be one of the more haunted places in the Ozarks and was investigated by the television show Ghost Lab in early 2011. Ghost tours offered year round.