The UpStairs Lounge: 40 years ago today…

A wonderful article was written today by Terry Firma at The Friendly Atheist, in remembrance of the largest LGBT massacre in the US. This month I’ve been so wound up waiting to hear the ruling on DOMA. Every week that goes by without a ruling, I get so frustrated. Is it really that difficult of a decision for them? Then suddenly this article reminds me that there was a time when you truly had to hide if you were gay… you had to be embarrassed and ashamed, you had to live scared, and apparently in 1973, only five years before I was born, someone could murder 32 beautiful souls, most of whom were gay, and ehh… it’s not a big deal. The crime has never been solved. 

Chances are you didn’t know about all of this, right? Well here’s where the paranormal relevance comes in. As I mentioned in my comment on this article, I am incredibly embarrassed, frustrated, and saddened that I had never heard of this horrific moment in history until last year. It took a Ghost Hunters episode to bring it to my attention… and it was a fantastic episode. I was so moved I cried. 

I encourage you to read the article, and be sure to check out the trailer for the documentary that is mentioned. I hope to find it and see it soon. Also, there is great information at The Tragedy of the UpStairs Lounge, at, a site for the current bar that is in business on the main floor of the same building. 

I hope you’ll forgive me, because in many ways this topic is near and dear to my heart. Please share one of these sites. Share in honor of those who lost their lives, many of whom were not memorialized because their families were too embarrassed or ashamed. Times have changed. People need to know the story.





About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit! View all posts by Patrick Keller

8 responses to “The UpStairs Lounge: 40 years ago today…

  • spiritchild1972

    Patrick, Thank you. I too was unware of this tragic case. I am from New Zealand though so it may not have made it all the way over there but I am quite versed in Homicides and Murders and have about 30 books to prove it. BUT!!! Nothing has been written in any of them. I have an Encyclopedia of Murders and it is down right wrong that while this book even exist but that it’s not mentioned in any of my books. I will now do as much research as I can to honour the poor souls who were murdered. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    • Patrick

      You are wonderful. Actually, when I was following some of the commentary on the original article I referenced, someone mentioned almost the same thing you did about the books about homicides and murders and this not being in any of them. Interesting.

  • notsofancynancy

    I was horrified by this story and vowed to always remember those who were lost that horrible day. Thanks for keeping their memory alive.

  • Aunt Sarah

    I saw the long documentary on the “Stonewall” uprising….I think it was. All this taking place in the late 60-70’s. the Methodist church was on the cutting edge then too. I’m always pleased when I see how well some of our clergy come off historically.

    I couldn’t help but smile at the Sunday afternoon…after service happy hours…LOL! When in Lafayette Sq. we used to head for the opposite corner of the park, to a restored building…Ronaines Bar. It was after choir practice, and we’d order cheap pitchers of beer. Bill Keyes would start banging out rock rhythms to whatever songs/hymns we had been practicing and we’d adlib and sing as loud as we could! Oh God, we were young. I’ll bet this pastor and his people were very close…just like we all were. They always said that an awful lot of our St. Louis history was ripped off, and sent to New Orleans!

  • Lisa Smith

    I didn’t know about this, but I was young and in a different part of the country. Time Magazine did a good article about this in their most recent issue, too.

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