A COLLECTION OF OKLAHOMA GHOSTS AND HAUNTS
While there are a number of ghosts and haunted places in Oklahoma, many of the stories which I managed to find just weren't very long. At least many of them were not long enough to warrant giving them a section to themselves. So, the following tales are stories of Oklahoma ghosts and haunts that I just couldn't find enough information about to make them a little longer.
The town of Tulsa is lucky enough to be the home of many ghosts, including two of Oklahoma's most famous ones. The first haunts the Gilcrease Museum, which was established a number of years ago thanks to Thomas Gilcrease. After his death in 1962, the philanthropist's ghosts has been seen and heard haunting the museum. Perhaps he just loved the place so much that he never wanted to leave. Not surprisingly, Gilcrease has also been spotted lingering at the Tulsa Historical Society, which was once his home.
Tulsa, like many other cities, also boasts a haunted theater... with a very famous ghost. The spirit who is said to linger here is that of the famed opera singer, Enrico Caruso. But why Tulsa? Apparently, the tenor died of pleurisy just one year after an open-air carriage ride on a cold and wet Oklahoma day. Caruso's manager blamed his illness on the unlucky stop in Tulsa and it is said that his ghost still haunts the Brady Theater in retribution for causing his demise.
There is another haunted theater, the Constantine Theater, which can be found in Pawhuska, in Osage County. This building is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sappho Constantine Brown, the beautiful daughter of the theater, George Constantine. For several years, while the building was undergoing restoration, workmen claimed to hear phantom footsteps and saw an apparition of the girl.
There is said to be a stretch of haunted highway in Oklahoma, where Highway 20 runs just east of Claremore. In the winter of 1965, a woman named Mae Doria offered a ride to a young boy who was hitchhiking along that road. Upon reaching Pryor, the boy asked to be let out of the car in an area where there were no houses around. When Mrs. Doria asked him where he lived, he simply replied "over there". She looked to see where he meant and when she turned back, he was gone! She immediately stopped the car and looked all around, thinking that he might have jumped out, but he was nowhere to be found.
Ironically, about 2 years later, she was talking to a man about strange experiences. When she mentioned this phantom hitchhiker, he knew immediately just where she was talking about. He had heard about the phantom boy being picked up along Highway 20 since 1936.
One of the most chilling ghost stories of Oklahoma dates back a number of years and involves a cemetery which is located in Arapaho. It proves the idea that some ghosts are heard rather than seen. This one in particular is said to cry out the words, "Oh no! Oh, my god! Robina has not been saved!"
When the voice was first heard, it was identified as that of a recently departed man named George Smith, a pious and religiously devout man. In 1936, his daughter was killed in an auto accident and she was only 19 years old. He never really ever recovered from the loss and the fact that she had not achieved salvation from the church haunted him until the day that he died. The voice continues to be heard coming from the vicinity of his grave, still lamenting the fact that Rowena was not "right with God" when she died.
Even a minister claims to have heard this eerie voice. In March of 1979, while holding a funeral service at a nearby grave site, was startled by the sound of Smith's voice. In 1980, a couple named Cecil and Sharon Rutherford came forward with their own experience. They had been putting flowers at a grave which was located nearby when they heard a deep groan and then a bawling voice that cried that Robina had not been saved.
A few years ago, a geologist and part-time ghost hunter named Arthur Turcotte, attempted to find a natural explanation for the strange phenomena. He studied the grave site..... but not only did he find no logical explanation for the voice, but he was stunned to clearly hear it himself.
There is also a place near Cushing in Payne County that has been dubbed Ghost Hollow. This spooky spot is located about a mile north of the Cimarron River and in the late 1800's was an ideal spot for hanging outlaws. There was an old elm tree and a sycamore there where lawbreakers were often strung up. The elm tree is said to still stand today... and is haunted.
According to legend, an innocent man was hanged there in 1887 and the next day, all of the bark mysteriously fell off of the tree. From that night on, at the time of the full moon, the tree is said to glow an eerie, white color. The natural effects of having no bark in the light of the moon.... or the ghost of the wrongly punished man?
New Stories from Oklahoma:
Since first posting this section of tales from Haunted Oklahoma, I have received a number of messages about haunted places which were not included in the initial postings to the page. Several of them were additional stories in already created sections and I have added a few to this section. Here are some of the spots which Oklahoma natives have passed on to me:
These three locations came from Denali in Tulsa. She writes:
"This one I have only heard about. I was to chicken ever to go as a child. There is a bridge out in the rural area of Jenks. It is called, "Cry Baby Bridge" it is closed down now because it is to dangerous to cross. The story goes like this in the 1940's or 1950's I am not sure when exactly. A woman took her three children out there and killed all three. One was a baby and the woman supposedly beat the baby's head on the beams of the bridge while the baby screamed & cried. Now when people go out there they can hear the baby's cries."
I had received several messages about this location and one like it. This is a familiar story from different places about the country (several are on the website). In most instances, the baby's cries are the result of a car accident where the baby is lost and they return to haunt the area as the years go by.
"Sparky's Graveyard is located between Harvard & Yale on 91st right in front of Jenks Middle school in Tulsa. It is a African American graveyard...The reason why it is so far to the south side of town is because when Tulsa was first built, the North side of town was wealthy and the South side was poor......Anyway the graveyard is haunted by a Headless Indian. The locals have named him "Sparky". Many people have seen him.""Murdoc's Mansion was located on Sheridan & like 111th. There was once a mansion located there where many strange happenings occurred. There were rumors of Devil worship and such. I am not sure what transpired but one day the place burned down. It was a big deal. All that was left was a empty swimming pool, tennis court, the fireplace & part of the staircase....The reports of Devil worship went on there and kids would go out there to see what was up & the police put a huge stop to it but kids would continue to go there in years to come....It was said that was you stepped foot in the property an eerie feeling would come over you...many people said that they would only be 5 minutes into the forest and all the sudden they would get spooked & try to go back to the car and would get tunnel vision & be lost for some time...some would faint. That supposedly happened on a regular basis. It is now the site of a Albertson's...I do not know if it is still haunted today."
And still more stories have come from RL Longcrier of Oklahoma:
The historic Saline Creek court house, located on scenic highway 412 in eastern Oklahoma,has a number of reports from several witness. It is said that on a stormy night, the events of the past can be witnessed. During the early days of our state, a gunfight took place on such a stormy night...two escaping criminals can be seen still running the grounds. During the gunfight, an Indian maiden was shot and dropped her baby into the raging waters of the creek in front of the court house, on stormy nights she returns to search for her child.... also a ghostly individual can be witnessed on the front porch...the hanging trees are still alive on certain nights strange events happen around these places.....and upstairs in the court house there is a very cold and foreboding presence in and outside the judges chambers......... Oklahoma is a very spooky place.
Another web visitor named Stacey, had some other stories to tell, including one about another "Cry Baby Bridge:"The actual location of "Cry Baby Bridge" is just a little southeast of Kellyville. I traveled out there on many a dark and spooky night's and though I never heard a baby cry, a friend of mine and I had a few spooky experience's out there. The actual event that took place out there was a car accident wherein a woman was running from her husband (he was chasing her in another car) and she ran off the bridge, and the baby was never found. Last I knew there was a record of this event in a Sapulpa newspaper in the local library. The actual event's that were supposed to take place was that if you came up on the bridge around midnight or a little after you would see a "blue" light and hear baby crying, if the light got to close to your car then all kinds of things went wrong, as I understood it the car would shut down and loose all power and I even heard some say the the car would start to shake or rock violently. Though we made many venture's out there out and around midnight we never saw a blue light and I never heard a baby cry. However one night when my friend went out there by ourselves ( usually we had a car load of girls and buddies) it was just midnight on the dot when we came around the corner, as soon as our lights hit the bridge they blinked out and the car started to sputter, my friend was driving and started pumping the gas and all the way across the bridge the car coughed and sputtered until we got several yards away from the bridge on the other side. The lights suddenly came back on and the engine revved up and we sped down the road as fast as we could go.
" "Sparkies Grave Yard" is about 20 or 30 miles out west of Prattville on a desolate road somewhere near "Coyote Trail". I've only been there twice and that's been nearly 20 years ago. The legend of the grave yard and/or the ghost/caretaker that haunts it that "Sparky" is/was an albino with glowing red eye's. He was either supposed a caretaker of the grave yard rumor had it that he was psychotic or he was the ghost of an albino or some such thing I can barely remember now. However I never saw him, but it was a great place to get the girls scared and to snuggle up tight against you."
"Out along hwy 33 there is the foundation and walls of a castle that was being built by a German immigrant for either his wife or wife to be that is supposedly haunted, I believe the story is that she was unfaithful to him and he killed her and himself before it could be completed. As far as I know the old place is still standing.
" Down near Ardmore there's supposed to be a mansion that is haunted. The story goes is that the young man who owned it was preparing to marry and caught his fiancée in the closet with a friend and murdered them,they say that all the dinner ware and everything is still exactly as it was that night even the wedding dress she was suppose to wear is still laid out on the bed."
The section continues to grow, as proven by a new story from the AMERICAN GHOST SOCIETY representative from Oklahoma, Pamela Bayhylle. She writes: Also, from Cushing ,OK east of Stillwater. In town there is a old home, a two story house that a five year old girl was murdered in by her baby sitter. This happened in 1971 and the case was thrown out of court on a technicality. There is a saying that at certain times people have seen the young girl staring with a ghostly image out the upstairs window of the room she was taken to and placed above the stair well. She makes no movements , just looks straight ahead out the window. That house also has never been lived in and is being readied to be remodeled and torn down in places to make room for parking. The woman is still living and never served any time for the murder although she admitted to doing it. She is known as , Crazy Mary. Perhaps the young girl is looking for her out the window in order to avenge her death?
Pamela also tells the story of a personal incident from Silver City. She writes: Several years ago around 1978, I lived in this rural community of Silver City. which lies about 10 miles west of Manneford, OK. There were houses dotted across the country side and it was a quiet and peaceful area. I was alone at home one early after noon, when I over heard voices that seemed to belong to females. I got up and looked out the back window and there I could see wispy forms of two women hanging clothes not the line and talking like a solid physical form would do. I watched them for at least ten minutes and then they began to fade and then disappeared. I only saw this at one time, but at other times there seemed to be some type of energy of a female side around the clothes line. It as been many years since then and still the memory remains and I believe they were trapped in time doing a action the two had done countless times while alive.
A website visitor named Kevin sent the following story: " Near Ft Cobb Oklahoma there was a bridge over the Washata River named Jeremiah's Bridge. It was named so because of the legend of a young boy named Jeremiah who spent his afternoons sitting on the bridge and fishing or throwing rocks into the river. He was an Native American and an outcast at school who lived only with his mother. Every evening his mother would at dinner time go outside the house that was nearby and yell for Jeremiah to come home and eat supper. One evening his mother called for him and he never appeared. After attempting several more times it was growing quite dark so she went to the bridge to find him. She found him hanging by his neck under the bridge, apparently a suicide.
" Shortly after his mother died as well, supposedly from grief, but before up until her death she would still go outside every evening at mealtime and call for her dead son to come home for dinner. After her death, you could still hear her voice calling after sundown "Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Come home!" I went with a group of teenagers to the bridge one summer evening and we walked across it in the dark. Though we never heard Jeremiah's mother, the place is one of the creepiest spots I know. Since then, the bridge has washed out in a flood a couple of years ago, but I still wonder if that has in any way deterred Jeremiah's mother from searching for her long lost son."
Debbie of Weatherford was kind enough to send along a story that she discovered was printed on an old menu from the Warika Tea Room. The small restaurant was once a rooming house on the Rock Island Railroad. The story goes: "This Rock Island Railroad Rooming House has a chilling history from the early days when it was used by the men working for the railroad. The boarding house was built along side the tracks on the famous 98th Meridian which separated INDIAN and OKLAHOMA Territories. It also is only one mile west of the CHISHOLM TRAIL.
" The first Post Office here was designated MONEKA and the early folk call this Little community by that name. By the time this house was built shortly after 1900, the name had changed and the town was known as WAURIKA. Legend has it that during one of the evening meals at the boarding house a robber tried to hold up everyone at gun point. He ended his career there when the railroad men turned the tables on him and he ended up dead. His body was loaded into a box car on a train which headed north. Later some men found the body, and not knowing the story, buried him in an unmarked grave.
"From that time onward his spirit haunts the house. Stories of walking on the floors upstairs, typing on typewriters, ghostly voices and other strange events have been heard... even to this day!"
Janet Keith, a recreation specialist at the Roman Nose Resort near Watonga, Oklahoma writes: "Over the years, there have been various remarks about "Henry" the ghost at Roman Nose Resort. Henry has pulled a few pranks and we have had a couple of comment cards from guests regarding the ghosts (plural). Last year, as our manager was retiring, I was photographing various things around the resort for her scrap book. I had 3 pictures left, so decided to take pictures of the paintings of our Indians, Redbird and Black Coyote. Redbird, like Henry, was a Cheyenne Chief, Black Coyote was an Arapaho leader of the Ghost Dance. The town of Watonga is named after him. None of the pictures developed correctly so I was going to throw them out, but some of the employees said to leave them in, because the Indians didn't want their picture taken. I thought it would make a good tale, so I left them in the picture album. A few weeks ago, I was showing the album to a guest and telling her about the various little things that had happened, when she got a strange look on her face. I asked her what was wrong. She said, "There is a skull in this picture." I laughingly told her to show me. Sure enough, right there, plain as can be is a skull! That is when I noticed that the exposure made him appear to be wearing war paint as well. We have taken pictures of the pictures since and they have come out fine. I don't know how we missed the skull in the picture for all of this time, but it has given us a new respect for the Indians and the heritage we are in charge of preserving."
Another website visitor, Missie wrote in: " I was reading your site, and having lived in Oklahoma all my life, I have few stories.... One is about the college I go to, NSU at Tahlequah. It was originally the Cherokee Women's Seminary, but was taken over by the State, and turned into a University later. Anyway, there was a dorm mother who was here during the days when it was the seminary and her name was Florence Wilson. Now she is just called Mrs. Wilson. She haunts seminary hall (a class room building now, but at the time of the seminary was originally the girls' dorm) mostly, but also haunts the rest of campus too. Sometimes you will just see her walking down the halls of a building wearing her black dress. However, she mostly stays at Seminary Hall and Wilson Hall (a co-ed dorm named after her).
" The other story I have is about my hometown called Warner. Just west of town, there is an old cemetery called Bennett Cemetery. It was originally formed when a house fire killed all of the Bennett Children, it was a long time ago, but not completely sure on the date. Now, when you drive past there at night, you can see lights in the back of the cemetery and sometimes in surrounding pastures. There are many stories of the lights coming out of the cemetery and following people to the section line and then turn around and go back to the cemetery."
Toni Farley, another website visitor, writes: "I was surprised to see that you do not have Wheelock Academy listed here.. it is very haunted. The academy was founded in 1833 after the forced migration known as the Trail of Tears. It was used as a Choctaw school for many years and then an unexplained fire damaged many parts of the campus, including the 1845 Rock Church (oldest church in Oklahoma still being used). It was then turned into a school for girls." The school was located in Millerton, Oklahoma in McCurtain County.
According to the accounts, the administrators were very strict with the young woman who attended the school and any infraction could result in abuse and beatings. Not surprisingly, legends have it that a few of the girls did not survive their punishments and their bodies were secretly buried on campus. At the years have passed the school has long since faded into history and yet the site where it stood is still a regularly visited place. The stories say that those who venture out into the open fields at night can heat the sounds of organ music coming from the old church, see unexplained lights, like candles, and shadows of young girls dancing in the moonlight. Some claim to have seen the ghost of the old groundskeeper in the tunnels that run under the school and sometimes the man will acknowledge the trespasser and at other times, will walk past as if unaware that anyone is watching. Others claim to have been chased away by old women who may have been former teachers but there are said to be countless stories about this place.
If you know of any ghost stories from Oklahoma that we may have missed, please contact me at this address, TROY TAYLOR, and I will gladly credit you with any stories that I can use.
Copyright 2001 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.
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