Wednesday, October 19th 2022, 10:36 pm
There are smells of days gone by, unexplained awakenings and visions of people who have been dead for decades. The stories of Oklahoma's haunted locations go back to before statehood. To find the most haunted, we enlisted the help of author, Jeff Provine.
“Which is a tough gig, there's so much awesome stories to be told here in Oklahoma,” said Provine who has written eight books so far on Haunted Oklahoma locations.
We begin with number six up in the Northeast part of the state.
“Probably one of the most historical and famous stories is the spook light,” said Provine. “You go out on this country road, and you see a glowing light. Some people describe it as big as a beach ball. Some says it's just a little spot: red and green and blue all different colors.”
Number five on the list is Ft. Washita.
The former U.S. military post was built in 1842. War re-enactors frequent the fort, often getting more of a history lesson than they bargained for. That includes two who were near this bridge when they saw a person holding a lantern.
“They said the closer the light got, they realized it was a woman and when she got a little closer they realized she had no feet or head,” recalled Longtime Site Manager, Jim Argo.
Aunt Jane, a headless ghost, who's known to walk around this part of the fort is the most well-known. But there are plenty of others. A security guard once noticed some soldiers on horseback.
“They rode right by him, he waved at them and they just kept riding and they went right through the fence and right to the road,” said Argo.
Multiple re-enactors have spotted an officer on the front porch of the barracks watching the sun go down. “And when the sun went down the officer disappeared.”
But the Bohanan cabin is said to be the most haunted.
“Whatever it is, it don't like women,” said Argo. “The re-enactors who stayed in it had their clothing moved, reshuffled, sometimes torn up.”
Doors slam, windows rattle, and a woman is sometimes seen sitting at a table. “We've had digital recorders left in here overnight (record) babies crying.”
Argo said even those who don't know the haunted history of the cabin have felt it. “They can't breathe, they get a closed in feeling they can't stay in there.”
The Fort's ghost tour is a popular one. Argo said folks almost always see something or catch it on camera.
“I've seen pictures where mist took the shape of a little girl praying at a grave, I've seen mists that look like soldiers in line at the cemetery,” Argo said.
But as quickly as those ghosts disappear, so to the tickets. They are already sold out for 2022. Tickets for next year open on October 1, but typically sell out within a day or two.
Number four is Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, where the music doesn't die even if the performers have.
“My favorite story about it, is the famous country musician Bob Wills still shows up. He famously played there all the time during the 20th century,” said Provine. “He's still going on tour. And they recognize him. It's his hat and his outfit. It's what he wore.”
Elected to our number three position: The Governor's mansion in Oklahoma City.
“Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray from the 1920's and 30's likes to hang out there they say,” said Provine.
Our number two is an Oklahoma mansion so grand, the former owners just don't want seem to want to leave.
Henry Overholser, often considered the father of Oklahoma City, his wife Anna and young daughter, Henry Ione, lived in the mansion in the early 1900's. Many said they still haunt it today.
Lisa Escalon, the museum manager, began working at the museum back in 1993. Now she's on first name basis with many of the ghosts.
“I've heard my name called many times. It's a woman and I privy that to Mrs. Overhoser,” Escalon said.
Mrs. Overhoser still seems to be the main lady of the house. She can also be often seen looking out the window of the third floor turent room. Visitors sometimes catch a whiff of her rose perfume.
However, a slight smell of tobacco or the sound of whistling is often attributed to Mr. Overholser.
Even reports of girlish pranks and a small footprint that mysteriously appeared in the dust this past winter seem to be signs that a young Henry Ione is here as well.
But paranormal investigators suggest many of the family's guests may have also returned to live out eternity here.
“They have picked up dozens and dozens of, I would say, types of activity in the home of small children to full grown adults,” said Preservation Oklahoma Executive Director, Chantry Banks.
Pictures taken over the years show orbs and mysterious images throughout the house. Fortunately, guests, like the hosts, all seem to be friendly and helpful.
“I was turning off lights at the end of the night and was being lazy and across the room I said, ‘Ooh it sure would be great if someone would turn these lights off for me’ and the lamp the immediately turned off,” recalled Banks.
“The number one, top haunted sight in Oklahoma, I like to say pretty much is all of Guthrie, just the whole town,” said Provine.
That sounds right to Stacey Frazier. She’s the founder of the Guthrie Ghost Walk that now attracts about 1,000 people and countless ghosts a year.
“It's the fact that the story become not only possible but plausible that really seems to draw people in,” she said.
Stacey said she has about 62 stories. Ivan the barber is a popular one. When alive, he had a habit of pinching young ladies.
“Even today it will be the guys that will be walking down the stairs that occasionally talk of someone pushing them and it will be the ladies coming up the step that feel like they get pinched," smiled Frazier.
Then there's The Stone Lion Inn, which used to be a mortuary. It's now a bed and breakfast and the site of many unexplained phenomena, including voices, furniture moving, and doors slamming.
“There is a cat and it comes trotting down these steps, it turns here, crosses here and goes underneath and then it disappears and we don't see it more,” said owner, Rebecca Luker.
The ghost of seven-year-old Irene seems to generate the most attention.
“People who sleep in that room, the Cora Dial suite, often experience an little child coming into the room between 2 and 2:30, and she pats them on the cheek to get them to come awake. And when they come awake there's no one there, but it's happened time and time again,” said Luker.
The Stone Lion Inn, Guthrie Ghost walk and many of the other haunts we have mentioned in our countdown offer opportunities to get up close and personal with the ghosts, if you dare!
October 19th, 2022
November 10th, 2022
November 9th, 2022
January 31st, 2023
January 31st, 2023