Specters of the past dot the vast Oklahoma landscape. These plains and rolling hills have a wide and varied history ranging from Native Americans, to the Civil War, famous outlaws, Wild West shows, oil boomtowns, railroad legends, deadly tornados, and historic Route 66. While the state of Oklahoma is loaded with haunted locales associated with this history, it flies under the radar of many involved in the paranormal community.
For a high concentration of paranormal activity, one needs to look no further than the original capital of Oklahoma, Guthrie. Most buildings in the historic district seem to have some sort of ghost story associated with it. These stories have their roots in the formation of the town during the land rush when it was essentially a tent town. The Blue Belle Saloon got its start this way, as did Miss Lizzie’s Bordello, and the two, now combined, share tales of dark shark shadows, moving objects, and the screams of bordello girls in their reported hauntings. Some patrons of the saloon eventually found themselves in the Black Jail, the territory’s first Federal prison, and apparently are still lingering on today. It’s home to both the ghosts of a man who committed suicide there and a translucent woman who crosses the street. Guthrie’s most famous haunt is probably the Stone Lion Inn which has been featured on a number of television shows. While investigating the location, members of Oklahoma’s Society of the Haunted have experienced doors opening and closing on their own, pictures randomly falling off the walls, voices heard throughout the home, and visually capturing a floating white wisp in a photograph after a bureau drawer closed on its own. These are just a few of Guthrie’s haunted tales.
The current capital, Oklahoma City, is no slouch either in its haunted locations. The Skirvin Hotel has picked up the most popularity since it was highlighted in early 2010 by a number of professional basketball players who were spooked out of their hotel rooms. The site of the old Belle Isle power plant, where much death occurred both while it was a power plant and back during its amusement park days, is now a shopping center, but many clerks who have worked the stores have experienced strange disembodied voices and merchandise being tossed from shelves and racks for no explicable reason. The historic Overholser mansion is known for the ghost of Anna Overholser who has been seen floating about the house and, at times, peering out of a third story window.
Paranormal activity in Oklahoma is not reserved to these two cities, however. All corners of the state permeate with that which cannot be explained. Up through Halloween this space will highlight and examine a haunt from each of those corners, providing both history and paranormal experiences. More information on all of these haunted locations can be found in the recently released book Ghosts and Legends of Oklahoma.