Haunted doesn’t even begin to describe the story behind Camp Scott – the scene of the horrific Girl Scout Murders of 1977. Most Oklahomans remember the tragedy that struck this camp, but very few know the strange facts about these unsolved murders and the story behind this bloodstained camp.
Camp Scott was in its 49th year of operation in June, 1977 when hundreds of Girl Scouts arrived at the camp for what was supposed to be just like any other week of summer camp...fun, laughter, learning and memories to last a lifetime. But unfortunately things didn't go as planned for this group of campers.
Leading up to June 13th, strange and disturbing events took place at the camp. For starters, an anonymous note was left in the tent of a camp counselor telling them someone was going to murder three campers in tent #1. Then items started mysteriously disappearing out of tents. And on the night before the murders, two mysterious men were seen lurking around the campground. Seems like enough to cause alarm. However, it was all dismissed as typical camp pranks.
On the night of June 12, 1977, a thunderstorm hit the area that sent campers to huddle inside their tents. Tent #8 housed three girls - ages 8, 9 and 10 - in an isolated location in the camp. A fourth camper was scheduled to arrive the next day and join the three girls in tent #8. However, the three girls were all brutally murdered and sexually assaulted in the middle of the night, one even dragged out of the tent to a nearby trail.
The camp was permanently closed after the murders and was subject to months and months of investigation. Much debate exists about who committed the murder, but most suspect Gene Leroy Hart was to blame. Hart was acquitted for these crimes but was convicted of other crimes, including rape, kidnapping and burglary.
Why was Gene Leroy Hart the main suspect? Hart had escaped from prison and was hiding out in Mayes County on his mother's property near Camp Scott for nearly four years. One of the biggest pieces of evidence against Hart was the fact that items found in a nearby cave were the same items stolen from the camp the night of the murders. Hart was seen by witnesses hiding in this exact same cave. He remained at large for nearly 10 months after the murders and died 60 days after his acquittal.
During the investigation, detectives reported many strange events that occurred. It was discovered that Gene Leroy Hart had been under the counsel of a Native American medicine man during his time of hiding. Hart earned himself the nickname, "The Sandman" for his skills in shape-shifting. A shapeshifter is one who has the ability to change their physical appearance at will - and so it was believed Hart was able to pull off crimes and stay hidden from authorities for as long as he did.
Before Hart was captured, detectives reported seeing a black dog in the woods that would frequently follow them places...then mysteriously disappear. Many people believe Hart was the dog. Several people who have visited the property in recent years still report seeing a mysterious dog roaming the property...and yes, it is black.
Camp Scott was sold by the Girl Scouts in the 1980s and is now located on private property. Many buildings still remain dilapidated and overtaken by nature. This haunted place is still as eerie and creepy as it was nearly 40 years ago.
Do you think it’s possible that the spirit of Gene Leroy Hart is still haunting the grounds of this camp in the body of the mysterious dog?