I wonder if the place where the Tilly Willy Bridge used to be still has the lady in the white dress popping up every now and again. I
know there are some places around Arkansas where people refuse to believe coincidences and claim supernatural causes behind strange circumstances. There are a lot of these places, actually, and these are a few locations across the Natural State where you might even be able to say “hi” to one of those paranormal beings.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
13. If you go to the Crossett railroad tracks, don't head toward the light!
The railroad crossing at Marais Saline Road in Crossett is haunted, so say some locals. A ghostly swinging light appears to be walking up and down the tracks at this location. Residents claim the light comes from the spirit of a man who was decapitated after being struck by a train. Allegedly, the ghost is searching for his head. Locals claim that those who are standing on the tracks will see the light coming toward them.
12. See if the ghost stories about Arkansas Tech University are true.
Several places at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville are said to be haunted. Two legends might explain these hauntings - one legend says that Caraway Hall was built on top of a Cherokee burial site; the other legend states that a student committed suicide in this building. Students have described hearing noises in the attic (as well as whispers in hallways and footsteps on the stairs) at Caraway Hall. Witherspoon Hall is said to be haunted by a ghost of a former student who plays a piano in the practice room. Tucker Coliseum, where a star basketball player was killed in a car accident, is also said to be haunted. The ghost leaves basketballs scattered all over the court.
11. The Bauxite Historical Association Museum has a few overzealous exhibitors.
The Bauxite Historical Association Museum's building was constructed in 1927. The building is now a museum of artifacts from Bauxite's mining days...and the premises are said to be haunted. Visitors have heard disembodied footsteps in various locations throughout the building. A museum staff member stated that one night she felt a ghost jump onto her back while she was leaving work for the day - as if the haunted spirit didn’t want her to leave.
10. Meet the Hitchhiker of Highway 365 on a dark and spooky night!
Be careful if you spot a lady hitchhiking home on Highway 365! According to legend, once any fated driver arrives at the address she gives, the woman simply disappears. If the driver goes to the door to ask about the girl, it's been said the residents of the household will tell the driver the situation happens frequently, as their daughter was killed in a car accident.
9. Cross the Cotter Bridge at night.
Some people who have crossed the Cotter Bridge have experienced a number of paranormal happenings - for example, the ghost of a woman was spotted being chased by hounds, and apparitions of children have been seen playing on the tracks below the bridge.
8. Pass by Mr. Lyle's house in Jonesboro if you dare.
This Jonesboro house, built in 1926 by businessman Jimmy Lyle, claims to have several fun-loving spirits around. The ghost of Mr. Lyle himself is said to have been seen walking in certain areas of the house. The house underwent renovation in 2006 and while workers were outside taking a break, they heard a child laughing and running around on the second floor, but not a soul was inside when they checked. A family who lived in the house during the 1970s recalls their daughter waking up and screaming upon seeing a little boy at the foot of her bed smiling at her. He ran through the wall and disappeared.
7. The old Fort Smith Courthouse is a creepy place sometimes.
The old courthouse that still stands in Fort Smith was the sight of many a death sentence handed out in the late 19th century (several being handed down by famed "hanging judge" Issac C. Parker) – the hangings occurred outside of the courthouse. It's said that the ghosts of the condemned men still roam the grounds. Standing in the reconstruction of the gallows is even a spine-tingling experience for visitors.
6. Visit the ghost of the King Opera House in Van Buren.
The King Opera House in Van Buren is another long-standing building that has its own ghost story. The opera house is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young actor, murdered by an enraged man who objected when the actor made plans to elope with a young woman who just happened to be the older man's daughter. How is such real-life drama going on in an opera house?!
5. Visit the mother and her child at the Avon Cemetery in De Queen.
At the Avon Cemetery in De Queen, a ghostly mother and child are said to haunt the cemetery according to local legend. As the story goes, long ago the woman sat the baby on the edge of the old well as she was drawing water, and the baby fell in and drowned. The baby’s mother has been seen running through the cemetery, and some claim that if you drop a rock into the well in the center of the cemetery at night, you will hear the baby crying.
4. The ghosts of the Arlington Resort in Hot Springs say you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
The staff at the Arlington Resort in Hot Springs will tell you with absolute resolution that there are no ghosts in the building, nobody can quite explain why guests have witnessed apparitions in old-fashioned clothes wandering the hallways and bottles of wine jump from the shelves without being touched. Lights are said to go on and off untouched. One guest even reported feeling an evil presence in Room 824.
3. The young girl at the Allen House in Monticello would like some visitors, if you please.
Built at the turn of the century around 1900, the Allen House in Monticello is a Gothic mansion with several reported instances of hauntings. Out of all the paranormal reports, the apparition of a young woman who haunts the upper and lower floors of the mansion is spoken of the most. The ghost is said to move about the house, disappearing and reappearing in various spots. People who have been on the fourth floor of the house, which is now closed off, report hearing disembodied footsteps and voices in the location.
2. Pea Ridge Military Park in Garfield still has soldiers engaged in nighttime warfare.
Some guests at Pea Ridge Military Park in Garfield have reported hearing musket fire in the battlefield during the middle of the night. Others have said they've seen the ghosts of the Battle of Pea Ridge actually on the premises and speak of being followed by unseen presences.
1. Guests at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs might feel a little crowded by former hospital patients.
Located in Eureka Springs, the Crescent Hotel is one of America's best-known haunted hotels and has a history just as haunting as the spirits that allegedly still lurk there today. A one-time hospital ran by a fraudulent physician, patients would enter the facility alive but never leave due to faulty medical practices. The spirits of these unfortunates are said to still haunt the building despite its changes - the hotel has also been a girl's school. The staff here are completely aware of the hotel's reputation, too - just ask them when you're on the ghost tour!
Between now and Halloween you can surely find a good number of places around Arkansas that locals will tell you, in a fully assured tone, are indeed haunted. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, the paranormal, or the just plain spooky – it’s interesting to hear about the legends behind these places!