Everyone loves a good ghost story, and Oklahoma has its fair share of them. As a stomping ground for ghosts and spirits, the Sooner State has been explored and investigated by paranormal experts and ghost hunters. So if you’re ready to meet some of Oklahoma’s most notable ghosts, here are 11 of them and their bone-chilling stories:
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:
1. "Effie" from Skirvin Hotel: Oklahoma City
The story goes that there is a ghost named "Effie" who haunts the halls and harasses hotel guests at the Skirvin. "Effie" was a former maid at the hotel back in the early 1900s who had an affair with the owner of the hotel. She got pregnant and was locked in a room on the top floor of the hotel to hide the scandal.
Supposedly she jumped from the hotel window with her baby and both died. Her ghost continues to haunt the hotel guests. Many report seeing a naked women in the shower, voices crying out and even being sexually harassed by a ghostly woman. NBA players from the New York Knicks claim their game was off after a night of haunts at the hotel in 2010. So have other NBA players staying at the hotel according to a 2014 New York Times article.
2. "Mrs. Wilson" from Northeastern State University: Tahlequah
At Seminary Hall on the campus of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, there is said to be a woman who haunts the oldest building on campus. She is believed to be Florence Wilson, a principal who spent 26 years at the Cherokee National Female Seminary (before it was NSU). There have been strange reports of photographed orbs, puzzling sounds and strange smells. Others claim to have seen a female ghost wearing either a black uniform or white wedding gown.
3." Aunt Jane" from Fort Washita: Durant
Fort Washita was established in 1842 and was overrun by Confederates in 1861. During those years, a murder (beheading) took place of a woman. The ruins are still said to be haunted today by this restless spirit, the ghost of a headless woman who has been nicknamed "Aunt Jane." She is said to roam the property looking for lost gold she hid. Reports range from visitors feeling strangled, doors opening and closing on their own, hovering spirits, strange noises and many more. Many of these have been confirmed by paranormal experts.
4. "Dr. Carl Barnett" from Will Rogers High School: Tulsa
The ghost of a former band director, Carl Barnett, is believed to haunt the auditorium at the school. He died of a heart attack while conducting Bach's "Come, Sweet Death." His death occurred on April 23, 1974. He was 59 years old, and it was his first and last performance of that musical composition. Witnesses have seen a man in a white tux walk around on stage and backstage.
5. "Augusta Houghton" from Stone Lion Inn: Guthrie
The Houghton family built a mansion (currently Stone Lion Inn) in the early 1900s and lived in it with their 12 children. One of the children, 8 year old Augusta, died in the home when the maid gave her the wrong medication to combat the child's whooping cough. Little Augusta used to play on the 3rd floor playroom with her toys. Her spirit is believed to still haunt the home. Many report hearing footsteps up to the 3rd floor, toys being left out, sounds of children playing in the home, and lights being turned on.
6. "Sappho Constantine Brown" from Constantine Theater: Pawhuska
This building is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sappho Constantine Brown, the beautiful daughter of the theater owner. The theater was closed in 1970, after many profitable years. In 1987, a group of citizens led by long, tedious renovation.
One of the more puzzling stories is the magically regenerating wall. During the reconstruction phase, volunteer students tore down one side of Constantine's office to make for a larger space. When they came back 2 days later, the team returned to find the wall completely restored. They decided it was fine the way it was and left the office alone after that. Workmen also claimed to hear phantom footsteps and saw an apparition of the girl. Many reports of seeing this girls and strange things happening in the building have been documented.
7. "Enrico Caruso" from Brady Theater: Tulsa
Caruso made his first and only appearance in Tulsa at the Brady Theater. In an effort to show Caruso the local culture, the concert promoters drove Caruso out to an oil field in Sapulpa. On the return trip to Tulsa, all 3 vehicles traveling broke down, which forced Caruso to hitchhike in the cold, wet weather.
He performed that night but died shortly after his visit to Tulsa from a throat illness, that was thought to be aggravated by the Oklahoma weather during his visit. It is said that he returned to Brady Theater postmortem, since his visit there was to blame for his death. Many reports have been made of noises in the theater when no one else is around, curtains moving on their own and performers getting spooked. There is also rumors of other spirits roaming the theater, one from a stagehand that hung himself in the catwalks and now haunts the theater.
8. The girls from Wheelock Academy: Millerton
According to the local stories, the hauntings at Wheelock Academy began when a man broke into the girls’ mission and murdered the girls. Witnesses say that the walls and trees bleed, and apparitions sit in chairs or hang from trees.
One story tells of some teens who tried to steal a vase from the mission’s cemetery. When they got to the car with their plunder, the car wouldn’t start. Moments later when they had second thoughts and returned the vase, the car started just fine. They also 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.
9. "Henry" from Roman Nose State Park: Watonga
Roman Nose State Park is home to a ghost, but not a scary one. The state park is named after Chief Henry Roman Nose and is located 7 miles of Watonga. He lived in this rugged canyon from 1887 until he died there in 1917. Henry is said to be more of a prankster ghost than an evil one. Over the years there have been various reports from visitors and workers in the park about "Henry." Weird, skull images have appeared in photographs and funny things appearing and happening around the park.
10. "Mrs. Labadie" from Labadie Mansion: Copan
The ghost of a former owner is said to haunt the remains of Labadie Mansion. Only a wall and the foundation still exist, as the once beautiful mansion has been ravaged by time and 2 fires. Some witnesses say their flashlights suddenly stop working as they approach the place, voices shout at them from nowhere, and animals appear out of thin air. Strange smells and a suddenly burning fire in the gutted fireplace also have been reported.
11. "Mr. Gilcrease" from Gilcrease Museum: Tulsa
Thomas Gilcrease opened a museum in Tulsa to showcase many items he had accumulated from his worldly travels. After he passed away in 1962, the wealthy oilman's spirit is said to have never left the museum, his house and the grounds. He roams the halls showcasing his collection and has been seen by visitors and employees. Doors will open and close by themselves, the temperature will fluctuate on its own and items will appear out of place without explanation.
Some of these give me goose bumps! Do you have any ghost stories to share with us?