Oklahoma March 28, 2016
Driving Down This Haunted Oklahoma Road Will Give You Nightmares
If you’ve spent much time in Weatherford, Oklahoma, you’ve probably heard about the ghost story of Mrs. James.
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Local legend claims that Mrs. James haunts the road around Deer Creek in the small unincorporated community near Weatherford in Custer County.
On July 7, 1905, a lady named Katy DeWitt James, 29, and her baby Lulu Belle, 14 months old, got on a train to go visit a cousin in Payne County. She had filed for divorce from her husband the day before on grounds of cruelty. Her father, Henry Dewitt, saw them off from the train station and planned on hearing from them within several days.
When Mr. Dewitt hadn't heard from his daughter for several weeks, he hired a private investigator, Mr. Bartell, to look for her.
After some digging, Bartell learned that Mrs. James had met and befriended Fannie Norton, a known prostitute, on the train. On the evening of July 7, Norton took Mrs. James and Lulu Belle to the home of her brother-in-law, William Moore in Clinton; they spent the night there before riding off in a buggy the next morning, saying they would be back in three hours. Norton returned two hours later—but neither Mrs. James nor her daughter were with her.
So what happened on this road over a century ago?
The detective discovered that the buggy had disappeared into a field near the creek. After about an hour, it came speeding back out; one wheel was stained with blood. Norton pulled up to a farmer’s house, called the farmer’s boy over, and gave him a baby - Lulu Belle - wrapped in a bloody dress. Clearly foul play was involved, but when the detective tracked down Norton, the prostitute denied killing Mrs. James. It was never confirmed whether she was lying or not. It was presumed she was guilty since she swallowed a heavy dose of poison, killing herself in one fell swoop later that day.
A skull and skeleton were discovered near Deer Creek by a local fisherman and confirmed that they belonged to Mrs. James. Her estranged husband, Martin James, inherited her estate and disappeared with their daughter Lulu Belle.
The mystery was never solved, and a number of questions still remain.
Legend claims Mrs. Jameses' restless spirit roams the streets and banks near Deer Creek, calling out for her baby daughter. Other stories claim that if you stand beneath the bridge crossing the creek and listen closely, you might hear the rattle of wagon wheels rolling around above you.
A researcher was in the area doing a school project, when she noticed a blue light with no particular shape that originated in the creek, and was coming towards her friend and her.
The wooden crossing where Mrs. Jameses' body was found was torn down 80 years later, but a concrete bridge was built nearby and was quickly dubbed with the tragic label of Dead Woman's Crossing.
Have you ever driven on this haunted road?