Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IF LOOKS HAUNTED.....Chances are it is NOT!

Scan the pages of any Internet site and you will find phrases such as "it looks haunted!" or "it is a creepy place - I bet there are ghosts there!" The truth of the matter is that a haunting can -and often do occur - in very prosaic places. Modern suburban houses filled with bric-a-brac and office buildings in strip malls. How something looks is no gauge of its value or merit or haunted-ness. There are, however, some places that sensitives can identify (and sometimes others) as having a "feel" or a "mood". Sometimes there is a sense that "something lingers on." There can also be places "tainted" by emotions, actions, or negative spirits. So - despite what all the horror novels and movies have enjoyed telling us for decades - if it looks spooky - it probably is not.

A Legend: Guthrie Boys Home

A persistent legend tells that a cruel nurse killed boys and buried them in the basement....or any of several other. However, residents and past "inmates" have simply laughed at the tale declaring it untrue. Searches for proof in newspapers has so far failed to find any such crimes reported. Crimes are covered up - but until more is fpound to support the legend - it must remain simply that.


Around this old historic setting it is said there is a ghost. It is said to be haunted by a vengeful and yet sad ghost of a girl who followed her love to the Fort disguised as a boy. "Vivia Thomas" is said to have killed her lover and then regretted it for the length of her short life. Visit Ft. Gibson.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


One of the obstacles for anyone doing "serious" research is trying to untangle the truth from layers of obfuscation, confabulations, mixed up memories, and plain and simple tall tale. So how do you identify an urban legend?
Here are some tips:
1. Consider its structure. Does it have all the normal "story" components of a beginning, a middle, or an end? Does it have a "punch line"....or a tag line....."no matter how much they tried they could never get the stain out...." Chances are it is an urban legend.

2. Watch out for lines just as : 'This is a true story...' or 'This really happened to a friend of a friend' .
3. "Only names and places have been changed" have heard the same story before with different little (or updated) details?
4. Is there a peculiar lack of details as to names, places, dates, or exact details of the event?
5. Can the "facts" be verified in newspapers, books, interviews, etc.
Things to remember:
Often hauntings do not have any context; there is no romantic tale of why a ghost is there or what caused the ghost to stay.
Satanism, witchcraft, and cults - are not as prevalent as some would have you believe (check with studies by national police organizations and the FBI). There have been more lynchings in this country than the burning of witches at the stake and more accidents than murders.
Hauntings or episodes quite often have a "I walked into the middle of something" feel to them when they are real. They do not have a "beginning" or an "end" - they dangle out there in mid event with no why or how and leave the observer scratching their head.

OKLAHOMA PARANORMAL GUIDEBOOK: Some "Haunted" Oklahoma Locations

The following are some of the most common spots listed as haunted in Oklahoma:

Ft. Gibson
Ft. Washita
Ft. El Reno
Black Jail - Guthrie
LaBady Mansion- Bartlesville
Kulli Tukilo Methodist Church - Idabel
Carey Place - Oklahoma City
Kitchen Lake - SE OKC/MWC area
Old women's dorms/ AGR Frat House- OSU, Stillwater
"Dead Woman's Crossing" - Weatherford
County Line Resturant - OKC
Walls Bargain Center- Shawnee
Music Store - Shawnee
Cate's Center - OU
Tulsa Area:
Cain's Ballroom
Brady Theater
Tulsa Little Theater
Tulsa Garden Center
Sparky's Cemetary
Riverside Park
The Cave House
The Gilcrease house
Labadie Mansion
The Brady Mansion
The Camelot Hotel
The Mayo Hotel
Peace of Mind Bookstore
Old Bellview School (Jason's Deli 15th & Peoria)
Empire Bar
Brady Mansion
Hex House Lot
Club Majestic
Lola's & Fox Hotel
Philbrook Mansion
The White House - Jenks, OK

Due to significant debunking the following are not listed:
Choctaw Library, Choctaw Middle School, Stone Lion Inn


Local historian Marilyn A. Hudson presents an intriguing theory concerning the alleged "Effie" ghost of the old Skirvin Hotel. Having researched stories and interviewed several people who had worked in the old hotel, Hudson suggests that several "ghosts" of the Skirvin were based on incidences occurring much earlier in OKC history. Failing to find many deaths reported in the famous hotel, she was able to find numerous deaths in hotels that once graced the downtown area: The Grand, The Lee, and others. In 1904 there was a "keeper of a bowdy house" on West 2nd Street who was killed by her husband by the name of "Effie Fisher". Knowing from other research how easy it is for memory to get tangled and distanced from the facts, Hudson suggests that many of the exciting deaths, suicides, strange visitors, and shootings from the other hotels and "houses" (which may not always have survived) may have been assigned later to the more Gothic and imposing Skirvin. After all, she notes, when a place "looks haunted" people expect to be haunted. An article in the Oklahoman (May 1, 1910) pointed out the construction of the new hotel (then called the "Skirvin House") at First and Broadway was a landmark from the earliest days of the city. On that location had stood the Richardson Real Estate office.
Just in case, if you have first hand experience from someone who worked in the pre-renovation Skirvin use the comments to add your tales.
Some facts:
  • The original name of the hotel, according to newspaper accounts ,was "The Skirvin House" (1910).
  • In 1911 - the manager committed suicide and it was investigated as suspicious
  • Later, (1902's?) a workman fell to his death.
  • Several people committed suicide - as they did in all the local hotels- most by poison and a few by pistol.
  • The legend that "Effie" was a mistress kept imprisoned in the hotel is also similar to a tale told about the "Gold Hotel" in Nevada - making it more the urban legend than real tale. In that time period, it was more likely he would have sent away - with a payoff - a pregnant mistress or simply paid for an illegal abortion. If an "Effie" did die - perhaps it was a botched abortion rather than some convoluted prisoner in the hotel scenerio.

BIGFOOT DAYS- Coming this October

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Long recognized as one of the historic gems of the state, the location also has a long history of paranormal stories. As early as March of 1907 a local newspaper recounted people traveling there to view the semi-annual appearance of ghost said to appear the last day of March and the last day of October of each year. On these ocassasions witnesses have claimed seeing a young woman who, when she sees she is watched, will beckon the observer to follow and then disappears as she floats over a spring stream running near the fort. At the same time will be reports of the sounds of horses hoofs as cavalry troops are taking a ghostly ride. The romantic underpinning of the tale involves a young lieutenant from an eastern post sent to the garrison at Fort Washita. Although, to be married in a week, his orders sent him to the frontier and the wedding was postponed. The young man soon became ill and died and the bride-to-be died of grief soon after. The appearances are thought to have been linked to the death of first the young man and then the bride to be. ["Party Will Await Beck of "Ghost"" Romantic Story's Foundation To Be Investigated by the Curious". The Oklahoman (March 17, 1907): 15.].
Shown in the image is the West Barracks at the Fort, for more information and events go to Ft Washita

Thursday, May 8, 2008


1. Get permission to visit the locale.
2. Do some background information searching.
3. Go with a plan (what is the problem being researched? what do you want to learn? Verify?)
4. Check out the area for drafts, exists, entrances.
5. Create a simple map of the area marking normal readings for areas, adding exits, air ducts, etc. Note times, temperatures, etc.
6. Take multiple readings of the locations and mark on the map.
7. Develop a case file, dated, in order on each visit.

Mystery On 36th Street

"I received information from some who travels NW 36th street in OKC that they had observed a man who "disappeared" crossing the street. He was there , was momentarily invisible by a passing truck, but gone when the truck moved past. High fences, brick walls and the such made it impossible, so reports the source, of the person going anywhere without being seen." Spellbound Stories


"Across the country "ghost hunters" - using the term loosely - are being arrested with charges of tresspassing and other citations. They break into posted locations, or enter private property, with no regard for issues of law or even courtesy. They also give all groups trying to raise the standards and expectations a bad name. Bored teens are still breaking into local haunts to stare into blotchy mirrors chanting"Bloody Mary! Bloody Mary!Bloody Mary!" through a weed or alchohol haze. Serious investigations are going to be hindered. -- Shadow Man