The day was cold and rainy, temperatures beginning to drop to true deep fall levels, as I arrived at the historic mansion at the corner of NW 15th and Hudson in Oklahoma City's lovely Heritage Hills section. The mansion was built in 1903 by an early pioneer of the famous 1889 Land Run, a poor man does exceedingly well story for the ages. Henry Overholser and his young bride Anna moved in and, many claim, never quite left.
The mansion was awaiting the evening's events. I could see the Director of the facility as she made her way to the nearby Carriage House and the museum offices and giftshop. I glanced up at the stately towers and broad old fashioned windows and saw a movement. A woman, her shape indestinct, appeared to be looking out the window. Then she was gone. I entered the Carriage House and asked if there were any volunteers already in the Mansion, "No, what did you see?" A normal question at the historic site along with "what did you hear?"
Two marvelous volunteer tour guides, donned in Victorian and Edwardian dress, added a magical touch to the evening. The Directer was wearng a recreation of an dress which could have been worn on the Titanic. The storyteller was wearing dress and hat from the era of the twenties. The house no doubt welcomed the nod to the fashions of the days it first opened its doors to its owners and their friends.
Two tour groups came through and. a special treat for the evening, the storytelling normally held in the Carriage House was moved to the third floor ballroom. A glorius evening for shivery tales as the rain fell with thick luscious drops against the aged panes of the windows in the room. As the last group left and last minute guests were lingering in the formal halls enjoying the many lovely appointments and the awe brought from being in such a wonderful old house the house was not quite finished for the evening.
One couple snapping photos caught a strange white mist in a thick and somewhat glowing mass as it appeared to descend the family staircase at the back of the house. Others caught various "orbs" in their photos. A woman who had been touring the family bedrooms on the second floor was overcome with a great sadness and ill ease and grew uncomfortable enough she had to leave and sat on the stairs collecting her breath. The group was informed that a similar episode had happened the week earlier for the grand autumn tour of historic homes and nearly the same location.
The house, it was clear, was welcoming the attention it was getting as its halls and rooms glowed with the warmth of light on a chill evening and people once more strolled its corridors and basked in it's loveliness.
The Overholser Mansion, a perfect spot for the Halloween season....or any other one as well. Visit www.overholsermansion.org for infomation on hours and events.
--Marilyn A. Hudson, c2011.