Monday, December 24, 2012

Haunted Places: That Are

The Overholser Mansion, Oklahoma City.

History: Built in 1903 by local land and banking leader, Henry Overholser.  Only lived in by the Overholsers, first the elder Overholsers (Henry and Anna) and later the daughter and  her husband (she was Ione Overholser Perry).  Rare among historic houses due to the contents being original to the house.

Reports:  As early as the 1960's witnesses, including the wife of then Senator Mike Monroney, reported seeing a woman dressed in white in the area of the drawing room and the music room.  These rooms were centers of social life for the Overholsers, reports of smelling smoke in the Cigar room, music in the music room, and the buzz of conversation are common.   Reports of slamming doors, impressions of a body in a new made bed, a woman seen from outside in the turret room, and other occurrences are numerous.  Numerous  psychics and investigators have had 'interesting' experiences in the house, the coach house, and on the grounds. 

Happy Holidays!

May there be warmth, love, and friendship all around you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Publisher Seeking Submissions for Charity Book

The House Down the Street
2013 project
Whorl Books announces it is planning a short story collection for 2013 featuring work by authors aged 12 and over.  The proposed title of the work is 'THE HOUSE DOWN THE STREET."   Interested authors are invited to submit work for this project.

Project description:
1. Fund-raising book featuring submitted work.  Any royalities from sales of this work will go to a designated local history, literacy,  or arts project.
2. Authors/publisher will not receive finanical renumeration.
3. Authors will be properly credited and their material will be first-rights use only. All other rights return to the author.

1. Work must be original to the person submitting the material.
2. Submissions should be submitted as word documents (.doc) and sent to the email address listed below.
3.  A short bio statement of the author should be included in the email (name, where author lives, attends/attended school, etc.)
4.   The following statement should be included in the email:  "The work submitted here, [insert name of story], is the original creation of [insert author name]. I give permission for Whorl Books to publish it for charity fundraising purposes and recognize that no payment will be made for this use but that all rights return to me after this publication."
5.  Story should be approximately 5 to 10 pages.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria.
1.  The writing is topically connected with the book title.
2.  The writing is quality work (grammar, spelling, style, form, etc.)
4.  The writing follows MLA formatting as to form. It should use Times New Roman or Tahoma,  12 point font, and have author name on each page (in the header field).
5.   The writing avoids language or content which would not be suitable for ages 12 to 16.  
6.   The writing reveals innovative use of the language and does not resort to over use of cliche or stereotypes.
7.   The story is engaging and enjoyable.

Email: (projector coordinator)

Monday, July 2, 2012


August 18, 2012 in Enid, Oklahoma "GHOSTLAHOMA" arrives.  Tickets for this paranormal themed event will be $25 and vendor booths will be $50 which includes one ticket.

See more HERE - including bios of the speakers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Sometimes local legends are merely that.  The product of fevered imaginations with too much time on their hands?

The Legend:  In the early 1990's accounts of a "Hatchet House" with accompanying awful murder and porch and/or driveway painted red to hide "all the blood", began to appear in local OKC newspapers and in rumors. Soon tales of swings moving in the moonlight.....and ghostly voices of children playing..... began to flesh out the vague and lurid premise. 

Now, every Halloween local haunters flock to the historic district of the Gatewood Neighborhood to find the notorious house with hatchet cutouts...or the red painted porch....or the driveway where 'they found the body.' 

The Investigation: 
This seemed like an easy find....track down the dastardly crime....solve the mystery...provide some background for this legend. So far...however, no such crime has come to light. The area only dates back to the 1920's when it boomed along with various other areas of the city. Its classic hometown feel and its historic homes kept it a special place for many decades. 

There was one tragedy as children, going to and coming from the local elementary school (Gatewood Elementary) were struck by automobiles...a few random crimes....and some natural deaths. Finding a grim and ghastly crime worthy of such a horrific legend....has so far drawn a blank. No murder stained drive way. No body buried beneath local swing set. 

Conclusion: The story is similar to the tale in the Don Knotts comedy, "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" with its tale of murder, blood stained organ keys ("and they used Bon-Ami!"), and generally bad reputation associated with a stereotypical locale.  No doubt the unusual selection of hatchets sparked the origins of this urban legend. They had to mean something, right? A story of a young girl who was frightened one night in the  park near Eugene Field Elementary (at the time in the 1980's a drug infested and very scary place) bears a strong resemblance to the other story and may reflect confluence of story elements. Drug dealers have been known to start and circulate scary stories to keep the nosy away from areas of 'business.'

Unless, and until, something definite is discovered this is no doubt another OKC Urban Legend. So, drive through the area and enjoy the neighborhood that is on the national history registry.....but give the folks there a rest because there is really nothing else to see there.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Choctaw was settled in 1890 and by statehood in 1907 the town could claim less than three hundred souls. Today, it is a modest and pleasant community under 20,000 with most growth occurring in outlying portions of the community. 

In the older heart of the town at the north end stands an elementary school and right next door is a junior or middle high building.  A few blocks south is the new (since destruction by the May 3, 1993 tornado) public library.  It's original incarnations were first as a book mobile and then a corner in the old community center (just off the shopping center dead center of town). It was a daytime only library for most of its life until it moved into the building destroyed by the tornado and then late hours were a modest closing by 6 p.m. or 8 p.m.

Persistent urban legends claim ghostly activity at both of these places.  Yet, detailed investigations into the claims results in classing them as distinct urban myths probably begun by bored local youth. Boredom, controlled substance abuse, high spirits, pranks, and hoaxes are often behind many such local stories. Since this is how most  urban legends begin it is not too surprising they seem to 'hang' in mid-air with out context, beginning, or end. 

Take the tale of the elementary school.  In the front of the middle school is a place where one may sit and in the day you can hear children playing - from the school yard just over the wall!   At night, there are enough surfaces to generate whistling wind, scrapping branches, and dried leaves enough to set a heart racing and the imagination busy.

The library, staff and customers, many of whom where long time regulars, could not verify any unusual incidents of books flying off the shelves late at night.  The cleaners also could not provide any information. In addition, the hours , line of sight, security cameras and customer flow at all locations which had housed the library make it unlikely the tale has any validity.   

Additionally, no local news, events, or stories corroborate a rationale for the alleged visitations.  This also adds to the conclusion the initial investigation was correct to label it an urban legend. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Want to List Your Group?

Follow the directions under the "contact" tab. Also, looking for guest writers - see the same tab for information.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


On the blog Mystorical is an account of unsolved and grisly murders in Oklahoma City in the 1970's.  Read the story in "What Lies Beneath" .  Such an area would make an interesting investigation since the houses are all gone.  Could an EVP of quality be recorded in such an area?  With the neighborhoods all gone where the murders occurred and open spaces in their place has something been waiting to communicate an identity? Would photographic evidence be possible?

Monday, February 20, 2012


The Legend: Conduct a search and you are sure to find entries like this: " The real "Cry Baby Bridge" is in....(Kiefer, Schulter, Catoosa, Oklahoma City, and there are 3 more "fake " ones in Kellyville.) The OKC road has been completely re-routed, and the bridge is no longer standing. The original legend goes like this: Legends states that if you go there you can sometimes hear, or see, the woman looking for her baby in the form of a glowing soft blue light. " -- See Shadowlands, or numerous other sites that lifted their information in total from other sites.

Despite some postings like this on various websites this is one story that has to be re-evaluated with facts. Debate on the web as to the location of the "real" Crybaby Bridge in Oklahoma totally ignores the folkloric root of this tale. It is in folklore that the meaning and identification of the bridge must be found.

The story of the Crybaby Bridge always begs the question, which one? Such bridges have been identified through local legend in almost every state from New York to Ohio to Oklahoma and a few further west. Since the story did not originate in Oklahoma all claims that the "real" bridge is in Oklahoma are untrue.

Experts have seen that in the western versions, there is an apparent relationship to the Hispanic tale of La Llorona. This old legend tells of a woman who drowned her children to be with her young lover, who in turn deserted her. The contemporary case of Susan Smith comes to mind as a modern example of just the same type of tragedy. This source tale may date back to pre-colonial Mexico and may even refer to an early native deity.

In these crybaby bridge tales a frequent motif is the (a)shamed daughter rejected by her father, (b) baby and woman died (either through cold or through drowning), and listeners are encouraged to remember the tale as (c) a memorial to lost innocence.

An old Irish folk song may have helped shape the development of this legend. in modern times. “Mary of the Wild Moors” is a haunting tune that has the elements of the shamed daughter, the infant baby, the rejecting father, and the lingering cry heard in the place of their death on the cold stoop of the cottage. It is moody and haunting making it a memorable tale. 
Although, many areas have their haunted hollows, stretches of eerie road or spooky woods (one such place was recorded near El Reno in the early 1900's, the sight of an alleged murder). Many of these bridge tales, by comparison, seemed to have all arisen during the 1920's and 1930's.

If, as many believe, urban legends, are as much morality tales cautioning about behavior, then the often dangerous bridges of the early years, coupled with the moral threat posed by a newly independently mobile youth, could easily have led to the development of this tale and explain its enduring appeal.

Investigation: Oklahoma, like Ohio, has several bridges identified as a Cry Baby Bridge. Most have been closed down over the years, lost as roads were rerouted, or simply replaced by newer bridges. I visited one alleged sight in southwest Oklahoma County. It was down an old dirt road and had been closed for decades to motor vehicles. The metal had rusted and the wooden planks were beginning to weaken.

It crossed a narrow ravine where a tiny trickle of dirty water flowed decorated here and there with the debris of cast off appliances and car parts. An old concrete pipe in one side of the ravine served to spill out rain water from somewhere. Listening carefully, it was clear there was a small whistling or crying sound as the wind played over the exposed pipe. It would easy to see in the dark, in an excited and suggestible state of mind, their could be heard 'crying'.

Conclusion: Urban Legend.  A fabricated story. In the clear light of day I could hear the wind sighing through the pipe, and knew that in the dead of night it might sound like the whimpering cries of a child, or the mournful pleas of a woman in pain. Legend affirms the stereotypical 'crybaby bridge' story elements - found in numerous states and predating the Oklahoma sites.  Yet, local news sources do not confirm any such accidents in the locale.


Kitchen Lake, Hudson Photo
Soon to be turned into a 30 acre fishing and park area, as of Feb. 2012.

Kitchen Lake.  Just east of SE 149th and SE 119th & Sooner Road,   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The legend: A witch's house, burned to the ground, batteries die/drain, animal parts hanging from trees, strange anomalies, creepy feelings, etc. Some claim the event occurred in the early 1900's.

Kitchen Lake, Hudson Photo
The Investigation:  The area is in the region south of Tinker AFB land, where in the late 1940's a huge fire destroyed land and houses there (most were being demolished). This fire, no doubt,  becomes mixed with the general fire legend leading to a corruption of both tales.  The Tinker fire, since it involved aircraft fuel, did linger in the air for a long time according to locals and newspaper accounts.  The area of the house revealed evidence of a fire but no mysterious hanging animals, no energy draining, no strange feelings, and nothing but the isolation  of a rural area.  Most reports indicate the 'house' was empty when it burned (possibly due to lightening strike). It was obvious from examination of the region, it was a popular area for people to park and drink (the so called lake, low and swamp like filled with plants, was rife with tossed beer cans, bottles, and wrappers). A few people still live in the area, some horses are kept, and many no trespassing signs indicate problems with sight seers. Temperature fluctuations were explained by air coming off the nearby body of water; this created cool drafts and might account for some of the 'strange smoke' (fog) observed.  The house is also in the general area of an alleged 'cry-baby bridge' which has been debunked.

Conclusion: The legend is a whole cloth urban fantasy, no doubt constructed by bored local youth, added to by skittish legend trippers fueled by drugs, drink, and/or fabrication. Examination of known photos is inconclusive and may reflect nothing more than smoke (never smoke on an investigation!), fog, or insects.