Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Custer County, a Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation was ironically named in honor of George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), a United States Army cavalry commander.

THE STORY: In Weatherford, the spirit of a murdered woman separated from her baby has reportedly returned in search of her child. The bridge near the site of her murder is known as “Dead Woman’s Crossing,” and it is believed by many that her ghost haunts the area. Katy James disappeared in July 1905, after filing for divorce from her husband and leaving to stay with relatives in another town. Her father hired a detective to find her, and while he could find no trace of Katy, he did find a woman who had seen her after she left. Katy met Fannie Norton, a prostitute, on the train, and went to stay with Fannie and her relatives. They left in a buggy the next morning, saying they would be back in a few hours, but only Fannie returned. Fannie left Katy’s baby at a nearby farm and fled the area. The detective tracked Fannie down, but she claimed she had no responsibility in Katy’s disappearance. Katy, she said, had met a man and left with him. Fannie died, reportedly by poisoning herself, and a few weeks later Katy’s body was found. It was determined that Fannie had murdered Katy during their buggy ride in order to rob her, and Katy’s husband received custody of their child and Katy’s estate. Many people, however, believe Katy’s husband hired Fannie to kill her. It is rumored that Katy’s spirit still lingers at the site where she was murdered, searching for her child. This location has become a very popular party place for college students. Reportedly, at midnight one can hear the sound of a woman crying for her child, as well as the sound of wagon wheels.
EVIDENCE: This story was originally researched by Susan Woolf Brenner, a student in Weatherford. She wrote an article on Katy James that appeared in the Chronicles of Oklahoma: Volume LX (Fall 1982) titled "Dead Woman's Crossing: The Legacy of a Territorial Murder". While there is confirmation on historical events, stories of the haunting remain anecdotal. LINK:


  1. I am co founder of PPI Paranormal from Moore, OK, I do research and an investigator for the group. I research both the haunting, and the history behind it. Facts are left out of the story when told, such as Katy and her husband, and Fannie and her husband were friend's. Fannie and Katy had more than their share of fights during the friendship. After the killing Fannie went to Guthrie, OK to put her son in a private school. The body was found in a location that was already searched before, and was found by a person that Fannie and her husband knew. The detective and law enforcement suspected both Katy's husband, and Fannie's husband as being in on it. Katy came from parent's with money and owned property, so if the divorce went through then he would have gotten nothing.But it was also suspected that Katy's husband and child may have been killed by Fannie's husband or the friend since he and the baby disappeared without a trace.They believed the poison was taken because she did not want to be put to death in front of her son. All information was found in articles on the case, in the Oklahoman.

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