Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TULSA COUNTY

Tulsa County draws it's name from "Tallasi", meaning "old town" in the Creek language. "Tulsey Town", as it was called by settlers, began as an old Creek settlement in Oklahoma. The City of Tulsa is lucky enough to be the home of many hauntings according to local tradition, including two of Oklahoma's most famous ghosts.


GILCREASE MUSEUM
THE STORY: The first spirit is reported to haunt the Gilcrease Museum, which was established a number of years ago thanks to Thomas Gilcrease. The Gilcrease Museum houses one of the world's most extensive and renowned collections of Native American and Western art and artifacts. After his death in 1962, the philanthropist's ghost has been seen and heard haunting the museum. Perhaps he just loved the place so much that he never wanted to leave. Seen all over the estate, the philanthropist ghost often spends time in the gardens, which was his favorite place during his life time. Other reports tell of ghostly children that continue to roam upon these historic grounds. Ghost investigators have obtained electronic voice recordings of a woman singing, the sounds of men arguing, and strange whispers. Other phenomena reported by staff and guests include loud banging noises coming from the second floor of the museum, major temperature fluctuations, doors slamming by themselves, unexplainable technical malfunctions, and items that mysteriously disappear only to show up later in a strange place that it obviously does not belong. Some estimate that there as many as seven different spirits remaining on the property, all of which are reportedly harmless and linger only because they like it. It has been reported that the museum has an unsually high turnover among night security personnel, who have reported most of the sightings. Not surprisingly, Gilcrease has also been spotted lingering at the Tulsa Historical Society, which was once his home. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. LINK: History and Haunting of the Gilcrease Museum



BRADY THEATRE
THE STORY: The second spirit who is said to linger in Tulsa is that of the famed opera singer, Enrico Caruso (born Naples, February 25, 1873 – died Naples, August 2, 1921). Caruso was was an Italian opera tenor of tremendous international renown and a key pioneer in the field of recorded music. According to local legend, the tenor died of pleurisy just one year after an open-air carriage ride on a cold and wet Oklahoma day. According to Caruso's wife Dorothy, his state of health began a distinct downward spiral in late 1920 while on a lengthy North American tour. Caruso's manager Edward Bernays blamed his illness on the unlucky stop in Tulsa and it is said that his ghost still haunts the Brady Theater in retribution for causing his demise. The Brady Theatre is reportedly home to a second spirit, that of a workman who fell off a ladder and died. People have heard noises, footsteps, and employees have found ladders and other objects displaced. The Brady Theater, located at 105 W. Brady St., Tulsa, Oklahoma, is also known as The Old Lady on Brady. Originally named the Tulsa Convention Hall, the theatre was Tulsa'a first large auditorium. Detained African-Americans were brought here during the Tulsa Race Riot. One story is that the theatre was a holding area to keep African-American refugees safe, but instead it was a trap. According to the story some victims were tortured, burned and buried in the walls and floors of the Brady Theatre. Built in 1914. It is listed on National Register of Historic Places. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. While there is photographic evidence of African-Americans being escorted in the theatre, there is no evidence that anyone was tortured, killed or buried in the theatre.

TRAIN TRACKS
THE STORY: Four children died playing chicken on these tracks. Some believe that if you park your car in this location, the ghosts of the children will push your car off the tracks. They’ll leave dirty handprints on your car. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. This story is likely a local import of another urban legend.


SPOTLIGHT THEATRE
THE STORY: Footsteps are heard coming from the costume room. There are strange scratch marks on the wall in the basement. EVIDENCE: Since Spotlight Theatre faces the Arkansas River, it’s probably river rats.


SOUTH TULSA RESIDENCE
THE STORY: Family members (names with-held at request of family) in this South Tulsa residence located off 81st Street claim to have experienced various paranormal activities including unexplainable sounds, doors closing on their own (but not opening), knocking on door to upstairs room. Most unexplained activity occurs on the second floor. The unexplained activity have no predictable pattern. Several guests in the home on different occasions have reported seeing a spirit form on the upstairs catwalk. Most spirit activity seems restricted to the stairs and the upper floor. One guest reported seeing a female apparition next to the stairs in old style garments (which would precede the time the house was constructed). Research indicated that the first owner of the home died of a heart attack in the front yard, his wife survived him and remained in the home for many years following. The family dog has been reported to run upstairs and bark subsequent to doors closing. The owner reported a knocking on the bathroom door and opened the door to find no one there. Family members report that sometimes months pass without any observable activity. According to the family the spirit is benign. EVIDENCE: One psychic confirmed the presence of spirit activity, but reported that spirit activity is related to the family and not the residence itself. A second psychic reported no spirit activity in the home during her visit. Research by the current owner indicated the original owner of the home died of a heart attack while in residence.


HIGHWAY 20
THE STORY: There is said to be a stretch of haunted highway in Oklahoma, where Highway 20 runs just east of Claremore, Oklahoma. In the winter of 1965, a woman named Mae Doria offered a ride to a young boy who was hitchhiking along that road. Upon reaching Pryor, Oklahoma the boy asked to be let out of the car in an area where there were no houses around. When Mrs. Doria asked him where he lived, he simply replied "over there". She looked to see where he meant and when she turned back, he was gone! She immediately stopped the car and looked all around, thinking that he might have jumped out, but he was nowhere to be found. Ironically, about 2 years later, she was talking to a man about strange experiences. When she mentioned this phantom hitchhiker, he knew immediately just where she was talking about. He had heard about the phantom boy being picked up along Highway 20 since 1936. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. The vanishing hitchhiker is an frequently repeated urban legend with local variations throughout the United States. LINK: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/vanish.asp


CAMELOT HOTEL
HISTORY: Built in 1965 at Peoria and I-44, the Camelot Inn (later Camelot Hotel, and then Camelot Parkside Hotel) quickly became the "place to be". However, during the 80s, it suffered a swift decline and was abandoned. In 1996, it was condemned for public habitation, although not for structural integrity. This old hotel was demolished in 2007 to make way for a widening of the highway. It is said that Elvis once stayed in it. Locals reported that the hotel had been long used by homeless persons as a residence despite the "no tresspassing" signs. THE STORY: At night area witnesses reporting seeing lights on and strange things going up to the very top floor and people looking through the windows. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal.

PHILBROOK MUSEUM
THE STORY:
The eyes of some of the statues will follow you, and some of the heads will actually turn. There are strange lights go up and down the halls, late in the evenings. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal.


WILL ROGERS HIGH SCHOOL
THE STORY: According to reports, in the auditorium at the school witnesses have seen a man in a white tux walk around on stage and backstage. Some witnesses also reported seeing a small person also in white in the auditorium. Many sightings at the school have been reported by the school janitor and students that stayed late for events or detention. The reported ghost in the white tux is suppose to be that of Dr. Carl Barnett, the band director who had the heart attack while conducting Bach's "Come, Sweet Death." His death occurred on April 23, 1974. He was 59 years old, and it was his first and last performance of that musical composition. Visitors must arrange in advance for a pass to tour the school. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. LINK: www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.asp


EAST EASTON PLACE
THE STORY: At East Easton Place in Tulsa Oklahoma in the Autumn, between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., the spirit of a little boy has been seen running barefoot down this street. According to legend, sometimes you can hear him scream. This street is near a closed Kmart. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal.



TULSA LITTLE THEATRE
THE STORY: The Tulsa Little Theatre, located in an unassuming brick building at 15th and Delaware Streets in Tulsa, Oklahoma is not only steeped in history, but is also said to be home to several unearthly guests. The Tulsa Little Theatre was constructed in 1932 at the intersection of 15th and Delaware in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2004, Bryce and Sunshine Hill purchased the property and began a massive restoration process that took 14 months to complete. The new owners sought to restore the building to be as close as possible to the point of when it was built in 1932. The Law Office of Bryce A. Hill is now using the Front building as their law office. In addition to having a renovated new look and a brand new owner, the old theatre still retains a part of its past – most notably a couple of spirits that are said to have been hanging around the building for years. Near the curtains on the old stage, a strange ball of light has often been seen bobbing around. Others on stage have reported seeing something standing behind them before mysteriously vanishing. Yet even more report having been touched by unseen hands and hearing strange noises coming from back stage when no one is there. According to the legend, a one time play director during the theatre’s heydays, died during a performance. Are these the signs of a director who has not yet finished his productions? Others allege that the spirit of a little girl is also said to lurk within the confines of the historic theatre. Employees of the law office also tell a number of odd occurrences within the building, including supplies that go missing and lights that turn on and off of their own accord. EVIDENCE: The Tulsa Little Theatre was investigated by the PITT (Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa) on October 11, 2002. LINK: Tulsa Little Theatre.

SPARKY'S GRAVEYARD
THE STORY: Sparky's Graveyard is located between Harvard & Yale on 91st right in front of Jenks Middle school in Tulsa. It is a African American graveyard. When Tulsa was first built, the North side of town was wealthy and the South side was poor. The graveyard is said to be haunted by a Headless Indian. The locals have named him "Sparky". Many people have seen him. EVIDENCE: Anecdotal.

MURDOC'S MANSION
THE STORY:
According to the legend, Murdoc's Mansion was located in Tulsa near Sheridan & 111th. There was once a mansion located there where many strange happenings occurred. There were rumors of Devil worship. The mansion was eventually destroyed in a fire. All that was left was a empty swimming pool, tennis court, the fireplace & part of the staircase. Rumors of Devil worship at the site drew teenagers and visitors to to the ruins. Subsequently police intervened though tresspassers would continue to visit the site. It was said that was you stepped foot in the property an eerie feeling would come over you. Witnesses who claim to have visited the site said that after only five minutes into the forest and all the sudden they would get spooked and try to go back to the car and would get tunnel vision and be lost for some time. Some reported fainting. It was later the site of an Albertson's (now Food Pyramid). EVIDENCE: Anecdotal. No further reports of haunting have subsequently been reported by store employees.


HEX HOUSE
THE STORY: In 1944 Tulsa Police found two women apparently under some kind of hypnotic spell living in the basement of another woman's home. The home owner, Carolann Smith, 45, subsequently received a short prison term. The two young women, Nell Willetta Horner, 30, and Virginia Evans, 31, who had been forced to live in an unheated basement of the house at 10 E. 21st St. and to turn over their paychecks to Smith. The women were led to believe that they would receive great reward for living in crates and turning over all of their money to Carol Ann Smith, the woman keeping them there. According to legend, during the Depression, Smith lost her husband to suicide (He managed to shoot himself in the back of the head). Smith was living off her husband’s and father’s life insurance. After her husband’s death, she found the two roommates that lived in her basement as “religious slaves” for eight years. They worked for PSO and gave Smith their paychecks. Shortly after the roommates moved in, Smith’s housekeeper wandered into the street and was struck by a car and died. Smith, who took out a life insurance policy on her housekeeper, now had a third insurance policy to live off. The "Hex House" was a favorite site for young Tulsans to visit on Halloween for years after the case was settled. Anecdotal reports of apparitions were rumored. But the house was torn down in 1975 and the site became the parking lot for the Akdar Shrine. The Shrine later moved to 27th Street and Sheridan Road and its old site -- where the Hex House had been -- became the site of apartments. Police and reporters may have believed the house had the makings of a Halloween mystery at one time. But today there are no ghosts or any ties with the occult at the apartment complex. EVIDENCE: No paranormal activity is associated with this location, however there is verification of the historical events related in the story. According to police reports, Smith planned to kill the roommates and collect the insurance money. There was a file on the Hex House at the main Tulsa Library, but it has been stolen. LINK: Tulsa World Police Report.



CAIN'S BALLROOM
THE STORY: Bob Wills (1905-1975), a country and western signer of "Take Me Back To Tulsa" fame, is believed to haunt Cain's Ballroom. Other patrons have claimed to see a lady in red. Cain's janitor, Sharon, reported seeing an apparition of a cowboy. On February 28, 2003 psychic consultants Eric Beese and Jonathan Jett claimed to have encountered a woman named Joan from the 50s, with a drinking problem and also sensed a male energy walking back & forth across the stage. Cold spots and orbs have also been reported during a paranormal investigation. EVIDENCE: While most evidence is anecdotal, with the FOX23 News Team present, a paranormal investigation of Cain's Ballroom was cnducted in 2003. LINK:
Paranormal investigation of Cain’s Ballroom.

14 comments:

  1. The closest Food Pyramid to the Murdoc's Mansion location is at 101st and Memorial, which means there's a significant error in the legend information. Any way to get anything a little closer to home?

    FTR, I've driven down 111th more times than I can count, and I've never seen anything obviously spooky.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is because thwe mansion you could be speaking of was on 121st right past Sheridan on the norht side of 121st street and it sat off the road a ways. If this is the mansion you are talking about. It had a tennis court and it had a fireplace and had burned down and I believe all that was left was the outer shell and the foundation, but if you walked up to it you could see a fireplace on the second floor on the wall but there was no floor left. They did eventually tear it down. And yes, the police had to run ppl off. It was also said to be a devil worshipper place. There was also a place at 131st and Sheridan that is no longer there that ppl said was frequented by devil worshippers back in the late 70's and both places had history of being haunted. I went to both places as a teenager and young adult and they were very creepy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And it also had a swimming pool. That would be the first mansion mentioned above. They tore it down to build a housing addition in the early 90's I believe, and the last time I was there was sometime during the 80's.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I took pictures and did recordings of the Camelot 1 week before it was torn down for good. I truely believe there was a lot more going on there than anyone will ever know. I still have not been able to decifer everything unearthed. I ended up racing away from the scene after seeing (along with my daughter) eyes looking back at us from behind the fence surrounding the Hotel at the time. I also witnessed lights on in rooms where all power had been cut weeks before. My daughter refuses to ever go with me again after this experience, I still cant find anyone willing to go with me on my searches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i see this is a very old post but i would love to go ghost hunting me and my friend want to but no equipment to do so but id go if u need a partner in crime

      Delete
    2. My daughter and I will be haunted hunting this spring :)

      Delete
    3. There is a world of difference between ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. which do you mean?

      Delete
    4. My & my daughter have had paranormal experiences in & around Skiatook! If anyone is interested my email is kimynderwood63@gmail.com

      Delete
  5. LOL, I grew up on E. Easton St. (on Yale) and a girl at the end of the block always claimed to have seen weird stuff in her garage. She was so full of sh*t though.

    I can't believe you forgot to mention the close proximity that neighborhood is to Rose Hill Cemetery. ;)

    That poor neighborhood is falling apart.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 211 S. Cheyenne Ave., Tulsa. What used to be called "The GeoData Buidling" was sold in 2008 or 2009 and was/is being renovated. I worked there for 16 years as Manager and I can tell you there was definately something paranormal in that building. Several of us heard a woman weeping, a baby crying, and felt "something" when you walk into a certain area. You've got to see this place to believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Many times I have witnessed lights on in the Camelot. Always in the top floor of the rounded part of the building. It was so common that I started to think I was imagining it until someone else in the car saw it too. You could see them from the I-44 as you went West.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The section of highway 20 that this legend revolves around is in Rogers County. Not Tulsa County.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was eating with my wife in about 2002 we saw a floating fog at Pomodoris along with the waitress and a table of people at 219 S Cheyenne the old location. Is there any history to that old underground restaurant being haunted? What did it used to be before a place to eat?

    ReplyDelete