Haunted Places to Visit in Oklahoma
The Haunt Is On!
Are you ready to be a ghost hunter? Do you live in Oklahoma, or do you plan to visit the Sooner State sometime in the near future? Excellent! Oklahoma has plenty of places for those of you seeking a spectral thrill.
It's steeped in (sometimes violent) history. Outlaws, Native Americans, desperadoes, Civil War soldiers, cowboys, miners, and pioneers . . . some of whom still walk among the living.
8 Haunted Sites in Oklahoma
So pluck up your courage, get your flashlights and cameras, and join me on a tour of some OK haunted locations. From creepy haunted houses to innocent-looking department stores, there's something to suit ghost hunters of all ages and levels of courage.
- Lake Murray
- Labadie Mansion
- Coalgate Mines
- Fort Washita
- Skirvin Hotel
- McDonald's Idabel
- Old Masonic Home for Boys
- Walls Bargain Center
1. Lake Murray
Lake Murray in Ardmore, Oklahoma, is said to be haunted by a woman in a yellow dress. She walks around the shoreline of the lake and disappears after humans have passed her, or if they try to approach her.
2. Labadie Mansion
The Labadie mansion outside of Bartlesville, OK, is one of the more famous haunted structures. It is famous across the nation, not just in Oklahoma, and researchers, investigators, tourists, and thrill-seekers have come from all over just for a look at the crumbling facade.
Once a beautiful Victorian mansion, all that remains of the Labadie house is a few stones and the fireplaces. The house has burnt down twice since it was built, yet they fires have nothing to do with the strange legends that are attached to the home.
Truth and Fiction
Those legends are as numerous as the people who tell them. Everything from murder to suicide has been linked to the Labadie mansion. It is a historical fact that two people died there. Frank and Samantha Labadie, both in their golden years, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping.
The truth was pretty tragic, but it is nowhere close to the fantastical stories that have been imagined by others. One legend says that the lady of the house had an affair with a hired man, and became pregnant. Her husband killed her, the man, and the infant before committing suicide.
Another version goes that Samantha could not conceive, so Frank had an affair with a woman servant, then later killed the entire family. The involvement of a baby in these legends is no doubt sparked by the infant grave located on the property.
Regardless of which tale is true or untrue, there is some pretty unusual activity going on up there. If you can find your way to the house, you may notice that your flashlight, car, cell-phone, watch or other electronic device starts acting crazy or dies completely. There are strange noises too, such as laughter, crying, "rushing" noises (like large animals would make in the brush or grass), and sometimes people report seeing a man with a gun walking about the premises.
3. Coalgate Mines
Wherever there are mines and miners, there are ghosts of miners. That is one of the things that make mines so creepy. Since mining is a dangerous job, you rarely hear of a mine not connected with some sort of death or accident.
However, the Coalgate mines are haunted for a different reason. The strip pits (caused by cave-ins) are immeasurably deep. The mob took advantage of this, and used the mines as a place to deposit the bodies of their victims.
Over the years,numerous bodies, including some that have been deceased for years, will occasionally surface. And not just bodies of humans. There have been several cars from New York pulled from the pits decades after they were placed there, supposedly lost forever!
4. Fort Washita
This is an excellent place to visit if you want some chills and thrills. The Fort was built in 1841 as a very remote outpost. Its purpose was to maintain some degree of order between some of the warring Native American tribes.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Washita was abandoned by Federal troops, and was later occupied by the Confederate soldiers. Its use was mainly for a hospital and supply depot. After the war was over, the fort was entirely abandoned for six years, then the land and the remains of the buildings were deeded to a member of the Chicasaw Nation, Charles Colbert, who renovated one of the structures as a home.
The Colbert family remained only days due to some strange experiences. The next owners, a doctor and his sister, also had difficulties. The woman began to complain about noises and odd occurrences. She suffered a mental breakdown, and after they moved away, no one ever used the fort as a place of private residence.
The most famous ghost at Fort Washita is 'Aunt Jane', a headless spectre that sometimes walks the grounds at night looking for either her head, or her lost treasure. She is also known to pester some of the female visitors to the fort.
There have also been sightings of soldiers in period dress. But these usually occur during re-enactments, making it difficult to prove or explain. They have also been seen by people doing reconstruction projects on the Fort's buildings.
For a little more mystery, when the cemetery was exhumed, two un-identified male bodies were discovered in the same grave. One was a very old corpse of a boy with menengitis, yet the other was a Hispanic man from this century. No one knows who they are, but maybe either of them may be hanging around the cabins or stables.
More Haunted Forts
- Fort Gibson—Muskogee County, Oklahoma
- Fort Sill—Lawton Oklahoma
- Fort Supply—Woodward County, Oklahoma
5. Skirvin Hotel
This historic beauty was built in 1911 and is the oldest hotel in Oklahoma City. The original owner was a reported womanizer who used the tenth floor for a variety of "wicked" activities. The story goes that he dallied with one of the hotel maids, then locked her on the tenth floor rather than marry her when she became pregnant.
The maid supposedly jumped from the window one day after her baby was born, and guests have said that they can sometimes hear the baby crying. Women especially report being kept awake by a wailing infant, while men report feeling inappropriate touches. "Effie" has even tried to solicit a man or two!
In 2007 the building was bought by the Hilton Hotel chain and renovated. Visiting NBA teams complained of the disturbances in their rooms. The New York Knicks blamed their bad luck on the haunted hotel in 2010.
6. McDonald's Idabel
A fast food restaurant isn't exactly where you would expect to find a ghost, but I can see why a ghost would prefer it to a cold, creaky old house. In Idabel, Oklahoma, the apparition of a little girl is said to haunt their McDonald's. She has been seen going into the men's restroom on several occasions.
Not only is this ghost fairly visible at times, she creates some creepy chaos. Employees have reported that in the mornings and evenings, they have heard toilets simultaneously flushing and the sound of giggling. (No, doubt the naughty little girl thinks it is funny to flush the men's toilet!). Doors also swing open when no one is near them.
She sounds pretty harmless, but her antics have caused a few employees to quit. So if ghost hunting gives you a great appetite, stop in the Idabel McDonald's for lunch and spook-spot while you eat.
7. Old Masonic Home for Boys in Guthrie
Guthrie makes the list for several locations, so I had to pick and choose about which one to feature. I like the sound of this one. Certainly buildings that LOOK haunted have more ambiance, but in the end, its the structures that don't look haunted that can be much more eerie.
That would be the case with the Masonic Home. Built in 1923 it began as an orphanage. Times were hard in Oklahoma then and a lot of children were placed in the orphanage as a way to ensure their survival and well being. In 1978, after the foster care system was instituted, the Home was closed down and sat empty for over 20 years.
Legends say that a woman, possibly a nurse or headmistress, abused some of the children, then committed suicide by jumping from the bell tower. Since then the place has been renovated and remodeled, with parts of the original structure torn down. What remains is a beautifully maintained building, which looks very inviting.
Still...people do say that the haunting remains. Footsteps, laughter, crying, and apparitions have all been reported.
8. Walls Bargain Center
In Shawnee, Oklahoma, a Walls store is wedged tightly into a busy part of town. Surrounded by restaurants and offices, this building looks incredibly normal. On the inside it is clean, modern, and stuffed with interesting things to buy at a great discount.
Even though I have a Walls closer to my home, I still like to pop into this one occasionally, especially during the Christmas season. Imagine my surprise when it showed up on a paranormal website one day!
Even though I believe in ghosts, I believe within reasonable expectations. I don't believe that every old building must be haunted, and I truly doubt very many schools, cemeteries and churches are haunted, even though they make up the majority of places on haunted lists. Therefore this story caught my attention as being more realistic.
Rumor has it that a man was shot (either escaping the police or other attackers; the story changes, as should all good ghosts stories), and broke into the store to hide. He crawled into a dark corner and bled to death in the night. Whether or not this is true, it is at least a plausible story line.
Strange occurrences that happen in Walls include merchandise being thrown on the floor after all the employees have gone home, doors opening and closing, strange sounds, and a man dressed in grey wandering through the aisles then disappearing.
Needless to say, since this one is so close to home, I will definitely being keeping an open for "Charlie" the next time I go shopping. I might make a special trip for Halloween this year!
5 Essential Ghost Hunting Tools
You won't need much equipment to be a paranormal investigator in the Sooner State. But you will need:
- A flashlight: There is a whole lot of rural, unlit territory to explore
- Insect repellent: You name it, we have it. And it bites, stings or annoys you.
- First aid kit: You will want to clean any cuts you get from barbed wire fences or old tin doors.
- A map: GPS is cool, but it won't work in most places you will be going.
- Something to drink: It gets hot and dusty out there. Stay hydrated.