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Forrest City | Monticello | Fayetteville | Van Buren | Eureka Springs | Little Rock | East Calico Historic District | Fort Smith | Helena-West Helena

FORREST CITY

Rush-Gates House

Rush Gaes House.

Rush-Gates House

On a corner lot along Front Street in Forrest City stands a lovely older blue-gray home, overlooking the nearby railroad tracks that once played a significant part in the town's economy. In 1906, the structure was built as the home of Dr. J.O. Rush and his family. The choice of the location of the house was a strategic decision by Rush, who served as a physician and surgeon for the railroads and felt it would be sensible to build the home near the tracks. Day and night, the home was filled with the maimed and injured, especially those involved in railroading accidents. In the decades to come, many would claim seeing strange movement through the darkened windows. Some local residents claimed that those who were brought to Dr. Rush's office for medical attention haunted the house. After Dr. Rush's death in 1961, the house stayed in the family until 1995. Over the years, Arkansas urban legends about the house continued to grow, as stories of weird occurrences and shadowy figures in the windows continued to flourish.

After extensive renovation, the Rush-Gates House opened in 1998 as the home of the St. Francis County Museum, dedicated to sharing the history of the county through exhibits, artifacts and photographs. Shelley Gervasi, the museum's curator, is hesitant to make assumptions but she will admit to odd things happening in the century-old house. "Things disappear…a lot," says Gervasi. "You'll put something down and within minutes, it will be gone. Virtually every staff member has had incidents happen that are unexplainable."

It was those unexplainable incidents for which Arkansas legends about the Rush house was known that led to the formation of a group dedicated to investigating the paranormal. Paranormal Research in Unknown Phenomenon was established in January 2008 and uses the Rush-Gates House as a training facility. Several of the founding members had worked with other paranormal organizations, such as Arkansas Paranormal and Anomalous Studies Team, in studying the Gates-Rush House before forming their own group. The organization's mission is to find unmitigated proof – whatever the outcome. They use state-of-the-art equipment, such as electronic voice phenomenon and electromagnetic field meters, in their on-going quest for answers.

The St. Francis County Museum now offers A Night at the Museum program at various times throughout the year, including Halloween. Guests come to the museum and spend several hours inside the house alongside members of the paranormal investigative team. The event starts with a history of the Rush-Gates House and museum staff share stories of strange occurrences they've experienced. Tour participants hear a series of electronic voice phenomenon that were previously recorded in the house and, following a quick overview of the equipment that will be used, the visitors watch and participate as team members collect data. Before the guests leave, the investigation team scans the audio recordings that were made throughout the evening and allow participants to hear any easily recognized vocal recordings (not requiring computer enhancement) that were captured.

Museum tours are available year round. Large groups can be accommodated by calling ahead. There are also several special events during the year, including some over "lock ins" and paranormal studies. For more information, contact the St. Francis County Museum at 870-261-1744 or visit www.SFCMuseum.org. To learn more, check the North East Arkansas Paranormal & Anomalous Studies Team website.

MONTICELLO

The Allen House

Historic Allen House

Along Monticello's North Main Street, an imposing structure located off the street and surrounded by a handsome wrought-iron fence, quickly catches the eye of visitors. Built in 1906, the Allen House is a beautiful example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture that also features gothic and neoclassical design elements such as massive porch columns and multi-storied turrets. It is also the foundation of many Arkansas urban legends.

Joe Lee Allen, a successful local businessman, planned the home to be the most impressive the town had ever seen. Allen, his wife Caddye and their three daughters moved into the stately home. In the following years, Allen became an hotelier, bank president and automobile salesman. Allen died at age 54 in 1917. His widow lived in the notable home until her death in 1954.

It was the week leading up to 1949 that would begin the Arkansas legends surrounding the Allen family and their home. The Allen's second daughter, Ladell, consumed mercury cyanide-laced punch on Dec. 26, 1948, in the master suite of the family home. She died one week later. Her mother sealed off the room and it would not be entered by anyone for nearly four decades.

The house remained in the Allen family until 1986. The home was divided into apartments in 1956 by the Allen's grandson and remained a rental property for three decades. During this time, the Allen House became known for more than its architectural grandeur. Tenants in the apartments would tell stories about paranormal experiences ranging from hazy figures in photographs to furniture being unexplainably rearranged. Many people often commented on a lady sitting in a turret window.

The current owners, Rebecca and Mark Spencer, bought the home in summer 2007. "The house seems to 'eat' things," says Rebecca, somewhat amusedly. "Things just seem to disappear into thin air. It's almost like an everyday part of life for us now."

The story of Ladell and the supposedly haunted Allen House had become a regional Arkansas urban legend by the time the Spencers bought the home. In late June of this year, Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations, a group dedicated to investigating paranormal activity, conducted a full paranormal investigation of the Allen House. It was the group's second visit to the home – the first visit was cut short when a large limb fell on a power line the backyard, pulling the electrical meter off the house and cutting all power, despite no wind or severe weather in the area. During the second visit, Louisiana Spirits did capture several electronic voice phenomenons during their investigation, along with photos and a video clip.

The Allen House is now open for historic guided tours by appointment and also is a popular spot for weddings. The historic haunted Arkansas property opens its doors the last two days of October for special Halloween tours. The tour includes all three floors of the home, with tour guides providing historical information and pointing out Allen family artifacts. During the Halloween tours, guests will also hear five of the voice phenomenon that were captured during the Louisiana Spirits investigation in June.

To learn more about the historic Allen House and the special ghost tours, log on to www.AllenHouseTours.com or phone 870-224-2271. To learn more about the investigation of the Allen House, visit www.laspirits.com/allenhouse.

FAYETTEVILLE

Ghost Mountain

It seems that a certain fellow who lived back in the 1930s in an old log house on top of a mountain southeast of Drake Field airport in Fayetteville had a tendency to get inebriated, according to the late Phillip Steele, an author and historian who lived in Springdale. One night the man came home very drunk. His wife was caring for their sick child, who was crying incessantly. The man became so angry at the baby for keeping him awake that he jumped out of bed, grabbed the baby, stumbled outside and threw the baby down the well. The wife, of course, went into hysterics. She grabbed the well rope and jumped in to save her child. The horrible father took an axe and cut the rope, leaving his wife and child in the well. He left town, never to be seen again.

It is said when the moon is full you can walk by that well and hear the screams of a woman and the cries of a child.

When interviewed in 2000, Steele believed there was some truth to this urban legend and said the mountain is still referred to as Ghost Mountain by some. Steele authored a book titled Ozark Tales and Superstitions and produced a video, Tales and Legends of the Ozarks. He also wrote a total of eight books focusing on the Ozarks, ranging in topics from Wild West figures to lost treasures to the Civil War.

EUREKA SPRINGS

1886 Crescent Hotel

Perhaps the most popular haunted Arkansas destination is the legendary Crescent Hotel, constructed in 1886. The long history of the hotel is represented through the ghosts that still inhabit its halls and walls. Not only do tourists learn about secret underground passages, they also receive a special treat of visiting the basement room that was once the morgue. It still contains an old autopsy table. That room was part of perhaps the strangest chapter in the Crescent's history from 1937-39, when Norman Baker of Iowa bought the hotel and converted it into his third cancer facility, naming it the Baker Hospital of Eureka Springs.

Thus, the only ghost stories told by the guides are those with experiential evidence that have also been checked. The guides have also had numerous experiences of their own within the walls of the historic Crescent Hotel.

Probably the most well-known ghost of the Crescent is Michael, a stonecutter who helped build the hotel. He fell to his death at the location of Room 218, now the most requested room in the hotel. He's said to have been a good-looking man who often got in trouble for flirting with the ladies. The tour guides suspect that he could have been flirting when he fell to his death. Michael is still known for turning his attention and tricks to women guests.

Dr. John Freemont Ellis is another "long-time" guest of the hotel. He was hotel physician during the Victorian Era. Dressed in top hat and fine clothing, he is sometimes seen on the staircase from the second floor to the lobby. It has been reported the smoke from Ellis' tobacco pipe is sometimes smelled near the elevator.

According to reports, late one evening a woman was videotaping her husband sitting in the lobby of the hotel. Replaying the tape, the couple noticed a blur. Slowing it down, frame by frame, the blur turned out to be "a proper Victorian man in a tall top hat" walking through the lobby in front of the couch where the husband was sitting. The ghostly apparition on the tape is presumed to be Dr. Ellis.

Michael and Dr. Ellis are just a few of the Arkansas urban legends to whet the appetite. Some of the others include one of a disappearing pool of blood, the morgue ghost who hangs out by the old autopsy table, two nurses completing their duties, a young girl who visits the hotel's public bathrooms and a couple of guests that took a ghost home with them.

Other stories of strange happenings include those from bartenders who worked at the hotel. What is now the New Moon Spa in the hotel was once a bar. Before that it was the hotel bowling alley. Former bartenders tell stories of glasses and bottles of whiskey rising from shelves and crashing to the floor.

1905 Basin Park Hotel

1905 Basin Park Hotel

1905 Basin Park Hotel

The Crescent's sister hotel, and another one of the state’s real haunted hotels, is the 1905 Basin Park Hotel. According to town history, by 1880 an elegant, 4-story hotel known as the Perry House was built on the site of the healing spring which gives Eureka its name. Like most other buildings in Eureka at that time, the Perry House was built completely out of wood and by 1890 it had fallen victim to one of the four fires that completely leveled Eureka Springs to the ground. By 1895, William Duncan organized capital stock necessary to build the Basin Park Hotel on the site of the former Perry House. Following the lead of the Crescent Hotel, it was decided to use local limestone to build the hotel. In the 10 years it took to build the property, Duncan overextended his interest in the project and bankrupted the Citizens Bank and almost every other investor. The hotel finally opened in 1905. Duncan died in 1907 but it is believed that he continues to roam the hotel in his trademark brown suit and derby.

There are Arkansas legends about visitors who checked into the hotel but never really left. Perhaps you'll see the ballroom dancers from some long-ago Barefoot Ball...or the pretty young girl in a long white dress who still waits for her groom. You may even hear the bells of the slot machines ringing in the illegal gambling parlor of the 40s and 50s. While exploring the haunted hallways, visitors may view the spirit of the lion ghost... or a young woman who tries to evict tenants from "her" room. There's also a chance of seeing the cowboy who still roams silently through the rooms and halls of the hotel, perhaps looking for one last drink to wash away the trail dust.

Guided ghost tours are given at both of these real haunted hotels. Learn more about the Basin Park Hotel.

LITTLE ROCK

Vanishing Hitchhiker

As the story goes: It was a dark and stormy night...A young man was driving down Arkansas 365 south of Little Rock when he saw a young girl on the roadside. He offered to give her a lift and draped his coat over her shoulders because she was cold and soaked from the rain. She gave him directions to her house. When they arrived, the young man got out of the car and walked around to the other side to help her out of her seat -- but, no one was there.

Confused, the young man walked up to the house and knocked on the door. A woman answered and he explained what had just occurred. She said, "That young girl is my daughter, who was killed years ago. She hitchhikes back home once a year."

The young man then drove to the cemetery to see the young girl's grave. There he found his coat draped over her tombstone.

This is just one version. Different Arkansas urban legends have the hitchhiker on various roads (usually lonely country roads) and many stories don't contain the coat-loaning, cemetery ending.

Mount Holly Cemetery

Mount Holly Cemetery

Because of the number of notable individuals buried here, Mount Holly is referred to at the Westminster Abbey of Arkansas. Arkansans of significance in the fields of politics, literature, art and religion are interred here, as are 11 governors. In addition, 13 state Supreme Court Justices, four United States Senators, four Confederate Generals and 21 Little Rock mayors have been laid to rest at Mount Holly.

On February 23, 1843, leading Little Rock citizens Chester Ashley and Roswell Beebe deeded four-square-blocks of land to the city for a cemetery. Broadway, Gaines, 11th and 13th Streets provide the boundaries for the 20 acres.

The park-like grounds feature vintage roses, a 19th century bell house, an 1897 receiving house, huge shade trees, an antique ornate cast iron fence and gate and fountain. A 19th century cast iron fountain by the famous J. L. Mott Company of Bronx, New York, was added in 2002. Mount Holly was one of the first cemeteries placed on the National Register of Historic Places (1970).

Each October Mount Holly hosts Tales of the Crypt where Little Rock Parkview High School students present living history programs featuring some of the famous people buried there.

Paranormal Activity: Reports of paranormal activity belie the peaceful setting of Mount Holly. There have reports of visitors discovering people dressed in period clothing and/or bright lights or mists in photographs they have taken. Some startled visitors claim statues have moved, mysteriously appearing on the lawns of nearby houses. The sounds of a flute echo from nowhere and trinkets appear or disappear on the graves.

Walters-Curran-Bell House

Historic Curran Hall

The 1842-1843 antebellum Greek Revival home is one of the oldest residential structures in Little Rock. Built by Colonel Ebenezer Walters for his young bride, Mary Eliza Starbuck, who died in childbirth just before the house was finished. The Colonel was so grief-stricken he left the state and the house sold to David Baldwin, a local attorney. In 1849 James Moore Curran bought the house and he and his new bride, Sophie Fulton, moved in. Mr. Curran travelled throughout the state providing legal counsel to those in need. On one such trip he became ill and never recovered. He died at the young age of thirty-three leaving his widow with two small children and another on the way.

The house had a succession of owners and most of them were lawyers, even a Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and a Secretary of State. William Woodruff's great granddaughter, Averell Tate, was the last person to live at Curran Hall. Sold to the city in 1996, it became the Little Rock Visitor Center in 2002. It also serves as the home of the Quapaw Quarter Association, which oversees the Quapaw Quarter Historic District in downtown Little Rock.

The house has a rich history of hauntings, beginning with the death of Mary Walters in 1843. Several people who lived in the house over the years have experienced her presence. One resident painted the interior black in hopes of communicating with the "ghost." Visitor Center staff has experienced unusual happenings such as a picture coming off the wall and a coffee machine that made coffee although it was not on at the time and there were no grounds or water in the reservoir. Cold spots, unexplained noises, shadow figures and fragrances have been noticed.

The Arkansas Ghost Catchers were able to pick up Mary Walters' voice saying "Mary that's who I am" through a digital recorder. The Natural State Supernatural group used a video camera and captured sparkling lights in the curio cabinet where items original to the property are stored. Due to the positive results of paranormal activity, the two groups have declared Curran Hall to be a hot spot of paranormal activity. Tours of haunted Curran Hall and other Little Rock sites are available through Haunted Tours of Little Rock.

Old Arsenal Tower Building

Tower Building of the Old Arsenal

The Old Arsenal in Little Rock's MacArthur Park originated as the Little Rock Arsenal, established shortly after Arkansas joined the Union in 1836. Out of the more than 30 buildings that comprised the munitions storage facility, only the 1840 Tower Building survives. It now houses the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.

Tales From the Old Arsenal Building, MacArthur Park
Disembodied voices, talking, and music have been heard by the living who work in the building and who visit the displays.In 1996, an employee was sitting in her office in the basement, when she heard the sounds of music, laughter and talking coming from the room above her, which was the largest room on the east side of the ground floor. She went up to investigate but saw and heard nothing. When she returned to her office, the same sounds were present.

Some of the paranormal occurrences witnessed by several people throughout the year are documented below.

Solid apparitions: When the second floor of the tower served as a theater, an employee saw a solid body of a man, dressed in a dark uniform, lying across the chairs when she was closing up for the evening. She ran down to get another person to help with what she thought was a transient. When the second person tried to touch the body, which had turned around, it melted into the air, probably encouraging a hasty retreat!
See-through apparitions: On occasion, a see-through apparition walks down the staircase to the ground floor, going about his business. A playful entity, he likes to throw things at people, just missing them, during late afternoon or stormy winter days. The unsuspecting person walks down the right-hand staircase from the third floor to the second. If this person stops immediately and looks over a shoulder, he or she will see a shadow of an object fly by. It's as if an unseen presence at the top of the stairs is throwing something for chuckles, enjoying the reactions of people.
Shadow people: Many people have noticed unexplained shadows on the wall also. Two shadow people have been seen in the area under the grand staircase in the basement, still reliving their duel.

Psychic Research
On April 25th, 2005, The Spirit Seekers Paranormal Investigation Research & Intervention Team visited the Old Arsenal and had some interesting experiences. Pictures taken indicate there are more spirits outside the museum than inside, though orbs were caught on camera inside as well. Investigators came in contact with three spirit entities.

An investigator and a psychic met a friendly female presence named Katharine, who provided the piano music heard earlier on the second floor in the East Room. Another investigator met a male presence near the jeep display surmised as someone attached to the jeep or one of the other historic vehicles on display.

The psychic made contact with yet another male spirit, who told the psychic that he didn't normally hang out in this building, but wanted to come and see what the investigating team was doing there, (probably feeling protective of the museum - perhaps an ex MP?).

The Empress of Little Rock Bed and Breakfast

The Empress of Little Rock

Constructed exclusively of Arkansas materials at the then exorbitant cost of $20,000, the Hornibrook House was completed in 1888. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the mansion is described as the best example of ornate Victorian architecture in Arkansas and as the most important existing example of Gothic Queen Anne style in the region. It is now The Empress of Little Rock Bed & Breakfast.

Below are some first-hand accounts of paranormal encounters experienced by the owners, Bob and Sharon Welch-Blair, and guests.

Date of Bob's First Incident: January 1994
Description of Incident: Robert H. Blair, owner of the Hornibrook Mansion since December 1993, stood astride the doorway to what was to become the Washburn-Welch guest room. It was an 18x24-foot commercial kitchen with black cabinets, carpeting and massive ceiling beams creating the most unattractive kitchen he'd ever laid eyes on. While he was contemplating how on earth this room could become the tastefully decorated Victorian bed chamber his wife had in mind, Sharon was exploring elsewhere in the house. After one month of ownership, she was questioning whether her strong determination might have really gotten her into it this time. The house seemed so cold and uninviting. She was beginning to think her early confidence was over-exuberance to the max as the chilling reality of this massive restoration began to fully dawn.

Out of the corner of Bob's eye, he caught just a bit of movement in the hall to his right. Turning his head to fully focus on the distraction, disbelief held his attention to the ethereal sight slowly descending the stairs. Two eyes beneath a dapperly peaked homburg hat captured his imagination as the vision almost floated down the stairs. His clothing matched his chapeau; elegant, sleek, crisp. But those eyes! As if by telepathy, Bob understood his gaze. Hackles raised on the back of his neck as the reality of the situation sank in. Quickly glancing to find Sharon to share his shock, he returned his stare again at the stairwell. The vision was gone. But those eyes! He would never forget the haunting look of those eyes ... beseeching ... imploring ... "Save this house."

Date of Bob's Second Incident: June 1994
Description of Incident: Bob stood alone near the foot of the stairs in the central stair hall. It was mid-June and already getting really warm. Work was progressing, -s-l-o-w-l-y. The project manager had removed the two curved solid oak front doors to get them resized so they would open from the correct side, like they did when it was a residence instead of a nursing home. Solid black plastic covered the opening. Concern immediately welled inside. That certainly wouldn't stop anyone trying to steal architectural features such as the five remaining original Eastlake mantles or the $20,000 worth of original custom designed solid brass hardware and door hinges. He'd have to get the project manager back this afternoon. Sweat began to bead his forehead. The house was deserted and quiet after the hordes of the workers of all description departed each day. The dead silence always seemed a little surreal.

Suddenly, Bob felt a blast of arctic air so he turned to see where it originated. He didn't really have to look. Innately he knew nothing would be there though a chill engulfed him. But an image immediately came to mind: he wore a peaked homburg hat and was very dapperly dressed. Bob knew it was a reminder from the previous visitor: "Don't dare forget ... whose house this is ... I'm watching."

Date of Incident: September or October 1995
Description of Incident: Timmy Watts was a contract painter working on the completion of the interior during the opening of the bed and breakfast. Bob and Sharon already had a few guests and were trying to finish the interior of the attic card room where Mr. Hornibrook reportedly carried on high stakes illegal poker games. Having the games in his tower protected his downtown saloon from a raid. Tim reported working on re-staining the interior wood of the room. He ran out of stain, left the room going to the larger area of the attic for additional stain. When he went back to re-enter the room, the door was closed. This door, at the time, had no handle or lock, so he couldn't lock himself out. After attempting to open the door unsuccessfully, Tim left the attic to get a screwdriver to open the "jammed" door. Upon his return, the previously closed door stood open. As this fact dawned upon him, the image of a dapperly dressed gentleman in a homburg hat appeared. Tim left the attic vowing he would never again go back.

Date of Incident: July 1997
Description of Incident: A guest reported to us the house is very haunted. "The souls are still here," she said. The first sighting was just outside her room. There standing was a large woman, dressed in pink, with her hair up on her head. She was wearing a lace scarf around her neck and appeared to be about 30-35 years old. Later that evening, the guest looked in another room which was very cold, dark and smelled of pipes or cigars. There she saw a man who appeared to be a captain. He was angry or perhaps drunk. The captain was a heavy set man, with a white beard, black pants, white shirt, and tall black boots. Hanging on the back of a chair in the room was a military or maritime-style coat with gold buttons and eyelets. A slim little woman that seemed to be crying or upset was sitting on the bed.

In what is now the maids' closet, the guest found a young black woman folding laundry. To her the closet seemed damp and colder compared to the room where she saw the captain. It also smelled old. All through the night she heard men's voices above her laughing, children arguing, and sounds of boots stomping and occasionally canes hitting the floor. It lasted until around 4 a.m. then the house became deadly quiet. It was then she could feel someone looking at her from above.

Date of Incident: January 1997
Description of Incident: Deedee Muldoon arrived late in the evening, about 9:20 p.m. It was the end of January, cold and clear. The lights from the imposing three-and-one-half story Gothic tower guided her to the Inn. As soon as she drove up, she knew she was in for a unique experience. The commanding Gothic Queen Anne structure overshadowed the entire neighborhood. The wrap-around porch stretched as far as she could see on both sides of the house. The innkeeper greeted her as she entered the foyer. The majestic double stairwell immediately caught her attention. She would be the only guest that night in the newly renovated mansion. She arrived too late to go out to dine so she sat in the huge dining room with 14-foot ceilings, drinking in the grandeur as she ate some warmed-up stew and cornbread offered by the innkeepers. The fireplace was warm and inviting. She felt as if she were actually back in the 1880s. Finishing her meal, she ascended the stairs, feeling as if she were Scarlett from Gone With The Wind.

Back in her room, Deedee lit the fireplace and curled up in the queen-sized, half-tester bed surrounded by the drapes. She pulled out the novel she'd been reading for the last week or so as she traveled city to city with her job. Deedee would read a while before she turned out the hurricane lamp on the bed stand and snuggled in for the night. The flames danced before her in the mirror of the huge marble topped dresser, reflected from the fireplace on the opposite side of the room. The door was propped halfway open with a decorative flower basket doorstop. A feeling of content flooded her as she sipped amaretto from a cherished antique liqueur glass. Even the liqueur flask was period!

As she read, she heard footsteps coming up the stairs outside her door -- probably the innkeeper coming to check on her before retiring. The steps paused at her door, but no one spoke or came in. Slowly the ornately carved brass handle turned back and forth with the door swinging back, pushing the doorstop with it. The doorway was empty. Deedee glanced around to see if there was someone out in the hall. No, no one was there. Intuitively, she knew someone was watching her; sizing her up. It was a masculine presence but not threatening. Thirty seconds later the presence was gone. She innately knew she had "passed muster."

CALICO ROCK

East Calico Historic District

The only authentic ghost town inside the city limits of a living community in America has a storied past. East Calico Historic District is the oldest section of Calico Rock. A walking tour consists of over 20 different buildings and other structures that still exist in one form or another. Some of these include a pool hall/tavern, a barber show, a theater, a cafe, a lumberyard, the telephone exchange, a cotton gin, a funeral parlor, and an electric company. All but two can be seen from the streets. A walking map is available on http://calicorocket.org/ghosttown.html. Today, you can visit the old jail and have your photo made.

FORT SMITH

The Clayton House

The Clayton House

Two of Fort Smith's most notable historic figures were Judge Isaac Parker and William Henry Harrison Clayton. In 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed William Henry Harrison Clayton United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas by Fort Smith. The town at the time was full of brothels, saloons and outlaws. William Clayton realized a strong judge would be necessary to bring law and order to the region. He knew of a strong judge in Isaac C. Parker. There was a problem, though. Judge Parker had been appointed Chief Justice of Utah Territory and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. With the help of President Grant and U.S. Senator Powell Clayton, former governor of Arkansas, William Clayton was able to undo that appointment and redirect Judge Parker to Fort Smith. This restored 1882 wood-frame antebellum was the Clayton home and is now open for tours, special events, weddings, seminars and receptions.

Paranormal Incidents Experienced by the Director, Martha Siler: I have been the director of The Clayton House for almost three years and have worked here for almost four years. I started having experiences shortly after starting here (around 2005) and I asked if there were any ghost stories about the house. The reply was no. So I kept them to myself until a few others started experiencing activity. We have one bedroom on the second floor that everyone gets a creepy feeling about and many of our interns do not like to enter. There have been reports of hearing boots stomping in that room, doors slamming, and of hearing music in other areas of the house.

I saw an apparition of a woman in Mr. Clayton's study one day. She was dressed in a brown skirt and linen shirt, had gray hair which was piled in a bun on top of her head. My daughter has also seen this figure. We had a carpenter working on the house in 2007 and 2008. He took some pictures of the woodwork that needed repairs before he started. When he got the pictures back, there was what appears to be a woman in one of them.

We have had Paranormal Investigation and Research of Western Arkansas do investigations for us on numerous occasions. They have caught several electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) in the house including one that sounds like a cat meowing. Several people have reported seeing a black cat in the house. One EVP is of a man yelling an obscenity and another is sounds like someone saying Anna in response to her name. The Claytons had a daughter named Ann.

They did a series of these investigations with the public for us in March 2009 and a couple of people were touched. One woman had her hair tugged and a man reported seeing a face in our board room- the room where the woman was photographed in the window and where we heard singing and music playing.

Fort Smith Museum of History

Fort Smith Museum of History

One of the most historic towns in the country, Fort Smith relishes its place in the annals of time. For almost a century, the Fort Smith Museum of History has been the "keeper and teller" of this rich and colorful heritage. The museum is located in the former Atkinson-Williams Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Paranormal Investigation and Research of Western Arkansas Final Report

Location: Old Fort Museum (Now Fort Smith Museum of History)
Date: June 1, 2008
Investigators Present: Michael Cockburn, Anita Heydenreich, Zachary Moss, Becky Rigor, Chim Rigor
Phenomenon Witnessed By Investigators:Investigator Michael Cockburn was in the basement and experienced a sudden and severe loss of breath accompanied by an extremely cold sensation.
Investigator Zachary Moss witnessed a brief image of a female child's face on the 2nd floor
Video Evidence: None
Audio Evidence: EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) was captured on digital audio in the basement. Response to direct question by investigator Becky Rigor: "Are you the one who was trying to communicate with Michael?" Answer: "Fear me."
EVP captured in basement. Investigator Anita Heydenreich audibly mentioned that she felt a strange sensation on the back of her legs (cob webs and cold). EVP: "It's okay."
EVP captured on second floor with investigators Anita Heydenreich, Zachary Moss and Becky Rigor present, but not asking questions. EVP of child's voice: "Hi."
Comments: All areas and floors of the museum were found to have abnormally high and fluctuating EMF (electromagnetic field) readings. This was not found to be directly associated with any electronic equipment present.
Final Report: The museum appears to have the presence of paranormal activity and additional investigations could provide more hard evidence to support this.

HELENA-WEST HELENA

St. Mary's Cemetery

With its rich Civil War history, it's no wonder there are "haunted" places in and around Helena. Paranormal investigators visited one of the historic cemeteries. Below is their account of activity.

Report by Black Cat Supernatural Investigators on Historic Helena
Article courtesy The Helena World
April 27, 2006

They are armed with audio and video equipment, electromagnetic field detectors, and flashlights. You can see the gleam in their eyes, as they speak about haunted houses, and spectators roaming the dark quiet night. Helena-West Helena has a few actual ghost hunters and investigators of spiritual phenomena and most would rather not think about the subject of their study.

Sometimes, as many as eight individuals will strap on their gear and visit the alleged haunts of places such as the old Confederate Cemetery, or an old relic of a house that has been rumored to contain the ghost of someone long passed into the spirit world.

Black Cat Supernatural Investigators often research their targeted area when hunting spectral evidence. Kristen Honeycutt, Brad Hartsfield, Brad Thomas, April Thomas and Marlene Kalb are members of the group, and have lots to say on the subject of ghosts. Before a recent trip to the St. Mary's graveyard, the group sat down together and shared ideas for a local excursion into a realm seldom visited by many.

As the group gears up, they show off some of the equipment used to track and witness the spectral activity. The EMF (electromagnetic field) will pick up cell phones, and any other magnetic disturbance, so Kalb and her associates are very careful when going to investigate some of the ghostly activity.

"We have to be sure not to take pictures of camera straps, or flashes from other cameras," Kalb explained.

A field trip to the cemetery proved to be interesting, as the site of the excursion alone, seemed to set the mood. Beams of flashlights and flashes from the digital cameras filled the dark night, catching the headstones in the glare.

"We have to show you this one grave," they told the reporter.

A short jaunt up the hill, and then around the bend, brought the group to a small hidden gravesite [nearby Maple Hill Cemetery].

"This is the grave of a doctor and his dog," April Thomas explained.

The legend says that the dog witnessed the murder of his master, and after the interment of his body, refused to leave his owner's side. The dog perished from longing for his master. The dog was buried beside his best friend and a large statue marks the sight.

"Some say you can hear the dog pant if you listen very closely," they attest.

The group takes many digital photos looking for orbs and exclaim over every photo taken. The group plans to save up enough funds to secure some more high tech equipment such as an infrared camera or a thermal imager.

Kalb and the group is very dedicated to the study of ghosts and she says that if you think your home is the site of a haunting, her group will come over and look into the matter for free. Any interested individuals are welcome to join the group on their excursions and can call Kalb at 870-816-6593.