| Van Buren
| Eureka Springs
| Little Rock
| East Calico Historic District
| Fort Smith
| Helena-West Helena
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. To learn more, check the Arkansas Paranormal & Anomalous Studies Team website.
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.prairieghosts.com/allen.html.
The McCollum-Chidester House
Below is an adapted account of a haunting as told by Alan Lowe with Arkansas Spirit Seekers.
The McCollum-Chidester House is a museum now. Mr. Chidester delivered mail for the United States. Union General Fredrick Steele commandeered the house for five days during the battle at nearby Poison Spring. Chidester was accused of spying for the Confederacy, as he supposedly confiscated Union mail from his stagecoach and turned it over to the Confederate troops. Bullet holes can still be seen in a wall upstairs where Union soldiers fired at random, seeking Chidester, who was hidden in a small closet nearby. Spirit Seeker members visited the room and heard the words “GET OUT! “ A mirror in the room reflected a man in a three piece suit and a cane standing behind their photographer as he took a picture. No one was with the photographer at the time, says Lowe.
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.
If you’re looking for real haunted hotels, you should probably start here. The legendary Crescent Hotel, constructed in 1886, is perhaps the most popular haunted Arkansas destination. 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Old Arsenal in Little Rock's MacArthur Park could be one of the scariest attractions in the state. It 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.
Several types of paranormal occurrences have been witnessed throughout the years, as documented below.
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
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.
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.
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?).
Lifestyle expert and am Arkansas native,
Smith shares the farm’s haunted past on his website
Legend has it that in 1819 Thomas Nuttall, the English Naturalist, came to Moss Mountain just west of Little Rock by three flatboats moving west on the Arkansas River. His party and the crew, made camp on Beaver Island, the large island in the middle of the river, visible from my Garden Home. Perhaps lulled into a sense of security because they were on an island, the night watchmen fell into a deep slumber.
During the wee hours of October 31, 1819, all were murdered except for Nuttall and four of his crew. It seems that the others were massacred by wild animals; however Nuttall swore that he himself saw actual human forms...
Each year the ghouls come up from the river; presumably the spirits of those who met their end on that isle. Now long gone, these ghosts return for their anniversary walk among my guests during Halloween festivities.
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."
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 shop, 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.
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.
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
Final Report: The museum appears to have the presence of
paranormal activity and additional investigations could provide more
hard evidence to support this.
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 in 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
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.
Below is an account of the haunting as told by Alan Lowe with Arkansas Spirit Seekers.
The Powhatan Courthouse is in Northeast Arkansas. It was one of our first hunts and it has a really dark history behind it like most courthouses. Years ago, it was when hangings were good. They were a party like atmosphere. People went out to see the neck tie parties. They had a young man that had accosted a white lady and they were going to hang him before he got a trial and actually they did. Before he died, he vowed he would always haunt the house and he has been around forever and he takes his vengeance out on females. When we were hunting there, we had a female go up into the attic and she came out crying and holding her throat. She said someone was choking her. We've ran into him two or three times but it has always been a female investigator," says Lowe. Powhatan Historic State Park hosts ghost walks every year.
A further explanation of the story comes from Kristyn Watts, superintendent at Powhatan Historic State Park
Alan is referring to Andrew Springer. It’s a long and convoluted story. When the Spirit Seekers first visited the courthouse, one experienced a “presence” in the courtroom which was interpreted to be a sister waiting for her brother who was on trial. She refused to crossover without him. The Presence in the attic was supposedly the brother, later identified as Andrew Springer. At the time of the Spirit Seekers story, the knowledge of Andrew was that he was a black man who raped a white woman, was held in the Powhatan jail for trial, but a posse arrived to break him out and hang him. The true story is that Andrew was a white tramp traveling through the area. He did attack a white woman. He was held in our jail, and her family did break him out and hang him.
Below is an account of the haunting as told by Alan Lowe with Arkansas Spirit Seekers.
There had been a young man who had gotten drunk and gambled away his life savings. He decided to get his vengeance by burning down the establishment where he had lost his money. He set it on fire but the fire got out of control and burned down most of the city. He was given a trial. The people of the town took great pride in the new clock in the Courthouse steeple. Before he was hung, the young man said, 'I'm going to never let that clock run again. I'm innocent and you're hanging an innocent man.” After the hanging and for more than 110 years since, the clock doesn’t work properly. While the Seekers were visiting, they took a photo from the outside when no one was in the courthouse. “In one of the windows, just as plain as day, was a man standing in the window. So they have right to claim to be haunted," says Lowe.