Visit these spooky Tulsa landmarks and find a real reason to scream. Enter — if you dare.
Photos by Jen Hoppa
(page 1 of 6)
Everyone loves a good ghost story.
Whether huddled around a campfire toasting marshmallows or sitting in the multiplex watching the latest spooky thriller, there’s a sense of excitement that accompanies an eerie tale of a spirit that failed to “cross over.”
And Tulsa is at no loss of spine-tingling accounts. From celebrity apparitions (Bob Wills, Thomas Gilcrease) to urban legends (ever hear of the “Deer Lady” in Mohawk Park?) to creepy buildings (so long, Camelot Hotel), Tulsa is rife with long-told legends and unexplained sightings.
Why has Tulsa become such a hotbed for ghosts and ghouls? Teri French, founder of the Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa (PITT), says one likely reason is that much of the city is situated on Indian burial ground. Its former status as the “Oil Capital of the World” also plays a part, with scores of celebrities creating homes and making visits here. According to some accounts, several spirits linger.
French co-founded PITT in 2000, and since then the organization, which includes six investigators, has conducted investigations of many well-known spots in Tulsa, collecting photographs, video and audio recordings. French also offers Tulsa Spirit Tours in the fall. (Visit www.pittok.com for more information.)
“Each time, it totally startles me,” she says. “You feel this adrenaline rush and get lightheaded. … It’s almost like a drug, where you’ve got to try to get that again, that euphoric feeling when you see something and you know it’s real.”
Our city has developed such a reputation for its ghostly inhabitants that French has written an installment in Arcadia Publishing’s “Haunted History” series, “Tulsa’s Haunted Memories,” set for release Oct. 18. The book will include tales of sites ranging from theaters to music venues to hotels and cemeteries.
Intrigued? Read on. We asked French to help us identify five of the most haunted places in Tulsa. Here and in the pages that follow, you will see a famous music venue, two theaters, a historic high school and a residence-turned-garden center.
French says each of these locations has a storied history, and each has provided the PITT team with evidence to support the presence of some otherworldly visitors. Prepare to be spooked.
Click ahead, if you dare ...