9 Ways to Explore Haunted Green Country
There’s a lot of history in northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country, from the pre-statehood days of Indian Territory to the modern marvels waiting to be explored in our capital city of Tulsa. Parts of that history have included reports of paranormal activity and other unexplained phenomena, many of which are still sought out today by brave visitors seeking that next big spine-tingling thrill. Find your ticket to some spooky fun this fall at one of these mysterious Green Country haunts.
First documented in 1881, the Spook Light is a faint flickering light that can be glimpsed on an isolated stretch of Ottawa County road in the far northeastern corner of the state. Variously attributed to alien activity or the spirit of a departed Quapaw woman searching for her lost lover, the cause of this eerie phenomenon remains unknown to this day. But one thing is certain, those who spot the Spook Light are unanimous in reporting chills and a sense of fear. Find more information and a map showing the location of Spook Light Road here.
Gather the whole crew for a glimpse of the otherworldly side of Green Country’s largest city with Tulsa Spirit Tours. Owned and operated by paranormal researcher, author, and founder of the Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa, Teri French, Tulsa Spirit Tours offers a variety of fun excursions with creepy twists. Take the Haunted Tulsa Bus Tour or the Haunted Pub Crawl with stops at several historic bars in the Tulsa Arts District to learn the backstories of the strange occurrences and apparition sightings that have taken place in some of Tulsa's historic spots that are rumored to be haunted.
Built in 1895, the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska is the oldest theater in the state. Located in the city’s historic downtown, there have been reported ghost sightings at the Constantine since at least 1906. One frequently spotted apparition is a woman in turn-of-the-century dress with buttons down the front who appears in the balcony and hallways. Others have reported hearing children’s voices when none were present. Four different paranormal investigation teams have inspected the Constantine Theater, all of whom concluded that the theater is indeed haunted.
Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa is one of Oklahoma’s most celebrated and prestigious music venues, hosting popular concerts and dances since the 1930s. Famous Western Swing artist Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys frequently played live shows and radio shows from Cain's Ballroom which became known as the Home of Bob Wills. Over nearly 100 years of history, several employees and guests have described encounters with various ghosts, entities and anomalies. These have included shadowy figures, disembodied voices, hot and cold spots, and sounds of women crying. Tulsa Spirit Tours founder Teri French has even related the story of a man dressed in early-20th-century cowboy attire asking for some 10-cent popcorn from the bar, which hasn’t been offered since the ballroom’s earliest days. Bartenders have also related experiences with a strange woman in a red dress who has been spotted around the bar and restroom area.
Make your way to Bartlesville to experience a spooky and unexplained phenomenon at Gravity Hill. For some reason, if you drive to the base of the small hill near the railroad tracks and put your car in neutral, you will roll uphill towards the tracks. According to a local legend, years ago a school bus stalled out on these tracks. Since the bus was already facing downhill, the driver asked some of kids to get out and push it off, but while they were at it an oncoming train struck the bus, killing several of the schoolchildren. Now the children’s ghosts will push any car they find there towards the tracks. It's even said that tiny handprints can be seen on cars with dirty bumpers.
One of the state’s most unique architectural attractions has a bit of a strange history. Built to serve as restaurant in the 1920s, the Tulsa Cave House was also a speakeasy by night, with a hidden tunnel in the fireplace leading back to a secret bar. Rumors of paranormal activity have been on the books here for years, including reports of the ghost of the original owner roaming the grounds. Other visitors have had their keys stolen by the mysterious “key woman,” a former resident who collected keys, only to have them turn up later in the back yard.
In addition to being a shining example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture full of beautiful historic touches including ornate ceilings and stained-glass windows, Ponca City’s Poncan Theatre holds some eerie mysteries. Many visitors to this historic Ponca City icon have felt gusts of a cool air inside, and ghostly figures have been spotted roaming the halls and sitting in the balcony, including one believed to be the wife of the original owner. Others have reported seeing a translucent figure seated motionless in seat KK4. Supposedly, long ago at the end of one night’s show, the woman sitting there made no move to leave when the house lights came up. At first, her fellow patrons believed she’d simply fallen asleep, but they soon learned that she had died during the movie.
The next time you’re enjoying a night out in Bartlesville, dig into some amazing eats with a side of some spooky vibes at Frank & Lola’s Neighborhood Restaurant & Bar. A Bartlesville hotspot since 2008 for their delicious comfort food and lively atmosphere in the city’s historic downtown, there’s nonetheless a dark past at this local favorite. In the early days of the building, there was a brothel tucked away in the basement of what is now Frank & Lola's. Throughout the years, guests and staff members alike have seen the shade of Estelle wandering the grounds, a lady of the night who was murdered there during the property’s early days as a brothel. Could Estelle be hanging around and bedeviling male staff members? Some have reported that during preparations to open Frank & Lola's and since then, when only men are present, spooky things have happened like lights flickering and things being knocked off tables when no one is nearby. Visit Frank & Lola’s to enjoy some homestyle cooking and an after-dinner cocktail or glass of wine, but keep an eye out for unexpected guests.
The historic Coleman Theatre was built in 1929 to be the most ornate and grand theater of its day in this region of the country. The stage was graced by Vaudeville stars and silent movie showings were accompanied by a magnificent pipe organ. This dark, ornate and historic building with a massive pipe organ is the perfect setting for some spine-chilling ethereal activity. The Coleman Theatre is rumored to be haunted by at least three distinct spirits. Visitors taking tours frequently report catching a sudden whiff of bay rum cologne which was the signature scent of Mr. Rogers, the theatre's projectionist who worked there until he died. An unknown presence is believed to be haunting the basement where people have heard someone whistling in the empty space and felt unexplained hot spots. Another ghostly spirit seems to inhabit the dressing rooms next to the stage where performers prepared for their shows. Electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras have ceased operating in the area and multiple people have reported catching glimpses of a spirit in the dressing rooms. So by all means, visit this popular Route 66 theatre in Miami, OK for a concert, silent movie screening or other performance - but don't be surprised if you sense an otherworldly presence.
Green Country's rich history has led to several tales of colorful characters lingering here after death. Rumors of haunted theaters, restaurants and concert halls abound in northeast Oklahoma. In addition to the sites listed above, there are many more historic sites, hotels and office buildings that have otherworldly tales to tell. Visit the Fort Gibson Historic Site where you can wander the grounds of a frontier-era military fort that is rumored to be home to the spirits of some soldiers who died there. Tour the Dewey Hotel Museum for a look at the everyday life of the hotel's guests at the turn of the century and keep an eye out for a male apparition that has been spotted in some of the rooms. Take a brief hike through a wooded area to visit the gravesite of Belle Starr, known as the Queen of the Bandits, who was murdered nearby in 1889 and is rumored to roam the area to this day. If you are in search of spine-tingling chills and some good ghosts stories, Green Country is a great place to explore whether you choose a Tulsa Spirit Tour or strike out on your own.