Hauntings prevail in area sites
The month of October conjures up images of ghosts, goblins, trick or treaters and everything spooky.
Whether it’s a scary movie or a shadow in the corner that makes one jump, it’s fun to get a little unnerved at this time of year.
Those who really want to get in the “spirit” of Halloween, may want to take a road trip and visit places where reported hauntings have occurred in and around the Bartlesville area.
Coleman Theater, Miami, Okla.
One of the top tourist attractions in Miami, Okla., the Coleman Theater offers year-round entertainment, building tours and holiday celebrations.
According to Richard Southall’s “Haunted Route 66,” three ghosts haunt the theater.
One of the ghosts is of Mr. Roberts, who worked as a projectionist till he died. Tour goers sometimes smell bay rum cologne, his signature scent.
Another ghost reportedly hangs out in the basement, that legend says used to be a crematorium for a mortuary. There have been times that the room was extremely hot, though no source of the heat could be found. Also, a person whistling is sometimes heard.
The dressing rooms next to the main stage also are reported to be a hot spot for ghostly activity. People say they have seen apparitions of theater guests getting ready to go on stage. Also, electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras tend to lose all power.
Belvidere Mansion, Claremore
Another ghostly mansion, The Belvidere, in Claremore, was commissioned by wealthy investor John Blayless in 1902. It took five years to complete and Blayless died before it was finished. His wife Mary took on the task and then in 1907, moved in with her seven children, living there for 12 years, according to Richard Southall’s “Haunted Route 66.”
The home was sold and converted into apartments in the 1930s until the 1960s when it fell into disrepair. The Rogers County Historical Society now owns the building and takes care of it.
Stories of ghosts include seeing John Blayless and his wife. Also misty forms have been photographed, according to Southall’s book, and throughout the mansion, sounds of children laughing can be heard.
People also report cold spots and feelings of being watched. Still others say a woman crying can be heard, possibly a woman who reportedly killed herself while living in the apartments in the 1940s. Some report seeing an apparition of a “woman holding her face in her hands, crying.”
Frank and Lola’s, Bartlesville
According to “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma,” by Rita Cook, Frank and Lola’s restaurant, located in the former Buford and Sons building, is possibly haunted by the ghost of a prostitute, Estelle, who worked from the basement back in the rough and tumble days of outlaws and thieves. Apparently, Estelle murdered one of her clients, but she is believed to be the ghost.
Strange noises have been heard such as doors banging, and the owner of the restaurant, as well as a bartender, believe they saw a person out of the corner of their eyes, but upon turning to look, no one was there. A couple of years ago, a cook at the restaurant reported he saw a person, in the shape of a shadowy figure smoking a cigarette. Suddenly, it disappeared.
The Solo Club, Bartlesville
Also in the book, “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma,” are some interesting stories shared about the Solo Club, a longtime bar in downtown Bartlesville. Cook says that a former employee tells of a couple experiences while working in the bar. On one occasion, she was closing up about 3 a.m. and turned out the lights. At the end of the bar there appeared to be someone standing there. She turned back around for a second look, and the apparition was gone. But then a brisk, cold wind blew through the bar.
She also said one night she saw an ice bucket flying through the air and around a corner before hitting the floor.
The Brown Mansion, Coffeyville, Kan.
The Brown Mansion was home to W.P. and Nancy Brown, who married in 1885, according to brownmansion.com. The mansion was completed in 1906.
The two had five children, but two sons died at birth — Willie died in 1898 at the age of 4 from pneumonia; Donald, the only child who lived in the mansion, died in 1911 at age 11 from complications of diabetes. Their only daughter Violet, born in 1887, survived to adulthood and married at 19.
According to Richard Southall’s “Haunted Route 66,” Violet inherited the mansion in 1970 and sold it to the local historical society.
Several ghosts are presumed to haunt the mansion and paranormal investigations and ghost tours are regular events.
Violet is said to be seen dancing in the ballroom while Nancy Brown is purported to be seen crying for her lost sons. W.P. Brown, who smoked a pipe, is said to still inhabit the mansion, the pipe odor a telltale sign. The son Donald reportedly skips through the mansion, humming a tune, and Charlie, the butler, it is said, can be seen sitting in his room or on hand to greet a guest.
Constantine Theater, Pawhuska
According to travelok.com, the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska has a resident spirit that haunts the balcony.
Constantine visitors say the ghost is a young woman clothed in a button-down dress, possibly the daughter of George Constantine.
Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa
Cain’s Ballroom has long been the recipient of ghostly tales. Located in downtown Tulsa, Cain’s ballroom is supposedly visited by the spirit of Bob Wills, where he and the Texas Playboys were regular performers.
“He is joined by a woman known only as the lady in red. Both employees and visitors have reported seeing, hearing and feeling the presence of this mysterious woman,” reports travelok.com.