These three famous OKC houses may actually be haunted. See their stories (2024)

"Haunted houses" are a dime a dreadful dozen around Halloween, but the legends of three allegedly haunted homesin Oklahoma City have stood the terrible test of time.

Overholser Mansion

The Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15, is the most famous haunt.

The former abode of Henry and Anna Ione Overholser has been a museum and public venue for decades. And Kathy Dickson, director of museums and historic sites for the Oklahoma Historical Society, has tales to tell.

Thirty-plus years ago, Dickson, then a curator, helped move some of the Overholsers' personal belongings from closets to make room for new duct work. One night after a long day, she had an odd dream:

She saw a young woman wearing a Victorian ball gown walking down a hall in the mansion.

These three famous OKC houses may actually be haunted. See their stories (1)

Dickson said she'd never seen an image of the Overholsers' daughter, but later was able to pick her out of a bunch of old photos. The dress was from a generation before Henry Ione's. It was a puzzle until Dickson saw a photo of Anna Overholser wearing the dress she'd seen in her dream.

The Public Square:How will you be celebrating Halloween this year?

Cue the chills.

It gets better — biblical even.

About 15 years ago, Dickson said, a visitor to the mansion reported that "Anna wants her Bible put back on the table."

Dickson knew of no Bible belonging to Anna Overholser. Someone who knew the house better told her that, yes, Anna Overholser's Bible was being stored in a closet.

Another time, alone in the mansion one early Tuesday afternoon, Dickson said she kept hearing muffled voices in animated conversation between the music room and library. She gave up finding an explanation after searching all over for a source.

"Anna, I guess your friends came to visit," she recalled saying to the empty house. "Have fun!"

Maybe so. She asked someone who knew the Overholsers' habits and learned that, as a matter of fact, the first Tuesday of the month was Anna's regular monthly bridge party. Cards were dealt promptly at 2 p.m., and she and her friends gathered to play in two spots: the music room and the library.

Dickson had no explanations for her experiences.

MORE:Illustrated look at ghosts known to haunt the White House

The Governor's Mansion

These three famous OKC houses may actually be haunted. See their stories (2)

"A living folktale in his own time," William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, Oklahoma's ninth governor from 1931 to 1935, "continues to inspire storytelling in Oklahoma through the whispers of his ghost inside the mansion."

So deadpanned Jeff Provine and Tanya McCoy in their 2016 book, "Haunted Oklahoma City." Murray, judged by historians to be "irascible, controversial, and extraordinarily colorful" — he almost started a war with Texas — left his mark on history and mystery.

"Many governors and their families have lived in the house and noted strange sounds and unexplainable events," the book says. "As people watch, cabinet doors will open themselves. Knocking sounds and footsteps emanate from rooms with no one in them. A strange howling buzz rings from the sunroom.

"Most of these are attributed to the Oklahoma wind and the house being old, but some things go beyond reasoning."

Then-Gov. Frank Keating, governor from 1995 to 2003, reported that his sons and some friends were watching TV in the basem*nt when Murray's ghost walked through the room.

"They laughed. But they were only around 14 at the time, and you could tell that what they saw had them scared,"' Keating said, Provine and McCoy wrote, quoting The Oklahoman.

Then-First Lady Cathy Keating had fun with the repeated micro-haunting of the third step up the mansion's central staircase: Murray is said to trip people.

"Cathy Keating herself was tripped on the stair," according to Provine and McCoy. "She told the Orange County Register, 'I really don't believe in ghosts, but ... it's level. We had it looked at. There's nothing. So I say he's there tripping people. He's ornery, and he's fun.' In hopes of appeasing Murray, Keating had a doll made in the former governor's image, complete with campaign sign," and perched it on that step.

These three famous OKC houses may actually be haunted. See their stories (3)

Hatchet House on 'Scarey' Carey Place

"The story goes that a little girl named Carey was playing on the swings at the playground of Gatewood Elementary School. A man carrying a hand axe approached her with a mad look in his eye"— so begins another account of the macabre in "Haunted Oklahoma City."

The tale ghos(t) on:

"He told her he was there to kill her. Carey ran. He went after her, his long legs walking at an even pace while she paused to desperately pound on the doors of the sleepy neighborhood street. No one answered.

"After almost a block of this chase, his axe found its mark as Carey crossed the driveway of one of the houses. Still alive, she was dragged two more houses down to the one at the end of the street, where he finished her off on the porch. It was something of a sacrifice to the house, whose shutters to this day bear the image of hatchets."


Or maybe Carey lived in the Hatchet House, "and a deranged visitor, driven insane by some psychotic connection with the hatchets on the shutters, stormed the house and ... killed her there on the porch and then dragged her body down the street ... letting the blood spill ... (and) he buried the body under the swings at the playground."


About the only thing for sure is that the house at 1901 Carey Place has shutters with hatchet-shaped cutaways. Legend has it that little Carey haunts the house, as well as the playground nearby.

Bill Bowlby, who has owned the house since 1986, has said he's experienced nothing otherworldly.

Nonetheless, the urban legend — as well as the Bullet Hole House nearby — keep people's attention on Scarey Carey Place this time of year, especially on Halloween Night when hundreds descend on the short narrow treat for trick-or-treating.

Restless spirits and haunted stories:Here are 13 of the most haunted places in America

Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate, and related topics for the newspaper and since 1999. Contact him at

These three famous OKC houses may actually be haunted. See their stories (2024)
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