Fort Washita, Ok 73038
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The ruins of Fort Washita, located near Brown, in the south—central part of the state, are reportedly home to a mysterious headless ghost nicknamed “Aunt Jane.” No one knows for sure who she is, and there are numerous explanations for her presence. She is often seen roaming the fort, headless and dressed in a white gown. Rumor has it she buried gold somewhere on the property and has come back in search of it, which has made the site a popular destination for treasure hunters. Many of these treasure hunters claim to have encountered her presence, saying a mysterious force prevented their tools from entering the ground when they attempted to dig.
Strange and sinister happenings have plagued several residents of the old fort. After the Civil War, it had burned and been abandoned, and was later awarded to a Chickasaw Indian as part of a land allotment. He didn’t stay long, though. His first night there, all of his 32 dogs disappeared. He found them and brought them back home, but they vanished again, and he moved away shortly thereafter. Later, a doctor and his sister moved on to the property, and the haunting activity became even more obvious. The sister claimed to have seen strange things both in the house and on the grounds, and though she had no knowledge of the legends already surrounding the fort, she too reported seeing a headless woman. Many people dismissed her reports as the product of an overactive imagination, but they were real enough to drive her to a nervous breakdown. She and her brother subsequently moved away, and no one has occupied the property since.
When I was in high school I went up to Ft. Washita about twice a year for Civil War Reenacting.. A couple of us guys were sitting out side on the 2nd floor deck looking out toward the old stables. And we saw a green apparition walking across the field going toward the stable. And we also saw apparitions in the old barracks.
Located in the south—central part of Oklahoma between Madill and Durant on SH—199 are the ruins of Fort Washita. Established in 1842, the purpose of the fort was to protect the peaceful Indians from their aggressors. In 1861, it was overrun by Confederate forces. Sometime between those years, a murder took place which may have given the fort its resident ghost....or at least one of them. It is still said to this day that the ruins are haunted by this restless spirit, the ghost of a headless woman dubbed "Aunt Jane".
The legend of this ghost is vague, with claims that Aunt Jane was killed by thieves or soldiers. Allegedly beheaded in the process of her murder, Aunt Jane has been seen dressed in a white gown and walking about the fort with no head. The story also goes that Aunt Jane hid a large amount of gold somewhere on the grounds and her ghost is still looking for it.
Other ghost sightings and stories abound at Ft. Washita, making it a popular place for ghost—hunters and curiosity seekers. Larry Marcy, Ft. Washita park superintendent, said lately there have been more soldier sightings than anything else, particularly following a re—enactment at the fort.
“Some people claim to see apparitions or hear strange noises,” said Marcy. “I’ve had people ask me the next morning where the cavalry came from after hearing what sounded like a herd of horses galloping by.”
Marcy said that many of the re—enactors who have stayed overnight will not do so again due to frightening experiences.
A walking candlelight tour with ghost stories told by professional storytellers is held at the site each year around Halloween. The event is sold out this year due to its popularity, so make reservations early in October next year if you would like to visit. For tours at other times during the year, call 580—924—6502 or visit www.civilwaralbum.com/washita/index.htm. Reservations are required.
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