Do you love a good ghost story? Have an affinity for spooky places? Wouldn’t mind staying in a hotel that is said to be haunted? Actually like feeling a little chill run down your spine?
If so, this post is for you!
Here is a list of some of the most spookiest, eeriest, creepiest, and most haunted places in Arkansas. Have fun ghost hunting!
Most Haunted Places in Arkansas
Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs
The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs is not only one of the most haunted places in Arkansas it is said to be America’s most haunted hotel!
Over the years, many guests have reported ghost sightings and other paranormal activity. Certified mediums have even claimed that the hotel showed signs of being a “portal to the other side.”
There was a time in the 1930’s that the hotel was used as a hospital by charlatan, Norman G Baker. He treated cancer patients despite having no training. Obviously many people passed away in the hotel.
In recent years a landscaper unearthed a dump site filled with bottles containing medical specimans and curious concoctions. It had been said that these bottles were once displayed in the hospital morgue.
It’s all just super creepy!
If you want to learn more about the ghosts that are said to reside at the Crescent Hotel you can take one of the ghost tours that they offer.
The Haunted Allen House
Perhaps the second most haunted place in Arkansas is The Allen House in the town of Monticello. This is a gorgeous Queen Anne and Gothic style home that was built by Joe Lee Allen in 1906.
In 1948 the adult daughter of Mr. Allen, Ladell, found herself recently divorced. She came home to Monticello to heal her heart and to care for her widowed mother. While home she reconnected with an old flame, an old flame who happened to be married.
The two carried on an affair for a quite some time until the man decided that he could not and would not leave his wife.
Ladell was so distraught that she poisoned herself with cyanide.
The room where Ladell died was sealed off by her mother and not opened again for 40 years.
The house was turned into apartments and reports of paranormal activity began. Tenants reported hearing footsteps and moans from the closed off room as well as seeing a woman in the window.
In 1985 new owners purchased the house. When they opened the closed off room they found a cyanide bottle. Over 90 letters pertaining to Ladell’s secret relationship have also been found.
The King Opera House
Phantom of the Opera taught us that opera houses are scary. So, of course, one of the most haunted places in Arkansas is The King Opera House in Van Buren.
The story goes that an actor, Charles Tolson, from the theater fell in love with the daughter of a local doctor. The daughter, Allye, planned to run away with the Charles and the troupe of actors.
Unfortunately her father discovered his daughter’s plans, met the pair at the train depot, and killed Charles Tolson.
Staff and visitors of the King Opera house say it is haunted by the ghost of the murdered man who wears a top hat and cape and turns lights on and off.
The Gurdon Ghost Light
Is the Gurdon Ghost Light one of the haunted places in Arkansas or are they simply one of the most interesting phenomenon in Arkansas?
The Gurdon Ghost Light is a mysterious floating light which can be seen on dark evenings along a remote stretch of railroad tracks outside of the town of Gurdon. The light first began to be seen in the 1930’s.
It has been televised and photographed and is generally accepted as truly existing. What we don’t know is what it is!
We do know that in 1931 two railroad men argued in the area and one was killed.
The murderer was caught and tried and received the death penalty. The lights began to be seen after this incident and some say that the murdered man is haunting the tracks carrying a lantern.
One more scientific theory is that stress on the quartz crystals underneath Gurdon causes them to emit electricity and produce the light.
So far, no one knows the reason why the lights appear. I prefer the ghost story. What about you?
The Desha County Courthouse
The Desha County Courthouse was built in built in 1900 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The courthouse is said to be haunted by a ghost named Willard and the clock tower is said to be cursed.
Here’s the story:
A man lost a lot of money gambling and in a fit of anger burned down a hotel and some other buildings. He was tried at the courthouse and sentenced to hang. It is said that he cursed the clock saying that it would never work right again after his death.
Not only that but workers in the courthouse say that they hear footsteps and that sometimes doors slam for no reason.
The Clayton House
The Clayton House in Fort Smith was built in the 1800’s and for a time even served as a Civil War Hospital.
In 1882 William Henry Harrison Clayton moved his family into the antebellum home added to it and changed it into the Italianate-style masterpiece that you see today.
The hauntings have taken the form of doors slamming, footsteps, the sound of music playing, and sightings. One of the ghosts has been given the nickname the “tall angry man.” He’s tall, wears black, has an angry face and wears a top hat.
Another common sighting is that of a woman in a brown skirt with her hair piled on top of her head in a bun.
In 2008 a carpenter was working on the house. He took some pictures of the repairs and this woman in brown appeared in one of the photos.
The Cotter Bridge
There have been mysterious stories about the Cotter Bridge since it was built in the 1930’s.
The concrete rainbow arch bridge also known as the R.M. Ruthven Bridge crosses the White River near the town of Cotter.
In many ways it is a lovely work of architecture and doesn’t look from a distance as if it would be one of the most haunted places in Arkansas but many people who cross it say that it gives them an eerie feeling.
Some of the things that people claim to see on the bridge are children playing, a woman being chased by hounds, the sounds of a baby crying, and footsteps.
Pretty scary for a bridge!
The Toltec Mounds
You might not imagine a hiking trail as a place that might be haunted, but what if that trail led through the remains of an ancient culture?
If you look at it that way perhaps it isn’t surprising that the remains of this civilization are one of the most haunted places in Arkansas.
The Plum Bayou Mounds in the Plum Bayou Mounds State Park, also known as the Toltec Mounds, were home to a large group of people beginning about 600 AD.
The archeology seems to indicate that these people completely and suddenly disappeared around 1050 AD without a trace and the scientists can’t figure out why.
The mounds were used for a variety of purposes and at least one was a burial ground.
Visitors to the Plum Bayou State Park claim to have seen ghostly apparitions of these ancient people, along with lights and orbs. They have also reported hearing footsteps around the mounds at nighttime.
THe Vanishing Hitchhiker of Highway 365
Ok, want to hear a really creepy story about a haunted place in Arkansas?
On a dark and stormy night a guy was driving down highway 365. He saw a young woman in a white dress hitchhiking. She was drenched to the skin so he stopped and asked if she wanted a ride.
She accepted and he took her to a house in Redfield. When he arrived the girl appeared to be sleeping so the man got out of the car to help the her out. When he opened her car door she had disappeared.
He knocked on the door of the house and a woman told him that her daughter had been killed several years previously and tried to hitchhike home every year on the anniversary of her death.
There are several different versions of this story. One involves the man giving the hitchhiking girl his coat and then finding it on her gravestone.
Drivers are still claiming to see the girl in the white dress hitch hiking.
Perhaps drive down highway 365 and see for yourself.
The Peel Mansion in Bentonville
The Peel Mansion was built in 1875 in Bentonville by Samual Peel. Mr. Peel was a US Congressman who lived in the home with his daughter Minnie Belle.
It is said that both Mr. Peel and his daughter Minnie haunt the house. Minnie’s ghost walks around in white and is known to play the piano when no one is in the room.
Another strange thing happened in the house after the Peel family sold it. New owners Mr. and Mrs. English had two boys as well as twin daughters.
Daughter Margery became sick with appendicitis. Her appendix became so infected that it burst. The surgeon informed the family that she would not survive.
After 10 days the girl passed away and was covered with a sheet. A few hours later someone saw the sheet move. Turns out Margery was alive and went on to survive the ordeal.
This troubled the superstitious workers on the farm who believed that her spirit couldn’t get back in her body because it was covered with a sheet. When Margery was older she visited the house and noticed that the room where she had “died” was closed off.
She asked why and was told that they didn’t want anyone going into that room because it was haunted by a little girl.
Fort Smith Courthouse
This is an old courthouse that is part of the Fort Smith National Historical Site. It was here that Judge Isaac C. Parker presided. Judge Parker was known as the “hanging judge.”
He served 21 years on the Federal bench. During his tenure he sentenced 160 people to death by hanging and 79 of those went on to receive this terrible punishment. The executions were held at the gallows right outside of the courtroom.
Many employees and visitors have had frightening experiences in the courthouse, at the gallows that are part of this site, and at the Fort Smith National Cemetery where Parker is buried.
People have heard gavels banging in the courthouse, seen the ropes on the gallows swinging when there isn’t any wind, and a groundskeeper actually spoke to the ghost of Parker at the cemetery.
The Fouke Monster
Ok, the Fouke Monster might not be a ghost but this is one of the weirdest and most nationally known stories to come from the forests of Arkansas.
The Fouke Monster is also known as the Boggy Creek Monster. He is similar in size and shape to Bigfoot.
The monster stood upright, was 7 or 8 feet tall and more than 300 lbs. It was described as being fast and swinging its arms like a monkey when it ran.
Those who encountered it also claimed that it had a terrible odor and bright red eyes.
Although there had been sightings as far back as the mid 1800’s the creature began appearing more regularly in the Fouke area in the 1970’s.
In 1971 the monster attacked the home of Bobby and Elizabeth Ford. They family had been hearing something around the house for several nights until one night it reached through the window screen.
After the creature was chased away by gunshot, investigators found large three-toed footprints around the house. More sightings in the area began to attract national attention and in 1972 a film was released called The Legend of Boggy Creek.
Although residents spotted the monster more than 40 times in 1997, there have not been as many recent sightings of the creature.
Perhaps he is gone? Or Perhaps you will be the next one to see him?
One of the saddest stories from this most haunted places in Arkansas list is associated with the Avon Cemetery in DeQueen.
The legend is that a woman was drawing water from a well. She was struggling to draw the water with just one hand so she sat her child on the edge in order to lift the heavy water bucket.
Tragically the child fell into the well and died.
The spirit of the mourning mother has been seen wandering the graveyard and it is said that if you drop a rock into the well you can hear the cries of a baby.
I hope that you enjoyed or were a little spooked by these tales of haunted places in Arkansas.
If you are reading this post during the fall season here is a list of the best pumpkin patches in the state.
And you might enjoy this list of best places to enjoy fall foliage in Arkansas.
Thanks for stopping by.