Upon doing research for a writing project, I stumbled upon a sequence of articles that I found to be entertaining, disturbing and fascinating all in one. As I read the articles, it was refreshing to me on how simple things were back in the early days. They are simple paragraphs that were hidden for over a hundred years, without anyone acknowledging the history, the folklore and the beliefs so long ago. I am choosing to share these findings as I continue to research for writing projects, and of course documenting Oklahoma’s real Haunted History.
What you are about to read is exactly how the Guthrie Daily Leader, was read over 100 years ago, back in 1896. Volunteers of the Guthrie historical museum and library have taken old newspapers and typed them into readable archives for future viewers. With this said, the content is rather broken at times, and some terminology is slightly hard to follow. But while reading this story it is history revealed and revived. Enjoy this series of newspaper articles, provided by the great town of Guthrie Oklahoma. –
–> Continue to read after the article for my personal research comments on this particular case and how it reflects on today’s paranormal investigative field.
The Guthrie Daily Leader -1896
Headline: NO INQUEST NEEDED. ELLA MYERS ASSOCIATES WERE THE CAUSE OF HER HASTY BURIAL!
Thursday, April 9, 1896
*Note: Cyprian is another word for prostitute*
Commissioner Stapleton says he is in no way responsible for the hasty burial of Ella Myers, the Cyprian who was found dead Sunday inside Ella Horton’s place on the Santa Fe Right of way. He says he issued an order for her burial as a pauper on authority of Coroner Barker, who, with Dr. Cotteral examined the remains.
The county undertaker, it seems, complied with the inmates of the Huston place and buried the body at once. Dr. Barker says he gave an order for the burial of the body, which was badly decomposed, but had no idea, the undertaker would act so hastily. Dr. Cotteral does not credit the story that the body was buried alive. He says he applied the galvanic battery, and like Dr. Barker thought an inquest was unnecessary; at it would simply heap expenses on the county. The deceased was a cocaine fiend and died from an overdose, so the doctors say.
Headline: RED HAND APPEARED. HOUSE IN, WHICH A CYPRIAN DIED, SAID TO BE HAUNTED!
April 15th, 1896
The shack on the Santa Fe right of way in which the Cyprian Lula Myers recently died is haunted. Horrible groans issue from the shack every night and passerby assert that weird and ghastly incantations take place within the building which was vacated shortly after the unfortunate girls death. Last night a well-known sport called at the house and tried the front door. It failed to give way. He tried the back door with the same result, and returning to the front door it suddenly flew open and a blood-red hand holding a vial appeared in the room. Much excitement prevails among the neighbors residing in the vicinity of the haunted house.
Headline: THE GHOST STILL WALKS! ELLA MYERS HAUNTS THOSE WHO INJURED HER. IS HER BODY UPSIDE DOWN?
Sunday April 19th, 1896
Judge Mccord believes that an investigation will reveal some starling things. George Hardies’s weird experience at the home of the deceased Cyprian.
A BLOOD READ HAND SEEN.
The ghost of Ella Myers continues to walk with uncanny tread at the errs-while dive at the Santa Fe Right of way. Last night at 12 o clock the doors of the house in which the girl is supposed to have died, suddenly flew open and a figure clad in white was seen at the window. It is alleged that the groans also issued from the hitherto locked house, and that three times a plaintive wail went up “Don’t give me any morphine I am sick!” for over a week super natural manifestations in the house have aroused the neighborhood, and the shacks vicinity of the haunted dwelling have been vacated.
On Friday night, George Hardie, thinking the story of the ghost was a prime josh, called at the house. He found the front door locked. Going to the back door he found it locked and bolted. Hardie went to the front door, and was preparing to return, disgusted, to town, when a low plaintive wail assailed his ears and almost simultaneously the front doors slowly swung open. Although, badly rattled, Hardie entered the house. In the room where the Myers girl died he was struck four sharp raps on the head, and at the same time a light, resembling a calcium ray flashed across the room, and within the ray appeared a blood-red hand clutching a bottle or a phial. Manifestations and ghostly séances similar to those seen and heard by Hardie, have been experienced by twenty-five or thirty persons who have visited the dwelling out of curiosity.
Kickapoo Charley visited the place Thursday and was badly frightened. In fact he fainted after seeing the apparition, and had been ill ever since.
Ex-Police Judge Mccord is considerably wrought up over the appearance of the astral body. He adheres to the belief that the Myers girl was buried alive, and that the body was chucked into a coarse box face downwards.
Policeman Potete avers that the exhuming of the body of the unfortunate Cyprian will show that the body is distorted and twisted, and that the girls ghost will haunt the colored undertaker, and her associates as long as they live. The brother of the dead girl is in the city, and will have the body disinterred and moved to Kansas for burial. It is thought he knows more about the strange case than he tells.
Also in the same paper: DIE A PAUPER- AND BE CHUCKED INTO A HOLE ON THE COTTONWOOD!
“If you have no money and wish a decent burial when you die, postpone dying until you get out of Logan County” remarked a prominent businessman yesterday. “I have just returned from a ride about town,” he continued, “and during my rounds I passed by what is supposed to be the burial ground for paupers. I must say such a graveyard is a burning disgrace to the county. A man who would place a dead body in that soggy plat of ground is devoid of all the merciful, humane feeling, which goes to make up a man. Surely the county has enough money to give its dead a respectful burial. This graveyard is a marsh on the Cottonwood. The county undertaker, after slapping a stiff into a box, hurries it to that wet marsh and deposits it about four feet under the ground. About twice a year the river rises and over=flows the graves, and we drink the water. Why can’t a plot of ground be staked off in Lynn’s cemetery for the indigent dead? The county owes that much to decency’s sake”
Headline : NO MORE GHOST!- THE REMAINS OF ELLA MYERS EXHUMED AND FOUND RIGHT SIDE UP!
April 23, 1896
The remains of Ella Myers whose ghost is said to have haunted the late home of the deceased on the Santa Fe right of way, were exhumed yesterday by H.M. Myers, half brother of the deceased, and taken to Rose hill township for interment. Mr. Myers was ignorant of the death of his sister until he read an account of the haunted house in the leader last week. The coffin was opened and the body was found in proper position. It is intimated that the girl was not only buried alive, but the body was placed in a rough box face downward, but since the recent comment regarding her burial, interested parties disinterred the remains and placed them in their natural position.
*Note: There were no more mentions about “ghosts” by the Santa Fe right of way after April 1896.*
Investigating ghost accounts for over 12 years now in Oklahoma, I have stumbled upon a few personal theories that seem to revolve around ghosts and haunting witness accounts.
What is Para-Hysteria? Well, basically it is a haunting created by a group of people who are convinced that a location is in fact haunted. What makes a location haunted? The most important and passé’ reasoning would to be a horrible death’s at a location, and maybe some local wives tales attached to it. The most common of hysteria is such as the above series of articles that were published over 100 years ago. Upon reading the articles, the average ghost hunters would be full of excitement and more than likely declare, “We got to find this place!” Well, that’s a great idea, if you are not paying attention of course. If you notice, within these articles, witness accounts grow larger, and more detailed with every mention. I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in mid- April 1896, the town was a buzz with the possibility of a real live ghost, haunting their railroad tracks; I can hear the towns people talking now. The media was very important, even back then, that is how people got their news, and they always understood that the news reported was in fact the “truth”. We are guilty of this today, society is greatly media influenced and it will never stop. Watching the reports grow into a simple “strange occurrence” into a full fledged ass kicking ghost with a vial of cocaine is simply amazing. Local law enforcement and important businessmen were even pulled into the ruckus. Bodies being exhumed, over old wives tale is prime example of how fast people are influenced. As a paranormal investigator it’s alarming to me that these types of things still happen, in and out of the field of paranormal investigating and or ghost hunting.
Researchers that scream “science!” are overlooking one thing, the basics of people and how easily hysteria can be created. Remember the Salem Witch Trials? People died horrible deaths over those types of accusations, and today very reputable teams and groups of paranormal investigators ignore the hysteria attached to those horrendous crimes. Today, paranormal investigators are in fact “investigating” something that is nothing but a vicious cycle of hysteria. With the Salem Witch Trials, the horrible deaths that occurred are today’s reasoning behind investigating the hauntings that these science-based teams are researching. Does that make any sense? To me it doesn’t. Creating a haunting, Para-hysteria however you want to word it, the truth is that it exists and is heavily covering up the paranormal investigative field. With today’s technology, it seems very easy to document a ghost. Cases where there are true paranormal anomalies are collected by accident, not an investigative team. So what is everyone looking for? Flashing lights, balls off energy, dust bunnies caught on tape? These anomalies are becoming so typical, that they are now unbelievable. High tech gadgets, physics, string theories, magic EMF readers and a million other run of the million other hypotheses will not convince me of the possibility of ghosts.
People create ghosts. That’s a bold statement yes, but I have reasoning behind my thoughts. Let’s take the infamous Myrtles Plantation for example. This home was built in 1796, a very long time ago. The plantation has a morbid past, and it’s documented historically. But as the years go by, the ghost reports seem to have lingered in only the halls. As time went by, I am sure that someone may have witnessed something unexplainable, and blamed it on a ghost. Getting people talking about the past and the history behind the plantation, minds begin to wander. Was the plantation just as haunted 200 years ago? Once the media got a hold of this story, just like the articles above, the strange and unusual happenings became more common. With each new owner, stories were passed on, giving the chance to grow and be exaggerated. People who witness these things are regular people, who in fact have fell for what we know as Para-hysteria. People are just people; we all want to believe that there is something more than what we can see with our own eyes. People want to believe in things that are not there, things that cannot be explained and of course, the possibility of ghosts roaming the earth, right along side of us. It’s exciting and since the beginning of time people have loved to be excited. So I will end this paragraph with the opening statement, people create ghosts.
I invite everyone to read these articles and study the Para-hysteria that is involved. The idea of a simple impression can make an entire town lose their minds for a few weeks; take a look at the above story, and of course, the Salem Witch Trails.
For all those teams out there who are still chasing the dream of “making contact”, all I can say is good luck and do whatever makes you happy in your personal search for the unknown. I personally will not waste anymore of my precious time away from my family and friends to investigate hauntings. Don’t get me wrong, I will still be investigating the unknown and the possibility of ghosts, but I am looking at things in a different light these days. Stop spending your hard earned money chasing a dream that will only happen if you believe a little harder than the next team. I ask that everyone takes a step back, and reflect on their rumored haunted locations… are you just creating those ghosts are you have you forgot entirely, that people will be people?
There was 1 unusual piece of audio that I will share at the bottom. Not sure about
what “she” is saying” what do you think?