This mansion was originally built by Col Samuel West Peel in order to win his wife’s heart. Mary Emaline had turned down many of his proposals until he promised to build the house of her dreams; one that looked like the Alabama mansions she remembered from her childhood.
Col Peel achieved his rank in the Confederate Arkansas Infantry in the US Civil War. After the war he went to law school and became a lawyer. He became a prosecutor and later served in the House of Representatives from 1883 – 1893.
Mary passed away in 1902 and Peel remained in the house for another year. The house had a number of other owners between 1910 and 1991 with many putting large amounts of money into it for renovations and upkeep.
In 1991 Walmart Inc bought the house and then donated it in 1992 to the Peel House Foundation. The Foundation then restored the house back to it’s glory days at the end of the 19th century. They also rebuilt the gardens that surrounded the house.
The house is now a historical museum and open to the public.
The ghost of Samuel Peel is still seen in the house from time to time.
The ghost of Peel’s daughter, Minnie Belle, is also seen in the house. She usually seen wearing white and often plays the piano to this day. Should anyone enter the room while Minnie is playing the music will stop immediately.
The house also has a rather unique level of paranormal activity. In the 1920’s Mr English moved into the house with wife and children. Two of those children were twins with one named Margery.
One day while playing outside Margery was stuck with a sudden stabbing pain in her abdomen. We now know that in twins sometimes the appendix in one twin forms on the opposite side of the body as it does for the rest of us; this was not known by doctors in 1920’s.
Kitchen tables were eventually brought up to Margery’s room and a surgeon opened her up to find the appendix had burst and the infection was spreading through her body. The doctor was so sure the girl would die he didn’t even sew her up but instead left her with a nurse.
For 10 days the girl suffered in terrible pain before she passed away. Or did she?
The nurse pronounced her dead and covered her in a sheet.
Five hours later someone saw the sheet move and pulled it off the girl to find her alive. At the time it was nothing short of a miracle; we now know the girl must have gone into a coma as her body made it’s last ditch effort to save her life.
Her surgical wound was sewn up and Margery went on to live her life. She would eventually pass away in 2000.
So, what’s so paranormal? Glad you asked.
For 50 years the room where Margery suffered and eventually healed was locked up. It seems the room was haunted by a little girl. Her phantom crying and screams of pain made the room completely unusable by the living.
Margery did describe what we now call a near death experience complete with a light she was drawn into but couldn’t cross. If there is a human soul obviously Margery retained hers so what was haunting this room?
87 Reed Road
Status: Former Sanatorium; Museum; Partially Abandoned; Partially Repurposed
Photo Courtesy of Pandorah (Paranormal Wasteland)
Please See Pandorah's Personal Experiences at this Location Below
In March 1909 the search began for land for the purpose of building a tuberculosis relocation center for the white population of the State (the sanatorium was a product of its time – when segregation was a reality it only accepted white patients – everyone else went to the sanatorium in Alexander). The land south of Boonville was found suitable and construction began on the first building.
In 1924 the Mason’s built a children’s ward and followed in 1927 with an on-site school. Construction was not begun on building that most people think of as representing the sanatorium (photo above) until 1938.
The 528-foot 5 story Nyberg Building was named after State Representative Leo Nyberg who contracted tuberculosis. The building was completed in 1941 – unfortunately, Mr Nyberg had succumbed to the disease before then.
At its height the sanatorium had more patients than the population of Boonville and was completely self-sufficient with staff dormitories, a farm, telephone exchange and a fire department. The facility was known worldwide for its work on the treatment of tuberculosis and reducing its communicability.
With the invention of new drugs and treatment plans the number of patients began to drop. In 1971 the State ended the sanatorium as an independent entity and passed ownership to the Department of Health. In 1973 the Health Department transferred out the last patients and officially closed the sanatorium on June 30 of that year.
The facility was transferred to the Department of Mental Retardation (again a product of the time) and the first floor was converted over to treatment of developmentally disabled children which it remains today.
Over 70,000 people were treated at the sanatorium before it was closed; tuberculosis had an average fatality rate of 30%; the math is easy to do – approximately 21,000 patients died on site. There’s bound to be a few ghosts trapped within the walls of the Nyberg building – considered to be the most haunted - or on rest of the massive and mostly abandoned site.
The ghost of a little girl on the third floor of the Nyberg building is the most commonly seen apparition. Reports indicate she appears as if she’s lost and rather sad. Considering children with tuberculosis were taken from their parents and brought to a sanatorium where no one could visit them, for fear of getting the disease, the girl has many reasons to look lost and sad.
Many paranormal investigators bring toys for her which can be seen on the otherwise deserted third floor.
The apparition of a gray lady dressed in an early 1900’s nursing uniform is seen. She is only seen in the evening hours though.
Ghostly faces watching out of the bare windows. Apparitions of groups of children playing together. People report having their hair pulled and being touched, pinched and pushed.
Other Activity: Shadow figures; bright flashing lights have been in many of the abandoned buildings; disembodied voices; phantom sounds; cold spots; mysterious mists; light anomalies and feelings of being watched, not being wanted and not being alone.
Pandorah from Paranormal Wasteland (Oklahoma Manager) Personal Experiences
Booneville Sanatorium is, in my opinion, undoubtedly haunted. I have recorded children’s laughter in the basement while there were no children anywhere near the building. We experienced a huge bang that shook the walls, yet the only people who heard and felt it were on the third floor. We have an actual image of a hand reaching out of the doorway with no person actually in the room. We had very intelligent responses with the spirit box, and we even got names and dates from this device. The energy on the fourth floor was very foreboding, and a crawler is said to roam the halls. Most of the evidence and experiences were of the audible variety.
(RM Ruthven Bridge)
US Highway 62 over the White River
Status: Arch Bridge
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Archedamian&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Archedamian (page does not exist)">Archedamian</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
By <a href="//www.flickr.com/people/28155182@N06" class="extiw" title="flickruser:28155182@N06">Bryan McDonald</a> - <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Flickr" class="mw-redirect" CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Previous to the bridge, the only way across the river was by ferry. The nearest bridge was 100 miles (160 kilometres) away in Branson, Missouri. Constantly changing water levels made the ferry crossing unreliable.
The town wanted a bridge as it would open up a new part of the Ozarks to tourism while boosting their economy. Judge RM Ruthven buried a feasibility report that would have resulted in the bridge being built elsewhere – hence a lot of people calling the bridge by his name – and President Coolidge signed it into existence in May of 1928.
The bridge was opened on November 11, 1930 but the town’s residents still wouldn’t use it – until the State Highway Dept threatened to pull all funding – because of the toll.
There are 2 fatal accidents that are said to have happened on the bridge – one is verified; the other feels like an Urban Legend but, apparently, is known well locally.
The first is 2 men who working on the bridge’s upper span and fell to their deaths. The second was a young woman in the 1950’s who was chased onto the bridge by a pack of wild dogs – they caught her on the bridge and tore her apart.
Reported Activity: the apparition of a woman running on the bridge often followed by barking dogs; phantom footsteps – sometimes running – on the bridge; disembodied voices including conversations; phantom sounds of children playing beneath the bridge at night when there are no children present; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; strong feelings of eeriness and, curiously, the phantom crying of a baby.
Labelled as America’s most haunted resort hotel, this location used to be a former school for girls, then a summer hotel and a hospital, it is certainly is one of the most haunted hotels in the southern US.
Dr Norman Baker ran a very controversial hospital and health resort here in the 1930′s promising miracle cures which consisted mostly of just drinking pure spring water. Dr Baker was an inventor and not a doctor at all (apparently, he was run out of the state of Iowa for practising medicine without a license).
The time as a fraudulent hospital seems to be the origin of most – but certainly not all - of the paranormal activity still witnessed to this day.
Michael, an Irish stonemason, fell from the roof to his death and now haunts room 218 which is on the spot where he met the floor. He is said to bang on the walls and turn the TV on and off in this room.
Rooms 202 and 424 are also said to be centers of paranormal activity.
Dr Baker seems to be unable to leave his fraudulent hospital and is often seen outside of the recreation room looking confused. Dr Baker is also seen in the basement where it is said he buried his cancer patients underneath the morgue floor so as not to tarnish his reputation as a miracle healer.
A nurse in an old fashioned white uniform has been seen wandering on the third floor.
A woman in room 419 has introduced herself to both staff and guests as a cancer patient before disappearing right before their eyes.
The ghost of a man hangs out in the lobby bar or at the bottom of the stairs. A butler has been witnessed carrying a tray on the elevator and following a group taking a ghost tour out at the third floor before disappearing.
In the dining room apparitions are seen in Victorian clothing either sitting at the tables or in the mirrors. In one particular incident, staff left a Christmas tree and presents in the locked dining room only to return to find everything set up in a semi-circle.
There is also a story of a female patient who was molested by a doctor and jumped to her death from a second floor balcony who now wanders the building.
Other stories concern a man pushing his wife to her death down the stairs and of a school girl being pushed to her death from a window.
Dr Baker also owned 2 St Bernards who supposedly still haunt the hotel; guests have reported the feeling of being licked by phantom cold tongues.
The ghosts of two old ladies are said to pull rocking chairs into the hall at night and have a conversation.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Status: Former POW Camp; Former US Army Base
Active National Guard Base No Public Entry
Originally named Camp Chaffee this base was constructed in 1941 to meet the demand for trained troops for World War II. It was quickly changed over to a POW Camp and housed 3,000 Nazi POWs.
In the 50's the name was changed to Fort Chaffee in recognition of its permanent status and became home to the 5th Armored Division of the US Army. Elvis Presley received his first military hair cut in a building on base.
In the 70's and 80's the facility was used to house foreign nationals. In the 70's it was Vietnamese and Cambodian Nationals escaping the Vietnam War and the 80's it was Cuban Nationals after Castro emptied the prisons and sent them to the US by boat via Miami.
The Cubans caused major problems rioting in 1980 which had to be put down by the State Police using riot gear. The incidents of prisoner vs prisoner crime skyrocketed during the Cuban stay including sexual assault and murder.
In 1987 command of the facility was transferred from the US Army to Arkansas National Guard where it remains today. In 2005 the base housed 10,000 refugees fleeing the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Louisiana.
This is an active Arkansas National Guard Base. Entering it without permission would be unwise to say the least.
Two areas of the base are reported as having paranormal activity:
Former Medical Complex
This complex of more than 128 interconnected buildings unfortunately burned down in 2011. Balls of moving light were often both seen and photographed in this area. Partial apparitions were also reported. Disembodied female voices have been heard in the former OB/GYN area and shadow figures have been seen in the former psychiatric care center. Disembodied voices have been heard all over the complex.
Former Cuban Prison Area
This area has since been turned into a haunted house attraction but not all of the hauntings are faked. There was once possible incident of possession while the prisoners still occupied the building. An empathic feeling of violence and hatred permeates the area. Feelings of unease, fear, physical illness, not being wanted and being watched are also reported. Disembodied voices have been heard; many of them saying "get out!"
The Arlington Hotel had 2 previous incarnations in the location of what was Arlington Park originally at the north end of Bathhouse Row. The first one was built in 1875 and completely demolished after 20 years. The second hotel – billed as the New Arlington - was built in 1892-93 in the Spanish Renaissance style. In April of 1923 the second hotel burnt to the ground resulting in the death of 1 fireman and millions of dollars in damage.
The location of the first 2 hotels was abandoned – it is now a park – and the final and current incarnation of the hotel was built in the Y of Central Ave and Fountain St. In part, this location has made the hotel a landmark in the city.
Numerous famous political – including 4 Presidents – sports and entertainment figures have stayed at the hotel. Although, the hotel’s most famous; or infamous; guest was Al Capone who rented the entire 4th floor for himself and his entourage.
The Arlington has become famous for its glamour and uniqueness as well as its famous past guests. The Lobby Bar is currently – and firmly – on the list of the best bars in America.
It is considered to be one of the most paranormally active locations in the State.
The official policy of The Arlington is that it is NOT haunted.
The numerous stories, however, are difficult to ignore.
There are reports of a bad-tempered ghost in Room 824 although the details are limited to non-existent. The one verified report does tell a story of a ghost but not one that acted malevolently in any way.
Al Capone’s favorite room was 443 and he had a private elevator installed to an underground tunnel should a quick getaway be needed. The elevator now comes to the 4th floor on its own and opens as if Mr Capone is still using its services. The apparition of a Bellman is also seen on the 4th floor who has a habit of walking through closed doors.
One guest reported being followed down the hallway to her room by 3 woman who were laughing and talking. When the guest reached her room, she realized the woman had suddenly and completely disappeared.
Other apparitions reported in the hotel include: the obligatory bride in her wedding dress, a man in an apparent mourning suit and a young girl in a pink dress. All clothing is old fashioned and the apparitions are known for appearing suddenly and disappearing just as quickly.
There are boarded up rooms – said to be built into the mountain with no running water or electricity – where doors are heard to slam and whispered conversations are heard. People have felt someone brushing by them, or their hair pulled and taps on the shoulder when they were completely alone in the hallways or other common areas.
The apparition of a man in a black suit is seen near the hotel laundry and is known for waving at current staff.
One story is of a honeymoon couple that had their covers ripped off in the night which the bride blamed on her new husband. He, of course, denied it and they stayed awake to find the covers moved down and then suddenly torn off their bed by an unseen force. They then bolted into the hallway in various states of undress. . . Or so the story goes.
Other activity: wine bottles shaking and falling off shelves with no human interaction; lights flickering and turning on and off on their own; taps turning on and off on their own and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
In 1867 James Hornibrook and his wife Margaret moved to Little Rock from Toronto, Canada. James entered into a partnership with Miles Townsend in the liquor and saloon business and made quite a sizable fortune.
He wanted a home for his family befitting a man of his stature.
Hornibrook Mansion, as it was originally known, was completed in 1888.
Unfortunately, the Hornibrooks did not get to enjoy their beautiful Victorian home for very long. James died in 1890 from a stroke and Margaret followed in 1893.
The mansion was turned into Arkansas’s first woman’s college in 1897 and during the early 20th century it was converted back into a residence.
The home remained vacant through the 1930’s and most of the 40’s. In 1948 it was turned into a rooming house for women.
In the 1970’s it was converted into a nursing home and then into a bed and breakfast in 1993.
In 2019 the current owners, Antonio Figueroa and Keith Sandridge, bought the property and now operate the B&B.
The ghost of a well dressed man who is often seen at the top of the staircase watching the guests. He is thought to be James Hornibrook who many believe died from something more nefarious than a simple stroke.
A maid dressed in pink is often seen in the rooms of the second story. When someone enters the room she will flee into a closet and disappear.
Another ghost is that of a man in an old fashioned sea captain’s uniform is seen throughout the house.
Other reported activity: disembodied voices including entire conversations being heard in empty rooms; phantom footsteps often following guests to their rooms; light anomalies and feelings of being watched.
Public Domain Photo
This is the second oldest cemetery in Arkansas. It was founded in 1843 after a 4 block parcel of land was donated.
Due it’s large number of important people buried within it’s borders it has gained the nickname “The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas”. These include 21 Mayors of Little Rock, 14 Supreme Court Justices, 11 State Governors, 6 US Senators, 4 Confederate Generals and numerous other military figures, doctors, lawyers, and other prominent citizens.
The Confederate hero/spy David O Dodd is also buried here.
Both in the day and after dark transparent apparitions are seen throughout the cemetery. These apparitions also frequently show up in photos taken of the grounds.
The statues in the cemetery move on their own. Witnesses have actually seen the statues move right before their eyes. On occasion they actually been found on the lawns of neighboring houses.
Pieces of gravestones are also found mysteriously and suddenly in people’s yards who border the cemetery.
Unexplained money and trinkets – usually related to the period the person lived in – are found on gravestones; usually in the morning.
The phantom sound of flute music is frequently reported on the cemetery grounds. No reason for the music has ever been discovered.
The Allen House was built in 1906 for Joe Allen and his family; wife: Caddye and his daughters: Lewie Manker, Lonnie Lee and Ladell. They also had a son who died while still an infant.
Previous to the house there was a building on the property used originally as a girl’s school, then a Confederate hospital during the Civil War and finally as a boy’s school that eventually turned co-ed.
The Allens lived happily until Joe passed away – although Caddye proved to be a very shrewd businesswoman who not only saved the family fortune but increased it. Lonnie Lee and her husband moved in with mom and even Ladell came back home – more on this later – things were good for the Allen family.
Or so it seemed.
Unbeknownst to the family once Ladell returned home she was carrying on a relationship with her first love who happened to be married to someone else. He was more than happy to divorce his wife but she made it clear a large portion of their combined fortunes would leave with her. He was not about to allow that.
Money and land were worth more than being with Ladell it would seem.
On Christmas Day of 1948 Ladell decided the solution to her problems was to ingest a mercury cyanide mixture. She would pass away 8 days later. Her mother sealed up Lidell’s room and it wasn’t opened again for nearly 40 years.
After Caddye passed in 1954 the house was divided up into apartments and rented out. This is when the first stories of paranormal activity were reported.
In the 1960’s it became a dorm for University of Alabama students and then a private residence again the mid-1980’s. This couple opened a shop on the first floor – they also opened Lidell’s sealed room and found a bottle of cyanide – as well as living in the house.
The current owners of the house Mark and Rebecca Spenser found the letters that confirmed Ladell’s illicit affair and the real reason for her suicide.
Paranormal activity dates back to when the house was divided into apartments.
Caddye does not manifest but she has been recorded speaking with investigators and is not shy about her opinion of Ladell’s ex-husband the drunk.
The apparition of a 5 year old boy – whose identity is unknown – appears often to the lady of the house.
Three ghost girls are seen playing in the foyer at the bottom of the stairs. Noises of them playing are heard both when they are visible or not visible.
Joe Allen is also said to be in the house from time to time. He calls himself Allen.
Ladell’s son Allen is an active ghost in the house; only less so than his Mother. He likes to speak the names of female guests and move objects. His apparition – in a cowboy hat no less – has been seen on the 1st floor. He also likes to wonder the attic hoping for visits from the living.
And, finally, Lidell herself. She is a frequent visitor to the turret window in what was her bedroom. Many speculate this is the reason her Mother sealed the bedroom up – in hopes of trapping her ghost in 1 room. She has been seen standing in her bedroom window by uncountable witnesses beginning shortly after her death.
In 1959 a doctor staying the house caught Lidell’s ghost in a mirror when he took a photo. In 1968 a groom took a photo of her new bride in the dining and also caught a Lidell’s ghost form standing beside her. Another couple tried to trap Lidell in a closet while she pushed back and her disembodied giggles were heard.
She’s also said to be responsible for moving objects, unlocking doors, phantom sounds of crying and feelings of not being alone.
Status: State Highway; Haunted Highway; Urban Legend
Formerly part of US Route 65 this north/south running highway goes from Pine Bluff to Conway and through some of the State’s most historical areas.
The southern end of the highway in Pine Bluff and is called Dollarway Road. This section, when it was originally opened in 1913, was the longest continuous concrete paved road in the United States.
Reports of paranormal activity date back to the 1950’s.
This is one of the most haunted stretches of road in North America and has more phantom hitchhikers on it than any other road we’ve come across.
All of the phantom hitchhikers are woman aged 18 to 25 and are most often seen on dark nights when its raining.
It is quite possible that this stretch of road is the birthplace of the phantom hitchhiker. Not to say that all these stories are made up or just legends; there are definitely ghosts on this highway.
The original story of the phantom hitchhiker can be traced to this highway. Woman is seen on the side of the road in the pouring rain; man stops and picks her up and wraps his jacket around her to warm her up; woman disappears suddenly from the car when her destination is reached; man goes to the door of the house only to find the woman he picked up died so many years ago on that exact date; man visits cemetery and finds the woman’s grave only to find his jacket draped over her gravestone.
While this may be the core of the legend it comes from multiple encounters with the girl’s ghost on this very road.
I actually wrote a short novel called Siobhan that expands on this story. Unfortunately, it was never published and all existing copies of it have disappeared over time.
Woman have been picked up all along this road in various states from a little chilled to soaking wet – either from the rain or from their car going off a bridge – to cut and bruised from a car accident. They all give an address to a place on or near the highway and they all disappear when they get there.
In the majority of encounters with these phantom hitchhikers the address given is a house they once lived in; although, sometimes, the address given is the cemetery they’re buried in.
There are also stories of a teenage girl who will run out into the highway straight at vehicles driving on it. The drivers have almost no chance of avoiding a collusion with her which they both feel and hear. However, no sign of the girl can ever be found when they stop and look for her.
There is one last legend on this road; if you stop in a deserted section of it after dark, turn your car off and beep your horn three times a ghost motorcycle – complete with a ghost riding it – will race by you.