5 Creepy Oklahoma Urban Legends

On last weeks episode of The Lost Ogle Show, Patrick and Marisa had Marnie Vinge, host of the Eerie Oklahoma podcast, as a guest. They discussed Sean Sellers and The Purple Church, two of the most fascinating local legends from my youth.

This got me going down a rabbit hole, remembering other myths and urban legends from my teenage years, when we’d all cram into a car and drive to some spooky place because we heard that it was haunted or mysterious.

Twin Lakes

The urban legend that I have the creepiest personal experience with is Twin Lakes in Shawnee. As the legend went, a witch was hung from a tree and the same rope still hangs there. Years later, the bodies of teenage girls were said to be discovered there inside bags that also contained the razor blades used to slit their throats.

We drove out there one dark and chilly night, following the directions we found on some urban legend website. The road became one lane, with deep ruts on either side making it impossible to turn around. We reached the dead end, turned the headlights off, and sat there for minutes, but we were all too chickenshit to get out of the car. Eventually, we decided to just go back home because we were all being weiners about everything, but had to drive in reverse for about half a mile.

The next day, my friend tried to start his car and the battery was dead, so we were maybe almost stranded out there. Of course, we believed it was some kind of witch curse because that’s how these things work.

The Oklahoma Octopus

No, we’re not talking about the controversial-for-a-week mural downtown. There’s an urban legend that an octopus somehow lives in one of the freshwater lakes of Oklahoma. It could be Tenkiller, Thunderbird, or Oolagah, depending on who you ask. This is creepy for two huge reasons: One, that octopi have been speculated to actually be alien lifeforms because of their genetics are so divergent to anything else on the planet, and two, that the last thing you’d want to find while noodling a honey hole for some of that sweet sweet catfish is a tentacled, Lovecraftian sea beast.

The Haunted Bricktown Starbucks

This one is very new to me, but our own Louis Fowler went on a tour of haunted places in Bricktown and discovered that the Starbucks in Bricktown was allegedly built on top of an old graveyard and is now inhabited by a mischievous poltergeist. This must be the explanation for why your name is always misspelled on your venti pumpkin spice frappiccino.

The Severed Head Behind The Mont

While working on this story, I asked my girlfriend what weird urban legends she heard about growing up in Norman. A story that was apparently a huge local myth was the night when an employee of beloved local establishment The Mont was taking out the trash at the end of the night, only to find a decapitated head staring at them from the dumpster.

We ended up researching this one, and apparently it’s a real thing that happened, but maybe not at The Mont? There is a news story from 1996 on The Oklahoman, but it’s behind their paywall, which means none of us will ever find the truth. This leads to our new game of generating local urban legends where we read the headline of a story from that dying newspaper and just extrapolate the rest of it until it becomes canon.

The Mathis Brothers Gerbil

I don’t want to say anything to propagate this one any further than it had been talked up heavily in my elementary school cafeteria, so I’ll just say ‘If you know, you know” and leave it at that.

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16 Responses

  1. If I recall correctly, the severed head was found in a backpack somewhere. I don’t remember The Mont being part of the story. But hey, I don’t venture beyond paywalls either.

    1. Tulsa World: https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/man-charged-in-decapitation/article_5a03b5a4-8f05-54f6-982c-882fbe046926.html

      The one man stabbed the other to death and then decapitated the body. The crime was discovered when someone noticed a naked man depositing a backpack into a dumpster behind the little strip mall at 119 West Boyd (present-day location of Pad Thai Restaurant and King Kopy). The backpack contained the victim’s severed head. Both men were residents of what was characterized as a transitional house for persons in mental health treatment. This led to some controversy and harassment of the property owners, a retired mental health professional and his wife.

      I have provided the URL for citation only, but there is this article that sheds more light: https://oklahoman.com/article/2543414/boardinghouse-draws-calls-owners-claim-theyre-harassed

      The house mentioned in that story as the scene of the crime, 763 DeBarr (now Dean’s Row) Avenue, is no longer standing. It burned down in either 2000 or 2001. I remember because I used to live nearby and watched it burn from the parking lot at Campus Corner Market (I think at that time it was still known as J Boties). In fact today there’s still a big gap on Dean’s Row between the big beautiful brick house and the gray frame house that sits next to Pad Thai.

      1. Exactly!! Was a Fri. afternoon about 5PM. A bunch of us were drinking beer at the rooming house on the corner of Jenkins & of course ran right over there when we heard. One of my buddies kept asking “Where’s Tamara Pratt?”

        1. It was quite possibly the most exciting thing (for all the wrong reasons) that happened that year, other than the Rolling Stones playing at the football stadium.

          As for whatever happened to … the perp was found incompetent to stand trial … last I saw he was involuntarily (and perhaps permanently) committed to a mental health facility.

          1. Ooopsie, the Stones played Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in 1997, not 1996.

      2. you think that brick house is beautiful??

        1. “Ostentatious” would have been more fitting I suppose, but by comparison it’s still more modest, and only slightly closer to the architectural character of the neighborhood, than some of the multiunit, high multistory rental monstrosities that have been going up in that area in the last few years. Also it’s not the only brick house on that side of the street. OTOH, whoever bought the frame house that sits next to Pad Thai could have easily just bulldozed it, but instead they gutted out the inside but kept the exterior true to the original build.

      3. Oh jeez, I remember this

    2. It was off Boyd somewhere, not the Mont. and apparently cut with a pocket knife.

  2. i would have thought a single, on the prowl Mary Falin would have made the list of creepiest things in Oklahoma… or Meg Alexander… or Gary England

  3. The creepiest thing I’ve heard are ghouls and deviates congregating around 23rd and Lincoln. Then just like Ghostbusters they leave a trail of slime after they return to their lairs, which they spell “liars”. Must be Scottish or something.

  4. Yall should check into Deer Woman up here in Northern Oklahoma. Story goes back decades.

    1. I used to work in Pawnee and every work meeting turned into a discussion of Deer Woman sightings. I think that one is common with a lot of the tribes, though I grew up hearing more about “the little people” but that’s all I’m gonna say about that because I don’t want to attract their attention.

  5. You know why The Haunted Bricktown Starbucks is new to you? Because it was probably made up by whoever was putting on that ghost tour. It looks like there was an old graveyard there once over 110 years ago, if not more, but everyone was dug up and moved to Fairlawn when they put in railroad tracks from what I can see. So it’s not like they sunk the foundation piers of a Starbucks through someone’s great-grandpa.

  6. I grew up in Edmond and in one of the cemeteries near downtown there was supposed to be a tombstone that glowed at night. We always all talked about going there but I was too chicken.

  7. Guthrie youth home now sadly remodeld. Spent nights exploring it in the mid 90’s and sleeping there on the second floor under the west tower, very stand by me moments. It was just a spooky place have various relics I’d rather not mention but I could believe not everything that happened there was rosey. Who didn’t climbed the Belle Isle power plant tower on a dare. Was a great time to be a teenager, before you could google an urban legend and someone had died there 94ish making it the 13th since it was built if that’s to be believed lol. Whoever took out the top several steps of the Belles tower I hated you but looking back well played. You made me and everyone else commit to reach the very top and that giant rusty bird bath.

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