Katherine

Custer County, Oklahoma has a lot of nice places to visit such as Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, Water-Zoo Clinton Indoor Water Park, Stafford Air & Space Museum, and many more.

Inside the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum

Inside the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. (Link: https://oklahoman.com/article/5591671/explore-the-mystique-of-route-66-in-oklahoma)

Most people visit Custer County for the above-mentioned places but others visit it because of the supposed haunted Dead Women Crossing. If you want to know more about this place with such an intriguing name, read more below.

History Of Dead Women Crossing

Dead Women Crossing or Dead Woman’s Crossing got its name because of the brutal murder of a woman. Accordingly, on July 6, 1905, a schoolteacher named Katie DeWitt James left her husband and filed for divorce from him. On July 7, she took her 14-month-old daughter, Lulu Belle, to a train station because they were to visit her cousin. Katie’s father, Henry, bid farewell to his daughter and granddaughter but her husband did not show up. A few weeks from when Henry last saw his daughter and granddaughter, he was concerned because he hasn’t heart from them.

Henry then asked help from the sheriff and later they hired a detective to look for Katie and her child. The detective started with the investigation and was told no one remembered seeing a woman and a baby in the Clinton area. Twenty-one days from when Katie and her daughter were seen at the train station, the detective found out that they spent the night in the house of one William Moore. Accordingly, the sister-in-law of Moore, Fannie Norton, was the one who brought the mother and daughter there. Norton was reportedly known as a prostitute during that time and got acquainted with Katie on the train.

After spending the night at Moore’s house, Norton, Katie and her daughter reportedly left the home of Moore. Eyewitnesses spotted the vehicle entering a field near Deer Creek. Later, the eyewitnesses said they saw Norton come out alone. They believe she was inside the field for around 45 minutes. The vehicle that Norton was driving when she left the fields reportedly had a blood-stained wheel.

When the detective went to the area, he found out that Norton left the baby with a boy and asked the latter to take care of the baby. The baby was not harmed but its clothing was full of blood. The detective then went to Norton and she denied killing Katie. Later, Norton committed suicide by drinking poison.

Katie’s remains were not found until August 31, 1905. Katie’s head was severed from her body. They were positive it was the remains of Katie because her father Henry confirmed it.

A photo of a headline talking about the remains of Katie being found

A photo of a headline talking about the remains of Katie being found. (Link: https://ghostsnghouls.com/dead-womans-crossing-oklahoma/)

The father of Katie’s daughter later took custody of her. The murder of Katie was never solved and remains to be a cold case to this day. Many suspected that her estranged husband paid Norton to kill his wife. He reportedly inherited all of Katie’s estate and he and his daughter left with no trace.

The body of Katie was found in a wooden crossing. That crossing was torn down 80 years after the discovery of her remains and a concrete bridge was built nearby. That area was since then dubbed as Dead Woman’s Crossing as a reference to where Katie’s body was found.

Deer Creek near Dead Woman's Crossing

Deer Creek near Dead Woman’s Crossing. (Link: https://br.pinterest.com/pin/395894623475124377/?amp_client_id=CLIENT_ID(_)&mweb_unauth_id={{default.session}}&simplified=true&nic_v1=1aaDUSWGTilqf64Y1TVGMuu%2BHlopbdBM20gfJIjENahm6WRUWiRJ%2Fa%2BW3P%2B93Ii3Ir)

The wooden crossing where Mrs. Jameses’ body was found was torn down 80 years later, but a concrete bridge was built nearby and was quickly dubbed with the tragic label of Dead Woman’s Crossing.

A photo of the bridge at Dead Woman's Crossing

A photo of the bridge at Dead Woman’s Crossing (Link: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/dead-woman-s-crossing)

The Ghost Of Katie

Many claims that Katie’s restless spirit is seen and felt around the streets and banks near Deer Creek. She is reportedly often spotted looking for her baby girl.

This is what you will see when you are walking across the bridge at Dead Woman's Crossing

This is what you will see when you are walking across the bridge at Dead Woman’s Crossing. (Link: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/dead-woman-s-crossing)

Other stories that have been told refer to the sound of the rattle of wagon wheels rolling around. Apparently, you can hear this if you stand beneath the bridge.

What it looks like under the bridge at Dead Woman's Crossing

What it looks like under the bridge at Dead Woman’s Crossing. (Link: https://sites.google.com/site/jonwilliamsstorybook/dead-woman-s-crossing)

A blue formless light was also seen in the area many times. A researcher was in the area with her friend when they spotted the blue light coming towards them.

A Visitor’s Chilly Account At Dead Woman’s Crossing

A woman wrote in a blog the experience she had while they were relaxing at the Dead Woman’s Crossing: “I was still a freshman the first time I felt the “cold spot.” It was a very hot day, and even the river water was warm. However, there was this spot, about 16 inches diagonal, which was ice cold. Trees did not shade it, and there was no other explanation for it. But there it was, and all of us felt it.”

The same blogger shared her friend’s experience. It’s not always spooky because accordingly, there was once a flood that washed out the new bridge. What was just left was a drop off from the road to the river’s bottom. Her friend was reportedly standing on the edge of the broken road and almost lost his balance. She noted, “Suddenly, he felt what seemed to be a hand pushing him backwards to stop him from falling off of the bridge. If this actually did happen to him, I am sure it was because of the respect we all felt for her and this place.”

 

 

July 7, 2020
Deer Creek near Dead Woman's Crossing

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