Dead Man Walking? Meet Dead Woman Crossing

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Dead Man Walking? Meet Dead Woman Crossing

Dead Woman Crossing

Dead Woman Crossing is located in a small, unincorporated community on Deer Creek, in Custer County Oklahoma.  The town only has about one hundred people on a good day, so rumors and stories travel fast.  One story revolves around how the tiny crossing got its disturbing name.

(images:pandjt/flickr) Bridge over Dead Woman Creek

(images:pandjt/flickr) Bridge over Dead Woman Creek

On July 6, 1905, a young school teacher filed for divorce from her husband, citing extreme cruelty.  She tolerated the abuse as long as she could, but once the woman gave birth to her small daughter, she feared the same fate for the young little girl.  One afternoon, the young teacher carried her fourteen month old baby to the Custer County train station, ready to start a new life for herself.

The young teacher’s father met his daughter and granddaughter at the station to see them off.  Although said to lose them to Ripley, he was happy his daughter had finally stuck up for herself and could start anew.  He gave them both kisses and waved as they pulled away.  He had no cause for concern until weeks went by and he hadn’t heard from his daughter.  He contacted the local sheriff and an investigation began.  Unfortunately, reports indicated that the mother and her child never made it to Ripley.

As the investigation continued, the sheriff discovered that the woman had gotten off at Clinton instead of Ripley as planned.  Painstakingly, the sheriff traced the woman’s steps one at a time until he found out that she had gotten off at a William Moore’s house on July 28th.  The next step was to determine where the woman was now and what had transpired over the last twenty two days.

Shockingly, it was discovered that the young teacher had gotten off the train with Fannie Norton, a local prostitute.  While they could figure out who she left with, no one could figure out why.  Local townspeople finally came forward and let investigators know that they had seen the threesome leave one morning in a buggy, seen in Deer Creek.  Two hours later, Fannie Norton returned home without the woman and her baby.

(images:okaycity/flickr) Dead Woman Crossing

(images:okaycity/flickr) Dead Woman Crossing

Efforts finally uncovered the baby, who was given to a young farmer’s son and told to take her inside.  The baby was unharmed, but covered in blood.  The young boy had also noted that the wagon that Fannie Norton rode in had a wheel that was covered in blood and that she appeared to be alone.  She would give no explanation as to the origin of the baby or why she was giving her to the boy.  Norton was later found and refused to testify about the woman or the baby.  She killed herself that same day with a large amount of poison.

The young teacher’s body was found by a fisherman on August 31.  Located near Deer Creek, her head was completely severed from her body.  Once Norton killed herself, leads to the young teacher’s death were stopped short in their tracks.  Her murderer was never found.

Many questions surrounded her death, including whether her ex-husband had been involved.  He did not help the investigation or seem concerned when the woman and his daughter went missing.  He inherited her estate and disappeared with his daughter.

To this day, visitors to the Crossing report seeing a blue light at the Dead Woman’s Creek.  It often heads straight toward visitors.  Many report seeing apparitions of the woman and often hear her crying out for her lost child.  Others have heard wagon wheels rumbling over the bridge on Dead Woman’s Crossing.  It seems she refuses to leave this world alone, spending her eternity searching for her one small piece of happiness.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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