Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ghost Hollow’s Curse

Residents that live around the old settlement town of Ripley, Oklahoma, on windy nights state they hear some chilling sounds coming from a large old oak tree.

Ripley is near the city of Cushing in Payne County. This county was opened to settlement in the Oklahoma land run in April of 1889.

An old oak tree in this area was an ideal place to hang people. The hollow this tree still stands in is considered haunted and cursed. This place was dubbed Ghost Hollow for this reason.

In the late 1800s Payne County was still an untamed, lawless land. The only justice imposed was at the end of a rope, or from the barrel of a Colt pistol.

In 1899, three horse thieves were left hanging from the limb of this oak tree in the hollow. This was not the first or last time this tree had been used for this purpose.

The following tales are often told around a campfire.

One legend states that a young Indian girl, in spite of her father’s wishes, ran away to marry a white man.

The father found them and shot at the young man. But his bullet hit his daughter instead, killing her.

It is said in his grief and despair resulted in a curse on Ghost Hollow, where he found the two lovers.

His daughter was 17-years old at the time of her death. It is said every 17 years a death occurs in this hollow.

One victim of this curse was a gambler from Ripley. He was hanged from this tree when he was caught cheating at cards.

In the early 1900s, a human skeleton was found in the hollow. Yet another body was found in 1922. Then in 1939, there was a fatal car wreck on a nearby road. All 17 years apart.

Local witnesses state that on windy nights in Ghost Hollow, they have heard terrible moans coming from this old hanging tree. They say this sound raised the hair on their necks and made their hearts beat faster.

One Boy Scout troop passing through the hollow one night, stated all their horses were spooked when they entered Ghost Hollow.

Yet another legend that surrounds the hollow states an innocent man was hung from this tree in 1887. The next day, all of the bark from this tree, mysteriously fell off.

Since during full moons witnesses state, this tree glows brightly.

Of course, wind makes horses spook, and moonlight makes things glow, but I love these old stories...

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