POSTED ON OCTOBER 26, 2011:
A ghostly corral of Tulsa's best-loved urban legends
Along the intervening days between now and Oct. 31, Tulsans will take ghost tours and T-Town will recount the city's re-hashed, thrice-told legends.
Through the years, we've heard about strange noises and mysterious orbs floating above the Brady Theater's red velvet seats; Thomas Gilcrease's ghostly jaunts on his museum property; and the odd sounds and cold spots in Cain's Ballroom.
Our cover story offered a few entirely new ghost story interpretations, so here we round-up the well-worn and well-loved legends of Tulsa's most popular haunts.
Don't be afraid, it's only Halloween (cue maniacal laughter)!
The Brady Theater, which has been endearingly nicknamed the "Old Lady on Brady," was built in 1914. In its nearly 100 years, Tulsa's first large auditorium has been a stop for many famous singers and actors.
The most famous ghost said to haunt the theater is world-renowned opera singer, Enrico Caruso, who died in 1921.
According to this ghostly tale, the unfortunate Italian tenor died from a lung abscess several months after his car broke down on a rainy, cold Oklahoma day.
Caruso walked about a half-mile in the rain from his broken-down vehicle to the Brady for his sold-out show that night. Legend contends that Caruso's manager blamed his death on foul Tulsa weather, and that Caruso himself haunts the Brady as other-worldly revenge for his early death.
This story leads one to consider odd existential questions like, can ghosts travel internationally, overseas? Are they required to show proper afterlife passports and ID? Is there a point where Caruso might decide his vengeance has been exacted and hitch a ghost-ride home?
The Gilcrease Museum is home to the most extensive collection of Native American art, artifacts and history in the world.
Thomas Gilcrease, an oil tycoon who died in 1962, spent his life collecting western and Indian art pieces and relics. He is said to roam his beloved gardens in ghostly form.
Some estimate that there are as many as seven different spirits, including children and adults, who linger harmlessly on the Gilcrease Museum property.
Really? Seven different ghosts? In this tough economy, having seven staff ghosts seems a bit extravagant. Most upstanding businesses do just fine with one or two.
The biggest mark on Cain's was made by Bob Wills, who with his Texas Playboys, made western swing music famous during daily broadcasts from the ballroom.
Wills, in ghostly form, reportedly haunts the ballroom where he jamboree'd and sang for decades. Many people say he still walks the main stage area, while others report seeing the ghost of a cowboy and a lady in red.
We think both Wills and the slinky red-clad lady may have better things to do with their afterlife.
Employees and paranormal investigators have reported ghosts, cold spots and disembodied voices, and the echoed sounds of singing and talking are posted on the Internet.
Sure, the recordings are creepy, but considering how often Cain's is filled with talking, singing and music, we wouldn't call a few extra tunes groundbreaking.
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