The west and south barracks at Fort Washita, OK, 2015.
Hey, it’s the week of Halloween so let’s have some fun and talk about one of the most haunted places in Oklahoma- Fort Washita. I had heard the stories for years, ghosts wandering the property, strange experiences, weird feelings. So back in 2002, we decided to visit (this was before children) and yeah, the place definitely had a creepy vibe. We never actually saw a ghost or had anything unexplained happen to us, but we both felt like someone was watching us the whole time we were there. After that visit we have talked about the place just giving us the creeps and that we never wanted to go back. So like morons, we went back a couple of weeks ago, taking Mae with us this time just to see if a pre-teen girl could get the spirits worked up.
The fort was placed on top of a hill not far from where the Washita River joins the Red River in 1842. It was built by the military to protect the Chickasaws and Choctaws from other Indian tribes. The original fort was spread out over an area of seven square miles and contained almost 100 buildings constructed from locally quarried limestone. By 1861, the fort was abandoned and taken over by confederate troops as a supply post. Although no battles were ever fought here, near the end of the war the confederates burned the buildings and abandoned the post. The United States military turned over the property in 1870 to the Chickasaws who then allotted the land to the Colbert family. The state of Oklahoma took over ownership of the land in 1962, this is when the historical society added the front entrance and started work on the reconstruction of the south barracks. In 1965 the fort was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The south and west barracks in background with remains of the commissary in front, Fort Washita, OK, 2015.
As I said earlier, my first trip was in 2002, you can walk or drive around the ruins. The south barracks weren’t open to tour but you could go in the rebuilt chaplains’ quarters and the D.H. Cooper cabin. On this recent visit we discovered that the rebuilt south barracks had burned down in 2010 but everything else was the same as before. I didn’t get that same strange feeling I had the first time and neither did my husband, even though he told me later at one point near the old post road he heard “thundering hooves”. I didn’t hear or see anything and neither did Mae even though she kept her guard up. I was hoping that at least one ghost would come and scare her. It’s an interesting place to visit and if you see a ghost or hear something unusual don’t be surprised. The fort is in far southern Oklahoma near Durant and Tishomingo off state highway 199.
South barracks at Fort Washita before they burned in 2010, Fort Washita, OK, 2002.
Map of Fort Washita, 2015.