Oklahoma’s Own Haunted Cemetery: The Blanchard Cemetery

Author: Eric Neher
Date Published: April 17, 2018

Haunt­ed: The Blan­chard Ceme­tery

ERIC NEHER

Eric lives in Blan­chard with his wife and son. He is a con­tribut­ing author to Ozark Farm and Neigh­bors as well has hav­ing sev­er­al flash fic­tion sto­ries pub­lished.

There is a town just thir­ty min­utes south of Okla­homa City called Blan­chard. A small com­mu­ni­ty of rough­ly 8400 peo­ple that epit­o­mizes the slow retreat of what once was with what must now be. A rare place where the past and the future nes­tle com­fort­ably togeth­er in its archa­ic seclu­sion as Old Glo­ry proud­ly waves in the mid­dle of the Main Street and Broad­way inter­sec­tion. Fur­ther to the east on the cor­ner sits a Sub­way restau­rant next to its neigh­bor, the bar­ber shop, each shar­ing the same brick veneered front that har­bors a dozen oth­er stores.

 

It is just one and a half miles north of that point that you will find the noto­ri­ous­ly haunt­ed Blan­chard Ceme­tery. This pop­u­lar rest­ing place for the dead was estab­lished in 1917 on a 20-acre lot right off of High­way 76 and can con­sis­tent­ly be found on any of the many top ten lists of the most haunt­ed places in Okla­homa to vis­it. What is it about this place that leads Ama­zon sup­plied ghost hunters to dri­ve hun­dreds of miles to inves­ti­gate this loca­tion? Well, as one of those hunters who was unafraid to pur­chase the two hun­dred dol­lar ghost kit, I am pre­pared to try and answer that ques­tion.

ERIC NEHER

 

Let us first con­sid­er what con­sti­tutes mak­ing a place haunt­ed; rumors most­ly, which the ceme­tery has in dead man hand aces. As you enter under the rust­ed let­tered arch, you will first notice the lean­ing oaks scat­tered here and there. It is between them that a shad­owy fig­ure (it is said) can often be seen walk­ing in a dark trench coat, giv­ing an occa­sion­al wave to what­ev­er hor­ri­fied audi­ence is there at the time. To some this friend­ly appari­tion has even appeared regaled in a nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry top hat, casu­al­ly lean­ing against one of the larg­er oaks as a trans­par­ent knife switch­es from hand to hand. Some say it is a man who once took it upon him­self to be the care­tak­er of the ceme­tery when it first opened, whose fam­i­ly, over the years, were placed in a sec­tion he had pur­chased, and that he still guards the rest­ing place of his fall­en kin.

 

And if you by chance hear the anguished cry of a small child, you are not alone, many peo­ple have report­ed see­ing a lit­tle girl weav­ing in and out of the stone mark­ers.  It was dur­ing a spring tem­pest that she walked mys­te­ri­ous­ly out of her house and into the night, obliv­i­ous to the tor­ren­tial beat­ing of the rain as it slashed against her face.  The Washita Riv­er raged as she con­tin­ued her jour­ney with its white-capped cur­rent rac­ing, an obe­si­ty feed­ing on the many help­less washouts that breached the area. Per­haps it was one those incom­ing sup­plies that caught the lit­tle girl unaware, seiz­ing her with a con­stric­tor strength as it car­ried her to the riv­er. It is unclear what hap­pened that night but what is clear is that two days lat­er her life­less body was found washed up on the bank two miles away.  Now, swathed in her bur­ial robe this young girl can be seen traips­ing through the yard, for­ev­er search­ing for some­thing that she will nev­er find.

 

A few hun­dred feet beyond the gate and to the left lies sec­tion 2. It is there that mys­te­ri­ous blue light has been seen hov­er­ing over one of the old­er fam­i­ly plots. Per­haps a lost soul who missed their chance to go through the ethe­re­al door­way or sim­ply chose not to.

 

These claims have all been repeat­ed by the many peo­ple who had decid­ed to for­go an evening of Net­flix binge-watch­ing, only to sum­mon up the courage to brave the unknown. Spir­i­tu­al fron­tiers­man, able to turn a blind eye to what is known and plun­der on into the super­nat­ur­al dark­ness. As a fel­low wan­der­er I, with the help of my two very ama­teur asso­ciates, ven­tured into this ceme­tery, our hopes orbit­ing some­where past the moon with our sens­es fine-tuned and opened for any­thing.

 

The moon was wan­ing as we pulled into the entrance, scat­tered trees sat life­less as the ear­ly spring air had yet to spark them to life. Step­ping out of my Sub­ur­ban with one work­ing head­light, I was instant­ly aware of a cool north­ern breeze as it whis­pered its way through the leaf­less branch­es. The ceme­tery sat cold and bar­ren,  the age­less tomb­stones dec­o­rat­ed with wilt­ing flow­ers seemed obliv­i­ous to our pres­ence. Slow­ly we began to make our way on foot, the EMP detec­tor alive and alert. From High­way 76 the hum of motors con­tin­ued by and then fad­ed,  auto­mo­tive beams throw­ing run­ning shad­ows across the head­stones. After walk­ing for a few min­utes, we sud­den­ly found our­selves con­front­ed by the record­ed stone of a man who had been born in 1843. A jew­el of his­to­ry plant­ed and for­got­ten. Thoughts and imag­i­na­tion cre­at­ed an image of this man who would have been eigh­teen at the begin­ning of the Civ­il War. Pos­si­bly a vot­er; either for or against Lin­coln. What a tale he must have had. Did he fight in the war? The head­stones chipped inscrip­tion did not say.

 

A motion to my left brought me back to the present as a shad­ow streaked past. The low light of the moon was of lit­tle help, as I quick­ly turned to fol­low it I acci­den­tal­ly defiled the man’s head­stone with the tip of my big toe. A wail could sud­den­ly be heard ring­ing over the eter­nal rest­ing place as I fell to the ground. The shad­ow, obvi­ous­ly star­tled by the reflex­ive siren that had escaped from my mouth, scut­tled off into the night but not before one of my asso­ciates was able to illu­mi­nate the hair­less tail that it was drag­ging behind it with his flash­light.

ERIC NEHER

 

Slow­ly, I rose to my feet. The throb­bing felt like a ham­mer steadi­ly beat­ing on my toe. From fur­ther in, past where I had last seen the flee­ing opos­sum, stood a large oak tree. Long leaf­less branch­es forked their way sky­ward, shad­ows with­in a shad­ow. With my new­ly found limp, I made my way towards the wide trunk. With my two com­rades offer­ing their phys­i­cal sup­port, I soon found myself lean­ing against the old oak tree where the man in the coat could often be seen hold­ing a spec­tral blade in hand. For­tu­nate­ly, the spir­it had opt­ed out this evening. Feint gig­gles blend­ed with con­tin­u­ous whis­pered recounts of my ear­li­er col­li­sion as I removed my ten­nis shoe and sock, reveal­ing a cracked nail. From the high­way vehi­cles con­tin­ued by unaware of the night­mare that was hap­pen­ing. It occurred to me that if by chance some­one was to look into the ceme­tery at this moment they might see a strange shape as it leaned on an old with­ered tree. Thus, the leg­end would con­tin­ue.

 

It was at this point that a deci­sion was made to con­clude the inves­ti­ga­tion. At first, I was hes­i­tant to ‘fold up camp’ so ear­ly, one rea­son being that we had accom­plished so lit­tle, and the oth­er being the dis­tance that I would now have to walk to get back to the Sub­ur­ban. It was soon clear that the votes were against me as our tiny three-man democ­ra­cy had spo­ken. With great effort I pushed myself off of the tree and lum­bered my way towards the near­est path, per­haps cre­at­ing a new leg­end about a zom­bie.

 

There will be some who will read this arti­cle and might doubt the hon­esty of the events, but I assure you that these are the facts. The ceme­tery had not yield­ed the super­nat­ur­al results that I had hoped for, that is true, how­ev­er, let us not be too quick to dis­card this area as mere fic­tion or an old wives tale. In the end, who’s to say what a true haunt­ing is?  And let us not for­get that after only an hour into our inves­ti­ga­tion I could be seen hob­bled and on my way home. That, in itself, could be con­strued as proof. Per­haps a sub­tle warn­ing to myself and to oth­ers that the dead are not quite as harm­less as we might assume and that if you are so inclined to vis­it the Blan­chard Ceme­tery, it might not be such a bad idea to bring along with you a first aid kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Neher lives in Blanchard Oklahoma with his wife Tammy (The Traveling Nurse) and son Garrett. His other two children, Wyatt and Kelsey, graduated from Newcastle High school and left the nest. He is a continuing contributor to Ozark Farm and Neighbors as well as having numerous short and flash fiction stories published. When not typing out the words Eric works in the construction field as a product consultant and installation specialist, traveling all over the great state of Oklahoma. A graduate of MNTC’s diverse and various creative writing programs he is constantly on the lookout for better ways to hone his craft.

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2 Comments

  1. Why are ceme­ter­ies so appeal­ing and creepy at the same time? As a child I went to the ceme­tery with my grand­moth­er and I was fas­ci­nat­ed to find out how old the peo­ple have become. 2 years ago I used to go to my granny’s grave from time to time. It was a bright day and still I thought it was scary. Ceme­ter­ies attract some peo­ple and yet the thought that we go there will be weird. Very inter­est­ing arti­cle.

    Reply
  2. It’s a fun place to let your imag­i­na­tion run wild, plus it’s cheap­er than going to a bar!

    Reply

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