Okie Adventures: Fort Reno Ghost Tour

One of my quirks is that my favorite travel activity is to seek out and attend ghost tours. This has nothing at all to do with whether I believe in ghosts, and everything about discovering the quirky histories of the places I visit and learning trivia about a city’s often otherwise-overlooked nooks and crannies. Several years ago I even took a ghost tour of my own hometown and wound up in places I’d never seen before. Ever since then I’ve been hooked.

Unfortunately I have no idea if the Oklahoma City ghost tour I took so long ago is so active (It was organized by Ghouli, back then). But this year, in honor of Halloween, I sought out another Oklahoma ghost tour at Fort Reno.

I’d never even been to Fort Reno before, and it would have been wise to arrive early and go through the history center before the tour… however family events intervened (as sometimes happens). We instead arrived just in time. Which turned out to be early, since they started a wee late.

The tour was three hours long. For the first hour, we watched a series of presentations in an open air stage. We got a brief history of the fort, an introduction to all of the staff, and an introduction to ghost hunting. At some point during this, a very amusing headless horseman appeared, shouted “Y’all seen my head?” threw something into the crowd and galloped away. (My personal favorite part of course)

After that we were split into groups, with each tour guide carrying a lantern. We walked to each building of the fort and were told about the building’s history and paranormal activity. Our tour guide, in two locations, did a “knock test” and tried to get ghosts to communicate with us. Rumor has it there was a knock during the first test but I didn’t hear it!

For the finale we caravanned to the fort’s cemetery where a re-enactor explained how the cemetery was laid out, why the headstones were facing an interesting direction, and why the POWs were in a separate section. We also learned stories about some of the people buried there. There was some spooky story about having a ghost follow you after touching a particular tombstone, and a volunteer was taken out to try it.

Well, you can probably guess that we didn’t see any ghosts. I did, however, get to see and learn about a cool Oklahoma location that I’d never visited before. To me, the real moral of this story is that I really need to go back during the day time and take a more thorough look and go through the museum. When I go back, I also intend to ask why the fort has no walls. I thought that was what a fort was? A secure, walled-in strong hold? If you go to Fort Reno, you should know… the fort has no fort walls. It is like a little town of historic buildings, all on its own in the country. Except this little town aided in securing Indian Territory and played roles in the two World Wars.  

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