1980s: Ghostly Gravesites
at 33rd Street Train Tracks
As late as the 1980s, Edmond was a more rural area than it appears today. As the town lay separated from north Oklahoma City by miles of unlit country roads, this was still the era just before modern day cell phones, GPS or laptop computers with wi-fi access hit the Edmond scene. Any local college undergrad making a late night commute would surely hope to not experience car trouble –- for they would be in for a long and creepy walk, giving ample time for their creative minds to recall every spooky tale ever told.
Some of Edmond’s stories are creepy or mysterious, usually involving the mortal remains of past residents. For example, along the train tracks north of 33rd Street, set in a lonely area of windswept grass lay two almost all but forgotten graves.
The gravesite belonged to a couple of young men who were employed by the railroad to lay track. They killed each other in a fight on September 17, 1886. At that time in Oklahoma Territory, it was illegal to bury people on public land, yet this restriction did not apply to the area alongside the tracks known as the railroad right-of-way. The long since vandalized site was restored in 1979, and a permanent marker was placed thanks to the efforts of local author and historian, Dr. Stan Hoig, with assistance from the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Despite the Territory’s burial restrictions, the dead had to be interned. Loved ones were buried illegally southeast of town in an area known as the school quarter. This was a vast expanse of land bordered from 2nd Street to 15th, and from Boulevard to Bryant.
One concentration of graves was located near the southeast corner of 2nd and Rankin. When Grace Lawn Cemetery was established in 1895, many of the departed were relocated to a proper resting place. Unfortunately, some graves improperly marked had been lost and the families had moved, resulting in an unknown number of corpses remaining unclaimed. People forgotten for more than a century in their unmarked graves, still lay in an area long-since developed into residential neighborhoods.
According to a local psychic, their spirits haunt the area. This might have something to do with an unconfirmed story titled “The Most Haunted House in Edmond,” which can be found on www.prairieghosts.com. The account does not include a name, date or address, but concerns a house, “four blocks south of the University of Central Oklahoma campus,” putting it in the same area as the old Edmond Cemetery. In case this story sounds familiar, the tale is very similar to the premise of the ever-popular movie Poltergeist, where a redevelopment occurred over an Indian
1960s: UFO Sighting
From Broadway Lookout Tower
On August 1, 1965, the normal quiet of an Edmond Sunday evening was interrupted by an incredible phenomenon witnessed by thousands of people, photographed and even tracked on radar at Tinker Air Force Base.
That summer had been a busy time for a small, under staffed, under funded office at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. This was headquarters for a group of military and civilian personal in charge of investigating reports of unidentified flying objects, under the cold war sounding name of Project Blue Book.
The floating multicolored crafts were observed over Oklahoma until approximately August 5. During this period, police, media, civil defense volunteers and personnel at Tinker Air Force Base were flooded with statewide UFO reports.
Also aware of recent events was a 20-year-old UFO researcher from Oklahoma City named Hayden C. Hewes. That Sunday night around 9 p.m., he received a call from local television reporter Mike Buchanan, who informed him that the highway patrol had received more than 20 reports of UFOs heading towards the OKC area.
Hewes drove to the highway patrol lookout tower located on Broadway Extension near 122nd Street. At about 11:30 p.m., a report came over the radio of an object North of El Reno heading East. Hewes, six highway patrolmen and the TV newsman looked to the West and to their amazement, there it was!
“It looked like a light source. Dominantly white and appeared to have a green glow around it,” Hewes stated. “The UFO also seemed to be flashing red, white and blue lights. It hovered over the area for about an hour.”
Edmond residents also witnessed the craft before it move off to the Northeast. The August 3 issue of The Edmond Sun ran a front page story about the events of that Sunday night. Local witnesses to the sighting were not bashful about telling the paper exactly what they saw. Their statements were matter of fact, and told with conviction. The object was also sighted by several Edmond police officers that responded to radio reports.
The object headed toward Tulsa where it was photographed by a 14-year-old paperboy with his Boy Scout camera. The color negative was analyzed by Air Force investigators, but was not officially included in the Project Blue Book investigation. Their conclusion was that it was an object about 30 feet in diameter and less than a mile away when photographed.