Archive for the ‘Ozar Folklore’ Tag

Beverly Hillbillies “That Old Black Magic”   Leave a comment

Pawpaw Bottoms   2 comments

Pawpaw Bottoms, Oklahoma, which no longer exists, – the ruins of a few old buildings remain, the Church and houses long gone, is a place familiar to me, as most of my sister’s paternal family are buried in the cemetery. Up until recent years, the cemetery was surrounded by trees and swamp-like land and accessible only by a one land trail barely large enough for a car. It gave the whole area quite a mystique until the trees were hacked down, the old wrought iron fence removed, and the whole area turned into farm land. Since this was done, there has been a lot of desecration in the graveyards, especially since the family moved away.

My sister’s father is buried there, who died under questionable circumstances, and I’ve been in the habit of always accompanying my sister to his grave, for reasons that safety’s sake and length I can’t explain. Just about any given night out there, individuals are cooking dope, and I have been stopped and hassled by one policeman who definitely seemed under the effects of aforementioned substance.

But to get to the point of the whole matter – even when my sister’s father was alive, folks always came home before sunset. Dangers were never spelled out, but were understood to be normal and paranormal. Individuals have been seen conducting rituals out in the bottoms (I’ve done my fair share, but of a vastly different type), reckless youths go out to shoot random animals and objects and raise all kinds of hell, and full body apparitions have been seen on numerous occasions. I can state that I have never been to the area, especially around the cemetery, and not have had some sort of experience.

Take into account a long gone town, the cemetery, and the bodies over the year that have been dumped there, or even buried, and occult rituals; it makes for a particularly unusual place for paranormal activity.

The link at the top of this post gives a short history of the town of Pawpaw, which some of you might find of interest.


Video: Ozark Urban Legends   Leave a comment

White River Monster   Leave a comment

From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas

White River Monster


The White River monster is one of Arkansas’s premier mysteries. Since 1915, along the White River near Newport (Jackson County), the monster has appeared several times and has become a local legend.

Sightings of “Whitey” began in 1915 but were sporadic until 1937. On July 1 of that year, Bramlett Bateman, owner of a plantation near the river, saw the monster. He reported it as having gray skin and being “as wide as a car and three cars long.”

As news spread, construction of a huge rope net to capture the monster began. The monster had been seen in an eddy, so a diver was brought in to search for it. However, Whitey was not captured, and construction of the net stopped because of the lack of money and materials.

In 1971, the sightings began again when someone reported seeing a gray creature with a horn sticking out from its forehead. Other witnesses described it as having a spiny back twenty feet long. Later, a trail of three-toed, fourteen-inch prints was found in the White River area. Crushed vegetation and broken trees were evidence that something large had passed by, and it was assumed that the tracks were Whitey’s.

In 1973, the legislature signed into law a bill by state Senator Robert Harvey, creating the White River Monster Refuge along the White River. The area is located between “the southern point on the river known as Old Grand Glaize and a northern point on White River known as Rosie.” It is illegal to harm the monster inside the refuge.

While there have been no recent sightings, theories about Whitey abound. It is hypothesized to be anything from a huge fish to an elephant seal, though none of the theories fully explain Whitey.

For additional information:
Harris, William. “The White River Monster of Jackson County, Arkansas: A Historical Summary of Oral and Popular Growth and Change in a Legend.” Mid-South Folklore 5 (Spring 1977): 3–23.

Mackal, Roy P. Searching for Hidden Animals. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980.

“The Misplaced Monster of the White River.” The UnMuseum. (accessed January 25, 2006).

“The White River Monster.” (accessed August 26, 2005)

Conor J. Hennelly

Roland, Arkansas

Working the Poppet   Leave a comment

Another photo from the June 19, 1939 Edition of Life Magazine

Telling the Bees   Leave a comment

From the June 19, 1939 edition of Life Magazine

Skull and Bible Altar   2 comments

ImageThis particular image comes from the 1939 edition of the Life Magazine; the particular image was set up by Vance Randolph, who spent many years studying and documenting our local folklore.

The set up was an exact production of a ritual Mr. Randolph reportedly saw, that was done by a girl who was witchin’ the girl who stole her man. A real human skull was placed on top of a Bible, and before it were placed two dolls – one to represent her husband and the other to represent the girl. The poppet used to represent the girl had four big nails driven into it’s back.