Monday, March 7, 2011

OKC's Mysterious Zoo Ghost May Prove Hoax

One popular (if sketchy) go-to website for ghostly information is While many people rely upon the site for details concerning local hauntings across the country, it is also filled with erroneous and fabricated tales that have no basis in fact--or even legend.

As I have posted before, HERE, sites like these can be troublesome for researchers. While it might be a fine place to start when looking for local haunts, you will probably wish to follow up your interest with a visit to a library, bookstore, or more reputable websites.

The following is an example of particular interest to those in Oklahoma who are looking forward to famed psychic Chip Coffey's (Paranormal State, Psychic Kids) forthcoming visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo. In promotions for Coffey's upcoming appearance, he has stated he will talk about the woman that haunts the place. Here's what Shadowlands has to say:

"In the behind-the-scenes area of the Aquatics [sic] building, a ghost of a woman with long hair has been seen at various times, usually at night, by several different people. No one has any idea of who she is or where she came from, much less why she is there."

Myself and others questioned this story when we first caught wind of it. I exhaustively researched legends from across the state in compiling my book. Not once did I come across even the most oblique reference to any spirit haunting the Oklahoma City Zoo. Puzzled by this, I inquired further. What I learned from the zoo's marketing and public relations manager, Candice Rennels, was that "the rumors are just that--rumors."

While not an outright dismissal, Rennels does intimate that the story doesn't exist within the zoo walls. This makes sense. In researching nearly a century of newspaper accounts concerning the zoo, not once did anything ghostly crop up. True, the zoo holds a Halloween trick or treat romp for kids each year, but this event is more awwww than awful. 

It makes a kind of sense, really. Both Ghosts of America and Shadowlands (particularly the former) are replete with less-than-factual accounts submitted by completely anonymous persons. Some tales, in the case of the Choctaw Library, are completely made up:

"Some people say if you go there at night the books will fly off their shelves at you."

My paranormal-loving mother has a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma and did undergraduate work in History. She knows her way around a library and a good story. More importantly, she worked at this and other libraries in the Oklahoma City area for years. She has been in the library countless times after hours without a single experience to report.  She has also spoken with other librarians, staff members, and security guards--some of whom had called the Choctaw Library home for decades. Not a single one of them claimed to have experienced anything bizarre, unexplainable, or supernatural. The story is entirely fictitious.

I think the same may be going on with the ghost at the Oklahoma City Zoo. I am fairly certain the tale can't be supported by fact, but I've got a good feeling that it won't be corroborated by legend either. Whatever you may hear in the future regarding the zoo ghost, I urge you to take it with a grain of salt.

However, if you have further information concerning the alleged haunting, I would be interested in learning more. I am especially keen to talk with any current or former employees.


Adsila said...

Very good.... I just use shadowland's website for their list of haunted places but seek information elsewhere.

Autumnforest said...

You are ruthless, and I love it! Keep it up--dog with a bone! What is it with libraries and theaters? Everyone thinks they're haunted and I swear not a one of them ever is!

Unknown said...

I worked at the zoo for two years. My area was stingray bay. Use to go to the aquatics for lunch on a daily bases. I never did see anything but using the emergency stair case is rather unsettling. You feel like something is there with you but nothing ever is. Some of the over night security ive talked to said they see stuff but its always out of the corner of thier eyes so they cant say for certain what it is.........btw her hair is either dark brown or black.