5 Haunted Locations In Arkansas That You Can Actually Visit

5 Haunted Locations In Arkansas That You Can Actually Visit

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Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, A Haunting, these are just a few of my favorite things. I don't ask for much. All I wanted for my birthday, which is ten days from Halloween, this year was to go to a haunted house/location that wasn't 18 hours away or closed to the public. I did research for hours and after pouring over different "Haunted America" sites and google searches I finally compiled a list of paranormal locations in Arkansas that one can actually visit/ghost hunt/wimp out at. In no particular order they are as follows:

1. The Allen House. Monticello, AR

Built in 1906, the Allen House is located off North Main St. surrounded by a gorgeous Victorian wrought-iron fence. Joe Lee Allen built the home in hopes that it would be the most impressive the town had ever seen. Along with his wife, Caddye, and their three daughters, they began a life in their new fantastic home.

It was the year of 1949 that would begin the eerie legends surrounding the Allen family and their home. Their second daughter, Ladell, consumed mercury cyanide-laced punch on Dec. 26, 1948, in the master suite of the family home. She died one week later. Her mother sealed off the room and it would not be entered by anyone for nearly four decades. Why did she do this? Was it suicide or murder? Local legend says that she was to marry a handsome older gentlemen who was already betrothed.

Asking Ladell to wait for him, he left to tell his betrothed that he no longer wished to be with her. After weeks of waiting, Ladell received a letter stating that her love was not coming for her, that he had decided to stay with his wife. Distraught, Ladell committed suicide. There are actually several different interpretations of the story of Ladell's fate.

You can actually explore the house day or night by taking a ghost tour. Here's the link: www.allenhousetours.com

2. Rush-Gates House. Forrest City, Ar.


In 1906, first owner Dr. J.O. Rush and his family inhabited the freshly built home. Rush actually served as a physician and surgeon for the railroads, making the home his personal operating room. Day and night, their home was filled with the maimed and injured, especially those involved in railroading accidents.

Over the years, several paranormal investigators and groups have surveyed the house and came out with incredible electronic voice phenomena. For us nonprofessionals, the now museum holds "lock ins" as well a ghost tours.

For bookings, you can contact the St. Francis County Museum at 870-261-1744.

3. The McCollum-Chidester House. Camden, AR


The McCollum-Chidester House now stands as a museum, like most older haunted homes. Mr. Chidester, whom the museum is named after, delivered mail for a living. Union General Fredrick Steele commandeered the house for five days during the battle at Poison Spring, which is nearby. Mr. Chidester was actually accused of spying for the Confederacy. He supposedly confiscated Union mail from his stagecoach and turned it over to the Confederate troops. Bullet holes can still be seen in a wall upstairs where Union soldiers fired at Chidester, who was hidden in a small closet in the home. The paranormal investigation group "Spirit Seekers" visited the civil war house-now museum and heard the words “GET OUT!" with thier own ears, not on an electronic device. They also captured a mirror in the room reflecting a man in a three piece suit and a cane standing behind their photographer as he took a picture. No one was with the photographer at the time, they swear.

4. Ghost Mountain. Fayetteville, AR


Legend has it a man who lived back in the early 1930s stayed inside an old log house on top of a mountain southeast of Drake Field airport in Fayetteville and has a pretty bad tendency of getting black out drunk. One night, the man came home inebriated. His wife was caring for their sick child, who was crying very loudly in pain. The man became so angry at the baby for keeping him awake that he jumped out of bed, grabbed the baby, stumbled outside and threw the baby down their water well. The wife in complete hysteria grabbed the well rope and jumped in to save her poor child. The horrible excuse of a man simply took an axe and cut the rope, leaving his wife and child in the well. He left town, and was never seen again.

It is said when the moon is full you can walk by that well and hear the screams of a woman and the cries of an infant.

5. 1886 Crescent Hotel. Eureka Springs, AR


Probably the most well-known ghost of the Crescent is Michael, a builder who helped in the construction of the hotel in 1886. He fell to his death in what is now Room 218, which is also now the most requested room in the hotel. He's said to have been a good-looking man who often got in trouble for flirting with any good-looking woman that happened to walk by. Michael is still known for turning his attention to only female guests.

Dr. John Freemont Ellis is another ghostly guest of the hotel. He was the hotel physician during the Victorian Era. Dressed in top hat and a new suit, he is sometimes seen on the staircase from the second floor to the lobby. It has been reported the smoke from Ellis' tobacco pipe is sometimes smelled near the elevator. There is even a severely spooky legend about him doing awful experiments on guests and servants with no families to come looking for them.

The ghost tours are to die for, check on times and pricing at http://www.crescent-hotel.com/

* all photos belong to www.arkansas.com.

Cover Image Credit: www.hauntedrooms.com

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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My First Political Debate Experience Only Revealed The Messed-Up Reality Of American Partisan Pandering

More sinister than fake news, more timeless than Trump and Kavanaugh, the deceit and radicalization of modern politics is poisoning America.

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Given my age (almost 16 and a half!) and my nonpartisan perspective on most issues, it's rare that I attend any politically motivated function (much less in person). Unfortunately, my first taste of official political discourse only encapsulated everything I dislike about American politics.

Upon learning that my high school was hosting a debate between two candidates for the district's representative position, I was immediately intrigued. Admittedly, I had my expectations set high. I had jotted down "House Rep. Debate" on my calendar a week in advance and marked off the days the event neared. I would finally get to learn firsthand about the issues affecting my community and about the people with plans to fix them.

To a certain extent I got what I had hoped for, but certainly not in the environment I had anticipated.

When the student moderators introduced the candidates, Democrat Angelika Kausche and Republican Kelly Stewart, to the stage, it was already abundantly clear how ideologically distinct the two opponents would be.

The first question, which asked each candidate to describe how their views aligned with their party's platform, revealed just how cut-and-dry the candidates were at representing their respective factions. On the left, an unwavering conservative with a keen avoidance of overspending and socialist policies. On the right, an equally grounded liberal with a passion for tackling humanitarian injustices and enforcing moral correctness.

This circumstance certainly isn't unprecedented, but the rest of the night only proved how their narrow-minded partisan loyalty served as barriers to productive discourse.

Right off the bat, Kausche avoided the clearly stated question by taking the time to thank the John's Creek Community Association for hosting the event.

Stewart, however, dove right into her response, which turned out to be a fine-tuned diatribe about Georgia's budgetary deficit and Kausche's supposed lack of budgetary experience and the budgetary concerns and the budget. Finally, Stewart concluded that perhaps the most important thing to consider is, you guessed it, the budget. She even printed out budget sheets for attendees, which I found extraordinarily useful as a handy notepad.

My head perked up when I heard a question regarding Georgia's healthcare policies. Admittedly, I know less than I should about the subject and was curious to know what each candidate thought.

Shockingly, Republican Kelly Stewart opposed the expansion of Medicaid while Democrat Angelika Kausche vehemently supported it. I start to wonder what the point of having candidates' names on the ballot is when their political stances just as much could be conveyed with the letters "D" and "R" to the tee.

Neither candidate veered from their party platform for the rest of the night, with only a few moments of forced agreement (always around the fact that an issue exists, never about how to solve it). On a few occasions, a candidate would utter an especially radical idea (i.e. Obamacare is at blame for the opioid crisis. Medicaid should be for all people. Teachers should be armed.) and was almost always met with either overwhelming applause or a sea of groans.

The room's reaction was so powerful in either candidate's favor that I was genuinely confused who was the more favored of the two.

To be abundantly clear, I wholeheartedly support voter efficacy and staying informed, and I understand that debates inform voters of their representative's ideals. I also don't mean to criticize Kausche or Stewart or even the policies they endorse. I only question the point of debate when it's anchored in stiff, unrelenting party platforms. This is symptomatic of the larger trend at work in American politics: the exploitation of party differences by politicians to entice a demographic of their constituents.

If you're wondering what that means or demand evidence, just take President Trump. Back in 2016, his presidential campaign threatened to run as independent when he felt he wasn't getting enough support from the GOP. Now, he champions radicalized views of the right and has emboldened members of the far-right (along with alt-right neo-Nazis and racists) with his entirely anti-PC attitude.

Similarly, it's rare to find a democratic politician that deviates from the extensive list of liberal ideas that are expected of them. Consider Trump's opponent Hilary Clinton, who originally made it clear in 2014 that she was against nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. Isn't it suspicious that in 2015, without explaining why her stance changed, her presidential campaign later advocated for this right, thus garnering support from the LGBT community?

There's so much more wrong with the state of American politics than your opposed party controlling political office.

The effect of the American people allowing this pandering and doublespeak is political inaction among policymakers, who can preach a set of ideals independent of their actual intentions.

The other result is voter apathy among constituents, who therefore feel their vote holds little weight.

With such deceitful rhetorical tactics dominating the political sphere, it's easy to believe that we've all been given a voice. But when that voice only ever tells us what we want to hear, it's important that we stop to question whether we're really being heard.

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