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The shift was almost over, and Joseph was ready to call it a day. Drilling for oil in 1920 was not an easy prospect in any part of the country, but working next to a graveyard gave him a tingly feeling of being watched. The other men on his crew laughed when he told them he thought he’d seen someone walking amongst the grave markers in the oldest part of the cemetery, but he kept glancing back anyway, sure he wasn’t just imagining things. It was October 31st after all, and while he wasn’t terribly superstitious, he also wasn’t interested in meeting up with any tricksters either.
After they shut down the equipment, the men were squatted at the edge of Lorance Creek, washing out their lunch pails when they heard a scream – shrill, and short. Childlike. Dropping their pails, the men ran stumbling down the bank and around the bend of the creek toward the scream, and stood still as corpses themselves as a woman in a white dress turned to look at them and asked “Why?” before walking into the creek and disappearing. Joseph cocked his eyebrow at his co-workers, as if to say “I told you so!”
Murder often accompanies supernatural legends that are centered around creeks and waterways in Arkansas, and Lorance Creek is no different. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of a girl who was murdered by drowning, and subsequently buried at the nearby Cockman Cemetery December 24, 1863. By the time of the first reported sighting by local men drilling an oil well, the humble wooden headstone for the girl had eroded away, leaving her identity to remain a mystery.
Although there were several reported sightings during the time the men were drilling near the cemetery, after the work was completed, the activity seemed to subside, and there have been no reported encounters with the girl in recent decades. But never say never…
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