The Haunted Stone Lion Inn

This Oklahoma haunting comes with a twist.  The place claims that for 30 years,  two people die every weekend at the location.

The Stone Lion Inn (bing.com)
The Stone Lion Inn (bing.com)

The Stone Lion Inn, in Guthrie, Oklahoma, is an eight thousand square foot home with three floors and a basement. It originally cost $11,900 to build. The house was built for Frederick Ernest (Fritz) Houghton, his wife, and their six children. The family outgrew the house next door, yet the wanted to stay in the same neighborhood.  Six is a lot of children, but they continued to grow their family and added six more children in the house for a total of twelve.

Mr. Houghton was involved in a number of businesses. He opened the first car dealership in Oklahoma. Later,  he experienced some financial problems. The family moved out of the house in the 1920s. It was then leased to a mortuary for 8 years.

The family continued to own the house until 1986. It was then purchased by Becky Luker. She opened the house as the first Bed and Breakfast in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

I’ll  go right into the hauntings because they intertwine with the house’s history. And, by the way, you can find lots of hauntings in Guthrie. Guthrie is said to be the most haunted town in Oklahoma.

First, the house was haunted from the early years. Mr. Houghton and the family moved back in the house, for a short time, after the funeral home leased the property.  Fritz  said he saw a presence in the basement. The basement is where the morgue was located. Also, his children claimed their deceased sister haunted the house.

The story goes that a sister, at seven years old, contracted whooping cough.  She was bedridden and a maid took care of her, administering the medicine of the day, opium and codeine. The maid accidently overdosed the little girl. There is controversy around this story. (It seems there is controversy often in haunted history.) The story was first told with the little girl’s name as Augusta, but then records showed that Augusta lived into her eighties. The story changed and the little girl’s name was now Irene.  Family members of the Houghton clan reportedly came and visited the house and told Ms. Luker about the hauntings they experienced. I feel like she would have confirmed this story.

When Becky Luker  bought the house, the only piece of furniture that stayed with the house was an embalming table. This table was left from the mortuary days. Becky now keep cold drinks and an ice bucket on it.

Shortly after renovations started,  workers and family members started hearing unexplained noises. They heard footsteps on the top floors and they heard someone running up and down the back staircase. The Lukers called the police on several occasions, but they never found any explanation for the sounds. Becky thought about selling the place. Her realtor told her she would never get her $92,000 plus the cost of renovations back. Guthrie wasn’t a booming town

Next, Becky tried to debunk the ghost stories but she couldn’t. She stated  that she didn’t know anything about the history of the house before she bought it. She just liked the look of the place. Personally, if I saw this place with its huge front porch, I would want it, too. The word I found to often describe this place was ‘stately’.

Guthrie, as I said, wasn’t booming and the tourist trade wasn’t huge. Becky Luker, being an innovative thinker,  decided to start doing Murder Mystery Nights on Friday and Saturday nights. Yes, you figured it out. That’s when two people started dying every weekend. It’s part of the fun. One guest is asked to play the part of the victim. The night starts with a BYOB cocktail hour and then a seven course meal. The murder and the investigation unfold along with the food and drink. Becky writes all the mystery stories. She then emails the participants their parts. She said no one ever wants to play a good person so she has to make each character a little bad.

Becky told an interesting story on Ghost Adventures about when she first started doing the dinners. Her first story revolved around an outlaw named Elmer McCurdy. First the true story of McCurdy. When he died,  the man who embalmed his body used arsenic and the body mummified. The terrible man stood the stiff mummified body up  and started charging people five cents to view the deceased Elmer. For sixty one years, the body was sold over and over again,  and  used as a side show attraction at carnivals. Finally, in 1976, the body was returned to Oklahoma and buried in the boot hill section of the Guthrie cemetery. The wonderful people of Guthrie held a funeral for Mr. McCurdy.

Becky used his story in one of her early  Murder Mystery Dinners.  She actually took her guest in the cemetery to Elmer’s grave. This upset some people in the town of Guthrie and  Becky was accused of witchcraft and devil worshipping by the newspaper, The Oklahoman. The bad press didn’t seem to hurt her business.  She’s been doing the Murder Mysteries for thirty years.

A little girl, thought to be the Houghton daughter,  haunts the house and  is seen all around the house. Once, she played with a living child in the backyard. She is believed to be the one who runs up and down the back stairs and she  plays with toys on the third floor.

The Houghton family told Becky that when Mr. Houghton’s family lived in the house, the children would wait for their parents to go to sleep and they would run up the back staircase to the third floor. The third floor had a ballroom and a playroom for the children. In the playroom is a closet with a built in toybox.

Becky Luker’s son kept his toys in the box and he was very good about putting everything away when he was finished playing. The ghost was not so good about putting things away. In fact, she would scattered the toys around the playroom at night. In the end, Becky put a lock on the door and this put an end to the game.

What else does she do this child like to do? She pulls on the toes of guests staying in the B&B. She likes to tuck guests in at night and wake them up in the morning with a touch on the face. She might even sleep on the end of your bed. And she and other spirit children have been known to jump up and down on the bed while travelers are trying to sleep. The young ghost plays with a ball and rolls it around the third floor. It is often heard by guests on lower floors.

F.E. Houghton is also thought to haunt the place. A man in a tall hat and a black suit is seen in the house. And when he is not seen, his presence is felt. The familiar smell of pipe tobacco is sensed sometimes in the house.

Another spirit in the house is that of a lady. She is heard laughing  around four in the morning. She has also been heard screaming. Her apparition was seen  on the landing of the second floor.

A housekeeper, Michelle Lee, who has been with the Luker family from the beginning,  has had many interactions with the spirits. One time,  Michelle was in the basement doing laundry and the door mysteriously locked. This happened to her a few more times, so she started propping the door open when she went down to the basement.

Another story is of a guest who couldn’t reach the string on her fan to turn it off. She felt a presence get on the end of the bed and turn it off for her.

Ghost investigators have EVPs of both the little girl and the man, who haunt the house. Doors open and close. Objects move on their own.

I could go on and on, but I’ll end here with one suggestion. Go do the Murder Mystery Dinner if you are in or around Guthrie, Oklahoma. It sounds like a blast. You get to dress up and have fun. You don’t even have to be a fan of the paranormal to enjoy this, but, if you do love all things haunted like I do, this sounds like the perfect weekend.

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