The Real Life Murder that Became the Dead Woman’s Crossing Haunting in Southwest Oklahoma
If you thought the legend and scary tales of 'Cry Baby Bridge' were disturbing this century-plus old bridge named 'Dead Woman's Crossing' in near Weatherford, Oklahoma is the stuff of pure nightmares. Unlike many other haunted bridges in the state and across the country that have dubious histories that flow from urban legends, the horrific story of 'Dead Woman's Crossing' is actually true and absolutely terrifying.
The bridge is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who was killed and beheaded there back in the early 1900s. This murder actually took place and was never solved. Her restless spirit haunts the bridge and has been seen and heard by those brave or foolish enough to venture onto 'Dead Woman's Crossing.'
So what's the story? Here's a brief history of 'Dead Woman's Crossing.' Back in 1905, a woman named Katie DeWitt James filed for divorce from her husband Martin James. She left him with their child and boarded a train to Ripley, OK. so she could visit her cousin. When she left Custer City her father Henry DeWitt came to see her off but her husband Martin James did not come to the train station to bid her or the baby farewell.
Investigators attempt to unravel the mystery of 'Dead Woman's Crossing'
After a few weeks went by her father Henery DeWitt became worried after not hearing from his daughter. He ended up contacting the local sheriff in the area his daughter was supposed to be and was told to hire a detective to locate her. He hired detective Sam Bartell to see if he could find her. The detective began his search and when he was in Weatherford, OK. he found out that she and the baby had stayed with a man named William Moore. She was brought to the house by Moore's sister-in-law Fannie Norton AKA Mrs. Ham.
However, Katie DeWitt James and her baby had already left the house before the detective could get there. She was seen leaving with her baby daughter Lulu Belle and Fannie Norton heading toward Hydro, OK. to her cousins' house. She never made it there. It was reported that the wagon she was riding in was seen going into a field at Deer Creek. All three passengers got out and went into the field, only Fannie Norton returned.
The dreadful tale of 'Dead Woman's Crossing'
While searching the Deer Creek area the detective found Katie's baby. She was given to a boy to take home and care for. The baby, Lulu Belle was unharmed but when handed over she was covered in blood. Detective Bartell went to question Fannie Norton to see if she knew where Katie was and to find out what happened. Fannie was well known by the law and was rumored to be a prostitute who had a reputation for trouble.
Fannie denied having anything to do with Katie's disappearance or the circumstances of what happened to her child. She also denied murdering Katie when asked by the detective. Later that day Fannie Norton was found dead, she had committed suicide by drinking poison. On August 31st, 1905 the body of Katie DeWitt James was found near Deer Creek and to the horror of all her head was cut from her body. Martin James took custody of their daughter Lulu Belle and the murder of Katie DeWitt James was never solved.
The investigation continues at 'Dead Woman's Crossing' in Weatherford, OK.
The bridge in Weatherford, OK. which is actually named 'Dead Woman's Crossing' is near, if not the exact location where the murder took place and the body of Katie DeWitt James was found. Her body was found under the old wooden bridge that spanned across Deer Creek. The original bridge was torn down and a new bridge was built in the mid-1980s. It's located on Arapaho Road in Weatherford, OK. if you're brave enough to make a visit. You've heard the story of 'Dead Woman's Crossing' what are people saying about the haunting?
Paranormal investigators, ghost hunters, along with the curious and brave have reported hearing a woman screaming under the bridge at night. They've also heard the sound of wagons and wood creaking while on the bridge. As if the bridge were still made of wood and wagons are coming across it. Some have even claimed to see the ghost of Katie DeWitt James wandering the area looking for her baby calling out and wailing. There are even stories of seeing shadow figures and ghosts re-enacting the murder. People have even heard the sounds of a struggle, people running, and the screams of pain. There's no end to the spooky tales and sightings that have taken place at 'Dead Woman's Crossing.' Sounds like a really fun place to hang out.