It's that time of year when we all get a little inundated with anticipation of the coming spooky season, and it's amazing how much of Oklahoma is rumored to be haunted.

From the town of Pitcher to the Skirvin Hotel, downtown Guthrie to the Grisso mansion, our in-state American military installations aren't left out of the terror and word of mouth.

In a sense, Oklahoma is full of the ghosts of military installations past. There are 13 active and reserve federal military posts in the state currently, but there are also 25 closed installations--more than half of which sprung up in the years prior to WWII.

Naturally, when Oklahomans think "Haunted military base," they might instantly think of Fort Gibson. It was built in the early 1800s and is still famed for the ghost stories you might hear in conversation about it, but that isn't the most haunted military installation in the state... that honor belongs to Southwest Oklahoma at Fort Sill.


Before you roll your eyes, there's more to the story. According to the research, Oklahoma is the third most common state in the nation where people experience hauntings and ghostly experiences.

Okies have 48.2 ghost encounters per 100,000 residents on average, and if you ask around, nearly everyone has a spooky tale of their own to share, especially in Lawton.

The report at Porch continued to break down the nationwide supernatural study to determine that Fort Sill experiences the second-highest amount of encounters of all American military posts as per the government's own records.

Fort Sill has files on the record of at least 35 reported ghost sightings on post to date, and I'm not talking about the usual ghosts each military member tends to wrestle with post-deployment, these are recorded as "legit" paranormal sightings.

With some of the stories that have been shared over the years and the history of events that have transpired at Sill, maybe the ghost stories aren't so unbelievable.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

In an old book - The Ghost of Fort Sill - there are nearly two dozen first-hand accounts of odd and unexplained events happening around the old military post.

Ghosts in the old hospital.

There's a story in the book that actually came from a few military contractors who were on post to set up a computer lab of sorts way back in 1980. The new technology was being installed in the basement of Building 463, and due to the workload, it was determined night shift was required to meet deadlines and whatnot.

The night crew of four noticed real quick that Building 463 was pretty active after hours. They swore to it even after being informed nobody was to be in the building except them during their shift after 4 PM, but they heard footsteps above them and voices during their time in the basement.

One night, trying to figure out who was messing with them, when they heard the clatter upstairs, they raced up the stairway to find an empty hallway. It spooked them enough that they agreed they would only leave the basement in pairs throughout the project.

While it was creepy, nobody batted an eye until they learned the history of Building 463. It was originally used as the Calvary Post Hospital in the early days of Fort Sill.

Brian Koellish
Brian Koellish

Flips-flops in the night.

More recently, one soldier reported an odd occurrence in the restroom after lights out.

While on late-night duty, one soldier was cleaning the latrine when he let out a scream that brought the other soldier from his post at the watch desk. In the time it took him to walk out of the restroom, grab something, and walk back in, all the toilet stall doors were closed and all twelve sinks were turned on.

Together they walked through the latrine to find the guilty prankster, but there was nobody in the room except them, but they could both hear the familiar flip-flop sound of standard shower shoes walking around the corridor.

While the stall doors weren't locked, they insisted it felt like someone was on the other side of them trying to keep them closed as they inspected the area. They completed a check immediately after this experience to find not a single person out of bed.

Empty and haunted attic

There are hundreds of stories like this from Fort Sill.

From ghostly encounters, apparitions, moving shadows, ghost horses and cats, the list quite literally goes on and on, most of which you can find online with a little clever googling.

Even the MWR gets in on the action often offering haunted tours this time of year. If you have the chance to explore it, you should. Tis the season after all.

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