Clayton House “October Shadows” tour begins October 12
The Clayton House historic museum will provide its “October Shadows Paranormal Lamplight Tour” at and on October 12, 26 and 31. The 50-minute tour includes an explanation of paranormal investigations, an overview of ghost activity in famous historic houses across the country, and a lamplight tour offering the chance to detect paranormal activity in the Wm. H. H. Clayton family home.
From the Connecticut home of Mark Twain from 1874 to 1891, to the famous Whaley House in California built in 1857, famous historic houses across the country have long been noted for signs of paranormal phenomena. The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, built in 1886 under the direction of Powell Clayton, brother to William H.H., has been hailed by some as “American’s Most Haunted Hotel.” In the Clayton House, built in the early 1850s by a wealthy merchant and doubled in size in 1882 when the Clayton family moved in, investigations have captured electronic voice phenomena.
Guests will learn the history of the home, located at 514 North 6th Street, from its pre-Civil War beginnings to serving as a Civil War hospital, a headquarters of the Military Social and Athletic Club, and a boarding home in the first half of the 1900s. Also shared will be details of the career of William H. H. Clayton, appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874 to help eradicate Indian Territory of crime with his notable prosecutorial skills. Mr. Clayton prosecuted more than 10,000 trials in the Fort Smith federal court.
No one has lived in the Clayton home for nearly 50 years. Its authentic restoration, completed in 1977 after the home was saved from demolition in 1969, provides a glimpse into the grandeur of the Victorian era in Fort Smith. William and Florence Clayton raised six daughters and one son in the home from 1882 to 1897. Upon Mr. Clayton’s appointment as federal judge of the Central District of Indian Territory in 1897, the family moved to McAlester, OK. Mr. and Mrs. Clayton are buried in the Fort SmithNationalCemetery.
Reservations for the October Shadows tour may be made by calling 479-783-3000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fee is a $7 donation per person. Children age 10 and above may attend if accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be served on the back porch before each tour.
Cutline: Today’s Clayton House historic museum is an authentic restoration of the home in the 1880s, pictured above with members of the Wm. H. H. Clayton family posing in the front yard.