Dead Woman Mound, Ghost Mound, and Rock Mary are three natural formations in Caddo County, Oklahoma with names that almost scream “Legend”. All three mounds are natural formations that were used as landmarks during the western migration.
One Dead Woman Mound story—which almost certainly didn’t happen—involved an attack by renegade Indians on a wagon train of settlers. The settlers fought bravely but were hopelessly outnumbered. When it was clear that all was lost, a young woman collected their watches, rings, and money in her apron. She climbed a nearby mound and hid the valuables in a crevice. Many people have searched Dead Woman Mound but no sign of the treasure—or the attack—has ever been found.
Some locals say the mound was named for a mysterious female corpse that was found by a rancher and buried at the base of this 522 meter pile of red dirt and sandstone. Other’s say the mound took its name from nearby Dead Woman Creek, which passes under old Route 66. How Dead Woman Creek got its name is also a bit of a mystery. One I didn’t explore.
If you want to visit Dead Woman Mound put these coordinated in your GPS: Latitude 35.4025, Longitude-98.61306.
Ghost Mound, as you might imagine, is said to be haunted. The specter is a female ghost who sometimes appears without a head. Ghost Mound may have been the inspiration for an H.P. Lovecraft a novella written around 1930. The famous horror author was a writer for hire in those days and Zelia Bishop paid him to write the story. He portrayed “The Mound” as entryway to a subterranean alien civilization. The novella was never published during his lifetime, but after he died, a radically abridged version of “The Mound” was included in Weird Tales and later in an Arkham House anthology. The 30,000 word original was eventually published in 1989 in The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions.
If you want to visit Ghost Mound put these coordinates into your GPS: Latitude 35.4025, Longitude-98.50444.
Rock Mary was a landmark on the old California Trail. A pair of army lieutenants named it after 17 year old—probably very pretty—emigrant, Mary Conway. There is a plaque at the base of the mound and another on the top where the smitten soldiers planted a flag and named the mound in 1849.
Rock Mary is on private property and you can’t visit it without permission. Its coordinates are: Latitude 35.45977, Longitude -98.4259