THREE PURPORTEDLY HAUNTED STATE PARKS YOU CAN VISIT IN ARKANSAS
All Arkansas state parks are beautifully preserved for their natural beauty and splendor, and some even hold historical significance. As the sun sets, the family typically heads home, along the way, sharing with each other how they enjoyed the day. Children excitedly talking about the family adventure and wanting to go back, talking about it throughout the night. Meanwhile, as families sleep in their beds, the nightlife of the parks takes hold, not only with nocturnal animals but with what some say is paranormal activity!
Given that it’s almost Halloween, we can’t think of a better way to spend an October evening than with a visit to one of our Arkansas State Parks where legend has it that things go bump in the night. Seen below, check out three purportedly haunted Arkansas state parks you can visit throughout the state. And if you need a quality new or used vehicle to get you on the road to visit these parks, come visit your friends here at McLarty Daniel Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Bentonville. We won’t bewitch you with nonsense! Let our personable sales team get you into the vehicle you want. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
PEA RIDGE BATTLEFIELD
15930 E. HWY 62, GARFIELD, AR
The site of the Civil War conflict known as the Battle of Pea Ridge is a 4,300 acre national military park located near the town of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The battle itself was one of the pivotal Civil War battles west of the Mississippi River. Between March 7-8 1862, over 23,000 soldiers, Union and Confederate, battled for the fate of Missouri. After much blood was spilled, the Union prevailed, changing the tide of the Civil War in the west. Today, the Pea Ridge National Military Park features driving tours, hiking trails, a bike path, and a horse trail for riding. Throughout the years, visitors leaving the park late in the afternoon have reported hearing ghostly marches of soldiers and phantom skirmishes in the trees. The local residents, meanwhile, have reported hearing muskets firing out across the old battlefield late into the night, with the smell of gunpowder sometimes lingering in the air. Witnesses have seen the apparitions of Civil War soldiers wandering down through the treeline at the back of the park, and heard phantom military-drum signals. Dare you join their ranks?
PETIT JEAN STATE PARK
1285 PETIT JEAN MOUNTAIN ROAD
Petit Jean State Park is one of the most popular spots in the Arkansas State Park system. It is also the site of Petit Jean Mountain, a gorgeous peak near Morrilton, Arkansas, with scenic views of the Arkansas River. From Interstate 40 traveling west out of Little Rock, you can see the old mountain perfectly in the distance. If you love the outdoors, Petit Jean State Park is the perfect destination, with its beautiful waterfalls, scenic cliffs, and hiking trails. At the very top of the mountain is the rocky-cliffside grave of an individual named Petit Jean. The more romantic legends claim Petit Jean was a young French girl who, disguised as a cabin boy, stowed away on a ship bound for the New World in the early 19th Century. While traveling along the Arkansas River through what would become Arkansas, she fell in love, but soon contracted a fever and died. She was buried on top of Petit Jean, with the girl lending her name to the mountain. Other legends claim that Petit Jean was a French trapper who took advantage of and betrayed his partner. In retaliation, the partner murdered Petit Jean leaving him to die on the mountain. The body was found later by other trappers and buried on top of the mountain. For decades, it’s been reported strange zig-zagging lines of huge, bright orbs can been seen among the cliffs in the proximity of Petit Jean’s fenced grave. Witnesses also report seeing a ghostly figure that suddenly appears on the narrow back roads, or who is seen roaming the main road coming down Petit Jean Mountain. Either way, sightings of the mysterious figure are often followed by the pungent smell of rotting meat. Some say it is the ghost of Petit Jean, searching for anybody who might help the forlorn spirit get off the mountain.
LOUISIANA PURCHASE STATE PARK
AR HWY 362
Located in the vicinity of the small community of Brinkley, Arkansas in the eastern part of the state is Louisiana Purchase State Park. A significant place in United States history, the National Historic Landmark preserves the initial starting point of all the land surveys of properties acquired from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. There are exhibits along the boardwalks displaying historical information as well as biological information about the native flora and fauna of the area. As for ghosts, local legend has it the park is haunted by the spirits of several men who died during the expedition due to the environmental conditions and wetland-associated diseases. From the boardwalks, visitors have seen hands reach out of the shallow water as if needing help, while others have reported the ghastly sounds of ghosts calling back to each other from across the park as if trying to find one another, or to warn about the presence of visitors. Visitors have experienced the sensation of being followed when no other people are around. On the boardwalk, visitors sometimes feel the vibration of someone or something running up right behind them. When the startled visitor turns around, no one is there.
We hope these spooky tales got you into the spirit of Halloween. Whether you believe them or not, it is great to know that there are many beautiful, fun, and informative state and national parks right here in Arkansas.
If your vehicle is about to give up the ghost before you strike and explore Arkansas, come visit your friends at McLarty Daniel Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Bentonville, Arkansas and let us assist you into a great new or pre-owned vehicle. Hope to see you soon, and have a safe and happy Halloween!