When I was a young boy, my grandmother lived with us, and she would tell us stories about unusual things that took place when she was a young girl. A neighbor by the name of Molly Pevvetoe told stories about a lady called Aunt Jane. She lived near old Fort Washita, north of Durant. She did laundry for the soldiers that were stationed there. One day, she was found dead near the fort with her head missing. Her head was never found.
The ghost of Aunt Jane roamed the area around the fort after that. A country doctor the the name of James Stallcup was coming home late one night, riding his horse, and passed by the cemetery. He said something jumped on his horse and grabbed him around the waist and held on until he was out of the cemetery. This story was told to my grandmother and other friends by Dr. Stallcup.
When my grandmother was 18, she was visiting Molly Peevetoe, whose small boy was sick, to help with the sick child. She lived in a small log cabin near the fort. My grandmother was helping change the child’s clothing, and he laid them in a small rocking chair. All of a sudden, the chair started to rock and it did not stop until all his clothes were on the floor. At that time, the front-door latch, which was locked with a large board, came up and the door came wide open. The door latch had a small rope on it that you would pull to open the door from the outside and you would pull it in at night to keep it locked. Molly Peevetoe was known to be a medium. She would make a small table walk by placing her hands on it. She was well known in the area. People would come to her for advice and have their fortune told. They would ask her questions and the able would tap one time for yes and two times for no. They would pay her 25 cents for the advice.
Aunt Jane is buried at the west end of the old cemetery at Fort Washita. Her headstone has on it: “Just Aunt Jane.”
These stories were told to me more than 75 years ago.
About the author: Vernie Stallings was the 2013 Coffeyville Journal ghost story contest winner with these tales. Stallings now lives in Coffeyville, Kan., but he grew up in Kenefic, graduated from Southeastern in 1950 and moved from Durant in 1952.