Are there ghosts in Fort Smith homes?

The former home of former U.S. attorney general for Arkansas’ western district William Clayton was restored and is open for tours, special events, seminars, weddings, etc.  And there’s evidence that it might be haunted.

The director of the house said she “started having experiences” not long after she went to work at the house.  She didn’t say anything to anybody at first, but then there were other people who had “experiences.”  People get a creepy feeling about a second-floor bedroom and other people have heard boots stomping around in the room, slamming doors and music playing.

In a story on, the director who is named Martha Siler, writes about her experiences and others’ experiences in the Clayton House.  She also talks about paranormal investigations, too.  (Scroll down the web page above until you get to the Fort Smith section.

Ms. Siler says in Mr. Clayton’s study, she saw an apparition of a woman.  The woman had on a brown skirt and linen shirt with gray hair in a bun.  Ms. Siler’s daughter claims also to have one time seen this apparition.  In fact, in 2007 and 2008 a carpenter was working at the house and took photos of the woodwork in the study (not looking for a ghost but because of repairs needed), and one of the photos had what looked like a woman in it.

Then Paranormal Investigation and Research of Western Arkansas (PIRWA) came out to do some investigation work.  These people caught electronic voice phenomena (EVP).  One of these EVPs sounded like a cat meowing, and there have been people who say they saw a black cat in the house.  Another EVP recorded a man yelling and cursing at someone.  In another EVP, someone is saying “Anna.”

The Claytons had a daughter whose name was Ann.

In 2009 PIRWA did some investigations with the public at the house and a few people said they were “touched” (meaning physically, not sentimentally).  A woman’s hair was pulled.  A man saw a face in the board room.

Does all this evidence stack up to mean there are ghosts or spirits living in the Clayton House?  It sounds like there’s something going on there, but nobody can say if it’s an actual ghost or ghosts.  Fortunately, at least the article didn’t mention it, no one has ever been harmed there (except for the hair pulling).

We encourage you to tour the Clayton House and see for yourself.  Even if you don’t see a ghost, you’ll be supporting Fort Smith and learning a few things about our great city’s history.

Ghost stories are everywhere.  Some of them may be true.

Nick & Ellie