Whether or not you believe in ghosts, spooks and spirits, the weeks leading up to Halloween are a great time to spin a few yarns around the campfire about Things That Go Bump In the Night. Arkansas has a long tradition of legends and lore involving wandering spirits who neglected to read the memo that it was time to move on, choosing instead to spend their eternity scaring the willies out of the living. Seen below are just a few of the purportedly haunted places in Central Arkansas, many of which got their bona fides through eyewitness accounts of paranormal activity. And hey, if you’re just DYING for a new or used car, truck, van or SUV, glide, slither, shamble or lurch on over to one of the dealerships in the Steve Landers Auto Group, where our great selection and friendly deals will keep you coming back for life -- though hopefully not the Afterlife!

The Empress of Little Rock

2120 South Louisiana Street, Little Rock


When it comes to places in Central Arkansas that LOOK the part of a haunted house, they just don’t get much better than The Empress of Little Rock Bed and Breakfast, originally known as The Hornibrook House. One of the most outstanding examples of ornate Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture in the state, the 7,200 square foot, two and a half story house was completed in 1888  by saloon keeper James H. Hornibrook, a Canadian who had moved to Little Rock seeking his fortune after the Civil War. Sadly, two years after the home’s completion, Hornibrook dropped dead at the gate to the house at age 49, felled by an apparent stroke. His wife, Margaret, lived in the house until her death in 1893. Now restored as a bed and breakfast known as The Empress of Little Rock, the home has long been the site of purported ghostly activity, including sightings of a dapper man in an old-fashioned Homburg hat, thought to be James Hornibrook, who is seen descending the house’s ornate grand staircase, along with noises emanating from the round “secret room” in the highest turret, where Hornibrook reportedly held marathon card games with friends.

The North Little Rock Heritage Center
506 North Main Street, North Little Rock
North Little Rock’s Main Street has come a long way from the rough-and-tumble riverbank town of the old days, but some of the residents of those bloody days seem determined to hang on if the accounts of some who’ve seen them are any measure. One of the most allegedly paranormally active places on North Little Rock’s Main Street is the North Little Rock Heritage Center. Now a facility that’s home to the North Little Rock History Commission, the building is a decommissioned, single bay firehouse that once included the city’s tiny, two-cell jail in the back -- the site of at least one reportedly lynching during a so-called “race riot” in 1906.  Renovated in the mid-2000s, the first floor of the newly refurbished building was home for a few years to a branch of the North Little Rock Public Library, with the History Commission upstairs. From virtually the moment they moved in, employees of the History Commission reported strange smells and sounds, including the recurring scent of fresh-cut roses and pipe tobacco, and the muffled sound of an angry mob. Events in the library branch downstairs were even more alarming, including a tall step ladder that repeatedly set itself up in a back storeroom at a time when the library was locked and protected by an alarm, and double doors to the children’s section that refused to stay open, with some unseen force throwing the rubber chocks that held the doors open across the room in the dead of night.   

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
503 E. 9th Street
One of the oldest original buildings in Arkansas, the Little Rock Arsenal Building -- also known as the Tower Building for its distinctive, octagonal tower at the front of the structure -- has seen more than its share of history, from the Trail of Tears to the hanging of Confederate “boy spy” to the birth of the famous General Douglas MacArthur, who was born in the Arsenal building in 1880 while his father was stationed there. With all that history in its wake, some of it bloody, it probably comes as no surprise to true believers that there have been plentiful accounts of paranormal activity there through the years. Opened as the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in 2001, today it’s considered one of the most haunted buildings in the city of Little Rock. Employees and visitors have reported all manner of strange activity there, including the phantom smell of cigar smoke in the basement even though there’s a strict no-smoking policy in the building, whispered voices in the museum’s theater area, the smell of lilies in the middle of the winter when there are no flowers of any kind in the building, and glimpses of an ethereal woman in white, who is seen walking the upper floors at times before vanishing into thin air.

Woodson Lateral Road
12 miles south of Little Rock
One of the most enduring legends is that of the vanishing hitchhiker: a motorist sees a young person walking alone on a dark night, stops to pick them up, drives the person to the destination they have requested, at which point they inexplicably vanish. Inevitably in these stories, the motorist goes up and knocks, only to discover that the person they had driven to the location had died years or decades before. While most of those tales are just campfire stories, eyewitnesses who have encountered things they can’t explain along Central Arkansas’s Woodson Lateral Road say there’s more to those tales than just fodder for fertile imaginations. For years, motorists have been reporting two disturbing apparitions that haunt the highway. The first is a young woman in a white dress, who is sometimes seen wearing a man’s black leather motorcycle jacket over her shoulders. According to those who have seen her, when they stop to make sure she is okay, she would either ask for a ride and then immediately vanish, or would get in the car and ride a mile or so before evaporating into thin air. The other tale from Woodson Lateral may be connected, given the girl’s motorcycle jacket. Motorists say they see the bright, single headlight of a motorcycle approaching from behind at high speed. Then, at what should have been the moment of impact, the light passes over or through their car, with the red tail light of the seemingly invisible bike receding away until it disappears in the distance.  

Part of why we love it here in Central Arkansas is that it’s an area full of legends, lore and mysteries. One thing that’s no mystery, though, is where to get the best deal on a great new or used car, truck, van or SUV: Steve Landers Auto Group! Come see us at any of our three big locations in Central Arkansas, including Steve Landers CDJR, Steve Landers Kia and Steve Landers Toyota for the best deals on wheels, or check out our huge selection online right now! Happy Halloween!


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