King Opera House

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Allegedly haunted by the ghost of a young actor who was killed by an enraged father who objected to the actor’s intentions to elope with his daughter.

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Geographic Information

427 Main Street
Van Buren, Arkansas
United States

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35.4351614, -94.35491719999999
Crawford County, Arkansas
Nearest Towns:
Van Buren, AR (0.4 mi.)
Fort Smith, AR (4.2 mi.)
Moffett, OK (6.0 mi.)
Kibler, AR (6.9 mi.)
Arkoma, OK (7.1 mi.)
Rudy, AR (8.0 mi.)
Alma, AR (8.0 mi.)
Barling, AR (8.1 mi.)
Roland, OK (9.0 mi.)
Cedarville, AR (9.3 mi.)


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Comments (20)

  1. Hello, while traveling to South Carolina last May with my husband and mother
    we spent the night in Van Buren got up early around 7am and made are wayt to the Historic District.
    It was empty and quite so sightseeing and picture taking was a breeze, my husband and I were ahead of my mother she walks with a cane so she is slow we got way ahead of her I she was flagging us down I went back and asked her if everything is ok she told me that she had a ghostly encounter while we were ahead of her she said she went back into time she saw people walking around in the period clothing going about their business she said that she was confronted by a very angry ghost a woman dressed in 1800’s clothes stood in front of her and got in her face and told my mother she does not belong here go away well my mother said she was so frightened that she started praying I didnt see anything but this happens alot to my mother I think she is a ghost magnet as we were driving away she was sitting in the back seat to go away leave me alone you don’t belong here you need to go back and find the light she said that voices of different people were asking her to help them she was pretty scared never wants to go back. I don’t have any pictures unfortunately I wish that I did

  2. Growing up in Van Buren, I attended several performances at the theater. One of these events was my little sister’s dance recitals. As I was helping the girls get ready a group of girls started screaming..saying the water turned itself on. At first I thought one of them was playing a joke. We turned the water off and had all the girls walk away from the sink area..trying to prove that it was just a joke…the water turned itself back on. Later another group heard phantom footsteps. Creepy but cool building.

    • Have you all investigated the location where the old wortz cracker building used to be? I worked there back in early 80’s there was something going on there. I would be in the basement at night and could hear strange sounds from the floor above which was used for storage at the time.i would go up there to see what was going on and there would be nothing that would cause the sounds I was hearing.i got to talking to a maintenance man who worked there. He told me he was working one night on the production floor and had an experience with someone in really bright whites staring at him. He said hello the person and went on with his work about three seconds later he looked to see where the person was and they had vanished into thin air. There was no normal way that they could have left the area without being seen

  3. My brother and I went to a concert there earlier tonight. He came back from the bathroom and was like “oh man”and he said he had a very scary experience. He said that he went to use the restroom, then when he went to wash his hands everything in the room got really cold. Then he said it stank. Like really bad. As if someone had ripped open an intestion or something. He said it smelt so bad of blood and guts. And in a moment it stopped. He checked the other stall (it was the upstairs bathroom) and found he was alone. He’s 20 and looked rather shook up. I’m scouring the internet for a similar experience had in the opera house.

  4. I’m Charles Tolson’s ( the ghost’s ) great great grand daughter. You can find the real story by googling “Charles Tolson King Opera House”. My great grandfather was Charles son, Frantz, who was very young at the time of this shooting. Charles and his wife Lorena acted in the Tolson Stock company and King Opera House was one of their frequent venues
    Several years ago my family, my mom , my aunt, and two of my nephews, all of us Charles’ grandchildren, visited the opera house and the train depot where Charles was shot by Dr Parchman and where he was buried afterwards in Fort Smith. We all stood on the stage where my great great grandparents acted and took a picture. None of us experienced anything spooky, but it was fascinating to be where they had been, 100 years previous, on that stage and at the train depot.

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