Betcha You Didn’t Know These Things Happened in Arkansas
It's National Black Cat Day! Every state has its quirky odd stories and strange occurrences, Arkansas has had some pretty unusual things and cool stuff that have happened over the years. Let's take a look.
Bonnie and Clyde the iconic famous outlaws caused havoc across much of the country while robbing banks they used to hide out in a tourist camp in Fort Smith. And as a side note, when the couple visited Texarkana they used to eat and stay at the Grim Hotel on the Texas side of town until they were shot and killed on a road in Louisiana.
In the '70s in Fouke, Arkansas it was reported multiple times that some big hairy ape-like creature was spotted around Boggy Creek. The sightings became so numerous that a movie was made starring some local people that witnessed what became known as the Fouke Monster. The Charles B. Pierce movie "The Legend of Boggy Creek," remains a cult classic today and there's even a store in Fouke named the Monster Mart.
If you grew up in Prescott, Arkansas then you have probably heard about the traveling salesman named Mike, he passed away in 1911 and was not buried until 1975. No one knew his last name and he was embalmed where his corpse was on display outside a funeral home with the nickname "Old Mike." That's just plain creepy.
In nearby Hot Springs, the spa city was at one time known as a gangster's paradise because many notorious gangsters such as Al Capone would come here to hide out and gamble. Many celebrities including President Franklin D. Roosevelt would come here to make this their haven and enjoy the hot natural springs and mineral baths which are still popular today. You can actually stay in Al Capone's room in a hotel there.
Did you know that there was a devastating flood in 1927 that destroyed millions of acres of farmland in Arkansas? Because of that flood, it is now illegal for the Arkansas River to rise higher than the Main Stage bridge in Little Rock.
This is probably one of the most bizarre cases in Arkansas, it happened in 2011 in the small town of Beebe. The skies over Beebe were darkened by thousands of birds that dropped from the sky onto the ground dead for no apparent reason. This was investigated and many theories were presented but even today no one knows for sure what happened. Many believe this was a bad omen or just some kind of bird virus that killed them.
Famous Elvis Haircut
One of the biggest things to happen in Arkansas was when Elvis Presley was sworn into the Army at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith. Elvis shocked the world and his fans when he showed a photo of himself getting a G.I. haircut at the now-famous barbershop that is a museum.
Ilegal to Wake Bear
Did you know that is totally legal to kill a bear in Arkansas during seasonal hunting season? However, it is totally illegal to wake one up using flash photography. Frankly, if you are that close to a bear you're just asking for it. It is also illegal to kill a denned bear or one that is being pursued by dogs. If you spot one, it's best to leave it alone because this is no Yogi Bear.
Famous Hanging Gallows
Fort Smith is also the location for the hanging gallows, where judge Isaac Parker was known for enforcing the law in what was Indian Territory in the late 1800s. It has been said that the judge sentenced 86 people to be hanged by the neck until dead. The famous gallows are still there today and have become a tourist attraction. But don't be surprised that you don't see a wandering spirit or hear some ghostly sounds.