Co-authors seeking public help in collecting testimonies for next project
By Jess Kelsey
From seeing apparitions that walk the shore of Lake Overholser, hearing disembodied voices echo around Yukon’s Stage Door Theatre, witnessing strange presences peer through the broken windows of the abandoned Concho Indian School, to the bone chilling tales of Deadman’s Curve on the Chisholm Trail, area writers Whitney Wilson andTanya McCoy tell the tales of Canadian County’s spectral past in the upcoming book “Haunted Canadian County” set to release next month.
The duo took their love for the paranormal and historical research to co-author a book that features the county’s eeriest corners.
“Haunted Canadian County is the ‘short version’ of how Canadian County started and what it is today mixed in with some locals’ accounts and evidence from our investigations of paranormal events associated with locations within the county. There’s also a smidge of urban legend in there. It is definitely heavier on the history side, but it seems with most historical locations that whispers of paranormal activity of some sort are bound to surface. We love both, so we wrote a book that merges the two,” said Wilson.
McCoy serves as Founder of Oklahoma Paranormal Association and president of Paranormal Times Entertainments LLC and is the co-author of similar books “Haunted Guthrie” and “Haunted Oklahoma City.” Wilson serves as vice-president of Paranormal Times Entertainments LLC/Oklahoma Paranormal Association.
Receiving approval for the book in October 2017, the two spent seven months researching, visiting places, interviewing area residents and writing, submitting the final manuscript of the book in May 2018.
“It was a lot of research,” said Wilson. “Fortunately, there were and are people who have worked hard to preserve history, so it makes our job a little bit easier… Canadian County Museum and the Historical Society in El Reno, the Mustang Historical Society and their members, Staff at Fort Reno, and the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes are just a few that tremendously contributed to our research. Not to mention, the people who shared stories and experiences.”
The book officially launches Oct. 8 and will be available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
Giving interested readers a chance to have early access to the book, Wilson and McCoy will be at the upcoming Yukon Czech Festival Oct. 6 to sign copies. The two will be holding more book signings throughout the county during the month of October, including one tentatively scheduled at the Mustang Public Library Oct. 23.
Wilson said the two were inspired to write this book due to their similar passion for the paranormal.
“We both had paranormal experiences as kids that continued into adult life,” said Wilson. “Tanya was on a paranormal team before founding the Oklahoma Paranormal Association. I have always been drawn to and intrigued by the paranormal but didn’t pursue anything in the field until I joined OPA about four years ago.”
While the two prepare for the release of “Haunted Canadian County,” they are already starting on their second co-authoring project, “Haunted El Reno.”
In order to help launch their next project, the two are asking for the public’s help in collecting any stories of interest, paranormal and historical, from the El Reno area.
“Tanya and I will be writing ‘Haunted El Reno’ together, it is actually due to be submitted in November for release next year,” said Wilson. “We would love to hear from anyone willing to share. We have a Facebook group and a Facebook page, they are both ‘Oklahoma Paranormal Association’ and we can be reached through those pages. We have also set up an email, HauntedElReno@gmail.com that we can be reached through. I think it’s important to note, that anyone who shares a story or experience will be credited in the book or can choose to remain anonymous. Even if they don’t necessarily think it’s interesting, share anyway, you never know how many little accounts from here and there can add up to one big interesting collection of experiences that will make you say, ‘Hmm…’”