Haunted Dwelling: The Mason Children's Home in Guthrie (Dominion House).
602 East College,
Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044.
The Mason's Guthrie Children's Home (Dominion House) can be found 4 blocks east of HWY 77, between the cross streets of N. Oak and North Elm.
In the early 1920s, it seems that a lot of families were destitute/or broken and not able to care for their children. There was no family foster care or welfare system available, so the Masons in Guthrie stepped up to the plate and build a truly glorious children's home, as a place of refuge, warm meals, warm beds, a religious education and even an indoor swimming pool, with the added opportunity of being educated by the public schools. It gave many children a new chance at life, during the years it was up and running. In 1978, the state of Oklahoma voted to have a foster care system using small family units, to give the children a more personal home life. In 1978, the home closed, and was vacant until 2000, when it was rescued from its deplorable condition by a man and his family, and renovated to have a new purpose in the community.
We were expecting to find a depressing, abandoned building, but instead Tom and I found this former abandoned institution, was now transformed into a lovely, restored private residence, put to work in commercial enterprises. This expansive, colonial style red brick building with a glorious bell tower in the middle is now used for not only private residences of the owners, but also private office space of one of the owners, and another owner has a weddings, and events business, call Dominion House.
The amount of renovation done to this building and its grounds is stunning. While some of the residential wings were torn down to make way for garden space, the west wing which is the main part of the old institution is in grand shape!
Looking at the tour video of the ballroom/reception area found on Dominion House's web site, one sees glorious 1920s woodwork, high ceilings, large windows and classy paneling, truly a lovely place for a high-class reception! Touches of elegance, such as crystal chandeliers and a lovely skylight are a bonus!
The children's home's indoor pool was filled in to transform the area into an indoor chapel.
Rich velvet drapes, tapestries, candelabras and soft lighting create the proper atmosphere for a romantic wedding ceremony.
Where some of the children's dorms used to be, one can see glorious landscaping in the rather large front yard. Statues of children decorate the walkways through the flowerbeds, bushes,trees, grassy areas and by the lovely fountain.
The landscaped acreage behind the building is perfect for an outdoor wedding, with its well done gardens, using inlaid stones and flowerbeds with rocks, trees, featuring a ceremony area near a little river which flows through the property.
The neighbors must be thrilled that they no longer have such a spooky-looking neighbor, which must have drawn trespassers and undesirable people like druggies to their neighborhood, as abandoned buildings often do. Now that it is in private ownership, trespassers are not welcome and will probably be arrested even if they find a way in, past the high stylish fence and well-defended driveway.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
Due to the traumatic experience of being taken away from family, and being raised in an institutional setting, a lot of negative energy still flows through the building.
Though throughout the years, this home was blessed with many fine caregivers and staff, there were a few bad apples here and there with personal issues, who didn't have the patience or wisdom to deal with hard to handle children. Acts of abuse and cruelty sometimes occurred. Unhappy children aren't always cooperative which could lead to disciplinary actions way too severe. I doubt counseling was available in the home's early years.
Some report that there was a nurse working there who had anger issues and perhaps didn't have both oars in the water. Town legend says that she finally went over the edge and killed herself in the bell tower. Bell towers like bridges attract suicidal folks!
Another yarn tells the sad tale of a cruel headmistress who beat to death a 6 year old, and probably 4 other boys and buried them in the basement.
Some children in the home's care probably died of illnesses, or perhaps accidents in the swimming pool. It was reported by some that there were some graves in the backyard, seen there when the property was abandoned.
There may be a dedicated staff member or two still looking after the children.
Several eye witnesses have seen an entity of a little girl who appears and pleads for protection.
The apparition of a woman has been seen walking down the main hallway.
A dark shadow has been seen in the bell tower, and as been known to hover around people who had broken in the building when it was abandoned.
When the building was abandoned, people report seeing apparitions appearing and disappearing in the rooms as the people peeked in the windows of the building.
Sounds of crying and screaming children in emotional pain have been heard, perhaps an impression of the negative feelings felt so long ago.
Construction workers hired to renovate the building, reported hearing unexplained footsteps, the feeling of being watched and hearing strange noises and crying.
Probably, unless the new owners had the building blessed.
SOURCES INCLUDE: dominionhouseguthrie.com * realhaunts.com