IT'S ALL MYSTORICAL: Have A Homeric Halloween?

In one of the world's oldest writings, The Odyssey, attributed to Homer in the 8th century BCE, there is an interesting scene of Hades with dark blood and pale specters. Interestingly, the ghosts are described as, ".. spirit, like a dream, flits away, and hovers to and fro" and elsewhere as "pale and wavering"......

In the midst of his struggle to return home, the hero sacrifices rams and summons one particular shade, but others come as well. They are drawn by the sacrificial blood and the life it represents...spectral moths to a flame of mortality. It is very interesting that this - so old a tale - contains some of the same motifs so common to modern beliefs of ghosts. The ability of the death's shade to move in non-human ways, to appear opaque, and to be drawn to those who can see them. Numerous alleged mediums indicate that this is a danger whenever people play with games or relics designed to contact the dead....the door is opened and there are no guarantees as to what may tag along.....

Surely, the vampiric legends also see their roots in this older image as well....the glistening, dark, rich blood that brings the dead like famished, thirsting wanderers of the dark desert of death.

Stories have always helped humans to describe, define, and decode the mysteries of their existence. People have always loved to gather to hear and share tales of romance, daring, and mystery. So it should not be too unusual that some themes and symbols become common motifs (what folklorists call archetypes) shared by culturally and geographically diverse peoples.
So, as the next season of ghosts and goblins appears, give a nod of the pumpkin juice to one interesting,and very literary forebearer, and have a Homeric halloween.



Early native inhabitants had strong storytelling traditions as integral parts of their ancient cultures. Various immigrants since then have continually added their own particular flavor to the pot of story brewing on the campfires of present day Oklahoma.
It was a homegrown, rural, culturally specific or fading art across the country until the folk movement of the 1960's began stirring things to life and people rediscovered the joy of a story told well.
In the early 1970's in OKC the local libraries (in The Metropolitian Library System) were dynamic supporters of storytelling. They hosted events, trained volunteers, and went out into the community to introduce Oklahoma City to the art of oral storytelling. Many of the first storytellers who charmed audiences emerged from the ranks of librarians and staff within the system.

They were ready when a formal event to celebrate story emerged with the OKC Arts Council's "Wintertales" in 1982. "Wintertales" proved a popular event and grew to become a significant part of the year for storytellers, educators, and listeners across the mid-central regions. It developed into workshops, family concerts, and event concerts with nationally known and local storytellers. Always supported and assisted by the Territory Telllers of Oklahoma who held an "Olio" (story concert) and hosted a reception for the tellers and audience. The momentum continued even as a national event was being born in the event to be known as "Tellabration!" (R).

This "global night of storytelling" only began in the mid 1980's but by 1992 the state organization, The Territory Tellers, was going strong hosting events across the wider metropolitan area of Oklahoma City and in metro Tulsa. It was originally conceived as an event to raise awareness that storytelling was not limited to children and the programs celebrated "adult" storytelling by returning to the complex, socially relevant, and thought provoking tales that once enthralled people of every culture. Subject matter was approporate to adults with adult concerns, experiences, and dreams. In 1992, the event was held in the St. Luke's UMC. Local tellers included: Ginger La Croix, Theresa Black, Robert and Marie Harris, Barbara McBride-Smith, Patsy Packard, David Titus, Weckeah Bradley and Jared Aubrey. However, by the late 20th century the event had evolved to include "family friendly" events and "youth Tellabrations."

In 2003, Rep. Danny Morgan, then state storytelling agency president, Garland McWatters, and storyteller Bonny Smith asked Gov. Brad Henry to designste the week of storytelling (Nov. 16-22, 2003) as "Oklahoma Tellabration Storytelling Week!" Storytelling," Morgan said, " is a valuable method of sharing American folklore and is an important means of contributing to Oklahoman's knowledge of the history of our state."



As a notorious trial was dragging on in 1907 Oklahoma City, a small kernel of news was mentioned in passing. The death currently in the news, so the papers stated, was the most dastardly and mysterious since 1899 when a man living about fifteen miles outside the city was murdered.

The lifeless body of German immigrant John Nulk, was found in about two miles in the country on Reno where that thoroughfare was more road than street. Nulk had been a pioneer of the county and had come from Richardson County, Nebraska. The federal census lists several people of that name in several northern locations.

Just six months before the Nulk case, along the Canadian river, a headless body had been found by men fishing. The murder site was located to have been southwest of the city near the Wheeler Bridge along the banks of the river. After a further search, a head with a bullet hole was found in a pillow case and identified as a local man who repaired shoes in the City, an A.J. Eick.
These locations were the site of many apparent body dumps from just before and after statehood. Convenient to transportation hubs and numerous individuals able to move about without notice. The wild and bad old west was not too distant a memory despite the dawning of a new century.

Detective work had identified several individuals as the guilty party and they were all reported to be in a Kansas penitentiary, although one man was accused of being the actual killer he was never charged.



Sometimes history is putting together two perspectives in order to gain true focus on the past. The larger histories of the areas of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas are well covered in myriad works. The larger histories of the Pentecostal Movement of the 20th century is well known and covered in numerous important works. What is lacking sometimes is the overlap that brings a spotlight on to what was happening in this place, at this time, in these areas.

As part of a larger research project, I began to piece together a timeline (something I had not seen in any of my research) and this has been very illuminating. It is not finished, it may never be finished, because other fragments of history may lay undiscovered in an attic or an archive. Someone looking for 'A' often overlooks the 'B' and 'C' which can provide better context, meaning, or examples of an event.

Pentecostal Timeline: An Annotated List of Instances in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas
Compiled by Marilyn A. Hudson
In progress since August 27, 2010

Deleware, Ohio Daniel Awrey receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaks in an unknown language (some sources question this).

1895 –
Reports of possible Pentecostal experiences in Iowa, Nebraska or Kansas.[ Martin, Larry. The Life and Ministry of William J. Seymour.” Joplin, MO: Christian Life Books, 1999.pg. 26]

Charles Parham speaks with a member of the FBHC discussing a spiritual baptism with tongues; this turns his attention to assigning his Bible College students to explore the scriptures over Christmas break.

Topeka, Kansas, Bethel Bible College, Agnes Ozman is the first of several students to speak in tongues in response to their study and prayer over the holiday break. [Synan, Old Time Religion, Advocate Press, 1973,pg. 92.; ]

Lamont, OK FBHC convened its General Council Meeting in the church at Lamont, Ok. This church was the one and only church in the FBHC work in Oklahoma. The conference, or state association as it was known, disbanded until Sept. 1909 when it was reorganized.
Fall – Galena, Ks evangelist Charles Parham arrived to preach the “Apostolic (now Pentecostal) teaching.” (Goss, pg. 11). A Mrs. Arthur was healed of blindness and people spoke in ‘tongues’.


“Saloon Was closed Up by An Order of Court”, The Oklahoman (Jan. 22, 1904):9. Charges by a grand jury investigating corruption in city government were served to the owner of the Blue front Saloon, Dick J. Cramer
“Jack du Bois choked a Boy”, The Oklahoman (Dec. 24, 1904): 5 About 8 p.m. one night local drunk Jack du Bois, was assaulting and choking a 12 year old boy, Joe Dishman, behind the Blue front Saloon and was arrested.
Parham holds a revival where people from ‘Carthage, Missouri to Miami, Ok’ accepted the ‘full gospel’ (Burke, pg. 17)

1905 –
Howard Goss holds a Pentecostal revival in Tahleqah, OK (Burke, pg.17 – who suggests it was OK’s first Pentecostal church)
Pentecostal revival at Billings, OK led by Harry P. Lott and an unnamed Free Methodist minister.
Summer, Parham takes 24 people to Houston, Tx to open a work. He left in charge of the Galena, KS Assembly Mrs. Mary Arthur and Mrs. Fannie Dobson.(Goss, pg. 29). In Houston, ‘called to the Lord’s work’ were Rosa Cadwalder. Hattie Allen, Millicen McCLendon.
African American Lucy Farrow, receives the baptism in Houston and feels called to go to LA; Parham provides the fare.(Goss, pg. 35).
The lady workers did not wear uniforms but the current fashions of the day “silks…satins…jewels or whatever they happened to possess.” (Goss, pg. 38)

 Jan. 18, Richard Beall and Oscar C. Wilkens appear in OKC to start a mission work, start with a Sunday School on S. Robinson ;
 An African-American restaurant, Haynes CafĂ©, is located at 7 West Grand Avenue. In May edition of the Oklahoman there is a small news report of a fire that broke out in the middle of the night from an overheated stove. “Last Night’s Fire”. Oklahoman (May 9, 1906):5.
 Beulah Holiness School, or Emmanuel Bible College, established (Clancy, Bryon. The history of Beckham County. Accessed at http://files.usgwarchives.org/ok/beckham/history/carter.txt; Burke pg. 18 says it was 1907). Established by a group of Holiness people called, ‘The Indian Creek Band’ settled a community they called Beulah and there established a Bible school to teach holiness. Reports were it was a three story brick structure near a Baptist Church and they mailed a newspaper, Apostolic Faith, out nearby Doxy, Oklahoma.
 Asuza Street revival starts in the spring in L.A. (Martin, pg.165).
 George G. Collins, one time farmhand for the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma is ordained at Azusa Street (date unclear) (Martin, pg.13).
 A Reverend Cook, who had been in California at Asuza street now comes back and goes to Lamont to conduct a Pentecostal revival.
 A ‘group of workers’ was sent to Wallis, Tx in 1906 (Feb) and they included Nora Byrd, Mabel Wise, Millicent McClendon and Hattie Allen (later Obermann) (Goss, pg. 41)
 Visiting ministers came to help the new work, including Fay Carrothers, Mable Smith-Hall, Mrs Annie Hall and others…

 Feb. 6 Harry Lott, Beall & Wilkins rent the Blue Front Saloon, 7 West Grand, for $40 a month [Muse papers; Campbell; Harold Paul]. The saloon was located on the edge of the wild center core of the city, known as OKC’s “Hell’s Half Acre”. Today the area between Santa Fe and Broadway and Sheridan to Reno is largely known as the area of the Cox Convention Center (the old Myriad Convention Center), a hotel, and the turn off into Bricktown. "Back in the day" this was the wildest place in the newly opened "Oklahoma Town" or "Oklahoma Station" ("City" did not come about formally till nearly forty years after the 1889 land run). It was so wild it earned - through blood, sweet, and tears - the nickname "Hell's Half Acre." If you stand on the platform of the Amtrack station and look west and slightly north that is where this wild town within in a town was located. If you walked west on Sheridan (called Grand back then), just past Santa Fe (called Front then) on the north would be "Bunco Street" with its gambling halls and con men. Look south and there would be "Hop Boulevard", perfect if you were thirsty. And just behind that, "Alabaster Row" was located on California, featuring brothels, gambling halls, and other businesses for the African-American population in those days.Walk up Santa Fe (Front) to Main and turn west and you would see a bit finer offerings with The Arlington and, in 1900, the Lee Hotel at the corner of Main and Broadway. Turn east and across the tracks and there were the depot and just beyond to the northeast "Old Zulu's" original brothell/saloon establishment in current Bricktown. Travel south to 312 E. Grand and you would have seen the spot of "Big Annie" Wynn's original land run tent brothel. It had grown into a two story building, and moved a few blocks east, by statehood. From at least 1902, a walk up Broadway (into the 100 to 300 blocks) would have found "fortune-tellers', "crystal ball gazers", "clairvoyants", "mediums", and "pyschics". All world traveled and well known, or so they said as they advertized their stay in the parlors of local hotels and boarding house along the street. [Hudson, M. Mystorical accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com]
 In this setting the work begins in Oklahoma City.
 Mary A. Sperry, a local woman, opens her home for ‘tarrying services” (Campbell, Pentecostal Holiness Church history)
 Irwin opens church in El Reno, OK (Welch, pg. 36]
 May 1907 JH King holds a FBHC revival in Lamont, Ok [King, Yet Speaketh, PHC, 1949, pg. 127, he had received his baptism just the previous February];
 Summer there is a revival at Beulah under once Nazarene and now Pentecostal minister Robinson. 1st person to receive baptism there was an elderly woman named McClung (Campbell 210-211). Daniel Awrey goes to Beulah this year also as the Emmanuel Holiness Bible College Bible instructor and then principal. That summer the Pentecostal experience is said to have arrived at the school. Dolly and Dan York go to Beulah where the “Pentecostal folk” were .[One nightclub]
 August, Beall, Lott and others are reported to have received ‘their baptism’ [Paul, pg. 12]
 As a result of these events, the FBHC reestablished its presence along with independent Pentecostals and churches were started in: Yukon, Billings, Drummond, Perry. Pawnee, Muskogee, Mazie, Witchita, McAllister. Quinton, Cowen. Hart. Stratford Paul’s Valley, Castle, Swan Lake, Manitou, Faxon, Tipton, and in KS<>
 Lott organizes the OKC Mission aka Blue Front Saloon Mission into the FBHC. Oldest organized church in the OK Conference and one of the oldest Pentecostal churches in the Midwest
 Nov. well known and colorful figure of “Old Zulu” aka Martha Fleming, a notorious OKC madam, prostitute, pick-pocket, and addict received salvation and was the next day baptized in the local river. Although, she appears to have later renounced her conversion, it is extremely interesting that in a day and age when Oklahoma and the nation was extremely racist, that an African American was welcomed into a mission service at the Blue Front Saloon Mission. This is extremely telling of how wide-spread the Azusa ethos might have been and the value racial and gender equity was esteemed in the early days of Pentecostalism. [McRill, A. Satan Came Also, 1955. pg. 4; Paul, p. 13]
1908 –
 Dan and Dollie York rec’d Pentecostal baptism summer at Foss under F.M. Brittain, FBHC
 JH King holds revival at Synder ;
 Harry Lott named ruling elder of the FBHC in Ok;  Beulah School becomes fully Pentecostal.
 “Blasphemy and Gun Play Enliven Church Service” The Oklahoman (Nov. 10, 1908):10. Services disrupted at the “Pentecostal mission, 7 West Grand Avenue”, pastored by Harry P. Lott
 Parham holds a revival in Tulsa, OK on the corner of 3rd & Cincinnati (Burke pg. 23) Out of that grew the oldest AOG congregation in OK<>
 Waurika has services led by Archie and Pearl Adams (Burke 24) 1909 –
 September F.M. Brittain comes to Oklahoma to reorganize the FBHC in the state. Agnes Ozmen LeBerge is one of several women listed as ministers
 Pentecostal revival breaks out in SW ok with Oscar Jones at Frederick
 Daniel Opperman preached in Tillman in Manitou (famed evangelist) (Burke pg 28)
 “Minister’s Wife Restrains Him”, The Oklahoman (Sept. 29, 1909):4, Lott’s wife Emma, filed a restraining order citing assault and lack of support. Lott, made $75 a month pastoring the German Holiness church (not sure if this is a typo or another congregation, cites rescue home at 300 Maple street His church is identified as located corner of Hudson and California, which would mesh with the 317 W. California address of the “First Church.”
 “Minister fined, sent to a Cell”. The Oklahoman (Oct. 3, 1909): 31. Harry P. Lott, supt. Of the Pentecostal Rescue Home for Fallen Women, 300 West Maple, OKC. Numerous newspaper accounts up to this time period underscored the challenges young women faced in the big city. In 1910, Shawnee, Oklahoma a 19 yr old Pierce Hammack, was jailed because his actions seemed consistent with "white slave traffickers". Hammack said he was employed by the Franklin Theatrical Company and either for them, or his own side line activity, he solicited girls through "mind reading" and "fortune telling". In an earlier incident from 1902, a Kansas father chased a "voodoo man" - a fortune-teller and/or magician - who he claimed had enticed his 15 year old daughter away in a similar fashion. Between 1903 and 1910 numerous incidents appeared in local Oklahoma City papers of girls met at the train depot and offered "jobs" as maids at local "hotels". The establishments, they soon learned, were staffed by working girls. Some were drugged, raped, and intimidated into staying. Some, because of previous abuse at home from family or friends, simply had no heart to move on. Others, were successfully "rescued" through various religious and social efforts. [Mystorical]
 October, Blue Front becomes the “First FBHC of OKC”
 Pentecostal services in Lee School , Muldrow, (Burke 29) 1910-
 Lott appointed ruling elder of the FBHC;
 Mary A. David appointed to a church in Manitou, reflects the role of women in the early days of the FBHC,
 “Divorces Given to Three Wives”, The Oklahoman Jan. 28, 1910): 12. Emma Lott granted divorce from Harry P., they had married in 1898 in Longmont, CO. He is described as being a pastor ‘’for the holy rollers.”
 Mary Bernice Ferguson, of Beluah headed to east oklahoma where she preached by wagon, horseback in places all around Stilwell (Burke, pg.29) 1911-
 FBHC and the PHC merge in Falcon, NC, January.
 August 30, the new Pentecostal Holiness Church convenes in sessions at the Capital Hill Park Camp under the oversight of Harry P. Lott (Paul, Harold. From Printer’s Devil to Bishop, Advocate Press, 1976, pg.16; Minutes of the Third Annual Session of the Oklahoma Pentecostal Holiness Church, pp.2-3]. Ministers listed included several women: Miss Mary K. Davis (later Shannon), Dolly York, Agnes La Berge, Pearl Burroughs. And Annie Aston (Campbell, pg. 214).
 The conference boosted 25 churches or mission stations, 17 pastors, and 12 evangelists. 1912- Arkansas evangelist Powell Youngblood invited to bring Pentecostal message to Turkey Ford, Delaware count 9Burk pg 29) 1913
 May 1, 1913, future bishop Dan Thomas Muse attends his first Pentecostal Holiness Church meeting, held on the street at the corner of Grand and Robinson in OKC. He subsequently attended ‘the mission’ and received his baptism [Paul, pg. 22]
 PHC Convention held at Delmar Gardens; W.D. York gains approval to start a school at Stratford (One nightclub)
 Ethel Musick preached her first sermon at age 17 at the Payne Schoolhouse, west of Duncan (long time AOG evangelist ) (Burke pg 28)
 Wagoner Literary Bible School {one night club) 1916-
 General Overseer of the Church of God Roy Cotnam 1917
 Harry P. Lott founds the Capital Hill Full Gospel Church. It was first the Apostolic Faith Church and in 1924 it was the site of a conference of the wider Apostolic Faith Church. 1920
 -General Overseer of the Church of God John Burk
 -First PHC Sunday School Convention held in OKC [Paul, pg. 43] 1924
 Kings College, Checotah, Ok 1927
 Monte Ne, Ark Ozark Industrial College 1927
 Kings College, Kingfisher 1946
 Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College, OKC

Burke, Bob. Like a prairie fire: a history of the Assemblies of God in Oklahoma. OKC: OK Council of the AOG, 1994.
Campbell, J. The Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898-1948. P.H.C. Publishing, 1948.
Conn, Charles W. Like A Might Army. Church of God Pub. House, Cleveland, TN, 1955.
Hudson, Marilyn. “Mystorical” accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com; When Death Rode the Rails with Tales from Hell’s Half Acre (2010).
King, J.H. Yet speaketh. P.H.C. 1949
One Nightclub and a Mule Barn: the first 60 years of Southwestern Christian University. Tate. 2006.
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer’s Devil to Bishop. Advocate. 1976.
Synan, Vinson. The Old-Time Power: a history of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Advocate Press, 1973.
Welch, Kristen Dayle. ‘Women with the Good News’: The rhetorical heritage of Pentecostal Holiness Women Preachers. CPT, 2010.



by Marilyn A. Hudson

Part 1 – The early years

The first library of my life was a simple mission style book case in the living room containing the only books in the house; the crimson bound set of the “World Book Encyclopedia.” I loved going through that set with its drawings, lithographs, and colorful overlays. There was an overlay of a frog showing it from skeleton to flesh and one of the human body; which I found to be very insightful. For years I imagined our insides stacked with clear sheets containing nice flat organs and bones.

I really loved those books and as I learned to read, they were an amazing source of explanation. I would watch an old movie on television and want to learn more about airplanes, the French Revolution, or atoms and head to the shelf. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, I’d start with the answer to my question but then find I had read whole other sections as well.

The first time I was in a public library I was in the third grade on a field trip. In our small town, the library was not for just anyone. It was an old Carnegie building with dark, moody oak and arts and crafts furnishings, ringed by tomes weighty and well endowed by time. A shrine to knowledge victorious over ignorance, and the elite to whom such mysteries were made available, it was a holy of holies accessed via a steep set of stairs. Climbing those stairs always brought images of entering a palace, climbing a scaffold, or ascending the steps of a Mayan temple as the next virgin sacrifice – depending on the mood of the reason for going that particular day. It was the product and hobby of local aristocracy, leading members of society, and their offspring. All others were well aware of the largess that allowed the plebian masses to also enjoy its benefits.

The children’s room was an added feature, not part of the original plans, and as far away from the library general as possible. It even had its own side entrance. I remember it was a dreary day and the yellow shelves could only brighten the room so much. There was a nice neutral and bland tan carpet, white walls, and some spots of warm wood in rocker and a desk. It was not a children’s area – but a restrained adult image of a suitable space for children engaged in appropriate activities to educate, but not stimulate, the young mind.

The next library of my life was in an elementary classroom in school. A long metal shelving unit, with sliding doors ran under the large windows. Inside were secured the drawing paper, glues, scissors, and in one section two shelves of books. They were old books, well worn, and somewhat abused. Cast off text books, literature, poetry, and novels they were available to just anyone who wanted to read them. I read the many amazing adventures of a boy and girl and their dog in short, easily managed sentences. Then I moved on to a story of a small Martian who arrived in an orchard and had adventures with the little boy who lived on the farm. I read of a horse that raced across cool meadows and ended up blinkered pulling a milk wagon. I read of faraway places and local history.

Then, however, came the library in Junior High. A large room on the third floor, northeast corner, of an old red multistoried school, the library was a magnet. Warm oak shelves, tables, chairs and wooden blinds as old as the school created a welcoming aura. I wandered those aisles, thumbed through the card catalog, and nibbled at every crumb dropped my way in class, in a book, or from the world around me. I was not a good student in those days. I was too unsure, insecure, and easily intimidated by those around me. In the library, though, I was reading Dumas, Virgil, and other classics in the sixth grade. I would take the later bus home and stay to finish my class assignments before checking out books to read on the bus: The Three Musketeers, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Shakespeare, Ivanhoe, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire…

Strangely, I must confess, I do not remember if there was a librarian there or not. I think there was a woman of indeterminate age and shape who revealed to me the mysteries of the card catalog, the layout, and the borrowing process. Sometimes there was an older student who listlessly checked the books out to me, but usually my head was down, focused on the new treasure in my hands, and I did not notice such trifles.

It was enough that the priceless and endless bounty of the temple of the library had been opened to me.

(M.Hudson, 2010; Permission to reproduce is given, if credit line is included)

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!