In the early 1990's accounts of a "Hatchet House" with accompanying awful murder and porch painted red to hide "all the blood", began to appear in local OKC newspapers.
An axe welding murderer chases down a school girl, chopping her up and disposing of the body. Every house were she had sought help but found silence was then painted red as a mark of their guilt in the girl's death.

Soon tales of swings moving in the moonlight.....and ghostly voices of children playing..... began to flesh out the vague and lurid premise. Now, every Halloween local haunters flock to the historic district of the Gatewood Neighborhood to find the notorious house with hatchet cutouts...or the red painted porch....or the driveway where 'they found the body.'

This seemed like an easy find....track down the dastardly crime....solve the mystery...provide some background for this legend. Most versions seem to date the crime in the 1950's. Several other common urban legends do begin in the late 1950's and can be tracked in the news.
So far...however, no such OKC crime has come to light. The area only dates back to the 1920's when it boomed along with various other areas of the city. An official history document even dates it only to the 1930's. Its classic hometown feel and its historic homes kept it a special place for many decades. There was tragedy as children, going to and coming from, the local elementary school were killed in accidents. Some crime....natural deaths, but no murders. Findng a grim and ghastly crime worthy of such a horrific legend....has so far drawn a blank.

It is similar to the tale in the Don Knotts comedy, "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." The small town with a haunted house, ghostly organ music and blood stained keys. Here, substitute the "Hatchett House" and generally bad reputation.

Unless, and until, something definite is discovered this is no doubt another OKC Urban Legend. So, drive through the area and enjoy the neighborhood that is on the national historic registry.....but give the folks there a rest because there is really nothing else to see there.

(Originally published 2008; updated 2013)

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