Image from Wikimedia Commons.
In 2009, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (sub. req.) reported that ghost hunters had examined the Desha County Courthouse in Arkansas City for paranormal activity. Local courthouse workers claimed that a ghost they’ve nicknamed “Willard” haunts the building. “County Judge Mark McElroy said courthouse staff members have reported spiritual activity unexplainable by human logic,” the Democrat-Gazette reports.
One of the legends surrounding the Desha County Courthouse has to do with the clock tower. It’s said that the clock in the tower hasn’t functioned properly since it was cursed by a condemned man at the turn of the 20th century. The man had supposedly been hung on the courthouse lawn after being convicted for burning down a string of hotels–a charge of which he claimed to be innocent. McElroy had made it a campaign promise to fix the clock, reported the Democrat-Gazette in an earlier story.
The killjoy clock technician hired to fix the clock had this to say: “Back in the old days, they probably did hang somebody out there on the front of the courthouse or on the steps of the courthouse or up in the tower of the courthouse or whatever. I don’t dispute that one bit, and the guy may have cursed them and the clock, but that’s not the problem with the clock. It’s just an old clock, and it needs tender loving care. All of them are that way.”