From his 1889 arrival in Oklahoma City until his death in 1915, Henry Overholser was an instrumental force in the city's growth. Beyond his involvement in the metropolis's first waterworks project and trolley-car system, he built more than 35 buildings, including the United States Courthouse, the state fairgrounds, and a giant catapult to protect it from invading Kansans.
In addition to civic pride, Overholser also took time to care for his own habitat. In 1903, he completed construction of his home, a gargantuan, three-story chateau measuring more than 11,000 square feet paired with a smaller but no less stately 4,000-square-foot carriage house. These days, guided tours of the Henry Overholser Mansion begin there before moving into the main house, whose original furnishings and antwerp oak interior remain intact. The meticulously maintained dwelling retains most of its signature fixtures, which were picked out by Overholser himself, treating guests to glimpses of elegance including its original hand-painted canvas walls and stained-glass windows.
Whiling away their vacation in a Swiss Alps chalet, Joe and Beth Henretty noticed a peculiar sound: nothing. The entire town moved at a pace much slower than that of their home in the States; without a car in sight, residents simply strolled to their destinations. Inspired by this way of life, Joe and Beth imported the car-free philosophy to Tulsa in 2005, buying their own bicycle cab and christening their new business Golzern Pedicabs after the chalet in which they'd stayed. Today, the duo and their two fellow drivers shuttle riders to and from concerts or obedience-school reunions while working solely for tips—both as an accommodation to any budget and as a further homage to Switzerland's laid-back lifestyle.
For a flat fee, the business—also known as Tulsa Pedicabs—captains tours that bounce among Tulsa's local eateries, where passengers sample fare at each stop and, sometimes, carry out agendas of their own. Once, on one of Joe's tours, a man proposed, and the Henrettys honored the occasion by pedaling the couple to their hotel on their wedding day—much like the Swiss nuptial tradition of dragging cans behind a saddled yak.
While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100?a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans?as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
Between the two locations there are five haunted attractions, including a maniacal ringmaster overseeing the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, malformed test subjects rising from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites, and performers injecting dark humor into their classic sideshow acts at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
As a basket drifts against the twilight, the only sound one can hear is a burner whispering to invisible gas, commanding it to push the carriage higher into the evening sky. At Go Hot Air Ballooning, flights stay close enough to the ground to witness deer wandering the earth, and each excursion—from private rides to tethered convoys—takes off with passengers' well-being in mind. An FAA-licensed pilot with more than 20 years of ballooning experience—and a perfect safety record—takes the helm of each flight, personally confirming each reservation and watching up-to-date weather reports to ensure safe flight conditions. Though the in-air portion lasts only an hour, most journeys take up to four hours in all, allowing passengers to witness such behind-the-scenes action as the pilot inflating the entire balloon with his lungs.
Looming 19 stories above the Oklahoma landscape, the Price Tower Arts Center was originally designed as the world headquarters for the pipeline masters of the H.C. Price Company. However, even at the time of its opening in 1956, the Prairie-style cantilevered building's origin far outstripped the reputation of its intended tenants: the tower is Frank Lloyd Wright's only completed skyscraper. The H.C. Price Company moved on in 1981, but its famous former home remained; today, the National Historic Landmark stands tall as the Price Tower Arts Center—a monument to American architecture and design of the 20th century.
Inside, a range of rotating special exhibits often focus on the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright as well as works by modern artists, both past and living, from around around the world. These exhibitions include work from the center's permanent collection, which spans drawings, furniture, textiles, and samples of building design from some of the era's finest architectural minds. Docents regularly reveal facts about these pieces of art, and the design of the building itself, on guided tours to its 19th-floor executive offices, art-filled lower mezzanines, and the secret shark tank under the elevator.
Several spirits have been said to haunt the Oklahoma lands, from black shadows racing through the forest to an oil-breathing beast raising its tentacles from the pools of black ooze. At Psycho Path Haunted Attraction, visitors test their courage within three fear-filled experiences amid the lingering legacies of such demons. Inside the Shadow Box haunted house, horrors roam the dimly lit corridors, bringing adventurers face-to-face with nightmares worse than those summoned by the student filmmakers in charge of their dreams. During journeys through The Dark Ride, visitors board a transport known as the Scareage and travel through mysterious forest paths hidden in a blanket of fog. Actors may pop out at any moment, adding suspense to every turn, just as the Rage Cage—a maze peppered with scary surprises—challenges those brave enough to navigate its twisting halls without any compass to point them back toward their home’s refrigerator magnets.