Graveyard Shift

Carolann Smith, The "She-Svengali" Of Tulsa's "Hex House" Who Kept Two Women As Virtual Slaves

One rarely thinks of Tornado Alley when considering haunted houses, but one of the most creepy places in Tulsa, Oklahoma played host to a series of bizarre happenings in the early 20th century. At Carolann Smith's Hex House in the midst of WWII, stories emerged of women kept as slaves, multiple suicides, and magic spells. Carolann Smith herself emerged as a puzzling figure in American history; though little is known about her, or what happened after her exposure, the crimes she committed in the mid '40s were strange enough to warrant her addition to the annals of history. Guilty of numerous crimes, Smith's most heinous act involved keeping human captives in her basement as slaves, similar to how Madame LaLaurie kept her own slaves in her attic. Smith’s captives, both women in their early 30's, maintained that Smith controlled them via magic spells for seven years.

When authorities finally searched Smith's home while investigating one of her crimes, they uncovered the rest of her transgressions and unsettling habits. Each of these crimes and quirks sounds stranger than the last, but unfortunately they never gave a clear picture of who exactly Smith was or how she managed to get away with what she did.