Little Rock has its own share of haunted houses and places.  There is even a  guided tour you can take to see the better known locations.

But if you want to check out some of the places on your own here is our top list, some of which are on the tour, and some that are not. 


The Empress of Little Rock (2120 Louisiana Street) - Built in 1888 at a cost of $20,000.00 (average home cost at the time was $2,000.00) by James Hornibrook, a colorful saloon owner who moved to Little Rock from Toronto after the Civil War.  The home was designed by Max Orlopp and Casper Kusener to be an example of Victorian architecture in the Gothic Queen Anne style. The 7,200 square-foot home took seven years to be completed.

A business rival had built a beautiful home, the Villa Marré, and not to be outdone, Hornibrook set out to build the most extravagant home in the state, The Hornibrook Mansion.

As a saloon keeper, Hornibrook was considered to be socially inferior by the Little Rock genteel society. Maybe it had something to do with the card games and gambling that took place in the home in room in the three story turret. Legend has that the gamblers kept an eye out for the police by look through the windows at the top of the turret as they played into the early morning.

Just two years after moving into the home with his family, Hornibrook dropped dead from an "apoplectic stroke" at the front gate (which is still there to this day) of his home after returning from hosting a "gentleman's" evening at his saloon.

Hornibrook's wife lived in the home until her death in 1893. The home has housed different people and organizations, including the Arkansas Women's College starting in 1897; a rooming house for women in the 1940's; and a nursing home in the 1970's.  It then reverted back to a private residence with separate apartments until the early 1990's.

In 1993 the home underwent extensive preservation and restoration and opened as a bed and breakfast - the Empress of Little Rock.

It was during the conversion to a bed and breakfast that strange happenings began to occur.  When the kitchen was undergoing renovation, workers saw a man dressed in 19th century type clothing walking down the stairs and though the house. A painter saw an apparition of a dapper gentlemen in a homburg hat that suddenly appeared in front of him at a door that mysteriously shut. The painter left the home vowing never to return.


There are reports of sudden cold, bone-chilling air surrounding people in the home and laughter, chatter and sounds of clinking glass coming from the room where Hornibrook held his poker games.  Playing card have mysteriously appeared scattered across the floor of the room as well.

A frequent out-of-state guest at the b&b has experienced a floating black mass between herself and her bedroom light each time she has stayed at the Empress of Little Rock. Other guests have been frightened off by spooky noises and knocking sounds in their room. Still others report hearing furniture being dragged across the floor of the upstairs rooms; hearing footsteps and having doors open by themselves; the gas fireplace in what was Hornibrooks's bedroom coming on by itself; and a ghostly apparition that appears on the stairs who nods and smiles at them.

Hornibrook and his wife are buried at Mount Holly Cemetery which is the next stop on our list.



Mount Holly Cemetery (1200 South Broadway) - Founded in 1843, Mount Holly has been called "The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas."  It is the final resting place of territorial citizens of the state and includes governors, senators, generals, black artisans, a Cherokee princess and a teenager that was executed for being a Confederate spy.

There have been reports of full body apparitions in period dress and strange lights and sounds. Some visitors have reported hearing a haunting flute playing mysterious melodies and observed the statues move while standing in front of them. The statues have been reported by nearby residents to magically move from the cemetery to their lawns then back to the cemetery again.

In 1884, the remains of 640 Confederate soldiers were removed from Mount Holly and re-interred at the Little Rock National Cemetery. This may have disturbed the peaceful rest of the Rebs in the hereafter and some say that their spiritual forms venture back and forth between the cemeteries and are the source of the lights and sounds.




The Capitol Hotel (111 W. Markham Street) - The Capitol Hotel opened in the early 1870's and was one of the first buildings in Little Rock to have electricity.  It was not originally operated as a hotel, it was designed to house shops, business offices, and apartments for gentleman.  It was known at the time as the Denckla Block, named after the developer, William P. Denckla.

In 1876 the building was converted into a hotel and renamed The Capitol Hotel which opened for business in 1877. 

The hotel changed ownership throughout the years and was renovated several times. The hotel fell into disrepair in the 1970's and was refurbished in the 1980's allowing it to regain some of it's stature. In 2005, additional renovations commenced, and continued until the doors reopened in 2007.

There had been tales of a worker dying from a fall during the original construction back in the 1870's and he was said to haunt the hotel, but folks paid little attention to them.

Shortly after reopening in 2007, stories started circulating about spooky occurrences happening in the hotel. Visitors claimed that one of the rooms on the fourth floor was haunted by a young woman who was murdered or committed suicide in the room. The ghostly presence has been reported to turn lights on and off, move belongings and luggage, and to emit ghastly moans all through the night.

The hotel tries to downplay the haunting and on its website states that it issues "Monster Spray" to get rid of the ghost.



Curran Hall (615 E. Capitol Avenue) - Curran Hall was built in 1842 by Col. Ebenezer Walters for his new bride Mary, who tragically died in childbirth before moving into the home, is a fine example of the antebellum Greek Revival style.  It is one of the oldest residential structures in Little Rock.  The death of his wife  caused Col. Walters to experience extremely melancholy and he soon sold the home and moved from the state never to return. Some say that he left his newly built home due to seeing the ghost of his recently deceased wife. 

The home changed hands several times, mostly between lawyers and judges and it was sold to the city of Little Rock in 1996.  It became the home of the Little Rock Visitor Center and the Quapaw Quarter Association in 2002.

Hauntings have been reported at the home sine the death of Mrs. Walters in 1843. Several residents of home have experienced the presence of Mrs. Walters.  One resident went so far as to paint an entire room black in an attempt to communicate with the spirit.  Visitor Center staff have experienced many strange happenings - pictures mysteriously moving from the walls  and an apparently possessed coffee maker that brews coffee when it is turned off and has no water or coffee in it.  Fragrant odors, ghostly noises, unexplained cold spots and spooky shadow figures are regular events at Curran Hall.

A local paranormal investigation group was able to capture a disembodied voice using some of their ghost hunting gear. They believe it was the voice of Mrs. Walters' saying "Mary that's who I am". Another group was able to capture on video strange sparkling lights passing through a glass cabinet that contains items that were the possessions of Mrs. Walters.



The Tower Building (503 E 9th Street) - The historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal, was the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur.  The building was constructed in 1836 as part of a 30 building military installation located on the outskirts of Little Rock (on a site that had been a racetrack). During the Civil War, the building was used to house troops and wounded and sick military personnel.

The Little Rock Arsenal was abandoned by the military in 1890 and in 1892 the government gave more than 1,000 acres to the city of Little Rock. The grounds of the arsenal were converted into a public park.  All buildings other than the Tower Building were sold or destroyed.

The Tower Building remained empty and deteriorating until the late 1930's when the city of Little Rock renovated the building.  In 1942, the Museum of Natural History and Antiquities opened in the building.  The museum had many name changes until 1997 when it became the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. 

There have been reports of paranormal activity at the site dating back to the founding of Little Rock. People have claimed to hear disembodied voices, strange noises, laughter, music, and see shadow-like figures. 

Staff members of the museum have also made reports of weird happenings. One female employee says that on two occasions, she was working later than usual and could hear party music, voices and laughter (her office is in the basement). Assuming it was coming from outside in the park, she went up the stairs and out a door onto the pack porch. There was nothing. She returned and found nothing on the ground floor or second floor. When she returned to the basement, she could hear the music, laughs and voices again. She has experienced this twice and has pinpointed the sound coming from the ground floor room on the easy side of the building (the largest room). She has only heard this from the basement. It is loudest when she is beneath the east room.

Another incident involves a worker that was closing down for the night. The second floor of the tower has been converted to a small theater. On this particular evening, the lady closing down saw a body lying on a row of seats in the theater. Thinking it was a vagrant, she quickly ran downstairs to enlist the help of another worker in case there were problems. Both workers saw the body again, but this time it had turned around (the second worker claimed it had a greenish tint to it while the first worker claims it was dark in the theater and appeared to be a darkly dressed man sleeping). Both proceeded to the figure but it disappeared when the second worker attempted to touch it.

There is a legend that two men had a duel in the basement and staff claim to see shadowy figures moving around at this location. They also report shadowy figures moving past them on the stairs.

In 2005 a paranormal investigation group made visit to the building. Investigators came in contact with 3 spirit entities. An investigator and a psychic met a friendly female presence, Katharine, who indicated that she was the one who played the piano, making the piano music heard earlier on the second floor in the East Room. Another investigator met a male presence near the jeep display.

There have also been reports of mysterious shadow figures seen roaming the grounds.



VINO'S BREWPUB (923 W. 7th Street) - Vino's is known for its pizza, hand crafted brew and live music.  What most people aren't aware of is that it is also a spot for some paranormal activity.  
Employees have reported that after closing, they place chairs on tables.  Often if they step out of the room or out of the building, when they come back in they are surprised to find that the chairs have been taken off the tables and placed back on the floor. There are also reports of strange sounds coming from various parts of the building and cold spots that spontaneously appear. 



The Hanger House (1010 Scott Street) - Built in the 1870's , the home was purchased in 1889 and remodeled by Frederick and Frances Hanger. Hanger was the grandson of the first "family" that settled in Little Rock. The home is a fine example of American Queen Anne architecture and has a Japanese "Moongate" arch over the front porch.

Frederick and Frances Hanger moved in their newly remodeled home on Christmas Eve 1889 with their two young sons.  Frances Hanger soon earned her reputation as one of Little Rock’s most gracious hostesses.  The Hanger’s entertained often and elaborately, paying attention to every detail.  They were known for the Mardi Gras Ball that they hosted each year.  Gentlemen waltzed their ladies in the elaborate parlors to a live orchestra. And should the guests become a bit warm while dancing or needed an escape from the chaperone, they could waltz through the “Jeffersonian” window onto the porch for a breath of fresh air.

It was noted that Frances Hanger enjoyed dancing so much that often she would dance until dawn.  On many a carriage ride home she would unfasten her laces, buttons and hooks and hold her ball gown together until she could reach her bedroom, where the tiny five foot tall lady would wiggle just enough for her garments to puddle at her feet.  She would then fall into bed already half asleep.

Tragically, Frederick died in 1900 in an accident at one of his business.  Frances continued to live in the home until her death in 1945.  The home stayed in the family until 1967 when it was purchased by the Little Rock Housing Authority.  In 1971 the home began a 26 year restoration period and it is said that if the Hangers where to walk into the home today they would easily recognize it as they did in 1889. The Frederick Hanger Home was entered into the National Historic Register in 1974.

Apparently, Frances' spirit is still around, hanging out in her old dressing room, and even partying with the home’s recent residents.

In October 2013 an interview with the current home's owner was published in a local weekly magazine:


Even when Kay Tatum is home by herself in her MacArthur Park District home, she never feels truly alone. She knows, somewhere, Mrs. Hanger is around.

Tatum’s home on Scott Street was renovated by Frederick and Frances Hanger in 1889, and Frances lived in the home until her death in 1945. Though Tatum says she didn’t know much about the home’s history when her family moved in 13 years ago, she quickly realized that Frances Hanger had never moved out.

“Mrs. Hanger made her presence known the first night we were there,” Tatum says.

Sitting with her husband and daughter at the kitchen table for dinner, a movement in the doorway caught Tatum’s eye.

“She was in the doorway, but when I looked at her she turned and faded away,” Tatum says.

Her daughter and husband saw Tatum’s shocked reaction, but couldn’t believe what she’d seen. That is, until her husband spotted Mrs. Hanger floating down the hallway at night.

“She wanders around at night sometimes when all the lights are off and you’ll see her as a white mist,” Tatum says.

To confirm her suspicions, Tatum invited area ghost hunter Rhonda Burton over to do an investigation, which turned up several ghostly voices on an audio recording.

“Mrs. Hanger corresponds really well with me via the dowsing rod, answering questions,” Tatum says. “It’s a good relationship, for a ghost I guess.”

When visitors come over to the house for a party or to stay the night, Tatum says she doesn’t immediately tell them about the spirit. But they find out.

“If we have a party, someone will come to me and say, ‘Is Mrs. Hanger here?’” Tatum says. “She wouldn’t miss a party. When my mother was here … Mrs. Hanger came to her bedside and she saw her in detail.”

But for all the sightings, Tatum doesn’t think of her home on Scott as a haunted house. Not in the creaky floor, bats flying, late-night screams way, at least.

“It’s not a scary presence,” Tatum says. “When you’re talking about a 124-year-old house, I’d be a little disappointed if there wasn’t something going on. I like Mrs. Hanger being here. To me, it’s like a security thing. I feel like she’s watching over the place.”


Holtzman-Vinsonhaler house (500 E. Ninth St.) — Vinsonhaler was a professor in the  1900's  at what is now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  

Tenants have reported seeing a man wearing old-fashioned clothing, often holding a book in various parts of the house.  It’s assumed the spectre is Vinsonhaler.