Monday, May 4, 2009

The Ghost of Big Cedar - Branson, Missouri

One of the South's more unique ghost stories surrounds historic the historic Big Cedar resort on the outskirts of Branson, Missouri.

The resort got its start as the private wilderness getaway of two wealthy families during the years before the Great Depression. Harry Worman, a railroad executive, and Jude Simmons, an entrepreneur, purchased the Big Cedar Hollow and its mysterious Devil's Pool spring, a tributary of the White River, as a private resort deep in what was then the wilderness of the Ozarks.

Several of the structures built by Worman and Simmons can still be seen at Big Cedar, now a resort owned by Bass Pro Shops and located in Ridgedale, a community about ten minutes south of Branson, Missouri. The resort has done an outstanding job of preserving and using the structures, incorporating them into the landscape.

Harry Worman was married to a young woman named Dorothy. Census records show that she was half his age and tradition holds that she was unhappy at Big Cedar. She supposedly ran away to Mexico with one of the staff members hired by Worman to maintain the wilderness estate and died there far from her Missouri home.

But if the stories of staff members of the resort are to believe, Dorothy came back home after all. There have been numerous reports of her restless spirit, dressed in a long white gown, being seen roaming the grounds. In fact, it is probably Branson's best known haunting.

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