We all know stories the authorities want us to know about Northwest Arkansas but what about the stories they don’t talk about… Did you ever hear the legend about the ghost of the Frisco Station Strangler? If not, I bet you also don’t know the legend of why they leave the obelisk on the Southwest corner of 1st and Elm in Downtown Rogers. If you ask some of the locals they say the reason it’s there is to mark the spot where the Frisco Station Strangler took his last breath.
Legend has it that in 1883 Rogers would play host to strangers passing through on the railway. Most of them were expected guest and rail staff looking to stretch their legs but some were undocumented hitchhikers train hopping as they run down the tracks. The legend goes that late in the fall of 1883 a strange man was reported to be in the area and was making aggressive passes at the women in town. Over several days women reported being grabbed by a man, taken into the back allies and choked by the man. Lucky for these women he was interrupted and chased off by pedestrians on every attempt to take their lives.
One of his victims, a women who happen to be the wife of a local blacksmith, was walking through town a few days after her attack when she noticed a strange man wearing a black hat on the corner smoking a cigarette. As she walked through town towards her husband’s shop the man in the black hat stalked her with his creepy eye’s like she was his prey. She finally made it around the corner to her husband’s shop as the Frisco Station Strangler stayed put on the corner potentially looking for his next victim.
Visibly distressed, she told her husband the man who attempted to strangle her was one block over on what is now know as First and Elm. Before she knew it, the blacksmith was storming out of the building with pitchfork in hand on his way to confront the attempted killer. The blacksmith came rushing down the same back alley his wife fell victim to and when he got to the end of the street looked to the east. Back facing the blacksmith, the Frisco Station Strangler was right where his wife said he would be and had no clue he was about meet his maker.
Trying not to alert the man, the blacksmith slowly walked up behind him. He raised the pitchfork over his head with both arms and in a thrusting motion, slammed the spikes into the Frisco Station Strangler’S back, straight through to the front. A few minutes before the strike the blacksmith’s wife decided to run over to make sure her husband was ok. She made it to the corner just in time to witness her husband in the act of vengeance. The Frisco Station Strangler locked eyes with her as she approached and knew his fate was brought on by her word. In a final attempt to reclaim his victim he charged at her. Grabbing her throat with both hands staring into her eyes as the life left his body. He came to rest leaning against the obelisk that currently sits on the corner of 1st and Elm. Allegedly, the towns people left him there for three days before they buried him in a shallow grave where the stage sits today.
Due to the trama, his ghost has been reported to haunt the alleys of downtown Rogers and some people claim to see a strange man with a black hat on and around the stage late at night. Scary as it may seem, you are lucky if you just see him from far away. We have heard stories that when walking down the street in Downtown Rogers near that same obelisk, women have said they are firmly grabbed by a man’s hand gripping their neck while looking deep into their eyes. Each attack lasting only a few seconds, he fades into nothing and the grip slowly lets go. This killer seems to haunts the Downtown area forcing us to live out the last few seconds of his life in horror.
We can’t say if the legend it true or not. Authorities haven’t confirmed or denied this local legend and nobody knows who the Frisco station Strangler, the blacksmith, and his wife were that we know of. Our request to attempt to locate and exhume the body from under the Frisco stage have been ignored and authorities continue to deny the story is authentic. The ghost of the Frisco station Strangler may always be a mystery to us all but one thing remains true. The people that have felt his angry hand on their neck will never walk the streets of Downtown Rogers alone at night again. You can see much of this area from these DRONE PHOTOS of the Downtown area.