The Ghost of Big Cedar
The Worman House is said to
be haunted by the restless
ghost of Dorothy Worman.
Big Cedar Hollow
The ghost has reportedly
been seen in various spots
on the Big Cedar grounds.
The Ghost of Big Cedar Resort - Branson, Missouri - The Ghost of Big Cedar, Missouri - The Ghost of Big Cedar, Missouri
Worman House at Big Cedar Rsort
Now a restaurant, the Worman House was once the
home of Dorothy Worman, the woman some
believe is the "ghost of Big Cedar."
Branson's Best Known Ghost
One of Branson, Missouri's best known
ghost stories revolves around the spectral
image of a young woman seen on the
grounds of
Big Cedar Resort.

Located on Table Rock Lake in Ridgedale, a
community about ten minutes south of
Branson, Big Cedar was once the private
playground of the Worman and Simmons
families. This was in the days before the
Great Depression, when the Big Cedar
Hollow was a remote corner of the Ozarks.

The White River had not yet been dammed to
create Table Rock Lake and the hollow was
best known for Devil's Pool. A deep spring-
fed pool that the Indians who once lived in
the area had told early settlers was a
"bottomless pit." Legend also holds that the
pool was thought to be haunted by the spirits
of early Native Americans.

During the 1920s, however the hollow was
purchased by Harry Worman and Julian
"Jude" Simmons, two successful
businessmen attracted by the wild scenic
beauty of the spot.  Worman, a railroad
executive, and Simmons, an entrepreneur,
were neighbors in Springfield and they
decided to build adjacent vacation homes on
the land at Big Cedar. They spent much time
there in the years before the Depression,
often entertaining friends in the beauty of the

Worman's young wife Dorothy, roughly half
his age, supposedly created quite a bit of talk
in the area. One story holds that she showed
up at the post office in Ridgedale wearing her
swimsuit, an unheard of thing in those days.
A more serious story claims that she had an
affair with a member of the staff and ran away
with him to Mexico. She soon died there
under odd circumstances and was brought
back home to Missouri for burial.

The homes built by Worman and Simmons
still stand and have been beautifully restored
at Big Cedar Resort. Both now function as

The actual truth about Dorothy's death is
difficult to unravel. What is known, however,
is that more than a few employees and
guests of Big Cedar Resort believe she has
returned. There are numerous accounts of a
mysterious young woman roaming the
grounds late at night.

She is usually described as a young woman
with brown hair, invariably seen wearing a
long white dress. Some say she is sad,
others that she is playful and a bit of a
prankster. Others claim to have heard her but
not seen her. Perhaps the most interesting
claims, however, are that she sometimes
shows up in photographs taken by guests of
the resort, usually as a reflection in the back-
A Permanent Guest
The ghost has been a fixture
at Big Cedar since the resort
opened two decades ago.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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