has arrived once again along with spooky stories, unexplained mysteries
and other desert lore. It is no wonder that so many ghosts haunt the
lonely trails, mountains, and landmarks of the forbidding desert. The
desert can be so unforgiving and, at the same time, unbelievably
generous. Many travelers, prospectors and adventures have gone into the
desert, never to return or be seen again. Others have returned with
gold nuggets and treasures so rare and unique that we could only dream
of being so lucky ourselves.
has pulled together some haunted stories from our past issues to share
with you this month. So sit back, hold on to your chair and take a
virtual tour of the "Haunted Desert."
We will start our tour with the famous ghosts and haunts of The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Desert State Park and the Borrego Springs area of California are
notorious for the many legends, ghost stories and unexplained phenomena
occurring there over the years. The region of the Sonoran Desert is
home to the Vallecito Stage Station, Yaqui Well, in addition to the
mysterious "Ghost Lights" of Oriflamme Mountain.
The Lady In White- The Lady In White haunts the Vallecito Station in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. She died there.
The Phantom Stage of Carrizo –
It is said that a phantom Stage forges it way through the Carrizo Wash
and passes through the original location of the Carrizo Stage Station
located in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
The White Horse Ghost of Vallecito
– The tale of a white horse ghost who continues to haunt the Vallecito
Station looking for his master who was murdered in a gun fight and shot
dead from his back.
The Ghost Lights of Borrego
– Mysterious and unexplained lights that have been seen since 1858 on
Oriflamme Mountain in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Similar reports
have been reported over the years. The accounts are always slightly
different, but the general description of the sightings is the same.
The Eight-Foot Skeleton
– If you find yourself between the Superstition Mountains and Seventeen
Palms you may encounter a skeleton ghost wandering the desert carrying
a lantern. Many accounts have been told over the years of similar
sightings in the same area.
Ghost Dancers at Yaqui Well –
During the warm summer nights when a full moon rises in the desert sky
ghost dancers have been seen at Yaqui Well in Anza Borrego Desert State
Park. The Ghost are emigrants who were traveling from Yuma, AZ to
California. They died at the well site.
a trip to southeastern Arizona, you just might want to bring your
infrared film, an open mind, and plan to spend a night or two in
Tombstone, AZ is home to many ghosts and haunted places. The famous Birdcage Theater
has had hundreds of visitors recount hearing people singing and talking
in the box seats above the stage. There are dozens of testimonies by
both tourists and employees of the theatre seeing people wearing
clothing from the 1800’s and numerous sightings of a man wearing a
visor walking across the stage.
A number of other buildings in Tombstone are also haunted. There have been sightings of ghosts in the Boot
Hill Cemetery, The Aztec House Antique Shop, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon,
Nellie Cashman’s Restaurant, The Wells Fargo Bank Building, and
Shieffelin Hall to name a few.
Other Haunts in the Desert Southwest
the Dragoons and the town of Wilcox, Arizona, a phantom train makes its
trek across the plains. This phantom locomotive has been both seen and
heard by scores of people throughout the years. Trouble is, there never
was a train that ran these parts, and there is no track. It is known as
the Phantom Train of Dragoon.
Located in the copper mining
town of Bisbee, the Clawson House Inn claims four ghosts. Mrs. Clawson
is said to haunt the grounds, as well as three miners who were murdered
at the small inn in the 1890s. Besides the Clawson ghosts, the Oliver
House Bed and Breakfast
is the residence of five spirits. Originally a mine office, this
building became a boarding house and a colorful history evolved.
Reportedly, most of the ghostly activity takes place in the area
surrounding Room 13.
is a good reason that Jerome is known as a Ghost Town. A number of
buildings in the town are haunted, so if you are up for a day of ghost
hunting, this would be a good place to look. The United Verde Hospital
on Cleopatra Hill is loaded with apparitions and unexplainable noises.
Moans and other frightening sounds reverberate through the hallways,
and ghostly figures float through the corridors.
Dodge Mine near Jerome State Historical Park is home to Headless
Charlie, the ghost of a miner who apparently "lost his head." The
Community Center has so many ghosts that it is locally known as Spook
Hall. The Old Company Clinic houses ghosts of former patients, doctors
and nurses. And often, just around dusk, a phantom spirit is seen standing in doorways of the Old Episcopal Church.
1928, 22-year-old Leone Jensen, distraught over a broken love affair,
jumped to her death from the roof of the then new San Carlos Hotel on
North Central Avenue. Her white, floating form still roams the grounds.
There are also reports of children running through hallways, and the
sounds of laughing children coming from within the rooms. This might be
explained by the fact that the hotel was built on the site of the first
elementary school in the city.
The famous Lost Dutchman Mine
has countless stories and legends of not only prospectors searching for
gold, but of early Spanish explorers, Mexicans in their quest for
treasures, and of the Thunder God the Apaches say lives in a cave of
gold. More than 75 people have lost their lives searching for the Lost
Dutchman Mine through the years, some of them tragically and involving
murder. Ghosts abound in the Superstitions. The Lost Dutchman Mine
State Park is located outside of Phoenix, five miles east of Apache
Junction on Highway 88. Lost Dutchman Mine – Superstition Mountains
ghost of Tom Kelly has been seen in the Bottle House of the once
prosperous mining-town-turned-ghost-town Rhyolite, Nevada. Several
other spooks make their presence known here at times, especially around
the empty vault at the old ruins of the Cook Bank Building. Rhyolite is
approximately 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas off U.S. Highway 95 on Highway 374.
Santa Fe is another city loaded with ghostly lore, almost too numerous to list. Hauntings are reported at the La Posada Hotel
on East Palace Avenue, the Night Sky Gallery on Canyon Road, the Laguna
Pueblo Mission, the Grant Corner Inn (especially Rooms 4 and 8), the
Church of San Miguel, La Fonda Hotel, the Three Sisters Boutique and
the Legal Tender Restaurant and Saloon located in the central part of
town. A phantom headless horseman is reported to roam Alto Street,
riding down to the Santa Fe River.
U.S. Highway 666, also known as the Highway to Hell, a ghost car has
appeared during full moons and reportedly run other cars off the road.
Another apparition of a mad trucker roams the highway, and the phantom
of a girl in a nightgown vanishes from sight when motorists stop to
help her. Extra caution should be taken when traveling on this spooky
ghost of old Joe Simpson, hanged by a lynch mob for murdering the town
banker, wanders what is left of the town Skidoo. The only items marking
this gold mining town now are a cemetery, a mill, the abandoned
mines…. and Joe. Skidoo is located off California Highway 190 south
of Stovepipe Wells.
being a lively area for UFO sightings, ghostly apparitions have been
reported wandering the the sacred Wind Cave near Barker Tank in the
a different ghostly tale, there is a phantom of a very large
7-foot-high deer that has been spotted time and again by hunters in the
Kelso Valley area. This giant stag makes no sound and leaves no
miles east of Marfa, Texas out on the Chihuahuan Desert at the base of
the Chinati, Mountains, people gather to watch small, ethereal, lights
floating through the night air with no apparent source or explanation.
Ghost Lights of Marfa, as they are now called, were first reported more
than a century ago when Robert Ellison, one of the area’s first
settlers, witnessed these mysterious glowing orbs in 1883. But they
apparently existed before that, for the local Apache are said to have
believed the eerie lights were stars dropping to earth.
Follow source URL for links: http://www.desertusa.com/mag07/oct07/haunted07.html