In Joshua Tree National Park there is a small cave sealed with an iron door – a cave that has as many fantastic stories associated with it as any good source of urban legends. Some are innocent, but some are pretty exciting – and dark!
Was it a simple storage site for miner’s explosives? A repository for gold (stolen and otherwise) Or is it the Desert Dungeon where a hideously deformed child was kept until his escape?
Join Author M.L. Behrman as he explores the story of “The Desert Dungeon”
Another great bit of high desert strangeness and true creepy story time from Mojave Mysteries!
Numerous bodies have been found in the vast Mojave Desert. Some the victims of bad luck, poor preparation or simple bloody murder.
Crimes of passion? Or something slightly more sinister?
The idea that the desert holds places where cults and Black Masses operate is nothing new. Many people think it started with Charles Manson and his crazed “family” of hippies, but the idea that strange groups were operating out in the hot wilds of the desert is indeed an old one.
Take this article from The Sacramento Union of September 21st, 1914:
DEATH VALLEY CLAIMS FOUR WHO SEEK GOLD ONE DECAPITATED BODY FOUND IN DESERT
Special to the Union. TONOPAH (Nev.), Sept. 20. — That four prospectors, instead of one, have perished in the desert of Death Valley, is the belief of Sheriff Malley of this city and authorities of Inyo county, California. A report was recently brought to Rhyolite by two prospectors that the body of a man, with head and hands missing, supposedly eaten away by coyotes, had been seen near Stovepipe Wells, 35 miles from Rhyolite, in Inyo county. When Sheriff Malley communicated this information to Inyo county authorities he was informed that the dead man was believed to be one of a party of four prospectors, who recently left to prospect on and cross the desert together. Searching parties are being organized from both Tonopah and Inyo counties.
If you’ve read my book, you know that this was part of a series of strange finds that people attributed to a “known dark organization” said to be operating in the desert at the time. Back then it was only hinted at, but others came right out and deemed it the activity of Satanic Cults or Devil Worshipers. The authorities of the era tried to keep a lid on things by blaming such murders and mutilations on natural causes (i.e., coyotes) but the locals were sure something else was at work. Whispered around the campfire or dinner table was the story that followers of the “Dark One” were responsible for such finds and outrages.
Does it continue today? Stay tuned for a new episode of “Mojave Mysteries” where we deal with a recent tale of Satanic rituals and bloodshed!
In 1942, a mysterious man blew himself up with dynamite as three Sheriff deputies knocked at his door. His name? Frank Kritzer. His location? A unique cave home he had fashioned under a gigantic boulder way out in the Mojave Desert, the aptly-named “Giant Rock” near Landers, California. His crime?
Nazi spy? Dynamite thief? Discoverer of a portal to the next world and UFO hot spot?
We don’t know. The strange man took his secrets to the grave, but in this episode of “Mojave Mysteries”, Author M.L. Behrman takes us to the spot and details the crazy story that has led to years of conflicting theories and fascinating conjecture.
Intrinsic to any mystery is the simple fact we don’t have all the facts – often we are left with just enough information to leave us scratching our heads and wondering what possibly could of happened.
Take this wonderful old clipping from the San Francisco Call of July, 31 1903:
“Desert Grave Hides Mystery
IMPERIAL, July 30.— A mystery has developed at the abandoned Carlssa Creek oil well, twenty-five miles west of Imperial, one of the least frequented spots of the Colorado desert. Persons returning from there say they saw a grave three hundred feet from the well – on which a headboard had been placed bearing the words “Horse Thief Killed, May Second.” An old man, whose name is not known and who has been staying at the well some months, was not to be found. The grave was not opened and no investigation has been made.”
So much for an answer! A simple grave and headboard, although with the info that an old man had disappeared. Was he the occupant of the grave? Caught stealing a horse and dispatched without fanfare? Or was he possibly the one who killed the horse thief and now had fled back into the desert to escape the law?
A simple little desert mystery with just enough information to tantalize us. I love it!