Growing up, I’m sure you heard stories about people who picked up hitchhikers …usually something strange happened …or worse.
Or the stories of people encountering strange and bizarre figures along the road, almost always somewhere remote and during the darkest hours of the night.
In the Mojave, it’s often called “The Road Ghost Phenomenon” and countless people have sworn it happened to them – or someone they knew – or heard about.
But does it have a historical counterpart? Let Author M.L. Behrman tell you a tale that might go back hundreds of years…
It’s a common enough bit of haunted lore heard across the country, but in the Mojave Desert, it has a slightly different flavor…
People have always loved ghost stories, and like many urban legends (which does not mean to imply this is not a true scary story) this one gets better and better – whether one goes back in time to when the horse and buggy was the favorite mode of transport, right up to modern times when truckers and others have reported encountering this fascinating Mojave desert mystery.
How about you, ever seen a ghost? Would you WANT to?
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!