Apache Death Cave is full of scary story atmosphere



John R. Beyer

It’s that time of year that brings communities together. To laugh, share and simply rediscover the joy of being alive.

It’s October – and that can only mean one thing – Halloween.

Ghosts, goblins, witches and cryptids do their best to scare us into an unpleasant place.

This is the month to mutilate the pumpkin and paint the cat black.

One of my favorite seasons.

As Laureen and I were driving west along Route 66 after visiting Winslow, Arizona, we decided to stop at a place so haunted, spooky, and unnaturally creepy that most humans wouldn’t dare go there. walk.

Unlike most humans, we knew this was an experience we had to visit on our own.

Laureen isn’t that fancy on these types of spectral sites, but since I was driving. . .

After pulling south from Route 66 near the ruins of the town of Two Guns, I was busy scanning my handheld GPS for the scariest area near Two Guns.

“I don’t think it works,” I told Laureen. “If I hold it correctly, we are somewhere between Vienna and Salzburg.”

No response from Lauren.

Suddenly I heard her about 50 feet away. “It’s here; I can feel it.”

The reason Laureen doesn’t like traveling to many so-called haunted places is because she “feels” something. A sense of apprehension about what could have happened in the past in such a place.

Me, I’m usually hungry or thirsty.

As in previous articles regarding “haunted places”, I tend to be somewhat skeptical. I don’t think people from beyond expect me to invade their space.

“Hey, you are now in my personal ghost space. So rude of you that I am going to throw this antique rocking chair at your head.

Of course, I must admit that I have heard or seen things that I cannot explain while traveling here and there.

The Path to Apache's Death Cave

I once saw a Boy Scout escorting an older woman across the street in Houston, and I thought that only happened in Hallmark movies.

“What is there that you can smell it?” I asked Laureen, finally abandoning the portable GPS, which took me somewhere east of Moscow.

“The cave is right here,” she replied.

The cave Laureen was mentioning was the famous Apache Death Cave, about 12 miles west of Meteor Crater in Arizona, along Route 66.

The legend is terribly sad.

At the end of the 19th century, the two dominant indigenous tribes residing in the region were the Apache and the Navajo. These two groups didn’t get along well and often fought and killed each other over territory or maybe because they didn’t like each other.

But in 1878, Apaches are rumored to have entered two Navajo camps and killed everyone but three young girls whom they kidnapped.

Other Navajo warriors hearing of this diabolical action, began hunting the Apache for revenge and retrieving the girls.

The Navajos were closing the gap on the fleeing Apaches but suddenly lost sight of them near the edge of Canyon Diablo. This long arroyo winds through the territory.

Dismounting from their horses, the Navajos looked up and down and down and up but could not locate the Apache.

Ladder above Apache's Death Cave

Just then, as the story goes, one of the Navajos thought he heard voices somewhere below him and found a deep cave carved into the Kaibab limestone.

Sure enough, the Apaches had rode into the great cave with their horses and captives, hoping to fool the Navajo tracker.

The trick didn’t work.

Seizing plenty of sagebrush, the Navajo decided to smoke the Apache out of the cave by lighting the bushes on fire.

Moments later, a few Apaches fled from the cave but were immediately killed by the waiting Navajos.

Apache Death Cave Entrance

It only took a few minutes to realize that the Apache had murdered the captives. Therefore, the rest of the Navajo party decided to finish the job and continued to throw large quantities of burning sagebrush into the mouth of the cave.

There was no chance of escape for any Apache trapped within the cave walls. 42 Apache succumbed to smoke and fire.

I wandered over to Laureen standing near a small rocky ledge, and she pointed down. Sure enough, there was a cave whose walls looked like they had been damaged by smoke some time ago.

“The hair stands on end,” she said.

Looking at her perfectly styled hair, I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.

An old wooden ladder type bridge spanned the width of the cave, allowing the visitor to approach the shelter.

“You first,” I said.

“I never,” Laureen replied.

After a few tense moments of rock scrambling and wobbling on the wooden bridge, I found myself at the bottom of the cave.

It was dark inside the cave.

“Do you feel anything?

“Yes,” I replied.

“Wow, what?”

“I think I dislocated my right shoulder.”

The cave was longer than I had imagined. I wandered around a bit, bumping into this wall or wall, one time I nearly knocked the top of my head off a low ceiling, and thought if the ghosts of the murdered Apache n weren’t going to talk to me, it was time to call this adventure off.

Plus, it looked pretty scary in that black hole in the ground alone.

“Do you want to come down and see?


After dusting myself off and making sure my forehead wasn’t bleeding, I noticed that Laureen didn’t look quite herself.

She told me there was something in the immediate area that she could smell. A sense of doom, tragedy, absolute horror.

“They were afraid to die this way.”

An ominous warning perhaps at Apache's death cave.

I don’t question his feelings. I can do it internally but not externally.

But there was something different about this cave – I’m not saying I felt what Laureen did, but it was rather oppressive in the cave. Almost suffocating, but it could be the closeness and wandering in a dark place on your own.

New Reality paranormal investigators Shawn and Cody had previously visited Apache’s Death Cave and recorded their investigation for their hit series.

They smelled and heard things while making their way through this cave.

We spent time with them when they investigated a haunted ranch in Lucerne. We have all heard and experienced things that long haunting night.

These guys are experts in this paranormal field.

But I remain skeptical. I wait for Casper to sit on the couch and make it clear why he’s a ghost and why I have to believe him.

As close as Laureen would venture into Apache's death cave.

In 1881, a bridge was built over Canyon Diablo by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and a small tent city named Canyon Diablo was built for the workers.

But this small tent city has grown into a full-time town, which has made Tombstone a kindergarten for children.

The population exploded to 2,000 overnight, and there was at least one murder on the streets near the dozen saloons, gambling halls and brothels daily.

The first marshal hired to protect the city was shot three hours later. It was a lawless city.

Boot Hill became so full that the undertaker ran out of room for new clients.

According to the Arizona Republic Newspaper, a problem with this story is that this town probably never existed.

In an article written by Scott Craven, the town was created by a fiction writer named Gladwell Richardson, who died in 1980 and wrote nearly 300 Western novels under various pseudonyms.

Once the bridge is complete, the tent city is gone.

Richardson also first wrote about the Apache death cave in his only non-fiction book about the town of Two Guns, Arizona. Before he talks about it in his book, the tragic event had never been published.

It seems that both a town so wild that Doc Holiday would have bypassed it, and a horrific story like Apache’s Death Cave happened, there should be more mention in the books of story.

Wooden ladder above the Apache death cave.

But, as with many historical records, things can be a little exaggerated by those who write these stories.

These stupid writers. Who do they think they’re beautifying here and there?

We walked around studying the layout, checking this and checking that, and Laureen said she could still feel that something tragic had happened here in the past.

Maybe something had happened to the Apaches and Navajos in the 19th century, and maybe not.

A town may have been here that was totally anarchic but maybe not.

This is how myths and legends grow stronger over the decades.

Are they real or does it matter?

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