Ancient Indian burial grounds, lights and figures that appear where no trails exist and strange screams echoing in the night. These are just a few of the spooky incidents that have been reported by numerous visitors of the Grand Canyon. This majestic national treasure is not only rich in natural beauty, but rich in ghost stories dating back to the early 1900’s. Here are the most documented ghosts that have been seen and heard for many years at the Grand Canyon…
The Wandering Woman
When the sun has set and the trails of the canyon begin to appear dim, it is said The Wandering Woman will appear walking along the rim. Numerous visitors report seeing her weeping uncontrollably as her spirit wanders along the rim or down the North Kaibab trail searching for her family that was lost to her many years ago. According to legend, she committed suicide in the lodge that was located along the North rim in the 1920′s after learning that her husband and son were killed in a hiking accident. The lodge burned to the ground in 1926 but has since been rebuilt. She has been seen by many employees on the North Kaibab Trail wearing a white robe with small flowers on it. She always has a scarf over her head. One startled forest ranger even looked up one day to see her standing in the doorway to his quarters!
Another young ranger tells the story of hearing weeping outside his cabin one night and thought it was another ranger that received disturbing news that day. The next night he heard the same uncontrollable weeping. Upon opening his door, he saw no one in sight. The next night the same weeping made him walk outside and walk to the trailhead. What he saw sent chills up his spine. A white shimmer of light which he said looked like a cloak shrouding a woman was going down the trail. He watched and listened until it went out of sight. He shared his story with another Ranger the next day and was told he had seen the “Wandering Woman.”
The Missing Newlyweds
In 1928 Glen and Bessie Hyde vanished on a honeymoon voyage through the Grand Canyon, but what exactly happened to them is still a mystery. They say Bessie wanted to be the first woman to boat through the Grand Canyon. She almost made it. When the Hydes’ scow was found floating upright and fully stocked in the winter of 1928, Glen and Bessie were nowhere around. In those days, the Grand Canyon was a hero-making run. There were no commercial river trips. The rapids were the domain of seasoned explorers and professional expeditions–not honeymooners in a homemade boat. Launching on Oct. 20, 1928, the Hydes made a successful run through many major rapids of the Green and Colorado rivers. A month into the trip, they spent a few days restocking at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. During the that time, they talked with a reporter from the Denver Post–thinking their final destination, Needles, Calif., was just a few weeks away. Before departing civilization again, Bessie admired a girl’s shoes and announced wistfully: “I wonder if I’ll ever wear pretty shoes again.”
A massive search made national headlines but never turned up a trace of the pair. Did they abandon the scow and attempt the brutal hike out to the rim? Did they quarrel, as some observers claimed, and kill one another? As the story unfolds, the boatmen whip up the mystery with sensational revelations–for one, that an old woman claiming to be Bessie reappeared on the river years later…
The Ghosts of the Grand Canyon Caverns
The Grand Canyon Caverns were officially discovered in 1927 by Walter Peck, but may have been discovered by mistake a decade earlier by a group of Hualapai tribal members. Two bodies were found in the cave when Peck found it, they were buried in what was thought to be a hole in the ground, but was actually the entrance to the caverns. Years later, in the 1970’s, the then-general manager Gary Ringsby was said to have hung himself in what is known as the “bunk house.”
Both the brothers, Ringsby, and Peck himself are rumored to haunt the caverns today, and have been the targets of many paranormal investigators over the years. The most popular sighting is seeing a man, believed to be ghost of Walter Peck at the top and bottom of the elevator shaft, opening the doors at different times. It has also been reported that the whispering sounds of the Indians can often be heard in the caverns and at night in the darkness.
You too will want to keep watch as the moon gets full toward Halloween night if you are walking the rim or on a trail in the Canyon for these Canyon spirits, they love to visit the unsuspecting. Are you ready for your next visit to the Grand Canyon?