Big Bend National Park

April 1, 2016
Golden North Hotel on Chilkoot Trail
April 4, 2016

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend is a National Park in Texas that, quite frankly, is a hiker’s paradise. Located along the U.S./Mexico border, this vast desert provides a multitude of diverse landscape. With river scenery, desert land, mountains and a large variety of wildlife you might not want to leave. The solitude that such a large unoccupied area presents you with is astounding.

[image:MikeMezeulII/flickr] Starlight Highway

Starlight Highway

The nights, however, can be somewhat unnerving if you are a believer of things that go “bump” in the dark. That large uninhabited space doesn’t seem so empty when you hear noises that come from no known animal, or when you see images that are there one moment and gone the next. Not to mention how very dark it gets, with no light sources around. Don’t get caught out after dark if you are unfamiliar with the trail you are taking, you might not make it back.

The Chisos Mountain Range have a noteworthy spine-chill factor. Dubbed the “Ghost Mountains,” this mountain range has earned the title. Starting with its mysterious floating lights that can be seen for miles and always appear in the distance. These greenish-yellow orbs have no known source of origin, but many speculations. Known as the “Marfa Lights,” due to their location, one belief is that they are a product of swamp gas. Another popular theory is alien spacecraft, because what better place is there to conduct secret alien/human business than in a large unoccupied desert. Also, due to the many battles that have taken place in this area, the lights are thought to be that of torches carried by the ghosts of fallen Spaniards or Native Americans.

[image:TonyGeorge/flickr] Chisos Mountain Range

Chisos Mountain Range

The meaning of the name itself, Chisos, adds mystery to the already mysterious. Castillion for “clash of arms,” it’s said that early settlers heard the ghostly sounds of a deadly battle raging in the Chisos when they arrived. A battle that had long since been played out. Chisos could also mean “ghosts” or “bewitchments” and there are good stories that play right along with those, as well. Like the story of the Apache Indian Chief, Alsate. He was gunned down by a Mexican firing squad. They say that when his body hit the ground, the mountains shook and roared with disagreement of this act. His spirit is thought to still be roaming the Chisos and his profile can be found in the landscape.

The Profile of Alsate's Face

The Profile of Alsate’s Face

Many mysterious apparitions can be seen whether it’s daylight or not. Chalk it up to mirage, a trick of the eye or actual spirits themselves. What cannot be denied are the mysterious happenings. In Bruja Canyon it’s claimed that photos of this area can’t be developed. Something doesn’t want their picture taken.

The spirits in this area are diverse and not only human. There is the spirit of an angry steer who also roams the land. The unbranded steer was fought over by two men. One killed the other and he was shot down by rangers. The unbranded steer who caused the debacle was branded with the word, “murder.” He is thought to be roaming around seeking revenge for being so horribly branded.

Big Bend is so full of mysteries and beauty, going for a hike seems like the best thing to do. If you’re really brave you could camp out under the many, many glorious stars that can be seen in the night sky. Creepy noises and apparitions are just a bonus.

Information From
Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America’s National Parks by Andrea Lankford

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