The Legend of Spider Tower
Rising from the depths of Dead Man’s canyon, soaring spires of weathered sandstone stand as silent sentries to the rugged footpaths along the canyon precipice; worn deep by the soft-soled shoes of thousands of prehistoric North American aborigines, and the windsongs of legends they left behind.
Unknown to even their closest neighbors; the Navajo villagers below, the cliff-dwelling Moqui Tribes kept entirely to themselves with the exception of extremely rare occasions as when a hunter was literally chased up the portentous spire by hostiles and (magically?) assisted in his climb by the silky thread of a spider’s web (thus, the name) and another instance as noted by Dr. Oscar Loew, on one remarkable expedition conducted in 1874. I kind of like the Moqui style, how about you?
You won’t find any pattern to locales or multitudes of our legends, ghost towns, spooks and spoofs, but given our diverse mixture of landscapes, customs and cultures, Arizona is certainly full of them! And I’m happy to share, so we’ll meander toward the sunset for another ‘shorty’.
Lepsy of Dudleyville
Ask anyone who’s ever hiked or had car trouble in the vicinity and you’ll undoubtedly hear that there are places along Highway 77 so rich in history you can almost smell it. As in the auras at Rattlesnake Canyon, where the stench of pure evil remains and clearly discernable agonized cries are reportedly heard echoing off the ominously charred canyon walls. It seems an unscrupulous rancher by the name of Lepsy hired migrants for work but instead of paying them when the work was done he burned them all to death. When the only two lawmen available (in those days) confronted the rancher, they too, were killed. What do you think; fact or fiction? I have to admit I felt a little uneasy in the area, though I had not yet heard this tragic story.
You know what this reminds me of? Pitch Black, the movie, and the towers that the creatures come out of.ReplyDelete
The title sure sounds familiar, but I'll have to look it up to be sure :-) No telling where inspiration will lead, huh? Did you notice my WIP key? Thanks so much for stopping by!Delete
These legends probably build up by word of mouth and we'll probably not know the truth of the matter. Maybe a wild fire was to blame but Lepsy had a bad reputation and became a scapegoat. Who knows? These landscapes are very dramatic, for sure.ReplyDelete
Ha! I like your explanation so much better! It's one thing to have a 'nameless' feeling about a place and quite another to be too horrified to go there. And we certainly do have more than our share of wild fires; there are three burning nearby just now.Delete
Yikes! And Lepsy sounds like such a cute name (well, it sounds like it might be a nickname for a "leper", but that's besides the point). Creepy, that's for sure! But stuff like that makes AWESOME novels.ReplyDelete
Ha! That's exactly what I thought as the storyteller first began the tale after I'd asked if he was grillin' chilis out behind his mini-market. "Oh, not me," he said "It's from a barbeque Old Lepsy had..."Delete
You're so right about the inspiration gleaned from these places. I have a WIP involving the area - from before I learned of 'Old Lepsy' :-)
So many tales and mysteries in this country and so many other places as well. Interesting to hear the stories. Maybe knowing the truth would spoil the stories--or maybe make for even more interesting stories.ReplyDelete
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Exactly! Only thing I would add is how rich in history many of these places are. Love that kind if stuff! :-)Delete