The 5 Weirdest Events In US National Parks

Apr 24, 2019

The 5 Weirdest Events In US National Parks

By “weird” I don’t mean the kid next to you in 10th grade who picked his nose during class.  I mean “weird” in its dictionary definition of magical, mystical, surreal, or other-worldly.  The US national parks are vast and incredible, so why wouldn’t they have their share of mysterious events?  Think of it. Our national parks marry wilderness to millions of people. That’s a recipe for the strange and surreal.  These stunning sections of wilderness stretch over 84 million acres of majestic mountains, colorful deserts, and eerie woods.  It’s no surprise that legend, mystery, and possibly myth have found their way into journals and campfire stories. Hikers have vanished, strange creatures seen, and camping parties disappeared without a trace.  Below, I will explain five of the “weirdest” events “on record” in the US national parks.

The Gettysburg Ghost of US National Parks

The Civil War was a horrible, bloody war on American soil in the 1860s, and volumes of pages contain its tragic history.  At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, over three days of brutal combat claimed the lives of 50,000 men, whose blood turned the creeks red.  Civil War re-enactors gather at Gettysburg every year, and some swear to have seen the ghosts of Civil War soldiers, wayfaring about the grounds.  Ray Hock was one such witness. He was approached by a haggard figure who handed him some ammunition cartridges, then suddenly vanished. Hock had the cartridges examined, and they were, in fact, genuine Civil War issue from 1863.  (I wonder what they’d be worth at auction today.)

Devil’s Den State Park

One of the weirdest incidents in US national parks occurred in 1946, when Katherine Van Alst, an eight-year-old girl, disappeared from her family’s camp at Devil’s Den for six days.  The search party struck weird pay dirt when Katherine was found in a cave 30 miles away and 600 feet higher than the camp. She calmly walked out of the cave and said, “Here I am.”

Come To Zion

A religious hymn allegedly inspired an event—certainly deserving of inclusion in this article—at Zion National Park in 1972.  (Zion is among the most visited of the US national parks.)  This weird occurrence even has a name:  the legend of Angel Margaret. While hiking one of Zion’s pristine trails, a family found themselves in horrible crisis when young Becky slipped over the edge and fell thirty feet where a tree branch caught hold of her overalls and dangled her over the deadly fall, below.  The parents and sibling could only watch and pray. But, big brother started singing “Come to Zion, come to Zion; Zion’s walls shall sing with praise.” In an incredulous moment, an angelic woman appeared at the tree, retrieved Becky and safely escorted her up the steep cliff to her family’s loving arms.  The woman introduced herself as Margaret and departed as mysteriously as she had appeared. To this family and the second-hand hearers of the story, this US national park will never be the same.

The Cult Of Santa Fe

Park rangers of the Santa Fe National Forest are at a loss to explain how several large cones of timbers have appeared mysteriously in the forest.  The wooden structures are about 20 feet high, 12 feet in diameter, and are made of fallen trees and limbs. More organized than bonfires, the rangers think they must have been built by a cult for special rituals and ceremonies.

Hopi Indians Of the Grand Canyon

One of the most famous US national parks is the Grand Canyon, which has lots of mysteries and folklore.  The Hopi Indians have inhabited the canyon for 2,000 years. Their traditions include the god Maasaw, the keeper of death.  Maasaw is not to be trifled with, and some visitors can attest to that. In places where lights should not be moving toward you, they sometimes do, if you get too close to Maasaw’s throne.  Hikers have been chased off by strange lights and clanging rocks, causing many accidents in that part of the canyon.

The 5 Weirdest Events In US National Parks

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