When I was 16, I signed up for a week long dig at the Homolovi Ruins through EarthWatch. My aunt had sent me the magazine and since Indiana Jones was my hero (or so I thought, turns out it was just a crush), I was going to become an archaeologist too. I did receive my BA in cultural anthropology years later, but it was in no way Indiana Jones-esque.
So here I was in Williams, AZ on the Hopi Reservation. I lived in Flagstaff at the time, so my parents were only a little concerned dropping me off for a week. Dad kept telling me to call asap if I wanted to come home. I blew them off and said I could handle it, and away I went.
Everyone stayed in these dorms in town, then at 7am we rode in vans out to the dig site, worked until 4pm and then did nothing until the next day. The anthro guys had slide shows and stuff like that, but that was pretty dull. Homolovi was where the kachina "cult" appeared, and the Peaks were sacred, stuff I already knew. I spent the dorm time helping the cook wash the dishes, and doing this god awful 2000 piece puzzle of water or something.
My job out at the site was to walk on the top of the houses with a broom, and brush off the dirt. Good grief I was bored, and I kept looking at the San Francisco Peaks imagining my high school crush to pull up in his car and come whisk me away so I could go back home.
There were a ton of rules about the site, no one could touch anything without the anthro's permission, no digging, no souvenirs. The Hopi tribe was really ticked off these guys were digging out there, I guess, so they were on borrowed time and were rushing to get as much in as possible. The dorms were also locked and bolted at all times. No one was in there during the day, and we were locked in at night. The cook was the only one who didn't come to the dig site, but he had no key, the anthropologist was the only one. I think he would have strip searched us if he could, he was that paranoid about the tribe calling off the dig.
Sometime near the end of the week, I was the first one in the door from a day of sweeping, and was running to my room to grab my things for the shower. Hot water ran out fast there. In the hallway, outside of the room next to me, was a large black piece of broken pottery. I was the first one in the door, and I know that no one was supposed to touch anything. I looked at that hunk of black, thought oooh, that's bad! Stepped over it and grabbed my stuff for the showers. On the way back down the hall, I noticed it was gone. Thought nothing of it, went on with my boring evening.
That night I laid down and dreamed I was back at the house. I heard the front door knock, I head down the stairs and look through the door window out at who it could be. I stop dead as I look, because there is a mummified Hopi man standing there, really mad. He is trying to shapeshift into the form of my brother, so I refuse to open the door. He keeps banging away until I dream my brother comes downstairs and opens the door. I try to stop him, but he opens it and then just stares at his twin. The Hopi shatters his disguise (it wasn't very good anyway) and starts coming after me, screaming WHERE IS IT?! WHERE IS IT?! I'm terrified and yelling I DON'T HAVE IT, and put my arm up to protect myself. The Hopi then opens his mouth and starts swallowing my arm. I can smell him and feel him breathing, until I suddenly wake up.
I am drenched in sweat, terrified, back in the dorms. I hear something pacing back and forth outside the door, and I have a very strong urge to open it. Remembering the dream, I grab the sheets and hang onto the bed to fight the feeling. I lay there like this listening to something on the other side of the door until the room turns grey with the sunrise. It stops and I fall asleep.
When I wake up for the day of sweeping, I tell my roommate (from England) about the bad dream. She asks if I'm Native American, I said no, I'm Icelandic and Scottish, ha! I said maybe I imagined the black pottery anyway, and am just stressed out. We go to breakfast and I'm thinking nothing of it, bad lucid dream, when the anthropologist bangs on the table for everyone's attention.
He holds up the piece of black pottery that was laying in the hallway and demands to know who brought this back. No one said anything, I certainly didn't. He was extremely upset, but let us finish eating. I think that was the last day I was there, because I don't know what happened to that piece of pottery. I still wonder where that thing came from and if the dead Hopi ever got it back.