The first time I went to Canyon de Chelley, I went to 3 or 4 overlooks on the north rim. Each and every time I stepped out of my vehicle, I had overwhelming feelings of despair... And death. It made me feel horrible and didn't know why I was feeling that way. I drove over to the south rim and I had feelings of safety and relief at the overlooks. That night I pitched my tent in the campground with my dog, Pilar. I was sitting at the picnic table by lantern writing in my journal when Pilar tugged on her leash, which was wrapped around my wrist, and pulled me towards the car. I called her back and petted her to calm her down. She sat beside me again as I journaled, all of a sudden she took off and tugged me towards the car again. I told her, yes I feel the same way, we are sleeping in the car tonight. I swore never to return there because of how it made me feel.
About 4 years later, I was going on a bird watching/camping trip with a couple of other ladies to southeast AZ then on to Taos, NM. One of them wanted to go to Canyon de Chelley and I immediately said NO. I then thought about facing that fear and offered that we hire a guide to climb into the canyon, camp in the canyon then climb out the next day. So that is what we did.
Our guide and I were sitting by the fire in the canyon when I asked what the history of the canyon was. He said the north rim is called Canyon del Muerto and the south rim is Canyon de Chelley. I had never realized these were two different canyons. He said that Kit Carson and his men massacred the Navajo living in the canyon to the north and some of those escaped into the canyon to the south. I said, oh this makes sense, so what is the deal with the campground and he said that is where Kit Carson's men were buried. Once we climbed out of the canyon, we stayed at the campground and once again I could not sleep in my tent, I slept in the car. This story continues but it gets a lot longer with weirder things happening. BTW, I am a seasoned solo tent camper, hiker, paddler, backpacker. If I don't feel right about staying someplace I don't, but it has only happened 3 or 4 times.
The next year or so, I was on a reservation at a powwow in Oklahoma. My boyfriend and I camped on the reservation. The second night there, while lying in the tent, a native man came to me. He was holding my right hand and pulling me to him while telling me to "come with him." I told him "I was there with Rob and I would not go." He kept pulling me and telling me to come with him and I kept pulling away and saying no. I could not get my hand away until I jerked my arm really hard then wrapped it around Rob and the native man disappeared. I told Rob what happened in the morning. He freaked out and said the same thing happened to him the first night we were here but he didn't want to tell me because it scared him so much. So there was this native woman trying to seduce him with kisses and lure him away from me then at one point she looked up at Rob and she was now a man.
A year or two later, I had traveled solo to Chaco Canyon then over to Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock. I was going to camp near Window Rock but thought that I really needed to get over my reluctance to camp at Canyon De Chelley campground, I needed to face my fears and just do it, so I drove up there arriving just before dusk. I walked the campground, which I never do, and ran across a lady that was camping solo on her first camping trip ever. I thought how ridiculous it was that I, a seasoned solo traveler, could not sleep in my tent and this lady could. I pitched my tent after dark, journaled for a while then went to sleep. During the night I awoke to the same experience Rob had in Oklahoma. I said out loud, "oh please, you can't do better than that, I know what will happen next," referring to the native man trying to seduce me with kisses and telling me to go with him. As soon as I said this, he disappeared. I went back to sleep only to wake sometime in the night to go to the restroom, I NEVER need the restroom in the middle of the night. I put on a dim headlamp and headed for the restroom. I did not turn on the light because I didn't want to wake up tenters in the area. As soon as I started to urinate, the bathroom door opened and SLAMMED shut, then immediately, the stall on either side of me SLAMMED shut. I was thinking, there is no way a person could get from the front door to the stalls that fast and that they could not even see the stalls because there was very little light with my dim headlamp. Then, immediately, there was an unearthly gush of water into either stall beside me. I have heard many women urinate and it does not sound like this. All of this happened very quickly, I was still urinating the whole time, even as I bent over and looked under each stall for feet, but there were no feet. When I finished urinating, I walked over to the sink to wash my hands then walked over to my tent saying, "well you got me there, that was better." No one ever exited the bathroom and the light never came on. I did not have a problem sleeping in my tent after this.