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3 Visits To Canyon De Chelley


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.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, naturestacey, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

naturestacey (2 stories) (3 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-28)
BTW, I changed my email address so that replies go to my more active email account. Thanks for your replies.
naturestacey (2 stories) (3 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-28)
Sorry it took me so long to reply, I didn't realize there were posts about my experience. I did not pick up pottery or anything else. The boyfriend was long gone by the time the last experience at Canyon de Chelley happened and was not around when the first experience happened.
I travel to many reservations and participate in events open to the public and ceremonies that are by invitation only. One thing I did mention is that the trip to Canyon de Chelley with the other two ladies, I was walking around one of the overlooks on the north rim and a native fellow from Canada came up to me to talk to me. He invited me to a Sundance near there, his son was dancing in it. He said when Spirit asks you to do something you do it, referring to the invitation. I didn't go then because of the other two ladies. I have gone to Sundance since but in the Dakota's. There are many things to happen to me on reservations. I have a tiny bit of Kiowa and a tiny bit of Ishak-Attakapa from both my Mother and Father's ancestors. I often visit the Dine' rez and feel very comfortable there.
In Oklahoma, I felt the entity to be not of a real good nature. A Koasati friend said they do prayers before they go to OK and before they leave to come home. He said they throw magic around and it is not always good. We attended a powwow while we were on this reservation and asked the MC if it was okay to take photos. I didn't but my boyfriend did. When we got the slides back and looked at them, there was an uneasy feel to them and I told him to get them out of my house. I mailed them to the tribe. Many tribes believe you can steal their spirit with photography but he had photographed MANY dancers at powwows in the past. These were just not meant to be shared. As for following the entities, NOPE. It did not feel good and there was no way I was going to do that.
In Canyon de Chelley, I felt the entity was a trickster. Just giving me a little grief but not harmful in any way. A reminder that I don't know everything. That is why it was so easy to go back to sleep in my tent.
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-09-22)
Hi Naturestacey,
Frightening experience. I'm not the most intrepid of travelers and wouldn't be able to manage camping solo. My husband and I have stopped by Arizona, traveling from LA to San Fran, about 5 years ago and found the feel of the land quite powerful. There was a sense of deep, surging energy beneath the surface. Ever notice how every place has a different 'feel'?
From what little I know of The Diné (the Navajo call themselves "The People"), they frown on the use of witchcraft or black magic. The native you met most likely isn't Navajo or may be a rogue entity - glad neither of you went away with it. You are certainly brave and I really like how you kept your sense of humor.
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-28)
To Shelby: Yes, that's the one! I just couldn't find it using the search function; I was hoping that someone may have added it to his/her "favorite" list. -Biblio.
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-26)
It sounds like two different things going on here. Naming a place Canyon of DEATH (muerto) is pretty telling - and you were probably picking up on residual vibes there.

Then you went to Oklahoma and you and your boyfriend started dreaming of 'the beckon-er,' let's call him. Then you went BACK to the canyon, seemingly bringing 'the beckon-er' with you for a night thrill in the bathroom (along with the residual despair)?

Did you pick up any pottery or rocks, trash, shells, souvenirs, jewelry, any 'gifts', etc. From Oklahoma that you took with you to the canyon? I was told by more than one maker that kachina dolls for tourists are often made with ill intentions towards the buyer, and I believe it. I've never come across a happy one.

I lived in Flagstaff for 12 years and had trouble with pottery before like this (Homolovi) and I knew a lady who took pottery from the Sinagua ruins at Mt Humphrey's, who was haunted until she returned them.

Maybe your boyfriend took (or bought) something and hasn't told you? It seems weird that it would 'suddenly' start for 'no' reason.

Biblio, I seem to recall that tale - weren't they leading the girl into a window ledge or something?
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-23)
Greetings, naturestacey, and welcome to YGS.

Augusta's statement about beckoning spirits jostled a memory or two loose.

I remember about 18 months ago someone submitted a story about a pair of brothers haunting the nursery in which the female author had played as a child. The boys wanted her to join them at one point, and helped her to climb onto the large dollhouse's roof, which was level with the room's window ledge. (If anyone else can remember the title, find the link, please help me out here!)

The point I would make --more convincingly if I could locate the other narrative!-- is that there are precedents for this. However, several people with a great deal of experience in the paranormal have indicated that these "beckoning/luring" spirits are seldom malicious or "evil" but are trapped into serving the will of a more powerful entity (elemental, demon, group-consciousness-poltergeist, *whatever*). I'm not entirely convinced of how the mechanics of such a haunting would take place, but I would not rule out the idea of spirit guides and the wisdom of ancestral memories.

The Navajo religious practices are not my strong suit, but I remember reading an article about how Navajo weavers would deliberately weave a separate strand into one corner of a blanket (called "a spirit line" or "a soul line") to prevent getting their own spirit trapped within the cloth. The idea that a spirit can be mislead, trapped, or deceived is inherent in many Native American cultures. In the South West, there are "Skinwalker" tales, in which shape-shifting Medicine Men *deliberately* alter the balance of man and nature in their own favor to gain power. The Wendigo in trickster tales of the the North East (U.S. & Canada) have a similar goal, power, but that is malign entity that wishes to possess the victim and to turn him/her into a cannibal. Yuck.

While I am not certain of all of the intricate details, I do remember that Skinwalkers may appear to change both their gender and their species in their quests for power. NOT going with the spirit was definitely the right call.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-21)
I wondered the same thing, noirheart! I am sure the popular opinion will be that the entities were up to no good and following them would lead to only gloom and doom but who really knows? I would be very curious to find out! I have read legends of folks being lured away by fairies (most of which don't end all that badly) but never of anyone who has followed a beckoning spirit entity.
noirheart (1 stories) (13 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-19)
I had a good chuckle at the "oh please, you can't do better than that, I know what will happen next" line. 🤣
Very interesting experiences, I wonder what would have happened if you or your boyfriend actually went with one of these entities.

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