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 wind songs of legends they left behind.

Unknown to even their closest neighbors; the Navajo villagers below, the cliff-dwelling Moquis 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 one other instance as noted by Dr. Oscar Loew, on the remarkable Wheeler’s Surveying expedition conducted in 1874.

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 indeed 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.


Spirits of the Southwest