Night of the Scorpions

Scorpions are no strangers to the desert or to those who live there. For the most part, scorpions go about their business unseen. If you live far enough out into the wide open desert you might see more than your fair share of scorpions but still not enough to cause panic.

A long time ago on one extremely hot night, a patch of desert simply came alive…alive with scorpions.

As the sun started to set that evening, the heat radiated across the horizon as iridescent waves clinging to the desert floor. Further off in the distance, the ground appeared to be moving. Dismissed by most who had seen this vision as just a simple heat mirage, the locals went back to their normal routines. Most already preparing to settle in for the night. By morning it would be long forgotten. Lights went off across the desert valley as bedtime approached.

But there was one old desert dweller who knew that the moving desert he was seeing was no mirage. No, something was happening out there in that patch of desert and it wasn’t good. Once the sun set, the moving desert would no longer be so easily visible. That thought alone sent chills through the old desert dweller.

As most of the small town’s lights turned off, the night sky grew even darker than before. Any movement made harder to see unless you were very determined.

Well, one old desert dweller was just that determined. How could he just turn off his lights and rest his head when he knew something was creeping towards him? Terrified his childhood nightmares were coming back to haunt him. Could those old stories have been true? Stories he hadn’t thought about in years.

The old desert dweller sat alone in the dark on his porch armed only with a blue light. He had his suspicions.

See, this old desert dweller had been told some pretty fantastic tales as a kid. Tales of scorpions taking over entire towns. Crawling over walls and into houses. Covering entire streets. Swallowing up horses! These stories were always told by adults sitting around a roaring campfire. No surprise, a strong drink or two had been had by the story teller himself. Usually it was just meant as a harmless session of wild tales intended to scare the kids off and give the adults a good laugh. But some of those stories seemed pretty close to the truth…

Alone in the dark on his porch, the old desert dweller recalled every word his young ears had ever heard. Was it possible hundreds or even thousands of scorpions were creeping towards his town?

There was no breeze that night. Only a stillness, a quiet in the heat, that made sleeping easy for all those who had ignored the moving vision on the horizon.

The old desert dweller sat at high alert. Ears tuned in, trying to hear the approaching silent invasion. Flashing his blue light across his front yard looking for anything glowing or scurrying its way toward him. He knew it was coming. He could sense something was out there. This was his desert. He had been there all his life. This night did not feel right, the same uneasy feeling he had inside when he first saw the horizon moving towards him.

The hours ticked by. Maybe he was wrong he thought as he yawned…they were just crazy old tales told a long time ago…

Staring out into the quiet darkness alone, the old desert dweller nodded off in his chair on the porch. Fast asleep his flashlight dropped to the ground at his side.

The night grew even hotter making sleep almost impossible. With no breeze blowing through to cool everything off, the hot and heavy air hovered over the desert like a thick smothering blanket.

The stifling heat woke the dweller from his momentary nap. Sleepily he rubbed his eyes then fully awoke to the unbelievable horror as he watched hundreds of scorpions fall off of him and down to his scorpion covered patio! He had fallen asleep before the invasion and now it was too late! They were everywhere!

Horrified, he helplessly watched as his home virtually disappeared, entirely covered in scorpions. Crawling and stinging scorpions covered his entire body. The only sounds were the shrieks and gasps from the old dweller as he shuffled his way towards the one thing he knew could stop this nightmare. Fire.

Dying from shock and pain, the old desert dweller reached for his lantern and matches. Struggling to stay alive through the excruciating stings of literally thousands of angry crawling scorpions, he managed to light his old lantern then throw it into his house setting the whole unbelievable scene on fire.

Thick smoke and flames woke nearby neighbors who were unable to save the old desert dweller.

They say his act of heroism saved the town that night. The fire had alerted the towns folk and they were able to escape mostly unharmed.  After the fire was put out, hundreds of thousands of dead scorpions were found all around the property of the old desert dweller. Locals say it is that very patch of desert that will come alive again one day… alive with scorpions.

So beware…Next time you look out onto the horizon make sure it really isn’t moving before you go to bed that night.

The Closet

One day a mom was in her kitchen doing the dishes when her little one came running in very upset. Seems the toys in his closet kept telling him to be quiet. Not really understanding what he meant his mother smiled and nodded and said “uh huh…”. The little boy insisted his mommy listened, yanked on her pant leg and said “the toys say shhh!” With a smile and a hug she assured him everything was fine and sent him off to play.

Later that day she found the little one sitting in the hallway outside of his room. “Why are you playing out here?” the mom asked slightly puzzled. “My toys yelled at me really loud to be quiet so I got mad and left.” Again just thinking this was a normal child whose imagination was running wild, she smiled and told him maybe he should just go outside to play.

The little one happily ran to the back yard with the family dog chasing close behind. His mom went back to her chores thinking nothing more of it. He just needed some fresh air.

That night as the family was settled in for bed the little one came to his mommy’s side to wake her up. This time the closet was moving! Hearing this strange statement, his dad rolled over semi awake and confused. The mom assured him it was just an overactive imagination from a little boy who has been playing all day.

She wandered the little one back to bed, re-tucked him in and said good night once more.

Only a few short hours later the little one was back to his mother’s sleeping side. “…something is moving in the closet…” he whispered into her ear. Fast asleep she did not stir.

Tears of fear streamed down the little one’s cheeks.

He wandered to his daddy’s side of the bed. “…something’s moving in the closet daddy…” the little one whispered so quietly that it was never heard.

The next morning the mom came out to the kitchen to find her little one had slept on the couch. Feeling guilty she had never even really checked his closet, she walked down the hall to his room to investigate.

Besides a few toys left laying here and there, the room was neat, the bed barely slept in. The toy chest in the closet overflowing. His mom now on her knees rummaging through the piles of stuffed animals and cars. Arm deep into a huge pile, searching for possibly a windup toy that is the cause of all this fuss, the distinctive sound sends chills through her spine. Her hand frozen in place with intense penetrating fear. The closet didn’t just “shhh” her. It rattled! There’s a rattlesnake in there somewhere!

Seering hot flashes of pain shot through her arm. Screaming for help she is repeatedly bitten by an angry and surprised snake. Her husband rushes to the room frantically dialing for help. Out of her mind with fear and pain, she flings her arm out of the closet sending the large snake flying across the room. In a dizzy haze she runs to her little one crying on the couch where she collapses at his feet moaning “I’m sorry…”

Rescue and paramedics arrive with lightning speed and were able to save the young mom’s life though her recovery would be long and painful.

Just hours home from the hospital, trying to settle back in after such a horrifying event, the phone rings. Her husband answers and listens to the news. The snake recovered from their home was determined to recently have given birth.

The Trail to the Left

The boys were told again and again “Do not go down the trail to the left. It is too dangerous.” But it is exactly those types of warnings that send boys down trails to the left. The left trail is the trail they heard ended at an old abandoned goldmine. Of course they were going to hike down there to see if the stories were true. That’s what boys do.

The weather that Saturday morning was perfect “hiking to an abandoned goldmine” weather. The boys set out early, both having told their parents they were headed over to a friend’s house.

Finding the trailhead was no problem. The hike seemed easy enough. So easy the boys joked about the story being a bust and what would they do for the rest of the day, figuring no real goldmine was going to be at the end of a clearly marked nature trail.

As the two boys continued to walk and goof off, further up ahead they could see the trail split in two. The left trail and the right trail. The left trail’s start almost entirely blocked by a series of signs warning of danger and hazards and cautions of harm. Obviously this trail was in need of closing but had never officially happened.

The boys looked at each other and smiled. Ok, maybe this was going to be good after all.

Now it was a race to see who could get to the mine the quickest. Dodging every warning sign, the boys ran straight down the trail to the left.

Up ahead they could see the rickety old boards that barely hung by rusty nails, the final barrier, the final warning to stop and turn around. The boys easily slipped between the rotted wood and climbed into the old mine.

Cobwebs hung thick in the corners, a sign no one had come through in quite some time.

No longer laughing, the boys grew even more serious as they climbed further into the creepy old mine. Standing in the eerie, musty darkness, the small travel flashlight too dim, walking safely any further was simply not possible.

The boys decided to head back out of the mine vowing to return tomorrow better prepared.

As they turned to go a low and deep whisper hissed at them

“Get out of my mine…”

Instantly both boys ran to the mines’ entrance and out into the fresh air.Excitement and fear kept the boys talking non-stop the whole way home.  They had both heard the voice as clear as day. It sounded like an old man’s voice. They needed to go back. They needed to try to record this voice before they told anyone about what they had just heard.

The next day the story was the same. The boys told their parents they were headed off to a friend’s house. The walk to the trailhead was now a run.  Running and jumping over anything that stood in the path, then down to the split in the trail to the left. Again dodging every warning sign, the boys ran straight into the entrance of the mine.

Armed with a high power flashlight and their phones as a recorder, the boys were confident they could find whoever or whatever had spoken to them.

Quietly they crept further back, deeper and deeper into the mine. Much farther than they had gone yesterday. The larger flash light beaming through the narrow tunnel carved into the earth so many years ago. The soil above now only being supported by rotted wood long since able to adequately hold back the crumbling ceiling. Rocks and dirt fell here and there, just enough to make fear of a collapse real.

Unsure just how far back into this obviously dangerous mine they should go, the boys stopped to discuss what they should do…

…the flashlight went out.

Standing in pitch black the boys franticly tried to turn the heavy flash light back on. But it was no use. Nothing. They reached for their phones. Again nothing. They were at least ten minutes deep into an abandoned mine standing in total darkness.

Pure fear swept through the boys like an icy breeze. The situation so insanely bad at this point how could it get any worse?

A voice much louder and deeper than the day before “…get… out… of… my MINE!” hissed directly into their terrified faces.

Crazed with fear the boys banged into each other as they took off running back the direction they had come. Running blindly at full speed both boys ran face first into the side of the mine’s dirt and rock wall knocking them both out cold.

There they lay on the cold ground unconscious while hisses of

“…get… out…”

hung in the air above them…


Days had passed with no word from the boys. Their frightened parents running out of places to look. Volunteers had gone to every friend’s house they knew of. None of the local kids had seen the boys lately. The phones showed no signal. Searches from the sky yielded nothing. No talk had ever been heard from the boys about going to the trail so no one ever looked there. The abandoned mine was too dangerous to send search teams in unless they were absolutely positive the boys had gone there.

Signs hung on every post asking desperately for any information about the two boys who had gone missing, eventually drying out in the sun and blowing away but never bringing the lost two home.

As the years passed stories swirled that maybe the boys had been abducted. Maybe they ran away? The boys’ parents eventually moving. The stares and glares of the suspicious  too much to take combined with such a terrible loss. The pain simply too great.

It was almost 15 years later when the city finally closed the mine for good. It was then the boys remains were found. Horrified workers told stories of finding the two skeletons  just yards from the mines entrance. No obvious signs of foul play, nothing preventing the boy’s from having simply walked out.

The Triple B Ranch

Quite a few years back, three deranged brothers decided to build a ranch way out in the desert at the base of the Superstition Mountain. They told everyone the “Triple B” was a cattle and horse ranch but secretly they were experimenting with creating new animals.

These three twisted minds imagined raising beasts they could train to roam the desert, protecting their land and wealth. Breeding for features such as long sharp teeth, muscular legs, speed and aggression, these unstoppable animals would be loyal only to them. They would create an army of these super beasts no one could stop.

But with every failed attempt they would simply let their creatures loose in the desert to fend for themselves.

Strange hybrids of animals were found regularly throughout the desert because of the brothers. Not only did these creatures survive, they thrived.

Jackalope, Bobjacks,  Roadyote, and Bob-jack-yote have all been sighted, photographed and reported. Over time these animals started breeding even stranger hybrids. Hideous things that roam the night. Java-chupa-yote are reportedly the most vicious.

Regularly the corpses of these animals are found in the open desert and simply labeled Chupa or Chupacabra. But actually they are some of the brother’s creations released from the Triple B Ranch.img_6528

The rumor is the government continues to gather up as many of these creatures as they can and sends them out to Area 51 to conduct autopsies. They were aware of the brothers and their activities all along but did nothing to stop them. They simply used the brothers “mistakes” to further their own research.

The Cowboy on the Hill

The Cowboy was a gunslinger. Came riding into town on his horse. No one knew exactly from where. Back then  Arizona was just wide open desert. The Cowboy was in search of a home.

Up on the top of a small hill he stopped, knowing he had found the perfect place. From the hill he could take in views of the Superstition Mountain and all the gold it held.

As time went by the Cowboy had settled quite nicely into his small camp on top of the hill. Every day he would ride into the mountains searching the trails. Treacherous, cactus covered, mountain trails leading foolish men to their deaths searching for gold.

Each night as the sun went down he would build a small campfire to cook his meals then settle in for a night’s rest. The coyotes would yip and howl echoing through the night under a sky filled with countless stars.

The Cowboy rose every morning before the sun, riding his way further and further back into the mountain each time. His horse now so familiar with these trails, the Cowboy would simply sit back in his saddle and let his trusted friend lead the way. Day in and day out the Cowboy would ride into the mountain from his hilltop camp.

Before long stories in the local town began to swirl…

See, the Cowboy was known in town as a gambler and a gunslinger. Depending on who told the story, the Cowboy had killed as many as 20 men in a single gunfight. But because he was also known to play an honest game of cards, no trouble was ever had. His poker face remained at all times. Not much small talk. No questions. No one knew his name.

Lately the Cowboy hadn’t been coming in to town as often. This made the towns folk wonder if the Cowboy had struck gold and if so, why wasn’t he spending any of it in town?

Along with the ever increasingly wilder stories came jealousy and greed. Hatred swirled around the collection of store fronts and saloons that was “the town”. Someone needed to go find out exactly what that Cowboy was up to!

One night an angry group of  men gathered and rode out into the desert to the base of the Cowboy’s small hill.

As they approached the hill they could see a light glowing from inside the tent. Quietly they fanned out. The men crept closer and closer when the light inside the tent suddenly went out. Rapid fire shots rang out. Men scattered in all directions.

By morning the story had spread across the valley that a cowboy on a hill had gunned down 10 armed men seeking his gold.

The stories sent gold seekers from miles around to come and try to steal the Cowboy’s gold now believed to be buried somewhere in his small hill. The story had spread far and wide with more and more gold in each retelling.

Armed men coming at him from every side. Wave after wave of bullets flying. The Cowboy the lone target. But after each attack, the tent on the small hill was still standing.

Fear swept the towns folk. Was some type of magic at work here? One lone Cowboy couldn’t possibly fight off dozens of men coming for his land and his gold. How was he getting supplies? How could it be possible?

But as unbelievable as it was, not a single man that had set out to conquer the Cowboy’s small hill came back alive.

Fewer men were now willing to risk their lives by going to the hill knowing it was certain death. A different kind of fear had set in. Now no one wanted to go anywhere near the Cowboy or his hill.

The Cowboy was never seen again. No remains were ever found. His tent, battered in the wind, finally blown away by a roaring monsoon. To this day not a soul has ever come forward claiming to have found gold anywhere in or around the hill.

Years later as homes started being built in the area stories resurfaced, though this time the stories were not about gold or even the cowboy. This time the stories were about strange sounds coming from the small hill. Moans and groans. Gun shots. Men yelling.

Some believe you can hear the haunted echoes from the gun fights of the past. Others simply dismiss these sounds as coyotes calling into the night.

an old wives’ tale

Two days ago a bird inadvertently flew into the house. I left the back door open for a few hours because the weather in the morning was so fantastic. I tend to forget we live high enough on a hill that it puts us directly in the flight zone. If birds aren’t crashing into the windows, they are actively bobbing and weaving trying to avoid the house as they fly by.

My dog Cotton came to my side, nose poke and a whimper, to alert me that I needed to see something or he had to pee. Either way I needed to get up and follow. There was the bird, out of breath and desperately confused as to why the view was perfectly clear but an invisible force was preventing flying through it. The bird flapped and banged, then stopped to regroup, refusing to turn around to the open door it came in from.

It took a minute but I was able to coax the bird gently to simply turn around then off it flew. Besides a little poo on the window sill and a couple of feathers, no harm no fowl.

Thinking this encounter was cool, I sent a few emails off to a couple of my close friends including a picture of the bird.IMG_6503.PNG

One friend responded about an old wives’ tale that I was not familiar with. (my brain then had a full secret conversation: is an old wives’ tale an old tale a wife tells or a tale from an old wife?)

My friend explained:

“Old wives’ tale that a wild bird in the house was a foreshadowing of a family death.  When I was young, a sparrow flew into my grandma’s house and you should have heard the wailing and shouting about an upcoming death.  More than 20 members of my family were there and I honestly thought they were going to contact the mortuary and beginning making funeral arrangements, they were so sure a family death was imminent.”

But then she assures me no one died for like a long time after that!


My brain immediately pictures the ghost birds that slam into our windows.image


Then yesterday morning TWO birds were trapped in the living room, never mind the fact that the front and back doors were wide open. Nope, let’s flap and bang into the windows so hard we injure ourselves.

IMG_6592.PNG One bird flew out on it’s own. The other is the one I believe left blood drops on the window sill. I was able to ever so gently hold it long enough to aim it in the right direction and then it was gone.

My husband and I cleaned up the aftermath of poo and feathers and blood, then sat at the table shaking our heads over cups of coffee when another bird flew straight through the house! In through the front door, out the back.

In the past two days we have had three birds inside the house and a fly through.  Is there even a wives’ tale that covers this? Any wives’ tales about huge tarantulas on the front door? How about Coyotes wandering in your yard? Or Javelinas walking up the path?  Does Eight Turkey Vultures circling overhead mean anything to an old wife?


So if one bird in the house means death, then what we have goin’ on over here must mean death and destruction of epic proportions! Dinosaurs will die AGAIN! The destruction foreshadowed is that epic!



It just might mean if your doors and windows are open and you live up on a hill birds are going to fly into your house.


…but what fun is that?