There is a cave under the highest butte of the Piestewa Peak range, Arizona, where a party of Tonto Indians was found by white men in 1868. The white men were on the war-path, and when the Tontos fell into their hands they shot them unhesitatingly, firing into the dark recesses of the cavern, the fitful but fast-recurring flashes of their rifles illuminating the interior and exposing to view the objects of their hatred.
The massacre over, the cries and groans were hushed, the hunters strode away, and over the mountains fell the calm that for thousands of years had not been so rudely broken. That night, when the moon shone into this pit of death, a corpse arose, walked to a rock just within the entrance, and took there its everlasting seat.
Long afterward a man who did not know its story entered this place, when he was confronted by a thing, as he called it, that glared so fearfully upon him that he fled in an ecstasy of terror. Two prospectors subsequently attempted to explore the cave, but the entrance was barred by “the thing.” They gave one glance at the torn face, the bulging eyes turned sidewise at them, the yellow fangs, the long hair, the spreading claws, the livid, mouldy flesh, and rushed away. A Western paper, recounting their adventure, said that one of the men declared that there was not money enough in Maricopa County to pay him to go there again, while the other had never stopped running–at least, he had not returned to his usual haunts since “the thing” looked at him. Still, it is haunted country all about here. The souls of the Mojaves roam upon Ghost Mountain, and the “bad men’s hunting-grounds” of the Yumas and Navajos are over in the volcanic country of Sonora. It is, therefore, no unusual thing to find signs and wonders in broad daylight.
I decided not to disclose the Author of this folktale.