Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scary Season: Dark Highways

Painted Man
From Gallup you must take former U.S. Highway 666 to get to Crownpoint

He had a lot of stuff to do in Gallup one night and was on his way home to Crownpoint at around 3 a.m. That’s about an hour’s drive and one route, Navajo Route 9 — intersecting U.S. Highway 666 — is a lonely and dark highway with an occasional house and two tiny communities. There are no gas stations and no street lights. On this particular night, the stars shine extra bright through the crisp cold air.
His diesel truck is speeding along at about 70 miles an hour on the 55-mile highway. He needs to make it to a bathroom – and fast.
It’s dark and deserted around so he decides to make a stop on the side of the road. He pulls over and makes sure all the lights on his truck are extra bright because he’s kind of afraid of this kind of intense black.
His truck rumbles on but it seems the quiet pushes in on him. He turns the radio on and quickly does his business on the passenger side.
On his way back around the truck he hears faint footsteps – slow at first and then they accelerate towards him. He looks to the back of the truck and in the red taillights is a man, painted white, running towards him. He runs, bent forward, with his hands and arms stiff to his sides.
He scrambles as fast as humanly possible back into his truck. While he gets the truck going, fear builds and builds because all that time he’s thinking that the painted man will reach his window and knock on it. He shifts gears so quick and he’s doing 80 in about 10 seconds.

Devil’s Canyon
I think it’s kind of ominous when you have to drive through Devil’s Canyon and Dead Man’s Curve to get to Crownpoint (no joke, that’s what those landmarks are called). Maybe this is why they call it that:
On a very snowy night she’s is at the edge of her seat squinting into the blizzard through her windshield. The road signs pass by slower than they usually would. It seems like she’s the only one on the road that thought maybe the weather guys were lying.
The road wines and rises. At the peak is the top of Devil’s Canyon. Once you get through Devil’s Canyon you’ve made it. She takes a deep breath and readies herself for the ominous road down the canyon.
“What?” she says.
Automatically she slows down to pick up an elderly lady who is walking on the side of the road. She’s wearing skirts, a hair scarf and a sweater. Some of her gray hair blows around in the snow and her billowing skirts reveal a pair of skinny and weak ankles.
As she pulls over to give the old lady a ride she tries to get a look at her hitchhiker’s face but the snow and hair hide every feature.
“Hey grandma! Let me give you a ride, I’m going to Crownpoint,” she yelled out the window.
The old woman stops. The driver gets out of her car and opens the door for the old woman.
Once they’re both inside she starts driving into Devil’s Canyon. From what she could see from her peripheral, the old woman was brushing her hair from her face and straitening her skirts. The driver was about 95 percent focused on the white road and 5 percent concerned about this old woman on the road in the middle of a blizzard.
“Where are you going? Why were you walking? Are you in trouble?”
The old woman didn’t answer because she was gone. Disappeared. Vanished.


  1. This stories gave me the creeps. Especially because I heard them in person and now...there have been so many stories quite similar to these. The rez is definitely scary scary.

  2. The Devil's canyon is also called Satan's Path!
    Scarry!!!! And yes, there are other stories of this canyon!