Friday, July 6, 2018

Legends of the Superstition Mountains

Legends of the Superstition Mountains

 Lorraine Carey


One of the strangest and most intriguing of all stories to come from the Arizona Sonora desert is that of the Lost Dutchman Mine. Many say it’s a myth. Some say it’s an exaggeration. After doing careful research or visiting the area, you can make your own decision—if you dare!

The gold mine is said to be hidden deep among the foreboding peaks of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction. The legend of the mine died with the Dutchman, Jacob Waltz, an old prospector who hid the mine kept his secret. Only faint clues were left behind. People have been seeking its location since 1892.


It was said that Walt was helping a member of the Peralta family who was mining in the area and they rewarded him by telling him the location of the mine.

The Peralta massacre is an alleged account of a brutal raid by Apaches during the 1840’s when the Peralta family was caught hauling loads of gold back to Mexico. All of the members were killed but one. One of the legends is that a member of the family had carved in Spanish text and symbols on the stones that are clues to the location of the Peralta gold mine. They are unique stones: some being rectangular some shaped like crosses and some with hearts inside. One features a priest and a horse.

The Superstitions have long been considered the Gateway to Hell and also some sort of paranormal portal. Many believe the mountains were sacred to the local Native Americans who believed it was the home to their Thunder God and they were to protect the treasure and land at all costs.

The Occult museum suggests the hole at the top of the mountain is a portal to the underworld. Reports of strange voices, shadows, lizard people and aliens emerge from this area. There is even a theory that the government has a secret base under the mountain.

They come in but they don’t come out ~

There have been several deaths and mysterious disappearances in the mountains. Here are just a few of the accounts:

·      The headless remains of James Cravey, a prospector were discovered in the 1940s after he set out to search for the mine.

·      In 2009, Jesse Capen from Colorado went missing in the Tonto National Forest. He was said to be obsessed with finding this mine. His car and campsite were found abandoned. His body was discovered in 2012 by a local search and rescue team. This story aired on the program, Disappeared in the episode, “The Dutchman Curse.”

·      In July of 2010, three Utah hikers set off looking for the mine. The Maricopa Sheriff’s Department searched but called it off with the assumption that they died due to the intense summer heat. In January of 2011 the remains of their bodies were discovered.

·      Back in 1961 George Mueller had disclosed to his friends he had found the mine. He asked volunteers for help to remove the cache from the mountain. Two weeks later he died of a heart attack.

Truth Be Told~

Back in the 1980s I had been hiking Weaver’s Needle with my husband and some friends. We were deep into the area when a foreboding feeling came over me. I became very weak. Our party did not reach the peak due to exhaustion and we all hiked back.

My weakness took a more serious turn when a trip to the doctor was in order as I began bleeding that night. Turns out I was pregnant and did not know that at the time. The doctor had recommended a few days of bed rest and to stay clear of the forbidden zone. I couldn’t help but wonder if the spirits were warning me.

I have always been intrigued by these legends and was inspired to write two fiction novels for young adults that contain these and a few of the rich legends of this area. Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn and Out of the Ashes were earlier books of mine but still continue to be my favorites.

Amazon author page:

Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn

Out of the Ashes

#Folkore #NativeAmericanLegends  #paranormal #SuperstitionMountains