Graveyard Shift
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Creepy Stories & Legends About the Grand Canyon

Updated December 9, 2019 296.5k views12 items

It's considered one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the United States, if not the world. But while the Grand Canyon has been the go-to destination for uncountable vacationing tourists (and thus the subject of far too many boring family gathering slide show presentations), the national park has its share of dark secrets. Grand Canyon legends abound, and include everything from ghost stories to Bigfoot encounters to a horrific slaying (or several).  

Furthermore, the Hopi people have numerous Grand Canyon myths in their folklore, including the belief that the valleys and caves hide the entrance to the afterworld.  

Let's take a look at some of the wildest, most interesting, and downright chilling Grand Canyon creepy stories...

  • The Brown Boys Of Hopi House

    Photo: J Etzel / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    These rambunctious spirits are said to run around the upstairs area of the Mary Colter-designed replica Hopi abode.

    Employees of the house state that the boys turn off computers, throw merchandise on the floor, rearrange dolls for discovery the next morning, and partake in other mischievous acts. The Brown Boys are not dangerous, just ornery. 

  • Serial Slayer Robert Spangler Took His Fourth Life There

    His body count is relatively low, and his targets were specific (he slayed his spouses/children); nonetheless, Robert Spengler is one evil dude. He took his first life in 1978, firing at his first wife and two teenage children with a .38, expertly crafting the scene to appear as though his wife ended the children and then herself.  

    Police were suspicious, but there was hardly any evidence at all to even detain Spangler, let alone convict him. Spangler then married and divorced a second woman, then married a third, Donna Sundling. Experiencing the same marital problems he'd seen with his first two wives, Spangler decided not to go the divorce route again, and went back to good old-fashioned slaying. During a hike at the Grand Canyon, Spangler pushed Sundling off a cliff.

    Several years later, Spangler made a full confession after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.



  • The Mogollon Monster Was Born In The Grand Canyon

    Technically a staple of the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona, the aptly named Bigfoot-like creature made his first appearance near the Grand Canyon in 1903. The monster was described by Arizona Republic writer I.W. Stevens as such:  

    [It had] long white hair and matted beard that reached to his knees. It wore no clothing, and upon his talon-like fingers were claws at least two inches long... a coat of gray hair nearly covered his body, with here and there a spot of dirty skin showing.  

    Stevens claimed to have observed the monster slay and drink the blood of two cougars, then let out an unearthly scream.

  • The Ghost Of Fred Harvey Haunts The El Tovar Hotel

    Photo: Grand Canyon National Park / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Fred Harvey, whose company built numerous hotels across the country, is said to haunt the El Tovar Hotel.

    Recognizable for his long black coat and top hat, Harvey has been spotted walking the trail outside the hotel, as well as occupying the third floor around Christmastime.