Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Spirits of Sand Creek Part ll

On the morning of November 29, 1864, 150 women, children, and elderly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were slaughtered along the Sand Creek located 180 miles south of Denver in Colorado. 

I tell the story of this massacre in my post The Spirits of Sand Creek Part I. This massacre left behind the spirits of many of these victims.

Location of massacre
Not long after this slaughter a buffalo hunter, Kipling Brightwater who was camped on the Sand Creek awoke one morning in December of 1865 to see a Cheyenne camp nearby.

He immediately went to the closest outpost Fort Lyon to report that over 100 Indians were camped close to the fort. Scouts were sent out, but there was no trace of this Cheyenne camp found.

People started to say Brightwater was delusional or “hung over.” But the following November Brightwater once more saw this Cheyenne camp in the same place. This time he saw teepees, animals, fires, and people, so he rode to the field but as he drew near, this mist-shrouded the camp just disappeared. He then heard a woman crying.

He again was not believed--that is until other buffalo hunters started to report seeing what Brightwater had described.

These hunters often went for their rifles but stopped when they noticed the camp was eerily quiet.

They found it unusual that the large camp appeared to have no movement. They stated the Cheyenne stood very still by their teepees--as if frozen in time. But not all the activity seems to be just "residual" in nature for these same men reported these Indians stared at them in an “accusatory manner.”

Hunters, trappers and eventually travelers all continued to report sightings of this camp. Many said that as they stood and watched the entire camp would just disappear. In 1896, and then in 1902 attempts were even made to photograph this camp but with no success.

In 1911, a woman heard a baby crying along the Sand Creek, but when she searched, she found no one. Many others reported hearing babies crying in the area. Some have reported hearing dogs barking and children shouting when neither was around. Voices and chanting are often heard, but these sounds stop as quickly as they start.

Sand Creek Memorial 
The area around where the massacre occurred also evokes some pretty intense emotions. People come away with feelings of dread and cold chills. Others report feelings of being watched.

As recently as 1958, and 1997 people who have entered the area report feelings of acute pain and anguish.

One archeological team who were digging in the area reported that several of their members had to leave because they were overwhelmed with feelings of grief and sadness.

Here is the link to the first part of this post The Spirits of Sand Creek Part I.

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