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The Legend of Red Ghost A real life spooky mystery!

image from www.weirdca.comCan you imagine seeing a huge monstrous creature that you have never seen before, that has trampled people to death under it's weird cloven hooves? Worst yet, it leaves evidence of red hair at each crime scene, and even worse yet, people swear that they see a headless human riding on it's back! Fantasy you say? No, it was a fact that happened in the United States in the late 1800's... The monster was a camel, the likes of which most westerners may have read about in the Bible, but never actually seen! There wasn't Google, or even too many encyclopedias around in those days with pictures in them... Here is the fascinating story from: www.legendsofamerica.com


In 1848, the importation of camels for military purposes in the southwest was suggested to the War Department by Henry Wayne, a Quartermaster Major. Two years later, Secretary of War and Mississippi Senator, Jefferson Davis, tried to persuade the Senate to look into the use of camels for the U.S. Army.

During this time period, the southwest territory of the United States was greatly expanding and it was thought that camels could be used to carry at least twice the amount of weight as horses or mules, and might also be used in tracking and pursuing Indians, as they could travel without water or rest for much longer than horses. It was also suggested that the camels might carry the mail and that fast camel passenger trains might be developed to run from
Missouri River points to the Pacific Coast. 

Initially, the Senators voted the idea down, but after California newspapers began to promote the idea, they finally agreed in 1854, passing a bill to appropriate $30,000 for the camel experiment.



Some 72 camels arrived in the country in the early part of 1857 and were put to work carrying supplies in the southwest. However, though the camels proved to be well-suited to travel through the region, their unpleasant disposition, habit of frightening horse, and tendency to wander off during the nights, made them very unpopular among the soldiers. Still, they continued to be used until the Civil War broke out, at which time; they were sold at auction or turned loose into the desert.

For years afterwards, wild camels continued to be spied roaming in the desert, especially in southern
Arizona. Along with these real sightings, a number of legends and tales began regarding these ugly beasts of burden. The most popular is the tale of a camel known as the Red Ghost.

In 1883, a woman was found trampled to death and, on her body and a nearby bush, were clumps of reddish fur. Large hoof prints were found in the area, but locals were perplexed. A short time later, a large animal careened into a tent in which two miners lay sleeping. Though they were unable to identify the beast, again, large hoof prints and tufts of red hair were left behind. After more incidents occurred, the locals finally recognized the large animal as a camel. Soon, people began to report seeing the camel, who one rancher said carried a rider, though the rider appeared to be dead. The next report came from a group of prospectors who saw the camel and while watching him, spied something falling from its back. As the beast moved on, the prospectors went to see what had fallen and discovered a human skull. For the next several years, numerous others spied the camel, who by this time had been dubbed the "Red Ghost,” carrying its headless rider. However, in 1893, when an
Arizona farmer found the red camel grazing in his garden, he shot and killed the beast. By this time, the large camel had shaken free of its dead rider, but still bore the saddle and leather straps with which the corpse had been attached.


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