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Mysteries of Hell Canyon Arizona

Sample of a Loup Garou charm
Sample of a Loup Garou charm
Photo by Dave Johnson

The area of Cedar Glade/ Drake, Arizona is merely a ghost town now. Only foundations, adobe walls, and a cemetery remain off a trail along a forest road. The foundations are east of the railroad tracks. Drake Cemetery cannot be accessed from Drake Road as the old bridge over Hell Canyon is closed by a limestone quarry. The cemetery is not very large and not easily seen.

This area was a railroad shipping point and was named for William A. Drake who helped construct the line. Drake was originally named Cedar Glade—just a small town that grew due to the mining of lime and quarrying of sandstone. The old railroad bridge over Hell Canyon was completed in 1901. It connected Cedar Glade (north side of canyon) with Puntenney (south side of canyon). There was a hotel, general store, and a restaurant nearby. In 1920, the name Cedar Glade was officially changed to Drake. Today the historic ruins around Drake are off limits due to the construction of a large cement plant.

Hell Canyon was so named because of the rough and difficult wagon road between Ash Fork and Prescott. It was stated in 1864 by Judge Allyn, “About ten o’clock we got under way and an hour brought us to the most infernal canyon for wagons I have yet seen. It was about 300 feet deep and the sides nearly perpendicular, and covered with rolling stones.”

A recent visitor to the tiny Drake Cemetery made a discovery as he was photographing the forgotten tombstones and surrounding landscapes. Something small and silver was glimmering from beneath the dirt. He dug it up with his pocket knife and examined it. Not knowing exactly what it was he found, he tucked it in his pocket and brought it home. Friends have advised him to return the item to the cemetery grounds.

After checking with a few friends it was determined that the small charm was not so “charming” after all. It was made in the likeness of a Loup Garou. In some Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Greater New Orleans, and possibly the fields or forests of the regions. It is most often is described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend. Some believe that the Loup Carou dig up corpses from cemeteries and devour them. The only cure for the Loup Garou was exorcism, spilling blood or death!

Perhaps the charm was left there to curse someone---or curse anyone who might come along to desecrate the grave sites. Was it placed at the cemetery for protection, or did someone summon or have an encounter with a skin walker? It is important to never remove an item found in a cemetery whether it might be a piece of jewelry, pottery, or a beautiful rock. Leave whatever energy—good or bad—there at the cemetery you are visiting.

This is not the first tale of mystery that has been told along Highway 89 near Hell Canyon, Drake, and the Paulden, Arizona vicinity. Workmen at the local cement plant have seen the ghost of a young girl near the entrance of their work place. There is also an additional Cedar Glade Cemetery on the cement plant property that is not assessable to the public. Drivers commuting from Ask Fork to Paulden have witnessed a ghost on the Hell Canyon Bridge late at night that disappears as you drive across the highway structure.

Maybe it is something about the land…or something that occurred in the area many years ago. One should keep their eyes open and senses keen as they travel along Highway 89—something out of the ordinary seems to be happening there. Fasten your seat belt!

Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner: Debe Branning

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