ARIZONA’S RED GHOST – From 1883 to 1893 Arizona was the home to multiple sightings of a monstrous four-legged creature with red fur ridden by a skeletal man or ghost. Unlike most legends that center around ghosts or cryptids, this one ends with physical remains and a rational explanation grounded in history.
Let’s start with the first documented encounter with the Red Ghost aka Fantasia Colorado in the spring of 1883. Near Eagle’s Ridge, AZ a pair of men left their ranch house to check on their cattle. Their wives and children were together in one house for safety while they were gone.
One of the wives went out to get water from a nearby spring and soon a blood-curdling scream was heard as well as sounds of physical violence. The second wife looked out a window and saw “a huge, reddish colored beast” ridden by “a devilish looking creature.” She ran outside and found the first wife’s body dead, trampled nearly flat and surrounded by several prints left by what seemed to be cloven hooves.
When the two husbands returned, they saw the woman’s remains and followed the tracks until they petered out, finding red fur in bushes and tree branches along the path of whatever had killed the unfortunate wife. The Mohave County Miner newspaper stated that the coroner’s report found that the death had happened by “some manner unknown”.
Mere days later, the beast and its ghastly rider were responsible for rampaging through a miner’s camp late one night. Once again, odd footprints that were too large for a horse and tufts of red fur were left behind. Already, the human tendency toward embellishment was creeping in, as the miners claimed the Red Ghost was thirty feet tall. Continue reading