Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Phantom Miner of Slaughterhouse Gulch - Battle Lake, Wyoming

During the 19th century, the hills near the Wyoming/Colorado Border were bustling with mining activity.  Many made their way into the mountains near Battle Lake to work in the copper and coal mines to seek their fortunes. However, one miner who had been working in an area known as Slaughterhouse Gulch was not so fortunate.

A depiction of how the phantom of Slaughterhouse Gulch may appear if he is encountered in the mountains near Battle Lake, Wyoming. Ghost of Slaughterhouse Gulch
A depiction of how the phantom of Slaughterhouse Gulch may appear if he is encountered in the mountains near Battle Lake, Wyoming.

The miners, as many did in the day used explosives to speed up their efforts. One day things went awry for one particular fellow and he managed to blow himself up along with the mine. There was nothing left of him to even bury.  It was over the time period after that which led to stories coming in of strange encounters with a man resembling a miner wandering the trail between Encampment and the ghosts town of Battle.  This phantom became known by locals as The Ghost of Slaughterhouse Gulch.  One stage coach driver claimed that he approached a stranger on the road and his horses went berzerk.  They were deathly afraid of the man.  He walked right at the front of the team and coach without wavering and strolled right through the horses and into thin air!

In the early 1900s, a group of forestry workers were camped out along the trail in Slaughterhouse Gulch warming themselves by their campfire when suddenly they saw a man wandering down the road in the darkness in the light of the fire. He just strolled on by, it appeared that he had no supplies and having been a long walk to the nearest town, didn't even stop and ask for food or drink.  Those at the campfire found this very bizarre.  And what they found even more strange was that not only did he not knowledge that they were there, they didn't hear his footsteps as he walked by.  The Ghost of Slaughterhouse Gulch had made another appearance it seemed. Some say that he wanders the hills and trails for all eternity searching for the peace that he never received from receiving a proper burial.

Battle Lake is nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountain range in Carbon County, Wyoming near the Colorado border.  Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carboncountywy/

Slaughterhouse Gulch lies in the mountains of Carbon County, Wyoming just north of the Colorado Border in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Easiest access is via Highway 70 that crosses the Sierra Madre.  However, it is closed in the winter. Battle Lake is near latitude: 41.159130, longitude: -107.008708 along highway 70.

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