Village and Canyon Ghosts

South Rim Ghosts

Hopi house is an Adobe structure designed by Mary Coulter and built on the south rim. It is so authentic that during its construction the Navajo workers slept in it. Today it has a gift shop with Native American crafts. The low ceilings and earth construction make it feel very much like an Adobe dwelling.

Two Grand Canyon ghosts are said to haunt Hopi House. They are called the "Brown Boys" by the employees and can be heard running around upstairs in the late evening. They have been known to turn off computers and throw merchandise on the floor if they don't like how it's arranged. They've even lined up dolls in a row to be found in the morning by the surprised employees. In true poltergeist fashion, they just make a general nuisance of themselves. Hopi house is on the rim trail in Grand Canyon Village next to El Tovar, which has several ghosts of its own.

In El Tovar, a ghostly woman who looked like she was from the 1930s was seen by a night watchman. He was so frightened that he wouldn't finish his shift. Fred Harvey in his long coat and tall black hat is one of the more recognizable Grand Canyon ghosts. He is sometimes seen in the hotel. Occasionally guests check out early after seeing death faces when they look into the mirror of one of the rooms. A couple of employees once saw a huge ball of light push the kitchen doors open and float across the dining room. It exited a window in the direction of the canyon. And to top it off, one of the service elevators is reputed to smell like blood.

The Ghost of Rees Griffiths

On February 6, 1922, Rees Griffiths was crushed by a boulder while blasting out a portion of the North Kaibab Trail near Phantom Ranch. Griffiths was the foreman of a trail crew when the accident occurred. Griffiths loved the canyon so that his last request was to be buried there.

You can find his grave to the north of the Colorado River between Phantom Ranch and Black Bridge, just across from some pueblo ruins. It is said that he haunts his beloved trails to this day. His ghost is often seen by trail crews and people camping nearby. They say he appears as a light along the trail and hovering over his grave.

North Rim Ghost

A door in Grand Canyon Lodge on the north rim slams shut every time it is left open. The perpetrator is said to be a female ghost in a white dress with blue flowers. She's been seen wandering the Transept Trail and can be sometimes be heard wailing in the night. Nobody knows the identity of this Grand Canyon ghost, but some locals say she is mourning the loss of her husband and child. Her screaming face was reportedly seen in the flames during the September 1, 1932 fire at the Grand Canyon Lodge.

The Kolb Skeleton

Ellsworth and Emery Kolb built a photography studio on the South Rim in 1904 and Emery lived there for the rest of his life. Two months after Emery's death in 1976 a skeleton was found in his garage. Though nobody knows who it was, Emery's daughter thought it was the remains of a miner her father had discovered about 1931 in the vicinity of Yavapai Point. He used to assemble the skeleton on the dining room table for the benefit of his guests (Emery liked to shock people). The remains have never been identified, though the manner of death is pretty obvious. There was a bullet hole in the temple of the skull.

Crash Canyon

Crash Canyon is the home of many Grand Canyon ghosts, and for good reason. This was the site of one of the worst air disasters to ever occur. In 1956 two passenger jets that had flown off-course collided over the Grand Canyon. It is thought that both jets had diverted their flight patterns in order to give their passengers a view of the Canyon. The United Airlines DC 7 crashed into the vertical wall of Chuar Butte, and the TWA Super Constellation crashed upside down onto Temple Butte.

The cliffs were so inaccessible that Swiss mountain guides were hired to recover the remains of the 58 passengers. Some of the remains had been force-injected into the rock crevices and the entire site was subjected to 100 degree heat for many days. There was a controversy over whether or not the bodies should even be recovered, but the park service made sure the job got done. There is a mass grave on the south rim west of the Yavapai Overlook for the victims.

Today rangers and hikers who camp in Crash Canyon sometimes see ghosts hiking these trails and talking amongst themselves. Sometimes the ghosts are wearing clothing from a hundred years ago, and sometimes it's a group of Native Americans. There have also been reports of cries for help, and eerie lights moving along where there are no trails.

Crash Canyon is in a remote region of the Grand Canyon and is inaccessable to most hikers. River trips go by the area and can point it out to you.