two guns AZ
Ghost Town and Apache Death Cave
about the site:
About 30 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona and 23 miles west of Winslow, Two Guns was once a popular stop along the classic ROUTE 66. Not only did it have the required amenities of food, water, and gasoline, but at one time it also had a zoo with mountain lions, birds, snakes and lizards. According to www.LightPollutionMap.info, this is a Bortle Class 1 location, meaning the sky is as free of light pollution as you can possibly get!
No matter what was built at Two Guns however, it all seemed destined to fail. Lawsuits, land disputes, and even cold blooded murder all took place on this little spot on Route 66.
Perhaps the source of the disputes, and ultimate failures was a 200-year old curse.
APACHE DEATH CAVE
I really can't tell the tale any better than www.AtlasObscura.com, does, so I suggest you stop by their site and read the whole account.
But essentially, a group of Apache attacked a Navajo encampment killing every Navajo in the camp except 3 young girls who they took prisoner. Word got to nearby Navajo who sent a team of 25 scouts to track down the Apache. The Apache seemed to have disappeared into thin air... until one of the Navajo realized there was a current of warm air coming out of a hole in the ground beneath him. The air was coming from a fire made by the Apache raiders in a cave beneath the searching Navajo. The Navajo found the entrance to the cave and commenced to build a fire at the entrance of the cave in order to "smoke out" the Apache. The Apache in the cave killed their horses and stacked them by the entrance to block the billowing smoke. One Apache warrior ran out of the cave begging for mercy. The Navajo asked what happened to the 3 surviving girls and were told they had all had their throats slit - they were dead. This enraged the Navajo to the point they slaughtered everyone in the cave (over 40 Apache warriors)!
There is even more to the story. Honestly, go to AtlasObscura and read the full account.
But why a curse?? Remember the zoo I told you about above? Well, the guy who built it (Harry “Two Guns” Miller) also gave tours of the "death cave", and changed his name to "Chief Crazy Thunder". As if that wasn't bad enough, at his gift store, he SOLD the skulls of the Apache Warriors who's remains were found in the cave!
"While taking these photos, among the screeches and wails of semi-trucks and tractor-trailers on I-40 (a quarter-mile to the north), I also heard definite *human* screams even though there was nobody for miles around! If I didn't believe in disembodied voices and hauntings before, I sure do now! It is by far the creepiest place I've ever photographed at night!"
From Flagstaff Arizona, take Highway 40 East for 30 minutes and take exit 230. Turn right and you will see the abandoned gas station. Two Guns and the Apache Death Cave are to the right. If you follow the old Route 66 (the paved road) until it turns into dirt, you will be facing the old zoo and the ruins of the Mountain Lion exhibit. take your time to look around - preferably in the day, night is totally creepy out there!