The Many Hands While Camping
A Keepsake from a Mining Disaster Leads to a Terrifying Campout
Date Received | 12/18/2020
Location | Scofield, Utah
The Many Hands While Camping
There is always something different that happens when my cousin, myself and my twin brother get together. We grew up together and have a lot in common. My grandma is half Hopi Indian, and although she never delved into the culture much, we were fascinated by this idea, due to the Hopi connection with the star people and the fact tat they decided to stay in mountain side caves over the traditional teepee huts. I have always heard how being involved in this culture can make you more susceptible to the supernatural, and let me just say, when the three of us got together, this was damn right!
Back in the city, my cousin, brother and I would go ghost hunting on occasion.
The crazy thing is, we would always catch great EVP recordings, videos, and pictures.
Our interest in the paranormal was pretty high during this time in our lives, and every summer, we would go to Scofield, Utah for a family reunion on the Hopi side of the family.
Most of our family is LDS (Mormon) on that side, unlike the 3 of us. So we found the gatherings to be a bit boring and we always liked the idea of exploring the town- because it’s an old mining town, with an actual mining disaster that took the lives of upwards of 200 on May 1st, 1900. To us, this also meant more ghost activity!
This was the 2nd day of the reunion and my grandpa Gary told the 3 of us to go have fun exploring, then he added a caveat and smiled as he said it, “Make sure you don’t take anything from the ground and take it home with you, something creepy could want it back”
We all knew he had a joking side, and laughed about it. That particular night, the youth in the family (besides the 3 of us) wanted to go to the actual location of the mine disaster. This was in the middle of 2 big canyons to the side of the main part of town- a really spooky looking place at night for sure. Also it’s in the middle of the Wasatch mountains at 8,000 elevation. Bears… Cougars… who knows.
Reluctantly, and against my better judgement, I decided to go with them. We had a cool set up though, the four-wheeler was pulling all of us up there in a back trailer with chairs attached to it.
As we neared the canyon we decided to park the four-wheeler and go out on foot to see if we could get closer to the old ruins of the mine. This includes an old general store that is missing 2 of the walls, and a few cool mine shafts. As we walked, my cousin stumbled upon and old artifact, like an old spoon or something. I can’t remember what it was exactly. It was definitely something from that era.
He picked it up and decided to keep it as an heirloom keepsake. We caught some random creepy whistles, and noises unaccounted for in the group. Nothing too far out there.
We have a big family, so later that night when people were winding down, some of us teenagers had to sleep in the backyard of the cabin with tents. This was fun and had never been a problem. The three of us shared a 4 person tent- my cousin on one side, myself in the middle, and my brother on the side closest to the zipper.
It was probably around 11:30pm when we went to bed. Most everyone else had fallen asleep quite awhile before that.
Around 2-3 AM I was awoken by what I thought was excessive wind. The tent was shaking really heavily as if there were massive winds. I looked over to my cousin Sean. I wanted to see if either of them were awake. I wanted to see if they saw how bad the tent was shaking. To my surprise, my cousin was awake and completely silent. He was just staring at me, basically in shock.
When I looked up to see why the tent was shaking so bad, I could see multiple groups of hands, all about the size of children’s hands.. There was probably one set for every square foot of the tent.
The tent was leaning near a street light post, so my logic was that I should’ve seen shadows of arms and potential bodies attached to those hands. This wasn’t the case. All I could see were hands. One other thing, some of the hands were very low, attempting to poke at my brother’s face as he slept, but the other hands wouldn’t be able to push down on the top of the tent without falling into the tent from the sides if it was someone trying to scare us.
So I stayed there, silently looking at Sean. He silently looked at me for what seemed to be many hours.. I really had to pee too! The event probably only went on for 20 minutes.
The next morning we asked one of the older cousins if they had been messing with us, but they were adamant that they hadn’t been. We ate breakfast… I Talked a lot about it with Sean and my brother Roman. Roman then mentioned that he was awake for some of it. He had also seen the hands, but was too frightened to turn or say anything in fear of what was out there.
We took the keepsake back to the canyon, and threw it over a fence that separates the mine area from the dirt road going up to it.
Needless to say, it was pretty crazy.
The Scofield Mine Disaster
A solemn, solitary Plaque just outside the Scofield Cemetery tells the story of the tragic event. It reads:
“At 10:25 on the morning of May 1, 1900, a keg of powder at the Winter Quarters Mine No. 4 ignited, causing coal dust to rise and also ignite. Subsequent explosions of twenty-four kegs of black powder also included nearby Mine No. 1, killing a total of 200 miners (although some rescuers placed the total as high as 246), either from the explosions themselves or from suffocation in the resulting poisonous gas. Many others were injured in what was the nation’s worst coal mining disaster at the time.”
The fortunate Miners who had survived the blasts were joined by others from nearby mines, in a desperate effort to rescue those trapped inside. Sadly, the rescue mission would become that of body recovery. 11 days after the fatal spark, the last body to be recovered was pulled. from the destruction. The disaster left 107 widows and 268 fatherless children.