The gorgeous Grand Canyon of northern Arizona is one of the last spots where one might expect to discover a ghost, but it has been a spot of mystery since the Spanish adventurers first looked down from the rim at the Colorado River far below. Conquered first by explorer John Wesley Powell in the 1860s, the canyon has been the spectacle of both triumph and tragedy ever since.
Beginning Of The Ghost Party
Emory and Ellsworth Kolb were the foremost photographers of the Grand Canyon in their period. Between 1901 and 1941, they captured the splendor of the canyon in a way that no one has done, before or since. The Kolb’s strode onto the rim of the canyon to photograph and film the region, establishing a mixture of a home and a studio into the side of the cliff. They posted a sign outside and that read “Bright Angel Toll Road. Riding Animals, Pack Animals, Loose Animals.. $1.00 each”.
Appearance Of Ghost
By 1928, a constant stream of tourists was handing dollar bills to the Kolb’s for the freedom of straddling a burro from a nearby stable and heading down into the canyon.
They were shocked one day in November 1928 by a young couple named Glen and Bessie Hyde who came knocking at the studio door, having hiked up the canyon from down below. The couple introduced themselves to the Kolb’s and said that they were honeymooners who had expended the past 26 days rafting on the hazardous Colorado River. They wanted the Kolb’s to take their picture standing on the edge of the canyon. They would come back to get the picture after their trip.
After doing so, Emory Kolb asked them about their boat and they said that they had built it themselves in Idaho and they schemed to navigate the canyon with it. Despite the rapids, they did not have life preservers. Kolb was surprised and advised against such foolhardiness. Glen Hyde giggled off the warnings but Kolb could see that Bessie was worried about the journey ahead. He said to himself that the girl did not need to go back to the river.
As the couple prepared to depart, Kolb’s daughter Emily came out of the studio to meet the young couple. Emily was very neatly outfitted and Bessie Hyde took one glance at her weary clothing and then talked aloud. “I wonder if I shall ever wear lovely shoes again,” she said. Then, she turned and followed her husband down Bright Angel Trail.
The Last Words
The night was November 16 and none of the Kolb’s napped well that night, concerned about the haunted young woman named Bessie Hyde. Both Emory and Emily kept feeling about the girl’s goodbye words. By early December, there was still no indication of the Hyde’s. Eventually, Kolb started a search of the region that encompassed a small plane that flew down through the canyon’s inner gorge. This was the first time that such a flight had been tried. The pilot sighted Hyde’s boat snagged in the pebbles of the river.
Everything Was Safe
Emory Kolb joined the rescue team and hiked down from the edge. When they reached the boat, they discovered everything packed and safe. The food, clothes, and even the couple’s books were neatly put into place. All that was missing were the Hyde’s! The search team combed the region, but they were nowhere to be discovered. If they had made it down the river, Bessie would have been the first woman to successfully steer the canyon. As it was, she had vanished… disappeared without a glimmer.
Even after all of these years, no evidence of Hyde has ever been discovered. While this has nothing to do with ghosts, this haunting mystery has stayed unsolved for more than seven decades. Sadly, Bessie would never have the opportunity to wear lovely shoes again.
In 1893, the Grand Canyon has announced a national forest preserve and in 1908, a National Monument. It eventually became a National Park in 1919 and today is toured by more than 3 million visitors each year. How many of them would be shocked to learn that their holidays are being shared by a ghost?
In a remote region along the north rim of the canyon, a ghost that has been called “the Wandering Woman” still roams. It is said that her spirit wanders here, searching for a family that was missed to her many years ago. According to legend, she committed suicide in the cottage that was located along the north rim in the 1920s after learning that her husband and son were murdered in a hiking accident. The lodge burned down in 1926 but has since been renovated.
Since that time, she has been glimpsed by staff members and tourists alike. She has been glimpsed by many workers on the North Kaibab Trail and is wearing a white robe with small flowers on it. She always has a scarf over her head. One stunned forest ranger even looked up one day to glimpse her standing in the doorway to his quarters.
And she may not be the only ghost here. Some employees think that phantom kids also haunt the park. They claim to have glimpsed them playing on swings and merry-go-rounds before suddenly disappearing without a trace. The playground equipment has since been torn down, but the voices and happy screams of the children still go on!