The Borrego Sandman

Are there places in the desert where you might encounter the legendary Sandman of Borrego? Does the Mojave or Joshua Tree have their own version of the Boogie Man? Well here are a couple of short stories of such meetings, it’s up to you to decide if they are real….. or not…


Sasquatch Rampage

Deadman’s Hole (7 mi NW of Warner Springs on Hwy 79) – Back in the 19th century, this wooded hollow witnessed a string of unsolved murders that were blamed on a rampaging Sasquatch.

It all began in 1858, when an unidentified man was slain here. Twelve years later, a Frenchman who had just settled in the Hole was murdered in his cabin. Two more locals were killed at the Hole: prospector David Blair, who was found dead of “knife wounds” in June 1887; and a young woman named Belinda, who was either shot, strangled or mutilated three months later.

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The rest of the story is vague and controversial. In March 1888, two hunters from Julian went up into Dark Canyon, just west of the Hole, and were allegedly attacked by “an immense unwieldy animal” that was over six feet tall, covered with black hair, with huge feet and a human-like face and head. The hunters had been exploring a little cave full of human and animal remains when the creature surprised them. Cornered, they shot it dead.

The beast’s body was then supposedly taken to either Julian or San Diego, and exhibited publicly at a police station on Aprill. The San Diego Union covered the story, and blamed the beast for the recent murders at Deadman’s Hole. The next day, though, the paper ran a retraction, dismissing the whole thing as an April Fool’s Day joke and belittling credulous readers who had trudged down to the PD to see the monster. If the whole incident was a joke, it was in extremely poor taste, considering that it made light of real, recent murders.

Ugly rumors and feelings still surround Deadman’s Hole. Local sportsmen tell of “bad vibes” around the hollow, and Indians give the area a wide berth. Nobody quite knows why the wooded glade still inspires such feelings of dread.

Borrego Sasquatch

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Borrego Sink (45 mi SE of Borrego Springs) – It’s hardly surprising that Bigfoot has been seen on this desert. If the land can house beached Viking ships and eight-foot-tall glow-in-the-dark skeletons, it can certainly provide a home for everybody’s favorite North American mystery creature.

Southern California Bigfoot expert Ken Coon once interviewed a man who said he’d seen Sasquatches in the tangle of dry gulches known as Borrego Sink:. The man, a store owner who wished to remain anonymous, told Coon that he was prospecting around the Sink back in 1939, camped alone at night, when he was confronted by a pack of hairy, two-legged creatures. The beasts were covered with white or silver fur, and had red eyes that glowed in the dark. They surrounded his camp and menaced him for some time, but were frightened by his blazing campfire and kept their distance.

Almost 30 years later, Harold Lancaster was also camped near the Sink when he spotted a “giant apeman” walking towards his camp one morning. Lancaster feared that the beast would attack him, so he grabbed his revolver and fired some warning shots into the air. The apeman “jumped a good three feet off the ground” when he heard the reports_ then glared in Lancaster’s direction, turned tail and ran. The low-desert Sasquatch hasn’t been seen since.

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