The Silver Cliff Bear-Clawed, Saber-Toothed Bigfoot-Gorilla
by Sheryl Knapp
My daughter and I heard stories of the Ghost Lights at Silver Cliff Cemetery and with a bad case of curiosity, we visited the town and that place. Being an avid fan of historical places, we respected the graves and people of long ago by straightening up a few things that fell down or by picking up trash, or putting some wild flowers on a few graves during the day. Also, the people of the town were friendly and hospitable so we were glad we were there. If I had any fore-thought at all about our spontaneous visit, I would have brought enough money for a stay at one of the lovely B&Bs and purchased tickets to the Shakespeare Festival. Silly me, I thought this would be another day-trip into the mountains like we've taken before. It turned out to be a bit scarier and more desperate then we bargained for!
The view of the valley and mountains behind reminded me of how the Arapahoe Territory might have looked before the over-populated, building-cluttered deluge Denver has become. The red Santa de Cristo Mountain Range overlooks the green valley, sparsely littered with houses and ranches. Sadly, most of it is for sale. It is a beautiful sight and a breath of fresh air with no brown cloud. A small distance from the town, south, is a small camper park that I thought we might be safe to sleep in, even though we only had a small truck. After what happened that night, I will never think that again.
After enjoying this small town and wishing we had the money to buy one of the historical houses for sale (to keep it closely to what it is), we parked again by the cemetery and waited for dark. We had studied a bit about what could cause the glowing orbs said to hover fairy-like over the graves. Gases from the decomposing bodies are said to cause the effect so we wanted to check it out. It was a long afternoon and while sat there, the quaintest Amish couple I have ever met, road up to us a few times on some old fashioned bikes. After greetings were exchanged and a few more visits, they decided to trust us and offer a place to sleep if we needed it. Later, we found this to be a life-saver!
As time drew near the bewitching hour from eleven to midnight, we saw a few vehicles roughly drive into the cemetery, wait and leave. My daughter has more courage to talk to strangers than I so she got out of our little truck and talked to the people for a short time. They didn't seem threatening but I thought it rather disrespectful to drive into a place of rest and park like one would at a drive-in movie theater.
The contacts in my eyes seemed to be too dry to see any orbs or maybe I was too tired but all I could try to see was a slight fog-like glow over the ground. My daughter could not see anything and was disappointed as we sat there. Our faith in God is stronger than our curiosity for the bizarre and that night, I was grateful for Him to be with us. He says that we shouldn't go into the dark and look for things of the dark and the reality is that there are forces and real things we should beware of.
After the other drivers left and we stayed, we had our windows down because it was summer. Being disgusted after not seeing anything out of the ordinary, we heard the most frightening long, low growl that I've ever heard in my life, coming from the opposite side of the dirt road. It was not bear-like as I had heard from movies or the ear-piercing cry of a mountain lion, or even the yipping of a coyote.
I looked at my little dog sitting between us quiet like the silent lamb before the slaughter and staring straight in the direction of the growl. That side of the road was completely dark. Then, as my daughter's eyes met mine, both of us rolled up our windows, started the car and flew down the road and parked in the nice couples' driveway!
A little while later, I watched my daughter and my little dog in her cage, both sleeping while I clung to the ceiling like a cat holding on for dear life, hair standing on end, and eyes wide while wondering what that was but only envisioned the beast as being a bear-clawed, saber-toothed bigfoot-gorilla. I was glad to see the beautiful sunrise on the mountains named the Blood our Savior shed for our sake. I thanked Him constantly the whole trip home!
c Sheryl Knapp, 2012
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