Paranormal: The Apache Death Cave

During the summer of 2018, I took a trip to the infamous Apache Death Cave in Two Guns, Arizona, for a paranormal investigation. My trip came from an e-mail correspondence I shared with another paranormal investigator. She read about the Apache Death Cave on a Reddit thread. She invited me to meet her in Arizona for an adventure. Unfortunately, she informed me she could not make it as I was driving in. I found myself pulling up alone to a cluster of small crumbling brick and mortar buildings late in the evening.  

I was told the entrance to Apache Death Cave looked like a hole in the ground. It turned out to be an apt description because a hole in the ground is precisely what it is. I switched from sneakers to hiking boots, grabbed my backpack, and cautiously navigated down the sloop into the cave. 

The history of the Apache Death Cave is sketchy, but some elements remain consistent. A band of Apache warriors attacked the Dene, stealing horses and murdering everyone except three girls, whom they kidnapped.  

The Dene elders took offense and sent war scouts to find the Apache. They tracked them to the now Apache Death Cave. After determining the three Dene girls had been killed, they set fires at the entrance to smoke out the Apache. The Apache are said to have slit the throats of their horses, trying to douse the fires with their blood. They also tried to build a wall of dead horses to block the smoke, but the equine engineering proved ineffective. 

When the smoke finally cleared, the Dene counted forty-something dead Apache. They left the dead to rot and avoided the area saying it was an “evil place.” If any part of the story is genuine or if the site is cursed, I cannot say for sure. Perhaps there is some lingering air of misfortune resulting from tragic events and restless spirits. Two Guns, Arizona appears to have had its share of calamities involving fires and murder. 

While researching how to find the Apache Death Cave on YouTube, I watched a couple of videos posted by psychics and Ghost Hunters visiting the Apache Death Cave. According to them, the Apache Death Cave is a hotbed of violent paranormal activity and a site of frequent Satanic Rituals, some including human sacrifice. The psychic even reported she experienced bouts of nausea and migraine headaches approaching the cave…due to all the overwhelming evil…

I remained unconvinced, but I was no less intrigued. 

In my opinion, the scariest thing about entering the cave is the potential for losing your footing on the rocks. It is a little steep. The amount of graffiti and trash also deserves mention. It would seem evil ghosts and Satanists are litterbugs. 

The inside of the Apache Death Cave is not particularly large. I could see how a small war band and a few prisoners might fit. Not the horses, though. No way. The cave was indeed dark, and it was only getting darker with the sun setting. I flicked on my lantern and used a lighter to melt the bottoms of some emergency candles, affixing them to rocks before lighting them. 

My research into the paranormal is not only technical and scholastic but deeply interactive. Besides being a paranormal investigator, I am a priest of Vodou and Palo Mayombe. I bring out my Ovilus-4 (a ghost-box) and a rattle or a cha-cha of an initiated Vodou priest from my backpack. Utilizing a cigar with specific inhalations and exhalations of tobacco, I entered into a medium’s trance. I began gently shaking my rattle to call the spirits of the place and consult them on the cave’s history. 

Soon I feel both elemental and nature spirits respond to my rattle. They are beings of minimal intelligence. Communication with them is almost purely empathic, and while interesting, it was not what I wanted. So I continued with my rattle and medium’s trance.

After some time, I sensed human spirits drawn to me by the tobacco smoke and the rhythmic shaking of my rattle. My psychic impressions showed native peoples. A tall and stately man stepped forward. He was shirtless with very long hair. He would speak for all of them.

I asked him about the cave’s history. The man said it had served as a shelter against “bad times.” He did not elaborate on what that meant. I asked him if any spirits were trapped inside this cave and if evil things happened here. He did not, at first, answer if any souls were trapped here but did say evil men had visited in the past. Lastly, he said, there were things imprisoned inside the earth nearby, and they should remain for a good reason. 

His warning caused me to consider its implications. He and his band of spirits used my moment of reflective pause to withdraw. I got the distinct feeling he had said all he could. In gratitude, I announced I would leave tobacco offerings for him and his people for the shared wisdom. I reeled my spiritual senses back in and became increasingly aware of my physical body. Switching on my lantern, I started to clean up and snuff out my candles. I heard a vehicle pull up and a group of noisy people climb out of it—impeccable timing. 

As I headed up and out, a young, obnoxiously enthusiastic group for “Apache Death Cave spookiness” teens greeted me. I told them I found some melted candles on the rocks in the cave, and someone had probably been worshiping the devil there. They clamored with delight, and I wished them well.  

In my Hotel room, I checked my Ovilus-4 ghost box. The following words were triggered during my investigation:

COMMERCIAL

ENFEEBLED

HEART

ATTACK

THEFT

ABANDONED

DESERTED

FIRE

A few of the words lined up with the Apache Death Cave’s supposed history, while others fit a different narrative. The history of Two Guns, Arizona, is a sorted one and equally as interesting as the Apache Death Cave. 

A couple named Earl and Lousie Cundiff acquired a large amount of land circa the 1920s and established a Rest Stop for food and gas on route 66. The Cundiffs were approached by a man named Henry “Indian” Miller. He claimed to be a full-blooded Apache chief whose name was Crazy Thunder. A claim many consider, at best, dubious. He convinced the Cundiffs to lease him a part of their land and somehow incorporated it as the town of Two Guns. 

Henry “Indian” Miller began telling the cursed Apache Death Cave story, which just happened to be located in the newly formed township of Two Guns, Arizona. He hung lights in the cave and opened up a soda stand. It is claimed Henry sold the bones of the dead Apache warriors as souvenirs. Henry “Indian” Miller’s success did not last long, and for reasons I can’t verify, he fell into financial hardship. 

Tensions existed between Henry “Indian” Miller and Earl Cundiff. When Henry tried to re-negotiate lease terms, these tensions escalated, and Henry shot and killed Earl. A killing for which he was later acquitted. It seems some “curse” like events started to befall Henry “Indian” Miller. After being mauled by animals and his trading post burning down, he disappeared for Two Guns. 

Two Guns, Arizona has been abandoned, revitalized, re-leased, re-sold, and burned down again numerous times since the Cundiffs and Henery “Indian” Miller. Presently, Two Guns Arizona sits deserted and destitute. Aspects of the Apache Death Cave story seem believable. Still, unfortunately, I don’t know if any of it can ever be historically validated. Nothing in my experience, subjective as it might be, with the spirits in the Apache Death Cave leads me to think anything that tragic or violent happened there. However, the surrounding area might have some exciting phenomena to explore.

The Ovilus-4 did pick up some words related to the story. Still, within context, it more accurately describes the interactions between the Cundiffs and Henry “Indian” Miller. The Apache Death Cave is likely a myth created by Henry “Indian” Miller, supposed Apache Chief Crazy Thunder, to lure commerce to Two Guns. But myth and legend can often take on a life of their own, and while the story itself may not have happened, events of a similar nature certainly did. 

It might be worth another look in the future. 

-Kevin Wikse

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