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The Desert Swelter


An Open Minded Skeptic
This true story, witnessed by 4 people, can be related as either a story about Angels or Ghosts, whichever suits you fancy.

In the mid 1960’s, my wife as a child, her Sister, Mother and Father, decided to take a trip across the country, returning from California back to Illinois. They wanted to return along the famous Route 66, mainly for the scenery and various tourist stops, so picking up the highway in Southern California, they traveled East, North East without incident, until they reached a pretty desolate area of Texas. At the time my wife’s Father was driving a late 1950’s Nomad, one of those extremely large station wagons of the post World War Two era. The vehicle was a gas guzzler, and my then Father-in-Law misjudged just how badly, as they began the long sojourn through the sweltering desert.

It became so alarming that he later told me he began to sweat, not just from the heat of his open window, but nervously so, peering down at the fuel gage and praying there would be enough gasoline to take them across this no man’s land to the next fill up station.

As the car began to sputter, he knew he was in for it….

But not the way he thought.

For up ahead in the distance he could make out what he insisted (yet my wife did not see) was a small shack and old fashioned pump (which she did see), the kind which had a globe on the top of its classic glass and metal body. Laughing to himself for being so worried, he gladly drove the final 100 or so yards to the small station, the kids jumping around in the trunk area, happily waiting to get out and stretch their legs. Approaching the old dirt road which led off to the place he began to sweat once again.

The entire area looked completely abandoned, with not even a car to show anyone had been there in many years.

Thinking perhaps it would be best if he at least checked out the shack for sheltering the family, he told the kids to stay put, smiled at his overtly anxious wife, and got out of the Nomad to check the place out.

As he walked toward the old run down shack he was surprised to hear something, or someone inside, hooping it up and speaking amongst what seemed to be others replying in kind.

He couldn’t believe his luck!

There were no cars within visual site of the desert; the place looked like it wasn’t in use since before the Great War, and now he heard what sounded like a party going on inside.

Noticing the door was split open as he mounted the little porch, he happily walked inside to find 5 men sitting around this old oak table playing cards. In what must have been a relief beyond any reckoning, Dad asked one of the men if it was possible to get some fuel, and the answer was simply, “sure, help yourself”…..

10 minutes later as the gas gage was now showing over filled, my Father-in-Law returned to the shack to pay the cost of the gas, and to his surprise, found no one at the table. Thinking perhaps they went out back, he walked out and searched everywhere for the men, but to no avail!

Pulling out of the old place and settling in for the long drive out of the desert and into Oklahoma, he turned his head back just once to see if he could find the man, or men, who gave him the chance to get his family safely out of the desert…..

There wasn’t a soul to be found anywhere….

In fact, There was just an old beat up pump sitting in the middle of a dried up station…..

And according to everyone else in the car, sworn to this day, no shack was EVER in sight.
Good story. :cool:

I'm convinced that spending time in the desert can make weird things happen. My wife and I were on route to Ruidoso, New Mexico from west Texas one evening. Somewhere between the middle of nowhere and Roswell, we found ourselves stuck behind a slow moving truck for 30 miles. Driving time behind the truck could not have exceeded 45 minutes--no way, no how. But both my wife and I would swear under oath we had been there for hours and hours. Time simply seemed to stop.

We arrived at the Denney's in Roswell in late evening. I stepped out of the car and found the sidewalk was heaving and undulating under my feet; much like the feeling of being at sea. I wasn't dizzy. My eyes showed things to be normal. But again, I could FEEL the ground moving. We made our way inside to a booth. I sat down, expecting to 'snap out of it'. But again, I was plagued by sensations of the seat and table constantly squirming and undulating, as if made of rubber. My visual senses remained fine.

I've driven long haul stretches to near exhaustion, and I know what that's like. But this felt different. The strangeness soon stopped and we were on our way. I have never experienced anything like it before or since.
Good story. :cool:

I'm convinced that spending time in the desert can make weird things happen.

I totally agree with you here. The really strange part about this though, is the simple fact that Dad had actually witnessed the entire station, including the shack, and yet his kids and wife only noticed the gas pump and nothing more, in what could only be described by the other three years later as a deserted place.

The other rather strange part of the entire story in which to this day I cannot explain, is the utter lack of vehicles, albeit even horses that these men (Angelic or Ghostly) hadn't seemed to have rode in or drove. I couldn't help but ask myself, "where were the cars these men used"......"Where were their horses if not cars"....

I even allowed myself the reasoning behind the possibility that his children (wife) and mother might not have noticed the old run down shack because their mindsets were too occupied with survival or even the onset of mass hysteria, yet when Dad left the place, even he seemed to notice there was nothing left behind but the round globed pump. He must have been seriously relieved to know his family would be just fine, so hysteria at this level would be psychologically lacking in setting.

It is one of the better stories amongst the strange stories I have told over the years, and perhaps I will set about and tell some more soon. It is in fact one of the main reasons why I ventured into the paranormal realm in study in the first place. Finding logical answers to these mysteries has always been a priority of my investigations.

Thanks again for your kind words.