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Santa Fe KOA

J. Buckner, California, USA
March 2000

We hadn't planned on all that rain last August when we decided to camp out at the Santa Fe, New Mexico KOA. The campground host said that we were in luck -- we didn't have to pitch our tent in the mud because they had a cabin available.

It was a cute log cabin with one room. There was a set of bunk beds for our kids, and a double bed for my husband and I. After doing the tourist thing in downtown Santa Fe, we headed back to our cabin. It had stopped raining, but the streets were slick, and it there was mud puddles surrounding our cabin. We fell into bed exhausted, but no one had a peaceful night's rest.

As soon as I closed my eyes, I could hear a dog barking and whining. I tried to ignore it, but as soon as I drifted off to sleep, the dog would bark and howl. It sounded as if it were right under my window.

The next morning I complained to my family, but no one else heard the dog. My oldest daughter complained about the residents of the neighboring cabin, and how they talked all night long. My other daughter said she didn't hear talking or dogs, but she heard thuds on the walls and porch, which woke her up several times during the night. My husband said he didn't hear thuds, dogs, or talking, which is unusual because he has always been a light sleeper. But he acted nervous, biting his lip, and working his jaw when the rest of us were complaining of a lousy night's sleep.

On the way back from the restroom, I ran into the host and complained about the noises that kept us up all night. He said there wasn't any dogs in our part of the campground, and that I probably heard an "area dog." He said the thuds were probably someone opening and closing the doors or windows on the RVs, and the talking was people passing by, because the cabins on either side of us were vacant. When I insisted that it sounded like a dog was howling right under my window, he looked at me as if I were crazy. We walked around the outside of the cabin, but sure enough, there were no footprints from a dog, or anything else, in the soft, wet soil outside the cabin.

While the kids were taking a shower, I sat on the front porch swing having a cup a coffee with my husband. He said that he didn't want to say anything in front of the kids, but he had had a terrible dream, and began to tell me about it.

He dreamed that there were many people in the cabin, some were sitting on the floor, some on the bed, and some were coming in and out. They were just looking at us, staring with vacant white eyes. Pretty soon, the people started losing body parts - an arm or a leg would fall off, and blood would squirt out all over the floor. My husband was terrified at the sight, and tried to leave, but he was tied to the bed. An old woman approached him and told him that there would be no rest for anyone in this place, that it was a sacred Indian burial ground, and that he should take us away immediately.

Even though we had rented the cabin for a week, I got up and started packing as soon as he finished his story. My husband went inside and rolled up the sleeping bags on the beds without saying a word. When the girls came back, I thought they'd be disappointed that we were leaving, but instead they were relieved. They both admitted that the place gave them the creeps. Even though it was starting to get hot, there was goose bumps up and down their arms.

As we turned off the feeder street to the freeway, I noticed a historical marker -- something about Indians. I wanted to go back and read it, but I also wanted to get the heck out of there. Maybe someday, I'll go back and read that sign, but I'll never spend another night at the Santa Fe KOA.

J. Buckner, California, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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