Spirits in Mooney Basin

Tales from the Old West …

Old West Tales

In 1929, English author Montague James offered five key features of ghost stories: They offer the pretense of truth, a “pleasing” sense of terror, they avoid bloodshed and sex, they avoid trying to explain the mechanism, and they offer a setting common to almost everyone.

Anthropologists tell us that stories of ghosts, or if you prefer, spirits originated among early civilizations as misty, airy, or barely tangible human shapes — the persons within the person. Where did these early people come up with such notions? The scientists imagine from the white mist exhaled as breath in colder climates. The remarkable thing about ghost stories is that they exist in all cultures, and they continue to exist as part of the human story-telling nature.

Mooney Basin, Nevada

I related one such tale in the story of Texas Ranger and frontiersman Big Foot Wallace in 2019. In my story about the American…

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