Phoenix, Arizona: heat, vacation, family, fun, but what if I told you that it also holds gold treasures, eerie feelings, and deadly outcomes? This is all true and it lies in the Superstition Mountains. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, is the mountains, where many people go, only to never be seen again. Superstition Mountains is a collection of rough terrain that has earned the name of one single mountain. Over many years, thousands of men and women lives have been taken, all in this very mountain, but why? The Apache Indians were the first to set eyes on the mountains, followed by the Spanish conquistadors. When the Spaniards reached the area, the Apache told them that the mountain contained gold, but refused to help the Spaniards find it. The Apache, thought of the Superstition Mountains as their sacred ground where they worshipped their “Thunder God”. It was said that if a person dared to trespass upon the sacred ground to look for the gold, the “Thunder God”, would punish them by death (Legends of America). When the Spaniards tried to explore the mountain on their own, they noticed that some of their men would mysteriously vanish. Even if one man strayed only a few feet away from the group, he was never seen alive again. The bodies of the men who were found were mutilated, many with their heads cut off. After seeing this, remaining Spaniards refused to return to the mountains, and named it Monte Superstition (Legends of America).
In the 1870’s, Jacob Waltz who had befriended one of the Peralta heirs, was allegedly told the location of the mine. Waltz was a German immigrant, who had relocated to Arizona and owned a homestead on the northern side of the Superstition Mountains (Legends of America). While there, he met an Apache girl named Ken-tee, who despite the fact knew Waltz was almost 60 years-old, became his mistress. The pair moved near the Superstition Mountains range, and the Apache Indians believed that Ken-tee revealed the mine’s location to Waltz. The Apache who were convinced that Ken-tee betrayed the site of their secret ground, attacked both Waltz and Ken-tee. Although Waltz managed to escape, Ken-tee was seized and her tongue was cut out (Legends of America).
Years had passed, and Waltz would often appear in Phoenix, with saddlebags filled with gold before disappearing once again in to the Superstition Mountains. People often asked of him the obvious questions, “Where was the gold coming from?”, “Where was the mine?” To these, Waltz would give contradictory statements and directions. When people tried to follow him out of town, he would "lose” them in the many clefts and canyons on the peak (Legends of America). In 1891, Waltz homestead was caught in a flood and he barely survived, only to be saved by two rescuers. The rescuers took him to a woman named Julia who tried to take care of him but he soon caught pneumonia. Waltz would speak to the rescuers and Julia, until the day he had a stroke and was unable to talk. When he would speak, Waltz would drop little hints of where the gold would be located on the mountain. Soon Waltz died, and the rescuers including Julia tried looking for the gold throughout years. Julia, after searching for many years, decided to give up and never return to the mountains whereas the rescuers, continued to search until the time of their death. Since then, no one could find the hidden gold, and the mine is now known as ‘The Lost Dutchman Mine’.
This legend has plagued the mind of many, some saying the mine does exist, and some saying that it does not. For the many of people who do believe the mine exist, they try to confirm their suspicions by going into the mountains. Most never being seen alive again, add to the chilling suspense that the legend is true and gold mine does in fact lie within the Superstition Mountains.
Forbidden Treasure 2016. “The Lost Dutchmans Gold Mine.” YouTube, 19 June 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXjOYMpef9Y
Public photo domain. “The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.” 2013. https://skeptoid.com/images/barkley-large.jpg
Weiser, Kathy. “The Lost Dutchman Mine.” Legends of America, Jan. 2015, pp 1-2.
For more information visit other references such as:
Dunning, Brian. “The Lost Dutchman Mine.” Brian Dunning, writer. www.skeptoid.com/episodes/4347. 29. January. 2013. This article, written by Brian dunning, gives us the background story of Jacob Waltz, whom the mine is named after. It tells us that since his death, the map he has created has been reproduced several times, all of which seems to be suspicious. The source is unique because it focuses on the map being sold and reproduced by many in hopes to find the lost treasure. The source is relevant because the map Jacob Waltz created was also found suspicious and unreliable because he made it on his death bed, which is probably the reason why no one can find the hidden treasure. The article, which is online, is mostly about the origin of The Lost Dutchman Mine story and its intended audience is all the believers in the tale.
Rhett Miller, Joshua. “Body of Man Who Hunted Legendary ‘Lost Dutchman’s’ Gold Mine Believed Found in Arizona Mountains. Joshua Rhett Miller, writer. www.foxnews.com. 29. November. 2012. This article, written by Joshua Rhett Miller, gives us details on a body that is believed to be of a person who was hunting the lost gold mine in Arizona. This source is unique because it focuses on the discovery of the body and how it ties into the legend that if you go looking for the treasure, you will suffer the consequences of death. The source is relevant because there are many stories of death that happen within the mountains because people go looking for its hidden treasures. The deaths are supposedly related to the curse for trespassing on the sacred ground of the Thunder God. The article, which is online, is about the discovery of the body, how obsessed he man was with finding the treasures in the Superstition Mountains, and the deaths that occur which can be related to the centuries old legend. This article’s intended audience are people who believe in the tale and are being warned that searching for the treasure could lead to an obsession, which leads to death if you don’t heed the warning.
Speigel, Lee. “Lost Dutchman Gold Mine: Does ‘X’ Mark the Spot?”. Lee, Speigel, writer, reporter, paranormal expert. www.huffingtonpost.com. 3. March. 2015. This article, written by Lee Speigel, gives us a review of a documentary of people trying to find, The Lost Dutchman Mine, using a map. The source is unique because it is a review of a documentary that shows a man hiking the Superstition Mountains to find the lost gold. The source is relevant because it is a modern day look at the mountains instead of a story from years ago. The article, which is online, is about a man’s quest to find the lost gold as he has been searching for years now. The intended audience, are people who want to know more information about the mine and get an inside look at what it is like to travel to and through these mountains.
Spencer, Monica. “The Legend of Arizona’s Lost Dutchman Gold Mine is Downright Deadly.” Monica Spencer, writer. www.onlyinyourstate.com Arizona. P, 2016. This article, written by Monica Spencer, gives us the chilling history of what has become one of Arizona’s most attractive places. Explaining why the gold mine is deadly, the author uses the examples of the many deaths and disappearances that have occurred while searching for the Superstition Mountain’s treasures. The source is unique because it focuses on what makes the quest of finding the treasure so deadly. The source is relevant and useful because the writer of the article lives in Arizona and writes about all other topics related to Arizona attractions. The article, which is online, is just one of the many articles that the author writes about involving Arizona, and its intended audience are for people who are curious about the legend and why it is deadly.
Taylor, Troy. “The Lost Dutchman Mine One of America’s Most Haunting Mysteries.” Troy Taylor, author. www.prairieghosts.com C, 2000-2008. The article by Troy Taylor, is an excerpt from his book, Out Past the Campfire Light, asks three important questions, “What strange secrets lie hidden near Superstition Mountain in Arizona?”, “Did a lone minor really discover a fortune in lost gold here?, and “What strange force caused many of adventurers to die brutal deaths and vanish without a trace in this rugged region?” The article uses the except from the book to explain the history of the haunted mountains as well as give examples answering each question that they asked in the beginning. The source is unique because instead of it being a curious person who wanted to write about a so-called legend that they heard it uses an excerpt from a book. The source is relevant and useful because the author of the book that the article uses, is a researcher of history, crime and the supernatural. The article, which is featured online and a part of a collection of other unexplained mysteries and ghost stories, is aimed at an audience who believe in hauntings that happen across the world.