Paranormal Investigators / Ghost Hunters
Topeka, Kansas
785.506.1001
128 - Dead Man's Canyon

Type : Full Investigation
Visits:  Multiple
Anam Status:  Closed Case File
Location Status:  The highway's still there! (LOL) and still active.  Last run here was 2011, and still getting EVP
City: Colorado Springs area, Colorado
Driving: Highway travel, paved roads
Permissions: Open highway for a section his 'sighted' location. Uncertain if the old house he lived in is still even there
The Story
This canyon is haunted by the ghoulish phantom of a man with an ax in his forehead. The ghost is that of William Harkins, that has haunted the area since 1863, when he was murdered by a gang of Mexican religious fanatics, the Espinosa Brothers. His white horse was gone, and his house had been robbed when they found him dead days later, a cleaver in the back of his head.

Over the years, dozens of people have reported being chased by the angry phantom near his cabin on Little Fountain Creek. Some have fired bullets at his ghastly shade, some have run in fear. Quite a few wound up shooting themselves in the foot, or their horse's ear, etc trying to fend off his ghost charging at them. In the summer of 1884, a grandmother called Mrs. Wyatt was riding through the canyon in a buggy. With her was her small grandson, whom she was taking home to his parents after a short visit at Grandma’s. Near Harkins’s old cabin, they stopped to pick a bouquet of wildflowers for the little boy’s mother. Harkins popped out of some nearby scrub oak. The little boy burst into tears. Grandma grabbed her quirt and began beating the crap out of him, yelling, “You old buzzard, how dare you scare a baby like that! I’ll be back through here later, and if you bother me, I’ll give you what-for again! Now GIT FROM HERE!” He disappeared. Only after did she realize that he had an axe in his head.

He is apparently still pretty pissed off. It might be a good idea not to take a shot at him; just take a leather quirt along and wave it threateningly. He should let you alone after that. 


The Investigation
We had the feeling as we approached and searched for the exact area that we were being watched ... and we soon figured out why. When we investigate in a potentially unsafe area (animal-wise) I strap a machete on my back. Not that it will do much good against bears and such ... but it makes us feel a bit safer. Considering that this man died with a sharp blade in his head, we didn't even think not to bring the machete ... and the energies were ANGRY at us for having it as we started walking around. Once it hit us why we were so unwelcome, we all did the V8 slap of the forehead and said, "Ooooohhhh Yeah!" Once I switched weapons to a non-sharp one, we seemed to feel nothing but friendship. Which was a good thing. At one point, two of us were walking around and two were in the car warming up and something crashed against my truck. We asked the two in there about it, and they had heard it, but seen no animal anywhere to have caused it. One investigator literally turned into a freezie-pop on one spot and her teeth began to chatter ... the temp drop was about 15 degrees in about 5 seconds flat. There are more ghosts up and down that whole area than just poor Mr. Harkins. 

The EVP
A male interruption to our warming up in the car.
Whispered words trying to be heard as we sat and talked in the car
The Conclusion
Wonderful haunt. But don't bring and ax, knife or anything else sharp, and especially don't carry it with you if you do. This place has definitely earned its place on haunted lists all over the internet. Even though we feel something strongly, and the temp readings alone convinced us, we can't say for certain if it's the gentleman with the axe in his head. Or if it is, who he is exactly. During the time researching this history, we've found practically nothing on his death or life. So perhaps the name is wrong. Who knows.