Ahh, Halloween: the only time of year where scaring people is the number one activity/priority for some adults and kids. Every type of town from Connecticut to Washington might have their own urban legends or ghost stories that are commonly heard around the campfire or at a Halloween party. Now that you have the gist of what’s to come, let’s begin.
DISCLAIMER: The following is a recount of 2 tales that have been circulated in Laguna Pueblo and heard by many children in this writer’s generation. Specific details that may not be accounted for is because the stories have been told over a span of many, many years by many, many people. Any offense Laguna Pueblo residents may take in the inaccuracy of the stories, again, the versions being told are ones that were heard by this writer. Enjoy!
Laguna Pueblo is a moderately big community with a long history. Storytellers have always been around to help us remember who we are and where we come from…and for entertainment purposes of course! So now, tradition continues as we hear the story of the Pajama Boy.
Nobody really knows how the story started or even the real name of Pajama Boy but all that is known is that encounters with him have left supposed witnesses shaken. The Pajama Boy lived in the small village of Paraje, which is located along one of the numerous mesas surrounding the Laguna Pueblo. He was a boy of about 5 to 7 years of age, a very sweet boy whom everybody liked. One night, in the 1950s (the storyteller always make it a few decades old for “creditability” so it has been said), Pajama Boy’s parents went out to a party quite far away from Paraje village and left him alone at home. By the time the boy’s parents returned home in the wee hours of the morning, they found their house burnt down with their son inside. Some say the fire was an accident caused by a burning ember that fell from the fire place onto the floor. Some say the parent’s were very drunk when they came home and started the fire. They escaped but forgot about their child in the flaming house. It was a very sad incident no doubt, but what happened after is what’s pretty creepy. The parents never rebuilt the house and moved away immediately after the fire but there are some who say that they’ve seen a boy in pajamas wandering old Route 66 around the Paraje village area, just walking beside the road at night. Witnesses who claim they’ve picked him up say that the boy gets in the car, says nothing…and then disappears. Other witnesses claim that when he gets in the car, they can see he has no face and then vanishes. Normally this story is told when cruising along old Route 66 at night and then the driver pretends to pull over for a boy walking along the road. Sometimes, when the storyteller has help, it’s told to a group who is then scared from behind by someone wearing a stocking cap over their face.
The next story walks a fine line between truth and fiction. It all happened in the 1980s at a then popular hiking spot called Snoopy Rock, named because of the rock formation that looks like the famous Peanuts character, Snoopy, lying on his back along the mesa. This spot is located just a little over a mile southwest of Laguna village along a very narrow and sometimes, treacherous, trail. However those who made the trip usually went in groups on more than reliable trucks. One group who decided to make the trip was a group of schoolchildren who had gone there as part of a field trip. Teachers used to bring plastic mats for the kids to slide down the smooth sandstone side of the mesa shaped just like a huge slide. However, 2 children, a boy and a girl, seemed to slip away unnoticed by the teachers and chaperones. They ran away to another part of the mesa called Snoopy’s nose which used to look just like it sounds: atop the “sleeping beagle” was a huge boulder only held in place by well-placed rocks. They played a game of Tag, running around Snoopy’s nose, not knowing that by leaning on it and climbing on it was loosening the foundation that was holding the “nose” in place. And it was when the little boy decided to climb on top of the nose, is when the boulder came free. Everything happened so quickly that the teachers didn’t know what happened until they heard the boulder crashing to the ground. When the staff went over to investigate they noticed the little girl on the ground with a broken arm, crying for the boy. The boy however was nowhere to be seen. After the paramedics and firefighters had arrived and cleared the area, they lifted the boulder and all their fears had come true, the boy was crushed under the boulder. To this day, no field trips have been allowed to the site again. This reporter remembers a time when they did have field trips to Snoopy Rock and when they were cancelled and children asked why, they were told that the road was too worn and dangerous. Nevertheless, curious hikers and even more inquisitive teens sometimes venture up to Snoopy Rock to make camp and tell the story of the boy who died at Snoopy Rock who sometimes appears to people in search of a body parts he lost because of the fall and will try to take it from one of the campers. Or sometimes, he’ll appear when the campers are asleep and kidnap someone. The person kidnapped is never seen again.
The crazy thing about the last story is, as stated before, that it is a very fine line between being real or fake. Eyewitnesses claim that that very incident did happen which halted the field trips to Snoopy Rock, which at the time were common for schools in the Laguna Pueblo area. Other people claim that nothing ever happened there and that the boulder that was Snoopy’s nose fell after lots of years of wear-n-tear by Mother Nature. Whether these stories were as real as the air we breathe or as fake as ever, if they made you shiver a bit, then this reporter has done her job. If not, Happy Halloween!!!