A Not-So-Enchanted Rock Returned to State Park in Fredericksburg

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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area posted this note on their Facebook page this week. Apparently, a visitor had taken a rock from the park and had experienced nothing but bad luck ever since. This prompted the visitor to send the rock back in an effort to make amends with, not only the park, but also the universe, it seems. As it turns out, Enchanted Rock is seen as a spiritual place for many and so, this story might not be as far-fetched as it seems. There are numerous tales of spirits and legends that haunt the area.

Karmic Retribution

Enchanted Rock

Photo: Facebook/texasparksandwildlife

Humans have lived on and camped near Enchanted Rock for 12,000 years and the area has fascinated people for most of this time. The park, which is one of the most-visited parks in the state park system, features a huge pink dome, 1,825 feet above sea level, that looks so out of place in the Hill Country that it might cause you to think that you’re on a different planet.

Drawing People In For More Than 12,000 Years

Enchanted rock

Photo: Pixabay/GeorgeB2

The rock has weaved its powers of enchantment over many people for thousands of years, drawing those inspired by religious awe, inspired by greed, or inspired to appreciate the rock simply for being a natural wonder. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Tonkawa Indians thought that “ghost fires” flickered on top of the dome. The odd creaking and groaning coming from the dome frightened them. Geologists, however, say that the dome creaks and groans as temperatures change. As for the ghost fires, the rock glitters on clear nights after rain. Scientists think the glittering is reflections from collected water or wet feldspar.

Hosting Many Sordid Tales of Tragedy

enchanted rock at sunset

Photo: Facebook/enchantedrock

One sordid tale from Enchanted Rock tells of an Indian maiden who saw her tribe killed by an enemy. She threw herself off the top of Enchanted Rock, and her spirit haunts the rock still. Another romantic story tells of a young Spanish soldier who rescued his true love just as Comanches were about to burn her at the base of the rock. And yet another tale tells of when the Tonkawa Indians captured a Spanish conquistador, who escaped by hiding in the rocks. This gave rise to an Indian legend of a “pale man swallowed by a rock and reborn as one of their own.” The Indians believed he wove enchantments on the area.

Many still believe the area to be a very spiritual place, so it’s not so dubious to imagine that taking a rock from such a sacred area might put one “in between a rock and a hard place,” (so to speak) with the spirits that call the area home.

Aside of the “karmic retribution” aspect of this story, all Texas State Parks have a strict “Leave No Trace” rule within the parks, asking visitors to leave the area as they found it – removing litter and leaving rocks, sticks and wildlife alone. So, whatever best convinces you to “Leave No Trace,” bad juju or getting in trouble with the state park, it’s best to leave our state park’s rocks right where you found them.