The Haunting Legend of ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ is Based on a True Story

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Texas is full of lore, legends, and ghost stories. The tale of the Ghost Riders is by far the saddest, most evil, not to mention, the most famous one in the country. This legend is sadly true, a senseless ghoulish tragedy which took place in Crosby County, Texas. You may know it as Stampede Mesa. The legend inspired the classic song “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

The Haunting Legend of 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' is Based on a True Story
Photo: Pinterest

It all began like any other cattle drive should have back in the fall of 1889. The weather had been less than cooperative; the cowboys were worn to a frazzle and the herd had been restless the entire trip. Late one night as they began climbing the slope to the top of the range near some water, a storm began brewing. They’d planned to set up camp just over the ridge near the water. Sawyer, the trail boss rode ahead to check out the surroundings and  look out for Indians. He was shocked to see a brand new homestead perched right on top of the hill. He’d taken this route hundreds of  times without incident, but now this was blocking his entire herd from crossing. It would take hours to go around it.

Sawyer became infuriated. Without explanation, he shouted and cursed and, waved a blanket high into the air to create a stampede. The nervous cattle scattered. Horses, some with riders, some without began running with all their might. His men obediently followed behind.  Sawyer was screaming, whipping at the animals, as lightning bolts began flashing through the sky.  The panicked livestock hurled straight through the farmhouse crushing everyone and everything in its path.  No one could hear the screams of the innocent as the animals raged through. Loud thunder and dark skies made the terrified herd keep running until they ran off of several nearby cliffs to their death. Horses holding the cowhands followed behind.

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