By Helena Rodriguez
My eyes were always drawn to the rustic rifle hanging on a rack above Grandpa Chico’s bed. It gave me the chills. I’ve always been afraid of guns. But that is not why this one made me shiver as a child.
This particular gun was said to have been cursed since the moment Grandpa Chico and his brothers unearthed it from a hidden burial spot in South Texas in the early 1900s. And when they brought their treasured find home, they also brought home a band of unwanted guests — a stampede of stagecoaches, wild horses and bandits — whose wild gunfights mysteriously arose in the stillness of night and shook their frail house until the crack of dawn.
This is according to my Grandpa Chico who told us this chilling story, which he claimed to be true.
The gun on the wall, which Grandpa Chico believed belonged to the likes of Mexican revolutionaries Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata, was evidence
Every family has a good ghost story. This is ours, in a condensed version.
According to Grandpa Chico, he and his brothers were roaming around a ranch one day when they saw something sticking out of the ground. After kicking around dirt, they discovered rifles, guns, holsters and other weaponry. They excitedly gathered it up and took it home to show their parents.
After bringing home the treasures, however, a shrilling cry awoke them that night. It sounded like an army had surrounded their home. There was the sound of horses, constant gun shooting and fierce fighting. They were too afraid to go outside or look outside.
When the clamor finally ceased at daybreak and they went outside, there was no trace of anything they had heard the night before.
The next night was a repeat.
Finally, on the third day, weary from two sleepless nights and the unexplained commotion, their mother concluded that the found goods were cursed and must be returned.
They returned all of their finds, burying them in the hole where they found them.
Unbeknownst to anyone, however, Grandpa Chico stubbornly held on to one rifle. But when they returned home that night, they finally rested peacefully.
Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at: Helena-Rodriguez@hotmail.com