The Unexplained: The Mysterious Dark Watchers

The Dark Watchers have been spotted in the Santa Lucia Mountains for at least 300 years. Photo: Bureau of Land Management

Huge shadowy figures appear on the horizon in the late afternoon.  They loom over the mountains taking on human shapes.

John Steinbeck knew about the Dark Watchers and was probably a believer.  He put them in one of his stories.  His own mother had told him tales of these California oddities.  She was a believer herself and took food into the mountains to leave for the creatures as offerings.  Later she would find flowers where she had left the food.

Dark Watchers are huge shadowy figures that appear on the horizon in the late afternoon.  They loom over the mountains taking on a human appearance.  They are mostly featureless silhouettes, but sometimes they seem to be wearing wide-brimmed hats, like witches.  Some have a walking stick extending downward from a hand.  They may wear long dark cloaks.  They have been around for centuries.

Sara Marie Hogg

The Big Sur area of California seems to be a magnet for them.  There are tales of people disappearing off the face of the earth.

Spanish settlers living in the area in the 1700s called the giant shadows:  Los Vigilantes Oscuros, Dark Watchers. Oral histories from not only the Spanish but from indigenous people and many other groups of settlers all reported the same common problem their ancestors had all warned—do not try to approach one of the giant specters.

It could cause you to disappear.

Science wants the Dark Watchers to be the result of hallucinations, but old-timers in the area know better.

Another California writer and poet, Robinson Jeffers, has described them as “looking human to human eyes.”  They “come from behind ridges to watch…emerge from the quiet twilight before they melt into the shadows.”

Wait.  Before you say phooey, people have actually snapped some photos of them.  The Dark Watchers are closely akin to the German enigma, the Brocken Specter, that has been observed by German locals for generations.  It looms above the Brocken Peak in the Harz Mountains of Germany.

The same scientists that want the Dark Watchers to be hallucinations also want them to be caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

There are many who want the Santa Lucia Mountains, alongside Big Sur, to be investigated for evidence and proof of the Shadow Creatures.  Look up some of the images and see what you think.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Curious, Indeed, a collection of true stories about the unknown and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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