The following is an adapted excerpt from Paranormal Texas, my best-selling travel guide to haunted places and paranormal hot spots near Dallas and Fort Worth. Check it out if you enjoy learning historic haunted lore, or are looking for unusual road trip ideas in north Texas.
The legend of hidden gold in Arlington’s Crystal Canyon Natural Area is one of those tall Texas tales that make historians roll their eyes. It’s such a persistent bit of folklore, however, that I had to look into it.
Besides, all fiction aside, people do report paranormal activity here.
Like many legends, the story of Crystal Canyon begins with a kernel of truth – or in this case, a colonel, by the name of Jacob Snively. Snively was an officer for the Republic of Texas who led a band of men calling themselves “The Batallion of Invincibles.” Their mission, should they choose to accept it, was raiding Mexican wagons that crossed into Texas territory.
So far so good, but Snively and his merry men were disbanded. As it turns out, the US Army viewed these raids as an act of piracy against the Mexican government rather than justifiable border patrol activity.
The legend, on the other hand, claims that Snively’s group went against orders and grabbed a tidy sum of Mexican gold on one of their raids. When US troops caught wind of this, they cornered Snively and his Invincibles at Arlington’s Crystal Canyon. As a last ditch effort, the Invincibles buried their stolen Mexican gold in the canyon walls before being taken into custody.
As for the gold? It was never found.
It was never found, of course, because it was never there. Still, you must admit that this urban legend is an improvement from a storytelling perspective! These days, Crystal Canyon Natural Area is a pretty park, good for gemstone hunters, joggers, and bird-watchers.
Whatever actually happened here, many people insist that Crystal Canyon is a paranormal hot spot. The truth remains to be discovered. Perhaps you will be the one to figure out what’s really behind the phantom footsteps and disembodied voices people report hearing to this day.
Plan your trip to Crystal Canyon
Crystal Canyon Natural Area
1000 Brown Blvd.
Arlington, TX 76011
Want to read more like this?
To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best-selling travel guide:
UNEXPECTED TEXAS: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to do near Dallas & Fort Worth.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best-selling travel guide to haunted places:
PARANORMAL TEXAS: Your Travel Guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Fort Worth.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out this bizarre piece of West Texas history:
The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber
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