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Terrifying Tale of Slaughterhouse Canyon
There are several variations to the Slaughterhouse Canyon legend. Although there are differences in the tales, the premise of the story is the same. The canyon where the horrific tale occurred is actually Luana's Canyon situated just southeast of Kingman, Arizona.
Kingman is a typical little desert town established in 1882. It had served as a military camp and even an Indian reservation. It began to grow when a section of railroad was routed through the area.
There are other similar stories in that part of the country and many who have heard the Slaughterhouse Canyon story often confuse it with a Mexican tragedy called Legend of La Llorona, Spanish for "the weeping woman.”
But the common thread in all renditions of the account is a woman murdered her children. It is the reason why and circumstances of the story that differ. Some versions of the story say she killed them because her husband was unfaithful. But allegedly the husband was a caring and loving man, so that scenario seems unlikely. Other accounts have the children drowning.
However, the most common version of the story goes a miner and his family moved into a small wooden shack along a dry wash in the middle of the canyon. The wife’s name was Luana, thus the name of the canyon.
The husband wanted nothing more than to provide a better life for his wife and children. It wasn’t uncommon in those days for a man to leave his family for weeks at a time and seek gold in the Northwestern Mountains. This miner was no different and so he would venture off into the mountains in search of gold and food for his family. The only food his family had was what he brought home from his gold hunting expeditions.
One day the miner rode off on the back of a mule and never returned. No one knows what became of him. But, it is thought he was probably the victim of a robbery, an accident or perhaps killed by wild animals.
Luana patiently waited for her husband’s return…but he didn’t. The food eventually ran out and they found themselves starving. Without food and unable to care for her children, Luana slowly became insane. Her children became weak and constantly begged for food, but there was none to be had.
Unable to cope with watching her children slowly starve to death, she murdered them and cut them up into small pieces. It is also said she put on her white wedding gown before committing the ghastly act. When she had finished, her white wedding gown and the walls of the tiny wooden shack were splattered with the blood of her children. Locals in Kingman called the house where the murders took place the “Slaughterhouse.”
The woman then carried the remains of her children down to the edge of the river and tossed them in. She collapsed in a blood soaked heap and began to wail loudly for her children. She remained on the river bank continuing to scream and wail until the next morning when she succumbed to starvation herself. She died mourning the children she had murdered.
According to local residents the wails and sobs of a heartbroken and psychotic mother can still be heard within the canyon. Those who have heard it are convinced it is simply not just an urban legend.