Between 8:00 am and 8:15 am, you may feel the earth tremble ever so slightly today. It may be shadow and flame. From a small light to the light of the sun, the fire boss passed into shadow. Mining cars and telephone poles flew across the canyon. The second explosion as those pitiful souls again sparked for light in the dark. Next, was immolation. All one hundred seventy one now walked in shadow. At seven thousand feet they still moan in the dark. Twenty minutes later, the earth swallowed its fire and the way became shut. To the living, that is.
It seems that earth and fire have always been used to contain the dead, but I very much doubt that either one suffices. Eighty nine years ago this very day, the Castle Gate mine disaster would intrigue people just as “Ghost Mine” fascinates today. The way is shut, but fire and shadow cannot be held. Recovery of the bodies took nine days. Identification of the victims was only possible, in some cases, by recognizing familiar articles of clothing. The remains of one miner were exhumed from the small cemetery near the mine entrance in order to rebury his body with his head, which was found some distance from the mine entrance subsequent to the hasty funeral service he had initially received.
Along with a headless spirit, a boy of fifteen and an old man of seventy three likely haunt with shadow and fire. Perhaps the four hundred and fifteen widows and fatherless children roam the grounds of sadness at night seeking what was taken from them.
The way is shut, but we believe they have a voice.
Between 8:00 am and 8:15 am, you may feel the earth tremble; you may hear the whispers of shadow and fire.