Northern Californians take pride in Mount Shasta. It towers above the surrounding hills and valleys, can be seen from miles away, and is just plain gorgeous. Many of locals in Northern California don’t know, however, just how many crazy stories and mysterious legends surround this iconic peak.
Mount Shasta is located in Siskiyou county and is part of the Cascade Mountain Range. It is 14,179 feet above sea level and it is an active volcano.
Those aren't the only interesting facts about it, though. It is the site of several mysterious and pretty creepy legends.
These include Native American legends from the first people who settled in this area. They were recorded by writer Joaquin Miller in the 1870s.
The Native American legend goes like this: Mount Shasta is inhabited by the spirit
of Chief Skell, who descended from heaven to the mountain's summit. Skell fought with Spirit of the Below-World, Llao, who resided at Mount Mazama by throwing hot rocks and lava, probably representing the volcanic eruptions at both mountains.
Also, the founder of a 1930s religious movement apparently met a saint on the slopes of Mt. Shasta. He went on to form the a popular religion that still exists today on a smaller scale.
According to Guy Ballard, while hiking on Mount Shasta, he encountered a man who introduced himself as Comte de Saint-Germain. Saint Germain is said to have started Ballard on the path to discovering the teachings that would become the "I AM" Activity religious movement.
While both of these tales might seem a little kooky to those of us just hearing them for the first time, they pale in comparison to the story of the city beneath the mountain.
The tamer version of the tale involves a wayward prospector of the early 1900s.
According to a legend, a British prospector named JC Brown discovered a lost underground city beneath Mt. Shasta in 1904. He had been hired by The Lord Cowdray Mining Company of England to prospect for gold, and discovered a cave which sloped downward for 11 miles. There, he found an underground village filled with gold, shields, and mummies. He also reported seeing a mysterious 10 foot tall being. Thirty years later, he told his story to John C. Root who proceeded to gather an exploration team in Stockton, California. 80 people joined the team, but on the day the team was to set out, Brown did not show up. He was never heard from again.
Coincidentally, this was not the only legend of an underground city below Mount Shasta...nor is even the creepiest.
A writer named Frederick Spencer Oliver published A Dweller on Two Planets in 1899. The book claimed that survivors from a sunken continent called Lemuria were living in or on Mount Shasta. These people, called Lemurians, lived in a complicated network of tunnels beneath the mountain and occasionally were seen walking the surface dressed in white robes.
These seemingly far fetched tales that may or may not be true, but that doesn't change the fact that people have been enamored with Mount Shasta as long as they have known of its existence.
How many of these stories have you heard before? We’re willing to bet some of them are new, but drop us a note on Facebook and let us know which ones you think are the most interesting!