We asked a few of our favorite authors to tell us about the most enchanted places they’ve ever been.  This is what they came up with …

Sometimes the magic is almost too perilous to touch, and you come away not sure why. I’m thinking deep in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, the wildlands of vast canyons in remote and roadless country. You find ancient cliff dwellings tucked into high and difficult places. These don’t look like cleaned-up National Park ruins, but are still handsomely blanketed in their own debris: bones, broken vessels, and scraps of thousand-year-old turkey feather blankets.

You feel ghosts here, memories lingering in the silence. You are careful with your gestures and what you say. Some Navajo adhere to old traditions and taboos, and even walking through some of these canyons means you have to go to a ceremony to be cleansed. You talk to people who grew up here and they tell you about finding human skeletons eroded from arroyos.

©Arthur Bohlmann
©Arthur Bohlmann

This is a legendary landscape of skinwalkers, witches, and coyotes known to walk on two legs. You may not want to find yourself a stranger here. You feel eyes all around you. Some are very real. People live and hunt back here, but you may never see them, only finding their fresh tracks perhaps following you. Stop for permission. Call out to a Hogan with smoke roaming out of the stovepipe, and see if someone comes out to greet you. Ask if you can go in, and where you should go, where you shouldn’t. Like in any fairy tale, you have to do the right things. If you don’t, you might find yourself lost, heart pounding hard, looking for the way out.

Even if you don’t believe in this kind of magic, you can’t enter this place without feeling a shiver down your back. The hauntings here run deep. The best you can do is put your head down and walk between the ghosts.

Faerie Magazine Issue #26, Spring 2014, Print

Faerie Magazine #26, Spring 2014, PDF

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Craig Childs is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed books on nature, science, and adventure. Learn more at