Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Ghosts of Mugu Rock

Now that the second book in The Dark Cycle, DARKNESS FAIR, is out I get to talk about more of the research adventures I've had in creating the tale. I'm obviously in love with ghost stories and there are several of them related to the famous rock near the Naval Base at Point Mugu of Pacific Coast Highway where the finale for Darkness Fair takes place.

The tales begin with a story fit for faerie tales, where the legend of Princess Hueneme was born, a young Chumash girl who was the daughter of a great chief. Her beauty was well known and so, of course, many men fell in love with her. But she chose the young man who was already wanted by another woman. Needless to say, this angered the other girl and revenge was sought.

The rival went to a sorcerer to learn a spell in order to curse the couple. She became so talented at working magic that she was able to enchant the man to run away with her, and when Princess Hueneme followed, the evil girl made sure the curse would last. So, even though Hueneme took the man back with her to the village, she never regained his love. She soon became so distraught from the loss that she tossed herself off the cliffs of Mugu and turned to stone, becoming the rock we see in hundreds of car commercials today. Her horrified husband was at last free of the evil girl's spell, but once he learned of his wife's death he grew so hopeless that he followed his wife into the sea, his hair becoming the kelp that wraps around the stone made from the spirit of his wife.

Over the centuries more stories emerged, creating The Lady of Mugu Rock, who is the ghost of a poor native girl that was brutally murdered by a rich landowner. She has been seen many times wandering the area of the rock (and she is the ghost that makes an appearance in Darkness Fair). There have also been more suicides in the recent decades, as well as a plane crash which killed everyone onboard; 88 souls.

When you go to the spot today, you can only stand on either side of the rock as the initial highway from the 50's has been washed away by the tide (if you watch Mad, Mad, Mad World, you can see it whole). Now it's been fenced in and only rebels climb around to peek over the small cliffs. I won't say if I may have perhaps been naughty and pretended not to see the signs. ;)


Rachel A. Marks is an award-winning author and professional artist, a cancer survivor, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. She was voted: Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory. Her debut novel is DARKNESS BRUTAL, the 1st installment in The Dark Cycle (Skyscape). Book 2 was released February 2nd, 2016 and is titled, DARKNESS FAIR.

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