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Frenchmen's Pass

Frenchmen’s Pass is a narrow passage on the island of Aruba, between coral cliffs above the area known as Spanish Lagoon. From the pass one can see the remains of the Balashi Gold Mill.

Legend has it that French pirates tried to invade Aruba in the early 17th century round harvesting time and were confronted by Indians in this narrow passage above Spanish Lagoon. The Frenchmen were winning the battle and the Indians had to flee and hid in a cave nearby where the Frenchmen could not get to them. The Frenchmen thought it was good to smoke the Indians out of the cave, but instead the Indians got killed by inhaling the smoke. After this encounter, the passage became known as “Franse Pas” or “Rooi Frances” in Papiamento, which translates to “Frenchmen’s Pass” in English. Today inhabitants near "Frenchmen’s pass" claim they hear crying noises from the Indians during the evening. Some say the Indian ghosts are awake and haunting the area known as Spanish Lagoon.

The Aruban Ghost Story

This happened during the heavy rains about a month ago just north of the small town of Pos Chikito (Small Well) in the low country of Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). And while it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's real.

This guy was on the side of the road from Pos Chikito (Small Well) via Rooi Frances (The Frenchmen's Pass) in the District of Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) to the town of the same name, hitchhiking on a real dark night in the middle of a heavy thunder storm.

Time passed slowly and no cars went by. It was raining so hard he could hardly see his hand in front of his face. Just after having left the Cemetery at Sabana Basora behind him, he suddenly saw a car moving slowly, approaching and appearing ghost-like in the rain. It slowly crept toward him and then stopped.

Wanting a ride real bad, the guy jumped in the car and closed the door, only to then realize that there was nobody behind the wheel. The car slowly started moving again, and the guy was terrified, too scared to think of jumping out and running.

The guy saw that the car was slowly approaching the sharp curve at Wela (Grandma's), still too scared to jump out, he started to pray and beg for his life; he was sure the ghost car would go off the road and into the marsh, where he would surely drown.

Just before the curve, a hand appeared thru the driver's window and turned the steering wheel, guiding the car safely around the bend. Paralyzed with fear, the guy watched the hand reappear every time they reached a curve and the car passing through the gloomy Frenchmen's Pass and approaching now Mondi Fierno (Devil's Badlands). The poor guy, scared to near death, had all he could take and jumped out of the car and ran to Santa Cruz.

Wet and in shock, he went into a little bar at Jan Fleming (Ian Fleming), a suburb of the Santa Cruz town, and voice quavering, ordered two shots of whiskey, and then told everybody about his supernatural experience. A silence followed and everybody got goose bumps when they realized the guy was telling the truth, and was not just some drunk.

About half an hour later two guys walked into the bar and one says to the other: -"Look Tony, there's that idiot that rode in our car when we were pushing it in the rain."

A Ball of Light

"If you are weak of heart, please do not go through this pass alone and in the dark!" warn some people. A small family with two kids went through this pass in their car. The smallest kid shouted out "Look mama, a light ball!" His dad saw a small ball of fire suspended from a tree which fell onto their side of the road. He slowed down to a stop and his wife urged him to stay in the car. But he would not listen, and got out of the car to see what it was. But as he approached the ball rolled away and disappeared between the trees. Feeling suddenly cold, he decided to return to the car. He asked his wife if she had turned off the engine. She said she hadn't and she could not remember when it had turned off. Her husband couldn't get the car started and the kids started to cry. She started to pray so they could leave this awful place. The engine suddenly started and they were out of there.

Several stories contain similar elements; a ball of fire, car engine turns off, car hitting something and nothing is ever found, weird noises, being followed by a ball of fire, something hitting the car or something lies across the road.

A Friendly Ghost

A man in his mid 40’s was driving along in his pick-up truck coming from Santa Cruz and needed to go through the pass to get home. It was late at night around midnight, and he's very aware of the stories told. So driving now was a serious matter. Suddenly he hits something, forgetting momentarily where he was, he jumped out of the car to see what he had hit. Seeing nothing near by all of a sudden he remembered where he was and on shaky legs he hurriedly got back into his car. Without any delay he drove away as fast as possible. At home when he turned off the engine he felt the car shake, but thought, it was a long drive, he was tired he decided to enter his house and go to sleep. He woke up the following morning deciding to inspect his car, unable to forget what happened to him the night before. He saw a big dent on the front bumper and on examining more closely he noticed traces of dried dark-reddish blood on it. Hearing the sound of an injured dog close by he went to the back of his pick-up and saw what he hit that night. The dog has lived with him since then, since it was a stray!

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