In Wisconsin, United States
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THIS CACHE CAN ONLY BE APPROACHED FROM THE LAKESIDE. FROM ANY OTHER DIRECTION YOU WILL BE WALKING ON NEIGHBOR'S PROPERTY. THEY HAVE NOT GIVEN PERMISSION TO TRESSPASS. IF YOU SKIP THE STORY, PLEASE READ THE BOTTOM PARAGRAPHS REGARDING HOW TO GET TO THIS CACHE.
A review of a topographical map or aerial shot of this location would lead the viewer to believe they are looking at a tranquil island with a pond in it on Lake Beulah. This could not be any further from the truth.
Few know this, but Lake Beulah was named after the Bi’nca Tribe. The Bi’ncas were a reclusive but fierce warrior splinter group of Aztec who migrated from the more well known regions of MidAmerica in search of expansion and land. Ill prepared for the northern climates, the tribe suffered greatly, losing more than half of the 2000 members during their journey. Many were stricken with cold and flu viruses from contact with locals, which were foreign to the Bi’ncas immune systems resulting in the devastating effects.
Reaching a vast wetlands not inhabited by anyone else, the tribe settled in the area now known as Lake Beulah. At the time it was a low, wetlands, not the lake it is today, reminding the tribe very much of their homes. (At that time the area known as Mexico City was mostly swamp) On an island in the middle of the wetlands the travelers discovered a clear flowing pond that even their strongest swimmers could not find the bottom of. They determined that this was the doorway to the center of the earth where the god Tikicoth lived. Tikicoth was the grounds keeper of the earth and would reward his loyal followers with all the abundance the earth could provide. A large temple was soon built on the shore to honor this god.
As time passed, the few tribe members slowly recovered their numbers, their immune systems grew stronger, but the leaders incorrectly attributed this to their lack of contact with outsiders. This fallacy soon became the root of their culture. Stonework for houses and temples faded away as their dwellings began to resemble trees or beaver lodges and other natural out-croppings. Even the temple next to the pond was covered over with dirt. The unfortunate outsider who strayed into the marsh was quickly captured and sacrificed in the pond in front of the temple along with other items of value to keep Tikicoth appeased and bring good fortune to the Bi’ncas.
However once again the number of Bi’ncas dwindled as wars with the Blackfoot and fur traders took their toll. But they still managed to keep foreigners from their land. The French traders named the area Beulah which loosely interprets to the “land of hidden ones”.
In a decade of calm, the Bi’ncas began to rebound. The land flourished which the unseen people took advantage of. But the tribe was not the only ones aware of the prosperity. The constant flow of settlers from the east brought new foreigners in contact with the Bi’ncas. The pond once again ran red with sacrifices. This time however, the Bi’ncas were not able to preserve themselves. The thunder and lightening that the settlers harnessed frightened even the most experienced fighters and drove them deep into the wetlands.
Then as if Tikicoth turned his back on them, the settlers dammed up the stream outlet to the swamp to set up a grist mill. As the waters rose and formed a lake, the Bi’ncas retreated to higher ground and soon found themselves on the only high ground left – the temple area with the pond. Decimated, the Bi’ncas faded away into history.
A century later, Lake Beulah had become a famous resort haven. Travelers from Milwaukee and Chicago boarded trains and were dropped off at the local station. Buckboards and carriages were the mode of travel to reach the lavish Beulah Resort. It was at this time the Jesuits chose to purchase the gloomy island in the middle of the lake. It was their hope to turn it into a seminary and they saw the serene setting as a place for their recruits to devote their lives to God.
The pond and hill behind it remained undisturbed as the chapel and dorms were built on the flatter terraces of the southern part of the island. Soon after, the dorms swelled with priests and in their free time the disciples pursued other interests. Some gardened, others engaged in sports, while still others took advantage of the lake as they sailed and fished. One priest in particular, a lover of nature and an archeologist by education, decided to catalog the flora and fauna of the island.
On that ill fated day Father Bastian was exploring the northeast side of the island. He noticed an area that didn’t look right. A sunny hillside which should have been lush with vegetation, was dank and dead with only fungus and white fiddle heads growing. In the very center of the patch, it was sterile. Father Bastian probed further to discover a small amount of loam covered a rocky surface underneath. As he swept more of the dirt aside, he uncovered a large section of smooth cold rock. Then he discovered something that made his heart stop. The rock had been hewn by hand and had been placed there on purpose, fitted together with indistinguishable seams to form a wall. Fueled by the thought of a major archeological find Bastian quickly traced around the edges of each joint. At the time it seemed like luck, as Father Bastian’s fingers traced the outline of two concealed hand pulls. Hardly breathing, he pried open a massive stone door, it dormant hinges whispering ‘death’ to him as he labored to gain access to the hidden secret. Bastian had discovered the Bi’ncas temple.
Stepping through the cold entrance, the sunlight cast a dim light on the interior, he could see small recesses of the walls that contained statues and vessels of the lost tribe. The darkness consumed the light further in and Bastian made a mental note to bring a lantern at the next visit. He stuffed a couple of statues under his robes and closed the door; he was going to be late for evening prayers.
Over the course of the next month, all of Bastian’s free time was spent at the temple mapping the
interior and carrying off the Bi’nca objects. Soon his dorm room was filled with artifacts, but still he continued. Drunken with the want of discovery, Bastian drove deeper into the interior. Some might say he drove too deep and too fast for he did not take the time to decipher the proclamations and warnings of the curse that emblazoned the walls of the passageways.
Once again fate steered Fr Bastian. It led him to a place deep in the temple blocked by a door. Unlike the other door, this one was huge, twice as wide as it was tall and made of hammered copper. It was locked through some type of internal mechanism which Bastian’s sledgehammer soon took care of. He had reached the inner sanctum, the altar chamber.
Bathed in the red light from the torch, the carvings on the walls and the long alter left little doubt that this was the heart of the temple. And there, on a broad pedestal, above the alter was the statue of Tikicoth. Bastian stared at the idol in amazement; there was something unearthly in the aura around it. Checking the time, he knew he had to leave, having been chastised for being late to prayers three times now and a fourth would carry serious consequences and perhaps an investigation of his activities. Had Bastian known what his future held he might not have given the punishment much thought, but fickle is fate. Returning his gaze to the idol, his curiosity won out and he grabbed it, stuffing it in the pockets of his robe. He hurried off to the chapel.
Like clockwork the evening prayers and the accompanying mass started. With each tick of the clock each step of the routine took place. Bastian participated the best he could, distracted by the cold object hidden in the folds of his clothing. As the last words of Latin were chanted, Bastian lost his breath. Grasping his throat, he tried in vain to gain precious air. His efforts proved fruitless and his body slumped forward.
The young priest at his side gave him a slight nudge to awaken him. When a harder one returned a thunk on the floor he looked down and picked up the Tikicoth idol. With still no response from Bastian, Father Rainier realized something was wrong.. He pulled Bastian back into his seat and discovered his friend’s open eyes were cold and lifeless and his face and hands were a scarlet red. He jumped back in disbelief bringing the focus of those seated around them on to Bastian’s corpse. General panic and disruption ensued.
Once order in the chapel was finally restored, those in rank took measure of the situation. As doctors studied the scarlet body, the idol was passed around. It was viewed with a mix of curiosity, enchantment and fear. Suddenly, without warning, another commotion among the bystanders drew everyone’s attention to the back of the chapel. Father Rainier had met with the same fate as Bastian.
Within hours 10 more people had died, all suffering from the red death. Two visiting missionaries, worldly travelers, mistakenly declared the mysterious illness “Red Voodoo”.
It is not known when or even if the link was made to the Tikicoth idol as the chronicles fall silent at this point. But a month later, the local authorities discovered two survivors. Their trauma had left them catatonic. The only discernable words they uttered were red voodoo. The municipal chain of command decided that something on the island was not right and formed a plan to protect the public. They bulldozed all the buildings and structures on the island, and then put a guard shack at the bridge entrance. They issued a press release that the island had been purchased by a wealthy recluse and would issue a $200 trespassing fine for anyone caught on the island. Later the state built homes to further the charade, but the area still is off limits and remains a mystery even today.
Since that fateful night in the chapel, the statue of Tikicoth was lost. Its location remains unknown but is reported to have been last seen at the coordinates above. Please seek this cache at your own risk. And, before you do, please leave word with your next of kin.
This cache was designed for those who enjoy a challenge. Two of my best remembered caches required research, time and resources to accomplish. Finding a boat and getting to the island could be a challenge, but getting on the shore will be a great one as well, as the bank of the island at this point is pretty steep. I’ve upped the cache difficulty due to these factors and the curse. Even in winter this will be tough. This cache is located on private land. Permission was granted by the land owner- H. Marek. The property lines run through a pond, not even the land owner can get to this spot without trespassing on the neighbor’s property. YOU can only access this cache from the lake side. Coordinates to the shoreline entrance are provided. In addition, I painted a tall thin birch stump with bright orange paint to indicate where you can come ashore (and tie up). There really is a guard shack with video cameras at the bridge entrance of the island and the East Troy police have no problems sending tickets to trespassers. At $200 a stop this could be a very expensive find should you choose that route. To those of you up for the challenge please follow the directions and I hope you enjoy this hide.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 3/11/2015 8:21:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time (3:21 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum