Cosmo is sitting on a table with a stack of "Desert Oracle" magazines. Behind him, something terrifying is running past: it's the Yucca Man, who looks like bigfoot.

This is Cosmo, your trusty library cat. Do you ever wonder what it’s like to spend a night in the library? Let me set the scene. When night falls and the library closes, everything gets really dark and quiet, and sometimes it’s a little bit eerie. The mood is just right to read spooky stories and I recently discovered the perfect book: “Desert Oracle” by Ken Layne.

“Desert Oracle” is chock-full of strange, true tales from the American Southwest. As a black cat, it takes a lot to freak me out! But some of these weird desert secrets, myths, and legends made my tail puff up and my fur stand on end! Take Yucca Man, for example, a shaggy Bigfoot-like creature said to terrorize campers in the Mojave Desert—I’ll be looking for him behind every library shelf from now on. Or how about the many reports of UFOs, strange lights in the desert skies, and secret military bases hiding in the wilderness? Then there are legends of haunted petroglyphs and lost civilizations hiding underground. There are also colorful and eccentric human characters who have made their homes in these arid lands, from Hermit Ballerinas to Crazy Cult Leaders and even Ol’ Ed Abbey himself. 

If any of this sounds interesting, you’re in luck! Ken Layne has been researching and collecting bizarre and unusual desert stories for years and he’ll be sharing a few of them this Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Grand County Public Library. We hope you’ll join us for an evening of tall tales and high strangeness from the desert southwest. It’s free and there will be some light refreshments. Everyone is invited, except Yucca Man.