Rockstar has finally let fans loose on the wild west of Red Dead Redemption 2. And boy howdy is it packed full of secrets. So much so that you can just wander aimlessly into the wilderness and, more often than not, find something strange that adds depth to the already rich Old West canvas.
These fascinating tidbits range from the absurd to the unnerving, but it’s always satisfying to see Arthur reflect on them. He lines his journal with sketches and ponderings as he’s sidelined by paranormal Americana.
In this article, we’ve pinned down five points of interest that any outlaw worth their salt shouldn’t miss. And the beauty is that most of these mysteries are as-yet unsolved. Check them out and let us know if you’ve found any worthwhile secrets of your own!
1. Agnes Dowd, Bayou Ghost
Make no mistake. Red Dead 2’s Bayou is easily the scariest part of the map. There are specific triggers ready to spook you or your horse at every step, and that’s not even counting the dreaded Nite Folk. That faction of mysterious killers hangs the dead from trees and set traps when you least expect it. It’s uh… Yeah. It’s not great. But let’s make matters worse: there’s a ghost.
Specifically, it’s the ghost of Agnes Dowd, a woman scorned who haunts the upper-left corner of Bluewater Marsh. She took her own life (“and others” according to her gravestone) at the tragic age of 19. You may remember a suspiciously similar apparition, Jolene Cranley-Evans, from Grand Theft Auto V. You could see her from afar, up in the mountains, but never truly interact with the spirit. It’s a similar situation here.
Head between the “B” and the “L” of Bluewater on your map at night. You may hear Dowd’s voice call out to you in the mist. She appears with varying degrees of visibility, but the experience is always utterly terrifying in an otherwise not-very-spooky game.
Dowd is not always visible to the naked eye. Much like other points of interest, this one has various stages. So the story of Agnes develops as you return and view more of her appearances—with various degrees of visible and audible creepiness.
Venture there if you dare. Just make sure you follow her voice when you hear it to get the best view.
2. I, Robot
If you’ve spent time hunting down strangers as part of the brilliant side missions in Red Dead 2, you’ve likely come across Marko Dragic. The foul-mouthed inventor showcases his wares in Saint-Denis. His quest line will eventually take you into the mountains to his scientific lair. There, he boasts all manner of wacky projects.
Once you reach the end of Dragic’s particular story, you’re left with one huge loose end. The game never tells you to come back to his lair after the fact, but you should. You’ll find the remnants of an escaped robot and his creator’s corpse. Pick up the special electric lantern at the scene to add a new weapon to your inventory. It will be incredibly helpful for finding this fascinating Easter egg.
Yes, the robot is alive, and it’s stationed all the way across the map in the West Grizzlies. Specifically, it’s just west of Colter, the small town where you start the game. Go there and use your lantern to guide you to the bot. You’ll eventually find the poor automaton floundering in the icy cold, calling out for his “Papa.” There’s not much else you can do besides put it out of its misery, but you never know. Maybe there will be more to this tall tale if you let the robot live?
3. Frozen “Settlers”
Many of Red Dead 2’s best secrets are found preserved in ice or completely covered in snow. If you’re a keen explorer, you can’t go wrong poking around at the top of either Mount Shann or Mount Hagen. Try investigating every off-color specimen you can find. It will usually be something for Arthur to inscribe in the journal.
Frozen settlers are the most common discovery. These are unfortunate people who decided to put their flags in mountain tops, or fled to a snowy biome for survival (much like the gang at the start of the game). In all cases, they’ve been beaten by the unstoppable forces of nature. Although that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for you to gain.
Arthur Morgan’s remarkable, caffeine-fueled rap sheet doesn’t include “grave robber” at the start of the game. But we’re about to fix that. At the top of Mount Hagen (specifically in the lower-right prong of the letter M) you’ll find what looks like a Spanish conquistador caked in ice.
This Frozen Settler offers up the Morion Helmet, another of the game’s special hats that can be equipped onto Arthur. It’s most likely a reference to infamous conquistadors Hernando de Soto and Francisco Vázquez de Coronado. Both historical figures cut their way throughout the lower half of North America (and early enough for their corpses to be frozen in ice prior to the events of the game).
Another pair of settlers, named the Frozen Couple, are found directly east of Spider Gorge. They’re on the road to Adler’s Ranch. They provide the Panoramic Map, which leads to the second UFO sighting in Red Dead 2, atop Mount Shann. None of the UFOs are mentioned in-game—not even in the strategy guide. So there is definitely more than meets the eye here. Get hunting!
4. Gods Of War
If you head north of Annesburg, you’ll eventually find yourself just south of the Roanoke Valley mark on your map. Follow the road that seemingly leads to nowhere. It actually leads to a preserved archaeological site from the previous millennium.
There’s a Viking Tomb preserved in situ there. It’s just waiting to be explored and, most surprisingly, is full of the previous warrior inhabitants’ remains. The walls are even adorned with Viking chicken scratch.
As Arthur walks through the trench, he’ll find the bones and skulls of folks that were seemingly sacrificed upon an altar. There are three key equipment finds to be made here; including a Viking Hatchet embedded close to the altar and an Ancient Helmet that serves as one of the game’s “special hats.” You can equip the latter while riding horseback. It’s just the thing to bolster your Nordic cosplay.
The third object is also the most hidden. It’s behind a set of skulls that you have to shoot to clear in one of the tomb’s dank corridors. Here you’ll find a mysterious viking comb, which you can sell to the Fence for $50. Let’s be honest, though. This is one trophy you’ll want to keep in your satchel. If anything, it belongs in a museum!
5. Meteor Mysteries
Among a decidedly grisly set of secrets, Red Dead 2 has multiple references to meteorites across its game world. The most obvious example is the Meteor House, which you can find east of Brandywine Drop and south of the Abandoned Trading Post (it will appear as a blip on your map).
When you venture into the nondescript cabin you’ll find a still-steaming set of bodies. Whoever lived there have been annihilated by a meteor strike. Among the viscera, you can pick up your very own meteorite, a fragment from a previous shower. Yes, you can sell this to the Fence much like the Viking Comb, but there’s actually a good reason to keep this one to yourself. For some reason, it affords the player 10 percent better endurance in hot environments if you keep it in your satchel. It’s strange (and not immensely useful, since you can always change into lighter clothes), but it’s good to know in case you planned on discarding it.
Besides the Meteor House, players can also venture into the nearby field at 2 a.m. in-game time to catch another gorgeous shower in the sky. There’s also a more distinct crater that has uprooted all of the surrounding trees just northwest of the aforementioned cabin. It’s huge and hard to miss, and it makes you wonder if there is more to the meteor mystery. Is this how the UFO-riding aliens arrived on Earth? Why were there so many people in this small cabin where the meteor hit? Who were they?
If past Rockstar games are any indication, the truth is well and truly out there… Possibly in some future DLC.