Abandoned railway depots, haunted hospitals, a deserted mining town – Utah has all the spooky sights you could ever ask for. Planning a hair-raising Halloween or looking for a good old fashioned scare? Here are seven of the most haunted places in Utah.
Scariest Places in Utah
1. Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City
Built in 1910, the Rio Grande Depot is one of the city’s grandest buildings, but it’s also one of the spookiest – thanks to the Purple Lady. It cost an eye-watering $750,000 to build the station, which features soaring ceilings and Local legend tells that one day, a woman and her fiance got into a fight. One of them threw the engagement ring onto the tracks in a fit of rage, then instantly regretted it. The woman climbed down to fetch it but was hit by a train and killed on impact. Since then, visitors have reported sightings of a woman dressed in early 19th-century garb, with a purple dress and purple hat. Some claim she wanders down the track, and others have spotted her in the cafe. Even the security guards are adamant she sticks around the mezzanine at night.
Today, the station is home to the state history offices, the Utah History Research Centre, the Rio Gallery and the Rio Grande Cafe, which is rather lovely – ghosts included.
2. Old Tooele Hospital, Tooele County
If there’s one place in Utah that’s guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies, it’s the Old Tooele Hospital. Built in 1873 by Samuel F. Lee as a family home, the building turned into a home for the elderly and a special care unit in 1913. Locals called it the “Country Poor House”, which gives you an indication of what it was like. There wasn’t a morgue for patients who died there either, just a single room designated for the dead where the local mortuary would pick up the bodies.
Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of peculiar activity going on here. People have reported ghostly presences, disappearing nurses dressed in white and a figure cloaked in black scaling the walls. Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic blockbuster “The Stand” was filmed here too.
3. Devereaux Mansion, Salt Lake City
Another spooky sight to add to your Salt Lake City list, Devereaux Mansion was once one of the most luxurious mansions in the area. William Staines built the mansion in 1857 and thousands of people have passed through its doors, for important balls, state events and social gatherings. Nearly all of them left in good time but locals say one guest refuses to take the hint. A young girl dressed in 1850s clothing stands by the window on the upper floor of the historic home. Like most little girls, she’s prone to throwing tantrums – throwing objects, screaming, that sort of thing. Some claim to have heard her singing, humming and chatting to herself, and others even claim to have caught her on camera.
4. Latuda, Carbon County
If haunted houses and hospitals are a little tame for your paranormal tastes, hotfoot to Latuda – a ghost city. Francisco Latuda and Charles Picco bought up 326 acres of coal lands in 1917 and established the Liberty Mine and Liberty Fuel Company here. By 1923, the town was home to 300–400 residents. Prosperity was short-lived though and in 1927 a series of avalanches obliterated dozens of homes, killing many at the same time. By 1954, most of the mining operations had shut down and by 1967 there wasn’t a single resident. Head here in October and you’ll likely have the eerie town all to yourself… with one notable exception. Ever heard of the “White Lady of Latuda”? Locals say a woman wearing a white dress wanders around the abandoned buildings, howling. Some say she’s a widow mourning the death of her husband, who was killed in the avalanche.
5. Ben Lomond Suites, Ogden
Guests can expect the best from their stay at Ben Lomond Suites – crisp white linen, fluffy towels, high-pressure showers… and 5* ghosts. Built in 1891, Ben Lomond Suites was one of Utah’s grandest hotels. Soaring 13 storeys high, it was one of the tallest and most iconic buildings in the region. Its inhabitants weren’t always deliriously happy about living there though.
First, there there’s the story about a Mr and Mrs Van Alen, who lived in one of the apartments in 1902. He left for work one day, and she shot herself in the head. Then, a newly hired cook fell three stories down the elevator shaft to his death. In 1933, two young men leapt to their deaths from the 13th floor. Have we got enough potential ghosts yet? Not quite. In room 1102, a bride drowned in the bathtub on her honeymoon. And then in 1876, a hotel clerk was stabbed by a 15-year old boy.
With such a miserable history, it follows that there might be a few vengeful ghosts sticking around. Visitors have reported elevators that operate on their own, a self-filling bathtub in room 1101, disembodied voices, as well as phone calls to reception from unoccupied rooms.
6. Moon Lake, High Vistas
Head high into Utah’s Mountain Meadows massacre sight, and you’ll probably hear a few voices. Not happy ones either. The types of conversation 100+ slain in a battle might have. And if that doesn’t get your heart rate going, head in further to the lakeside campsite on Uintas Mountains. Visitors have reported a young girl with blue skin, shivering and dripping wet, asking for help. Others claim to have seen her running through the campsite.
If you’re in the market for a light touch supernatural experience (and maybe lunch too), head to Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant. It’s known as Utah’s most haunted restaurant, as well as the best place to get light and fluffy giant scones. KSL TV visited with a team of paranormal investigators who said it’s bursting with paranormal activity. The crew also reported inexplicable equipment malfunctions, spooky whispering and strange shadows. Visitors have spotted a woman in a blue nightgown wandering around the restaurant, looking for her son. Some have seen a young boy with black hair wafting through the restaurant too. Spooky stuff, eh?