Hauntings and paranormal activity have captured the imagination and nightmares of ghost hunters for years. These people have taken it upon themselves to prove that ghosts exist even outside our minds. Many of these real ghosts and hauntings have been confirmed by ghost hunters. But don’t just take their word for it—check them out yourself! Here’s a list of the top haunted places in Utah, so you can find out, once and for all, if ghosts are real.
1. Rio Grande Depot
This historical building in Salt Lake has been restored and is now a gorgeous state-owned office building that also houses a cafe. However, from the time it was built in 1910, until the state purchased it in 1977, it was a bustling train station. Reports of it being one of the most haunted places in Salt Lake City are due to a popular local legend.
One day, a young woman got in a heated argument with her fiance while on the train platform. At some point, the woman’s engagement ring was knocked or thrown onto the train track. Hysterical, she leapt onto the tracks to retrieve it, but was hit and killed by an oncoming train.
Although the train station is now a relic of the past, employees and visitors have reported a creepy figure wearing a purple dress and hat, who is commonly called, “The Purple Lady.” Singing and shuffling footsteps are heard in the women’s bathroom, and night-time security has reported hearing heavy breathing, seeing a shadowy apparition, and noticing lights flickering on and off, among other reports. If you’re looking for a real-life haunted building in Utah, this one makes every list, and has even been explored by local ghost hunters.
2. Ben Lomond/Bigelow Hotel
Are haunted hotels more your thing? If so, then this historic hotel in Ogden is right up your alley. Originally built in 1891, it’s changed hands and names multiple times, but is still in business and is now known as the Bigelow Hotel. According to legend, during the Prohibition Era, the cellar of the hotel was used for smuggling in alcohol through a tunnel. Many unsavory characters made their way down into the basement to engage in illegal activities during this time, and may account for some of the odd reports. Some employees have reported rogue elevators that randomly move around and open and close when no one’s around.
However, the creepiness goes far beyond that at one of the most haunted places in Salt Lake City. If you’re looking for a true paranormal encounter, make a reservation and check out room number 1102. This room, and the one next to it, have a very spooky history. One night, a woman spending her honeymoon there drowned in the bathtub. Her son, who had come to collect her belongings, spent the night in the room next door. Overcome by grief, he committed suicide in the room and joined his mother in the after-life.
Guests who stay in room 1102 report water running in the bathtub when they haven’t turned it on, and some have even heard people talking in both rooms when no one’s there. Apparitions? Guests have reported those as well.
3. Devereaux Mansion, Salt Lake City
Built in 1857 by early Mormon settlers, this mansion has been renovated and now serves as a beautiful wedding hall. Unlike some of the other haunted places on this list, there aren’t any creepy stories or deaths reported here. Despite this, there are two ghosts that make occasional appearances. If you’re looking to come face-to-face with a ghost this Halloween, Devereaux Mansion is a great place to go.
The first ghost at the mansion is a young girl who’s more playful than haunting. Staff at the mansion say she loves to play tricks and wave at people, but has never appeared threatening. Some people even claim that she has shown up in photographs taken in the mansion.
The other ghost is a woman, probably a former housekeeper, who is much more aggressive. She seems to be trying to protect the home, and gets angry with people who she thinks are threatening. She’s even been known to throw objects on the ground when mad.
Not only are there ghosts, but visitors and staff have also reported other evidence of paranormal activities. Cold spots and randomly closing doors are a couple other reasons this place shows up on many lists of the most haunted places in Utah.
4. Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant, Santaquin
If you’re willing to leave the Salt Lake Valley and head south, you can find maybe the most haunted restaurant in the state. Leslie’s Family Tree may now be the best local place to get a great scone, but it has a much more seedy and varied past. Most notably, the basement’s been used as an illegal gambling hall and boxing ring.
There’s also historical precedent to the paranormal activity here. When the Mormon pioneers settled in Utah County, they built cities on land that previously belonged to the Ute Tribe. This led to multiple conflicts between the two groups, and eventually a series of widespread violent conflicts known as the Walker War. Much of the violence occurred in and around modern-day Santaquin, and,many people think, specifically on the land where Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant is built.
The ghostly activities here vary from chairs stacking themselves to appearances from over 60 ghosts, if all reports are to be believed. Guests and employees alike have reported seeing apparitions wearing Native headdresses as well as other shadowy figures, and hearing children’s laughter when no children are there. It’s also a known Poltergeist site.
The Dead Flies and Ghost Hunters have done episodes there, confirming the rumors and giving the public access to some of these creepy happenings. So if you’re looking for good food with a side of paranormal activity, head to Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant in Santaquin.
5. Old Tooele Hospital (Asylum/Asylum 49)
If none of these other sites raise the hair on the back of your neck, don’t worry. We’ve saved the best for last. Head to Tooele to experience the most haunted place in Utah. Originally built in 1873, the building was converted to a hospital in 1953 and renamed the ‘Tooele Army Depot.’ Unfortunately, no technology was brought in to update the room used as the morgue. This meant that dead bodies were stored there without refrigeration until they could be transported to the mortuary. Even though the hospital was closed in 2000, ghost sightings have not stopped.
Whether it was the weird situation with the morgue, or other happenings in the hospital or the building before doesn’t matter. What does matter is that at some point in time, it became a hotspot for hauntings. Not only have incredible sightings been reported by employees there, but multiple investigations by the Utah Ghost Organization and the crew at Ghost Adventures have turned up shocking paranormal results. Multiple spirits, including a nurse named Maria who guards a dark portal, men named Richard, James, Ned, Peter, and a child named Jessica have been identified. Along with appearances from the above named spirits, people have also seen orbs, apparitions, mists, and shadows.
Maybe the craziest part of these myriad ghost stories is that many have been documented. Check out the photos and videos here if you dare.
Think you’re brave enough to take a trip to one this Halloween season? If you come back alive, we’d love to hear your stories.