The clouds are covering the moon and my headlights are the only illumina- tion in sight as I drive down a long stretch of road surrounded by wheat fields. I’m returning from my uncle Clint’s home and I have two reasons to be scared: He just told me his stories of local hauntings, and I’m alone.
If I can take anything positive from any of this, it’s that his stories, along with my good friend Kyle’s, definitely got me into the Halloween spirit. It’s something that hasn’t happened since I went trick-or-treating as a junior high student (and I was way too old for that at the time).
The two men shared stories with me of four different locations in Utah Valley that have a known history of being haunted. I will do my best to recap their experiences, which when told first hand, would give anyone tchills.
251 W. Main St. American Fork
The story goes that the salon used to be home to a polygamist family that kept their lifestyle a secret from neighbors. It’s unclear what kind of deaths may have occurred there, but local residents now say that sometimes you can see the ghost of an old women peering out the attic window that can easily be seen from Main Street.
Accounts from current employees of the salon stated that they would often notice the unswept hair on the floor swirl and shift when no breeze was present. Clint shared with me that a psychic who once read the salon explained that there was a boy that wandered the building, playing in the hair while he waited for his mom to come get him. Could it be that the dead boy and his deceased mother never left the house that was taken over by cosmetologists?
When Clint finally took his friends to the house with a video camera one night, they received some almost unmistakable recordings of a young boy’s voice pleading that they, “please go.”
Location: 300 N. Grove Drive, Alpine
At the top of a steep hill at Alpine Cemetery sits a concrete tombstone in the shape of a small, narrow chair. The only engraving on the chair is “DOXEY” in large letters. Rumor has it that when sat upon, one can feel the spirits of the dead around them.
“The grave always seems to be cold to touch, regardless of the season,” Kyle said. “My friend Whitney said she would sit in the chair if we went but when we got there she refused.” Acting as guys usually do, Kyle picked up her friend and sat her on the chair. “She was mad for days,” said Kyle. “She claimed that she had an awful feeling about everything that just grew when she sat in the chair.”
TED BUNDY’S CAVE
American Fork Canyon
Ted Bundy was a rapist, a kidnapper and a killer. His infamous days were in the 1970’s and just before being executed, he admitted to the murder of 30 girls in seven states. The real numbers could be even higher.
When Bundy moved to Utah, his victims became local and in October of 1974, a women was found dead by a hiker just in front of a small cave in American Fork Canyon. The cave was where Bundy eventually admitted to keeping his victim. Kyle has visited the cave many times and he describes the place best.
“You have to cross this make-shift bridge that’s really slippery and sketchy. In the can- yon you have this cold wind that blows, so while you’re crossing this bridge above the river you have this bitter cold wind. So right up front you have this bad, unsafe feeling. That’s how the adventure begins, its a close to death feeling. Once you get into the cave its just dark and it smells bad. I think about claw marks and things that I would be doing if I needed to get out. It is just a really brutal and harsh environment.”
STAR FLOUR MILL
Location: 147 E. 600 N. American Fork
Someone has since bought the place, but my uncle described the previous owner as an old man that fit the description of “crazy”.
The place is currently an antique shop, filled with old knick-knacks and furniture. As the name suggests, it used to be an old flourmill but has taken on other roles since then. Clint says that the owner described the place to him as “straight-up haunted.” One night my uncle and his friends went to check it out. When they asked any spirits that might be present to show a sign that they were there, they heard a loud knock on the roof. They called it a night after that.