Unusual and unnerving spots in Utah County

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Faces peering from behind the curtains. Shadows lurking around the corner. Footsteps on abnormally creaky stairs. A ghastly (and perhaps exhilarating) feeling that this place may, indeed, be haunted.
Utah County cannot boast being home to any world famous catacombs or ancient castles once housed by a Count Dracula (or a Count Chocula for that matter), but there are still some very spooky sites right here in our little bubble. Here is a brief look at a few of those petrifying places that can be found in your own backyard. As a side note, I just received word that your backyard used to be an old Indian burial ground. Be careful.

1.  American Fork- American Fork Canyon:  According to a legend (and a website), if you drive around in three circles at the top of Tibble Fork parking lot, a hearse will appear and chase you with red lights. I may be one crazy skeptic, but perhaps that hearse is less of a hearse and more of an American Fork cop car wondering why the hell you were doing donuts in a parking lot at 1 A.M. on Halloween night.

2.  Highland- Talking Tree Cemetery:  Apparently there is a chair made out of rock in the cemetery. If you sit in it at night, the souls of the people buried there will start whispering. There’s nothin’ like a good rock sitting to make the deceased start gossiping.

3.  Lehi- Lehi Historical Hospital:  Hospitals are textbook creepy, especially ones that are over a hundred years old. The ghost of a nurse haunts this Lehi hospital, just like the ghost of Kevin Bacon haunts the Lehi Roller Mills.

4.  Mount Timpanogos Caves:  If you look at the skyline for Mount Timpanogos , it resembles a woman lying on her back. According to legend, a young Native American woman named Timpanogos wished to marry a man from an enemy tribe.  Timpanogos’ father found out and killed her lover. Heartbroken, Timpanogos jumped off the mountain and died. People that have been on the tour of the Caves have reported strange phenomenon, such as the sound of a woman crying. It could either be the cries of Timpanogos’ sorrowful spirit or the dude in the back of the tour group that is tremendously afraid of the dark.

5.  Orem- Scera movie theater:  In the basement of the theater, a ghost known as “Eleanor” walks around. She is said to have a blue or green glow, and she appears on Wednesdays. No harm has been done by Eleanor. If you ask me (please, ask), this ghost is about as boring as the family friendly movies they screen at the Scera. Come on, Eleanor! Do something creepy and PG-13 worthy!

6.  Pleasant Grove- Pleasant Grove High School:  Under the stage in the auditorium is a door that is usually locked with six padlocks. Supposedly each morning, the padlocks are mysteriously gone and the door is left wide open. Okay, so I am a proud (well, “passive” might be a better word) graduate of PGHS and I have never heard of this weird padlock story before. A lot of spooky things happened at that school, though, such as an exorbitant amount of football coaches teaching nearly every subject. Go Vikings.

7.  Provo- Old Mill Apartment Complex:  People have reported seeing a previous tenant who died at age 27 and was discovered in the pool shed. He has the build of a football player and lurks around the girls’ apartments. I have my doubts that this is actually a ghost. It seems to me that this is just a BYU student’s innovative way to be a pervert. “Uh, yeah… BOO. I’m a ghost. Just hauntin’ your apartment. Now go back to taking a shower.”

8.  Vineyard- Geneva Steel:  Since it’s closing in 2002, people have claimed to have had odd experiences in the locker room at Geneva Steel, which include hearing footsteps, showers turning on by themselves, and “unexplained feelings.” Unexplained feelings? In a locker room? Call me crazy, but maybe that’s not caused by ghosts, but sexual repression. Just throwing that out there.

Well, we may not have underground tunnels and chambers full of human skulls or a castle built in the 11th century, but Utah County does have its fair share of spine-chilling sites. The most spine-chilling of them all may, in fact, be right here on campus. The lack of vegan items in the cafeteria is downright dreadful. Anyway, enough propaganda from me. Happy Halloween, folks!