The 7 Most Haunted Places In Utah
Utah has had people in it since before recorded history. So you can count on the presence of the ancients making themselves felt in this arid pioneer state. And with its thrilling fossil record, those ancients aren’t all human, either! This is a terrific state for communing with the very old bones of ancient lizards, mammals and more. If extinct beings and their echoes fill you with a thrill, be sure to check out the 7 most haunted places in Utah.
Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park is a spur of land on the East side of Salt Lake, right by Salt Lake City. It’s a great recreation spot outside of anything spine-tingling: you can hike it, bike it or ride around it on horseback. Visit the Fielding Garr Ranch, built in 1848, parts of which are still standing. Wildlife abounds. You’ll have the chance to see coyotes, bison, porcupines and bighorn sheep.
Now for the scary stuff: Antelope Island was once a jail. In 1862, a grave robber known as Jean Baptiste was relegated here. The authorities stamped a tattoo on his forehead identifying him as the morbid thief he was.
Here is where the story becomes unclear: though Baptiste had no means of escaping, his handlers came to the island one day and found he had vanished. He had destroyed his lodging and slaughtered his only companion, a cow. The baffled witnesses assumed Baptiste attempted an escape by water and drowned in the attempt. Yet they recovered no body — and there are those who report witnessing his ghost amidst the waters of the Great Salt Lake.
Address: 4528 W 1700 S, Syracuse, UT 84075
Phone: (801) 773-2941
Web: Antelope Island State Park
Dinosaur National Monument
Utah is one of the best states in the union for fossil viewing. Dinosaur National Monument, part of the National Park Service, is an incredible location for visiting with the most ancient ghosts in America: the great lizards and mammals that roamed the earth long before recorded history. Dinosaur National Monument is considered the dinosaur capital of the world. With opportunities for hiking, camping and stargazing, you can fill your time here with recreation as well as communing with ghosts.
But you will surely get a chill up your spine when you see the petroglyphs and pictographs — ancient paintings and carvings, respectively — drawn by the Fremont people over one thousand years ago. These preserved drawings include depictions of humans with discernible limbs, fingers and toes, abstract designs, and animal figures. These include birds, bighorn sheep, snakes and lizards. Theories abound as to why the Fremont created these images. The purpose could have been ceremonial, instructional, related to hunting or a rudimentary family tree. Whatever they may mean, these pictures were left by our ancestors long ago, and sitting in their aura, it’s hard not to feel their ghosts watching us.
If ghosts hang around the artwork they made in life, perhaps they check in on their physical remains from time to time. Don’t miss Quarry Exhibit Hall, where you can view over a thousand fossilized dinosaur bones in one place — fused into the walls. A Late Jurassic find, you’ll see Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus and more. There is an exhibit where you can touch 150 million year old dinosaur bones. If that doesn’t summon the spookies, you might be a fossil yourself!
Address: 4545 Hwy 40. Dinosaur, CO 81610
Phone: 435 781-7700
Ophir Ghost Town
A “ghost town” doesn’t literally mean a town full of ghosts! It’s actually a phrase meant to describe how swiftly these towns were sometimes abandoned. In pioneer days, towns would spring up seemingly overnight to take advantage of a big find of gold in the area. (Sometimes it was silver or oil.) They say the only people who really made money out of the gold rush were the people selling shovels and pickaxes. By that same logic, bartenders, entertainers and carpenters would follow gold miners. Before you knew it, a town would be born! But as soon as that vein ran dry, the town’s reason for existence vanished with it. Some of these abandoned towns survived the decades untouched, like time capsules in a desert. Ophir, in Utah’s West Desert, is one of the best to visit. Many of its original buildings have been preserved as a historic site.
A mining town in the Old West was a rough and dangerous life. Death could claim one at any moment and in many ways. If ghosts are real, those left behind in Ophir must surely have tales to tell.
Address: 47 E Vine St, Tooele, UT 84074
Phone: (435) 882-3168
Web: Ophir Historical Site
Built in 1901 for railroad, mining and timber tycoon Alfred Mccune, this glamorous mansion still stands today. Utah’s first home to cost over $1 million, the mansion was bequeathed to the Church of Latter-Day Saints. It has also served as a music school, dance studio, art gallery and office space. Today, you can rent it for your wedding or any large event.
And while you needn’t be a chaser of spirits to enjoy the McCune Mansion, it will certainly pay off if you do. Rumors persist regarding disembodied music, sudden chills, and the lights turning off and on as if they had minds of their own. Objects have even floated about of their own accord.
Too many independent reports to be ignored have identified two apparitions here: one, a man in a black cape. The other, a young girl, often spotted giggling during weddings.
Her portrait hangs within the home.
Address: 200 N Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Phone: (801) 531-8866
Web: McCune Mansion
Not all of Utah’s Mormon history is genteel. In 1857, the Mormon Militia set upon a group of settlers here. A bloody battle ensued, one in which the militia wiped out the pioneers. They murdered as many as 140 people that day. A small tower of rocks marks the sad occasion.
Visitors to the Mountain Meadows area have recorded sudden waves of great sadness, and say they have heard the victims’ voices screaming in agony.
Address: Mountain Meadow Monument Trail, Veyo, Utah, 84782
Web: Mountain Meadows Association
Mercur Cemetery, Tooele
You might expect to feel the chill down your back in any cemetery. But Mercur Cemetery is distinguished by the average age of its ghosts. The majority of those who perceived specters here say they were the ghosts of children.
Some also report hearing galloping hooves, half expecting to be run down by a horse. Yet the horseman, if there was one, remained invisible.
Address: Mercur Cemetery, Mercur Canyon Rd, West Mercur, UT
Web: Mercur Cemetery
Moon Lake, High Uintas
Like Antelope Island, Moon Lake is a natural beauty and a popular place to hike, camp and recreate on the water. Yet a wilderness at night will always harbor the possibility of the spectral, and more strange phenomena have been reported here than can be tutted away.
Campers say they have seen the ghost of a young girl, horribly frozen at the moment of her drowning — waterlogged, bloated and blue-skinned.
Others report sighting a giant creature reminiscent of a sea serpent. Some have theorized that this Moon Lake Monster could be a cousin of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. Though terrifying, this water cryptid has been affectionately dubbed “Moonie”.
Web: Ashley National Forest Moon Lake