Besides obsessively attending the haunted houses during this season, I personally like to indulge and experiment with and listen to scary stories about my local area. Let’s face it — when there’s nothing left to do on a weekend night, nothing turns it around like suddenly becoming terrified of the town you’re living in. These are two examples of places in good old Ogden that you may be able to check out if it is legally acceptable at the time and see if you can’t find a real ghost among all the ghouls, goblins and Facebook trolls that seem to come out particularly at this time of year.
Ogden seems to have a few notable female ghosts, but Flo is one of the most famous. Her name is Florence Granger, and she died in 1918 at about 15 years of age. There are many versions of hearsay when it comes to her urban legend, but the most common involves her sneaking out to see a beau her parents weren’t too fond of. One night, on Dec. 29, Flo stepped out into the street, assuming an approaching car was her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the car didn’t see anyone in front of it until it was too late, and the car hit and killed Flo instantly. Her grave is located in the Ogden Cemetery, and apparently if you find it, you’re supposed to park your car in front of it and flash your lights three times. She’ll appear as a green light, and then as a young spirit girl, supposedly thinking it’s her boyfriend coming to pick her up.
I’m a tad skeptical of this version of her death, since the cars in 1918 were only a few steps higher than the horseless carriage on the innovative ladder. Not to mention they might have been hard to come by for young daring teens courting their dames after hours without parental permission. Still, the impact of this fright spot is that no matter what the history is, many have tried it for themselves, and many have experienced the results. Maybe you should be your own judge when it comes to this one.
A place as old as the Union Station should be buzzing with haunted legends and rumors, since it’s existed for almost 100 years. The entire station that stands today was actually rebuilt from one that burned down in a fire in 1924, and the ballroom of the building had temporarily been used as morgue. I’ve heard stories from many people about malevolent and strange presences they’ve felt while working at the station, and I’ve had a small personal encounter with the station’s own ghost, Yehudi.
Apparently, the spirit is a harmless poltergeist, presumably young and male, and he prefers to play small flirtatious pranks with female station-goers. During my own occurrence, I was helping to stage-manage a play that was being performed in one of the main event halls. I was wearing the headset like a dutiful stage crew member should and listened around for the conversations of others before the show started. Someone was wearing the other two headsets, and we were having a basic conversation, until suddenly the level of static from the microphones went off like crazy.
The two others on the headsets went to talk to the man running the sound board, but I was still on and listening to the static when all of the sudden I heard this odd, broken-sounding cooing, seeming to come from the other end of the frequencies. I call this a very small occurrence, because I’m sure what I heard might have been many things, but no one except for me had been on the set and hearing the voices at the time. The director of the show even put on the headset, and I asked her to check if I was insane, but I immediately had second-party approval that there was a strange sound running through the lines. It stopped after about a minute or so. This is just my personal account, but there are plenty of other rumors to be had about this place, including a test where spirits will “play ball” with you in the Old Timer’s room if you push a ball in the middle of the floor and watch it roll around suspiciously, just doing its thing.
I personally just love the idea of the train station as a haunted hotspot because of the romantic symbolism in the situation. It represents a centerpoint of travel for many people, either where a chapter of their lives may begin or maybe where the homecoming to their pasts will be completed. I believe this can be translated supernaturally, since a train station is either a step to a plane unknown or the ending of a long journey, but it is always the safe natural point of travel. The idea of a spirit being locked in this venue of limbo, either before going on to the afterlife or returning back and forth through a spiritual plane around a place submersed in human history, is reasonably poetic in nature.
There are plenty of other haunted places in Ogden, and every year around this time they have “Haunted Tours of Ogden,” starting from the Union Station and migrating around so you get to hear about stories like this and more about our favorite and historically nefarious 25th St. I still haven’t even mentioned the Haunted Ben Lomond Hotel, the secret underground tunnels from Prohibition days, the infamous ladies from the old “Red Light District,” and others floating around several well-known restaurants and buildings on the street that you may not have even thought twice about! Have fun tracking those ghost stories down, and good luck if you actually manage to! Happy Halloween!