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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Haunted habitats

By Patrick Muir and Catherine Callister

Editor’s Note: The Chronicle sent reporters Patrick Muir and Catherine Callister to look into some popular myths and legends regarding the history of various sites surrounding the Salt Lake Valley and to hear from real people who shared their stories about paranormal experiences at these locations.

East High School

Having spent more than 20 years working late into the evening as a custodian, Heber Stohel says he and many others have seen a 4-foot-tall shadow that floats about a foot off the ground, wandering the hallways of East High.

One night, Stohel was walking out of a restroom when he said he felt the shadow enter his body.

“It was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt in my life,” Stohel said. “It was so strong it knocked me over.”

A year-and-a-half later, his boss reported a similar experience. He said he was walking down the hall and felt as though he were being watched. When he looked back, he saw the shadow, but it quickly disappeared.

He continued to walk, but once again felt he was being watched. When he turned around, the shadow went through his body.

Custodian Andy Reeve said he was cleaning an office one night when he looked up to see a broom balancing itself. A moment later it fell and hit him.

Reeve also said that one time, when he was emptying the trash out of a chemistry lab, a Bunsen burner suddenly turned on by itself.

The school is located on 840 S. 1300 East.

Old Emmo’s Grave

Emmo was actually a man named Jacob Moritz, whose ashes were enshrined in a tall monument in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

There is a window in the front of the monument that holds the remains of an urn. Many believe that if you circle the grave three times chanting “Emmo, Emmo, Emmo,” you can see a face in the window.

Rob Tannenbaum, a financial manager at the cemetery, said Moritz was a prominent Jewish businessman in early 20th-century Salt Lake City. He owned and operated a brewery.

Tannnbaum said that the grave is definitely not haunted-in fact, he added, the legend gets annoying and is disrespectful of the dead.

People often visit the grave at night and leave burnt candles on the ground that the caretakers have to pick up the next day.

Emmo’s grave is located in the Salt Lake City Cemetery on 200 “N” Street.

Shilo Inn

This popular downtown hotel played host to a murder about 30 years ago.

In the 1970s, a woman threw her children off the upper balcony before jumping to her own death.

Maintenance worker Jose Flores says that their ghosts live on the 13th floor, where the elevator motors and boiler room are located.

Flores said that one time he was working on the 13th floor when a fluorescent light dropped from the ceiling and shattered at his feet.

“I’m the only one on the weekends that has access to the 13th floor,” he said. “And those kind of lights, you have to screw out of socket. It was the ghosts.”

He said that often he will put down a tool and the ghosts will move it.

“They play tricks on me,” he said. “But we’re friends, and we get along.”

Flores said he believes the ghosts reside there because they like how quiet and dark it is on the 13th floor.

The Shilo Inn is located at 206 South West Temple.

Uintah Elementary School

Michael Rhoten used to be a janitor at Uintah Elementary School and said that he saw and heard a lot of weird things there. Rhoten recalled being alone with a coworker dusting part of the school.

He said they heard a voice.

Then a hand truck they had been using crashed to the floor. If Rhoten’s coworker hadn’t turned to talk with him, he said it would have hit her in the head.

On another occasion, Rhoten was at the school around 11 p.m., cleaning up after a carnival. He said he heard children laughing-but there was no one there.

Rhoten called his boss and said that he would come back and finish the job the next morning.

The school is located at 1571 E. 1300 South.

The City and County Building

The City and County Building is 111 years old, and although it was remodeled in the 1980s, many of its original sections remain. Bill Scavezze has worked in The City and County Building as a security guard for two-and-a-half years, and said he has never seen or heard anything unusual, but he knows many stories surrounding the old building.

Scavezze said he knows of guards that are scared of the fifth floor. At night, when they run security checks, they will check all the floors except that one. Guards say that in the hallway in which portraits of every former mayor of Salt Lake City hang, a ghost of one of the mayors walks the hall in front of his portrait.

Scavezze said a couple years ago, a man was on the fifth floor about to take the elevator down when a voice told him, “Don’t get in the elevator.” He got in anyway, then the voice came again: “Don’t get in the elevator.”

The man listened and stood back as the elevator crashed to the ground floor.

Scavezze has heard people tell of a ghost boy and girl who supposedly run up and down the halls of the building.

Scavezze also knows first-hand of abnormal activities taking place in the building. He told of a tunnel that runs from the building toward the library, which many believe is haunted. Even though Scavezze has never seen anything, he said when he is alone at night guarding the old building, he still catches himself looking over his shoulder.

The City and County Building is located at 451 South State Street.

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