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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Meet Clem, the Fort Douglas Ghost

There may be some ghosts lurking among the long-standing trees and historic buildings of upper campus at the U.

Fort Douglas is the one of the oldest army posts in Utah, built in 1862, and is now regarded as a historic site. Part of the fort has been turned into a military museum, which is the area that some people claim is haunted.

Liz Rogers, an archivist at the Marriott Library, said the Fort Douglas Military Museum would be the best place in the area to experience the hauntings due to the memorabilia from the war.

“If that is the sort of thing that ghosts attach themselves to,” she said, “Fort Douglas would be the perfect place.”

The museum’s supposedly most frequent ghost is named “Clem.” Clem is the spirit of a solider from the Civil War, named after a Boy Scout Troop who spent the night in the museum. The boys claimed to feel the breath of Clem, hear his footsteps and see objects move.

“The museum had a paranormal team go in,” Rogers said. “The basement is completely haunted.”

Rogers said she has heard sounds from the ghosts.

“If you are in the basement, it isn’t unusual to hear footsteps upstairs,” she said. “I’m not sure if they were from a man, but they were footsteps.”

She said the paranormal teams have reported sightings and have recordings of the ghosts, but not all teams have heard or seen them. Different teams go in multiple times a year to search for paranormal phenomena.

Su Richards, a staff member for the Fort Douglas Military Museum, said the ghosts have resided in Fort Douglas for at least two decades.

“We have had people stop in the museum who grew up on the base, and they report stories of sightings from when they were children,” Richards said. “We have a history of Clem being on campus for 20 years.”

Clem and his fellow ghosts aren’t the typical terrifying spirits, she said.

“These aren’t Halloween ghosts — they are here all year long,” she said. “They don’t cause problems. They were here when they were alive and have decided to stay at Fort Douglas, and every building at Fort Douglas has stories of ghosts.”

Though she is a staff member, Richards said she has never seen the ghosts of Fort Douglas.

“I neither believe or disbelieve,” she said. “I’ve never seen a ghost, but when someone reports seeing or hearing things, I don’t argue. No questions asked.”

Richards said the ghosts are not going anywhere any time soon, and she doesn’t mind.

“Nobody seems too worried about the ghosts,” she said. “They are nice. They keep people company if you are working alone.”

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    SerenNov 27, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I am the daughter of a US Army Chaplin he worked at Fort Douglas for a very very long time. Whenever I would go into his work building it was always freezing and I would sometimes have the feeling like I was being watched and when I would walk in I felt unsettled and now that I have found out why I love Fort Douglas even more