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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Can of Worms — Episode 5: Haunted Salt Lake


In the fifth episode of Can of Worms, Oliver and Cambria explore the haunted spots of Salt Lake City! This episode features Grimm Ghost Tours, a haunted history professional, and a paranormal investigator/puppeteer. The pod team also finds themselves meeting a ghost of their own! Join us!

Oliver: Listeners, welcome to the fifth episode of Can of Worms. Sounds like it’s our haunted Salt Lake episode.

[Cambria and Oliver make ghost noises]

Cambria: Okay, do you have, like, a relationship with paranormal stuff? Do you believe? Have you ever seen a ghost?

Oliver: I would say I am like an optimistic skeptic.

Cambria: Okay.

Oliver: Because I’ve never had experiences with the paranormal or ghosts, but I’m not going to just completely not believe in them, you know?

Cambria: You’re not going to just diss it.

Oliver: No. I’m not going to be like, “That’s impossible. That’s not real.”

Cambria:  Okay.

Oliver: “That’s so stupid.”

Cambria: Okay, gotcha. I would say I’m — no — I’m pretty, I would say I’m in a similar range as you.

Oliver:  Like, I’m open to believing.

Cambria: I’ve met a lot of people who have like, been like, “Oh, yeah, this is the kind of stuff I experienced. I see like visions or I’ve seen had some like childhood stuff,” but I’ve never shaken hands — like never shaken hands with a ghost.

Oliver: No. But  I’ve heard a lot of stuff. Because I work at an old restaurant. All the servers have, like, stories about certain spots in the restaurant getting really cold or like …

Cambria: I think that’s just bad air conditioning.

Oliver:  Yeah, or it could be bad at airflow. 

Cambria: But you’ve never, you’ve never had that kind of spooky stuff.

Oliver: Well, I do actually have one experience.

Cambria: Oh, so you lied.

Oliver: Somewhat of an experience, but I never saw this ghost. But —

Cambria: You never saw it directly?

Oliver:  No.

Cambria: It was not — okay. Gotcha.

Oliver: Did you want to hear about it?

Cambria: I would love to hear about it, please.

Oliver: Okay. So this is, I think it was my senior year. I can’t remember if it was after COVID closed everything down. But there used to be this place in Murray, Utah, where there was, like, an abandoned rec center kind of thing. So, there was, like, old pools and, like, hot tubs all empty with, like, spray paint. There was a racquetball court, there was a basketball court, it was pretty big. So I’d go sometimes and, like, explore,  and there was creepy stuff going on. Like one time we went in, and there was, like, people doing a séance kind of thing at the basketball court.

Cambria: Just random people that you didn’t know?

Oliver: Yeah, I didn’t know them. Anyway, we were in it though — this is the last time I went in because it’s recently been knocked down because there was too much of us bad boys going in, causing a ruckus. So I was with my friends, Jordan and Monet, and we were in, like, the boiler room kind of thing, which is, start, like that’s just freaky. But I texted Monet about it because I want to give you guys more accurate thing. But Monet said, “We were in the boiler room of the back place, and when the group was turning around to leave, Jordan and I both saw a humanoid figure, literally glowing, and as soon as we saw it, it made a ‘meep’ sound and hid behind the boiler thingy.”

Cambria: Wait.

Oliver: “I know we both saw it because I instinctively reached out my arm to stop Jordan, and she jumped back as well. When we went over to check that was nothing, of course, but I know there was something there. Ghosts or perhaps other dimensional beings.”

Cambria: Okay, a ‘meep’ sound like Phineas and Ferb, like, alien, like, ‘meep’.

Oliver: Yeah, yeah, so they call it Meep but yeah, that’s — I never saw Meep,  but I was in the same room so, I don’t know if that’s the closest I’ve gotten, I think.

Cambria: That’s pretty crazy.

Oliver: If Meep was a ghost.

Cambria: That’s, like, VERY spooky. If I, if I saw some sort of, I would not be; I have a general healthy fear of everything.

Oliver: Fair enough.

Cambria: So I’m just basically if it’s, if I’m in any sort of dark room even, if it’s like not, there’s zero light, dark outside, I’m like there’s evil things in there.

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria:  I just have a general healthy fear of the world.

Oliver: That’s fair.

Cambria: I’ve got a list.

Oliver: Well, do you think that the story of Meep, the spiritual being other-dimensional being, set the tone — the spooky tone — for the episode here?

Cambria: I think. Honestly. Yeah, I think Meep is a great starter. It’s definitely really spooky. And I think we need to find out more and find out a paranormal experience of our own. How does that sound? 

Oliver: Goosebumps!

ACT 1: Interviewing the Student Body

Oliver: Our goal here is …

Cambria: To get haunted.

Oliver: To get haunted. Well, how do we start? Should we go talk to students and see if they believe in ghosts?

Cambria: We could definitely find some students around here, at the University of Utah.

Oliver: Shall we go interview students?

Cambria: Let’s shall!

[Out on the University of Utah campus]

Cambria: Alright, so Ollie and I are out, figuring out who the student body believes in ghosts. Booyah.

[In the Union] 

Cambria: Do you guys believe in ghosts?

Student 1: Yes.

Cambria: You do!

Student 1: Yeah. I do, definitely believe in ghosts.

Oliver:  Do you have an experience?

Student 1: I feel like there’s different, like, contexts for it — because like, there’s some people who see it from, like, the horror movie like supernatural perspective of, like, bad events happening. But I’ve also had stuff, like, at friend’s houses growing up where I swear, they’re like, “oh, yeah, it’s haunted. But like the ghost doesn’t do anything. It’ll just display stuff like it’s friendly.”

Cambria: Just hanging around.

Student 1: Yeah.

Cambria: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

[In the food court]

Cambria: Do you believe in ghosts?

Student 2: I do believe in ghosts.

Cambria: Have you ever had a ghost experience?

Student 2: Not really. Sometimes there have been, like, creepy things happening. I’m like, oh, maybe, but not nothing directly, no cool stories. I’m not that exciting.

Cambria: Do you have any ghost stories?

Student 3: I do. I was driving home, it was, like, late night. On a long, like, close to the mountain. You know how 123rd goes up and up and up? And there’s like a part where it just rounds, like, through the mountain side? I was driving this late night, and my siblings were in the car. And then suddenly, you see, like a shadow-like figure like, just like menacing menacingly just kind of lurching over there. And we all like did it like a double take. And we were like, “Did you see that?” And I was like, I didn’t see a damn thing. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see anything. Did you see anything? And it drove home fast.

Oliver: Can we ask you guys a question?

Cambria: Do you guys believe in ghosts?

Student 4: No, not really.

Oliver: No!

Cambria: Zero. This is our first no.

Oliver: You guys are the first to say you don’t believe in ghosts.

Cambria: Do you have a reason? Or is it just seeing is believing and you haven’t seen anything.

Student 4: Well, nothing’s happened yet, so, don’t believe it.

Oliver: That’s fair.

[Out on the grounds]

Cambria: Do you believe in ghosts?

Student 5:  Oh, yeah I believe in ghosts.

Oliver: Oh, do you have any good ghost stories?

Student 5: No! I really want a ghost story.

Cambria: You want a ghost story?

Oliver: We’re also trying to find our own ghost story.

Student 5: Oh, are you?

Cambria: We’re hunting around.

Student 5: Nice.

Oliver: Yeah

Cambria: So you do believe in ghosts.

Student 5: Definitely believe in ghosts. I feel like I’ve met people who’ve, like, have just like, they have stories and they’ve just refused to, you know, question it at all. And I think okay, that’s cool. I believe that, you know, they’re not wonks, they’re just regular people.

Oliver: Yeah.

Student 5: And they’ve seen things and they know that it’s true. I really, I’m like, I watch the Ghost Hunters show, and I do all the things. But I’ve never seen anything. It’s so disappointing.

Cambria: Do you think that you’ll become a ghost when you die?

Student 5: Ah, well, that’s a good question. I don’t think I have enough routines to be the ghost routine.

Oliver: It’s usually like people …

Cambria: People who have a thing to be connected to, or vengeance is a good one.

Student 5: Yeah, I would hope I would be happy enough to not have lots of vengeance left over.

Cambria: Do you believe in ghosts?

Student 6: Kind of because I’m sure they’re real. But I’m terrified of them. So I tell myself not to believe in them.

Cambria: Okay.

Student 6: So that I can sleep.

Cambria: Have you ever had like a ghost experience? Probably not.

Student 6: No, but one time my grandmother came to me in a dream. Dead grandmother, yeah.

Cambria: What’d she say?

Student 6: She said I needed to find some letters. 

Cambria: Letters?

Student 6: But she was like a young version of herself. It was very bizarre.

[In the Library]

Oliver: Do you believe in ghosts?

Student 7: Ghosts? No.

Oliver: No.

Cambria: Not at all? No ghost experiences?

Student 7: No ghost experiences.

Cambria: When someone tells you a ghost story. You’re like, “Ah,  probably made up?”

Student 7: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if I’d say like made up but like, you know.

Cambria: Just not for you?

Student 7: Well, I mean, like, I feel like it’s just somebody’s way of, like, understanding something that they can’t explain.

Oliver: Yeah. 

Student 7: And I look at it differently. Like I wouldn’t go to ghosts initially. I guess.

Cambria: You would try to explain it some other way.

Student 7: Yeah.

Cambria: Cool!

Cambria: Do you guys believe in ghosts?

Student 8: I do.

Student 9: I definitely think they’re real. No, they’re so real. 

Cambria: Have you ever had, like, a ghost experience?

Student 9: Yes. I was driving with our friend Sophia. And she and I were both driving and then we, like, almost hit this guy and we needed to turn around in the road. And we drove back and he was, like, gone. Like and there was no way that he could have gone. And it was, like, wild.

Cambria: Wow.

Student 9: It was wild.

Oliver: And did you believe before that? Or was that, like, your …

Student 9: Oh, yeah, like, no, I’m 100% a ghost believer.

Oliver: And do you believe in ghosts too? 

Student 8: I do believe in ghosts, yeah.

Oliver: Do you have any ghost stories?

Student 8: There was this, like, in Park City, there’s this big parking lot my friends and I used to hang out in. We used to have,  like, fires there and stuff. And this one night I think there was like five or six of us there. We were all sitting there like around the fire and like no one else was supposed to come, like there were no other cars there. And we heard someone, like, yelling at us behind this hill. Like right next to us. We were like, yo what? They were just screaming. Like, “come here, come here, come here!” So we, like, went around the hill. And there was no one there, like, checked the entire field, like all around the parking lot, and there’s literally no one, like, we were the only people there.

[Back in the studio]

Oliver: Well, I feel like a lot of more people believe in ghosts than I thought, it’s making me want to have my own personal experience, kind of.

Cambria: That’s what I’m saying, we should figure out some haunted places in Salt Lake City to check out.

Oliver: Maybe … Have you heard, like, Salt Lake does little, like, ghost tours you can do?

Cambria: That’s a thing?

Oliver: Yeah. I think we should figure out which one we could do and then go do it.

Cambria: Um, yeah, 100%.

Oliver: Okay, let’s …

Cambria: Let’s-a go!

Oliver: Let’s go!

ACT 2: Ghost Tours

Oliver: So, we’ve signed up for a Friday night old-town Salt Lake ghost tour with Grim Ghost Tours.

[bus sounds]

Oliver: So our bus tour began and we were guided by our great guide Willow.

Willow: I do recommend that you take your pictures in groups of about three to four with your flash on, okay? That’s because pictures one and two might not be that interesting, but if you don’t have a side-by-side comparison, you might miss that strange shadow in number three.

Oliver: Okay, Cambria, what were your initial thoughts about the ghost tour?

Cambria: I love a ghost tour. Anything that has, like, any sort of, like, hosting or storytelling, little pizzazz brings me joy. And this is absolutely something I would do just, you know, standing up in a bus and talking to a bunch of strangers. Plus, all the bus decorations were, like, great. There was a little tiny skeleton that was staring at Producer Elle and I.

Oliver: A little cobwebs

Cambria: Just in, like, a little shawl.

Willow: I would remind you that even science has proven that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. It simply changes form. So even if it is a one-in-a-million chance that there is something out there science hasn’t explained yet. Maybe tonight’s the night we get a little evidence for ourselves, yes?

Cambria: So, our tour began downtown where we learned a little bit about Salt Lake’s railway history and the hauntings that came with it.

Willow: In fact, as we come through this intersection, only the front of the bus can see. You in the back, who were too cool to sit up front, you can’t see. But you will when we drive through the intersection. Just down the roadway here, out on the right hand side, you will see the Union Pacific. It’s actually part of the Gateway Mall, but that’s not why it’s interesting. The Union Pacific used to be a train station. It was built by E. H. Harriman for around $300,000. You see, Utah is famous because this is where east met west, where the very first transcontinental railroad connected to great halves of one great nation with a single golden spike. And that was one of the stops. This literally opened up the west so that people could travel with ease and comfort into this beautiful brand new established valley. And Harriman is raking in the money. So a man by the name of George Gould came along and decided he needed a little competition. He decided to build his own railway station, called the Rio Grande. It was grand, indeed. So as I said, it was built to be competition for the Union Pacific. Any guesses as to how much he spent on his station?

Passenger: 500.

Willow: 500? You’re not too far off. $750,000. And it really was a masterpiece. People literally took vacations just to pass through the halls. An architectural wonder: marble floors, crystal chandeliers, old gilded wrought iron throughout. Unfortunately, it wasn’t direct competition. You see, while Harriman’s line ran east and west, Gould’s line ran north and south, hitting some of the mining towns. And he wanted more.

Oliver: Okay, we’re back to share the rest of the story. Harriman wasn’t satisfied with just having a station running north and south. He also wanted a line running east and west. So, Harriman put lots of money into this, costing him double than he anticipated. Then all of a sudden, after these poor financial decisions, he basically lost all of his money and died.

Cambria: Goes to show that spending money never works out and we should just hoard all of our earnings and never disperse it back into the economy. But where did we go first?

Oliver: The Rio Grande was our first stop, and we heard our first ghost story of the night.

Willow: There was once a beautiful young woman who came to the Rio Grande. She had long dark hair that came down her back, she wore a beautiful purple velvet sequined gown. And she was here to meet her fiance, a young soldier preparing for war. But their reunion soon turned sour. They began to argue. So violently, in fact, that according to some reports, he grabbed her by the wrist, ripped off her engagement ring and threw it onto the tracks. Without a statement, this young woman stepped off the safety of the platform and started to walk along the tracks, looking for her lost treasure, completely unaware of the train that was coming. See, the train did not have a scheduled stop. They will just slow, but not come to a halt. Unfortunately, they found her body several cars in.

Oliver: Oooh, that’s pretty spooky. And their next stop, in my opinion, is even spookier. The next place the bus took us was a hotel downtown with a haunting story.

Willow: Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the International Dunes Hotel, later renamed Shilo Inn. And now a lovely Holiday Inn Express. Also, the location where Rachel David gathered her seven young children on their 11th-storey balcony, and told them it was time to meet their father again.

Cambria: That’s right, this hotel was where Rachel David and her seven children all jumped off the 11th-story balcony. And Willow showed us the exact balcony it was.

Willow: I’ll direct your attention to that very balcony ledge. So if you go on the right-hand side of the building, it’s not the first row of balconies, but the second row, all the way up to the top. And then one down. That is suite 1105. Now this event took place fairly early in the morning. In fact, it was somewhere around 7 a.m. And there were people headed to business meetings. Some construction workers were across the street in the scaffolding when they started to hear the sound of dull thuds hitting the pavement. In fact, there were some people famously quoted as saying, “Why is that woman throwing dolls off of the balcony?” Of course, it wasn’t dolls.

Oliver: Oh, this gave me chills when we were there.

Cambria: Oh, for sure. It was such a public scene too. Of course, these were the only stories and locations that we got a tour, so if you want the full experience, go check out the Grimm Ghost Tours. It’s super cool. Now at the end of the tour, we asked Willow if she had any cool places or people she thought we should check out, and she recommended the Grimm’s very own historian, Fiona, and she had a lot of cool stuff to say.

Fiona: I’m Fiona. I usually, like, Fiona Robinson Hill, Fiona Robinson, Fiona Hill. I’ve been with Grimm about six and a half, seven years. And I am the jack of all trades for Grimm. I do it all. I’m a tour guide, I do the paranormal investigations, but I’m the historian too. So I look up all the history, I research all the stories, I make sure we’re telling everything as correctly and accurately as possible, while still making it fun and interesting. And not the history that they tell you, teach you in school.

Cambria: So what was your very first paranormal experience? You said that, like, kicked started your want to know more?

Fiona: Yeah, most people, their first encounter with the paranormal, with ghosts, is in their own home. Growing up in a house where strange things happen — and that’s the definition of paranormal, right? Not normal, strange, weird things, where, in the middle of August, our nice hot August weather, the furnace — the heat — would be turned up way past 90, randomly, when nobody was home. Or you would hear strange voices down in the basement. Things would move all by themselves, or your keys would go missing, and you’d have to, like, step out of the house and say, like, put my keys back. I really need them. Or, like, my cameras or my wallet. Just weird things and you find them in the bathroom or under the bed or just, just weird random things and you’re like: nobody else is doing this. Nobody else is touching it. What’s happening here? You just have to be paying attention. And now that I’m aware of– of the other side, I’m paying attention more. And we like to tell everyone that you’re, everyone is, has, that sixth sense. You just have to kind of learn to develop it.

Cambria: Do you find, in the field, because, like, lots of the research that we have done is, most people who are talking about paranormal and like why ghosts are here, like trying to put like a definition on what a ghost is and what they can do, so often they will say like “matter cannot be created or destroyed.” And so, like, there’s like an energy, like, so you’re, like, sticking around. Do you think there’s any merit to that? Do you believe in that? What are your thoughts?

Fiona: Yeah, I think so. It’s, it’s not an exact science. The paranormal is not an exact science. And that’s why we, like, people will say like, “oh, ghost hunting,” but if you talk to anyone in the paranormal field they say “no, it’s a paranormal investigation because we’re going to investigate what’s happening and why, why ghosts, energies, spirits, are lingering around and what’s happening there. And I — science was not my strong suit in school. Obviously, history is where I do well, where I excel. But, but what you were saying is, is you, you know you can’t destroy matter. Our bodies produce energy. Where does that energy go when we die? And I’ve heard a lot of other paranormal investigators say the same thing. Like, it’s, it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s still there. But how? How does it manifest itself? And that’s what paranormal investigators are trying to figure out.

Cambria: So, one place that we really want to go check out is the Fort Douglas Military Museum. Do you have any, like, specific experiences yourself of stuff that’s happened there?

Fiona: I actually work at the Fort Douglas Military Museum. And, I guess — every time I’m there, there’s something that happens. Whether it’s the toilets flushing on their own, or books falling off the shelf, the water bottle refill station going off by itself. One night, I was working late, and I was sitting behind a gun display case. And, and although there’s not the type of gun that would make this noise, but I just heard, like, a revolver, just, like, clicking like empty chambers, like, clicking, clicking, clicking, clicking, and I was like, “Alright, time to go home.” One time, I was there, and I was again, it was kind of later, I had just given a tour to a high school newspaper group. So I was locking up. And I heard a woman talking. And I, like, called out, “Hello, the museum’s closed, it’s time to go home.” But it wasn’t like talking-talking, it was kind of like mumbling. And I was on one side of the museum. And it was coming from another side, and I was walking around. I was like, man, I don’t want to, I don’t want to kick someone out. But when I got to the other side, it had stopped and there was no one there. But it was over by where there’s a parachute exhibit, a wedding dress parachute exhibit, and I was like, “oh, okay, time to go home.” So there’s, there’s stuff that happens there all the time. And I tell people that the Fort Douglas Military Museum is, is unique out of all the places in Utah, because — or Salt Lake — because you not only have history that took place there, but then you have all those artifacts that have come to there. And artifacts, not just from, you know, the country the United States, but all over the world that were carried that I’ve seen some really not so great things, right? That have come from all over that are located within those buildings right there. Even in the Fort Douglas cemetery there’s so much history for being such a little cemetery so maybe, maybe that’s why Fort Douglas is so active, so haunted. Sometimes the truth is stranger than urban legends. 

Cambria: After hearing this, we decided we wanted to talk to a paranormal investigator of our own.

Oliver: Oooh, a paranormal investigator of our own?

Cambria: Yes, a paranormal investigator of our own!

Oliver: Wow!

[In Ollie’s car]

Oliver: We’ve got a little Shakey Graves playing, Cambria where are we off to?

Cambria: We’re off to interview Shelby, our paranormal investigator.

Oliver: Yeah, since this winter has lasted forever, I got stuck up a canyon. Unable to get down last time we’re supposed to talk to Shelby.

Cambria: That’s true.

Oliver: But I think — and our recording equipment has been tainted.

Cambria: It’s been a little damaged, it’s not been working.

Oliver: Yeah, and you know what I think? I think that’s ghosts; I think that’s ghost-related.

Cambria: Oh! It’s the paranormal activity. They’re trying to stop us.

Oliver: I don’t think they want their secrets out.

Cambria: Okay, but we’re still going, so you think something terrible might happen to us?

Oliver: I am a little worried.

[In Shelby’s office.]

Cambria: Oh, this room is excellent.

Oliver: This is crazy.

Shelby: Feel free to play.

Cambria: This is so cool.

Oliver: How long have you been doing this?

Shelby: Oh, let’s see … You know, we’ve been a nonprofit since 2017. And — 

Cambria: Wow.

Oliver: Wow.

Shelby: We’ve been doing stuff since 2012.

Cambria: That’s incredible.

Oliver: So do you teach people how to make puppets?

Shelby: Mhm.

Cambria: Make puppets and use puppets. How many of these have you made?

Shelby: I think we have over 150 puppets and I made about 90% of them.

Cambria: That’s incredible. That’s so cool.

Oliver: How long have you been making puppets?

Shelby: Since I was six.

Oliver: Oh really?

Cambria: Wow.

Shelby: Some of my childhood puppets are over there. 

[Back in the studio]

Oliver: Hey, listeners, since this is a podcast and you can’t see this room of wonder and puppets, we’ll do a better job of describing it to you.

Cambria: Basically, her office was filled to the brim with puppets.

Oliver: Yep.

Cambria: Racks on the wall, it was all sorts of, like, different shapes. There was animals there was, like, typical Muppet kinds. There was a big old spider and a gorilla. There was a banana.

Oliver: It was great.

Cambria: The banana was also a puppet. You could, like, open its mouth.

Oliver: Yeah, yeah.

Cambria: It was really, really cool.

Oliver: It was awesome. Anyway, back to the creepy stuff.

[Back in Shelby’s office]

Shelby: I was always interested in paranormal and creepy things.

Oliver: As far as you can remember?

Cambria: Have you ever had, like, paranormal experiences?

Shelby: One night, I was just going up the stairs. And there was wild, I don’t know, like flapping and scratching. And you know, and she did have bats. But this was like, right above my head inside the house and that — it scared the heck out of me. Wow. And it was like it went around the corner into the room that I was going into.

Oliver: Oh gosh.

Shelby: But I just sort of froze there. There’s that, and then even as a baby, my grandmother would freak out because they put the — my crib — in my grandfather and my grandmother’s room just in there with them. And they’d wake up in the morning and I’d be doing this at the wall. I’d be pointing at the wall. 

Cambria: No. 

Shelby: Yeah.

Cambria: No!

Oliver: That gave me, like, goosebumps.

Cambria: Oh, my gosh.

Shelby: And then times that I felt that someone was right next to me …

Cambria: There’s no one else in the room.

Shelby: Right, right.

Oliver: So these moments, I feel like when — if I was growing up and had, like, a moment like this, it would kind of steer me away from that whole world. But for you, it kind of intrigued you?

Shelby: Yeah. I wanted to know what, what it was. And that’s what’s kept me going is, “What is this stuff?” I’ve been investigating for 12 years now. I took a class from this great guy. His name was Tom Young. And he had a ghostbusting class in the community ed class of Granite District. And so we would go to all these places, and that, he really taught me what I needed to know. 

Cambria: Was there a place that was, like, the most haunted? 

Shelby: Oh, that’s a good question.

Cambria: Especially here in, like, Utah, like a biggest hot spot?

Shelby: Well, to say it’s the “most haunted” I, I don’t know. Because you can go to “this was the most haunted house in the world,” I get absolutely no evidence that night, you know?

Cambria: It depends?

Shelby: It depends. You know, I think the most experience that I, biggest, I guess, variety of experiences I had was the very first time we went ghost hunting, and it’s the Glenwood cemetery up in Park City. It’s an old mining cemetery. And I got an EVP up there. I think I made a little thing for you guys. Yeah. So it’s in a file and I’ll send it to you. We could listen to them now.

Cambria: Awesome. 

Shelby: But anyway, we got an EVP of this guy saying “no problem.” No problem. And we aren’t hearing this at the time. And there’s another one, he is — this guy and his wife and his wife’s name was Rose. I can’t remember his name, but they are like the — they were like the ghost hosts of the cemetery. And people have heard Rose laughing. And I said, “I’d like to hear you laugh, Rose.” And you can clearly hear her say, “You have to make me laugh.”

Oliver: Oh, wow. 

Shelby: It’s when they answer you like that. That makes me say yes, there is definitely something.

Cambria: Something there.

Shelby: Something there. Photographs, I’ve got a couple of photographs that are pretty good. But when they answer a question, or they respond to what you’re saying, there’s just no, you know.

Oliver: Yeah. 

Shelby: And you’ve debunked that there was anybody else there. I don’t know. You know, if you’ve done that, then that voice is there.

Cambria: That’s the most interesting thing, because — so we went on, like, a Grimm Ghost Tours to, like, you know, get started, getting in the mood for the episode. And one of the things that the tour guide there, and most people that I’ve talked to about ghost hunting, is like yeah, the first step is to discredit, like make sure that there couldn’t have been anything else. Which I think is the most — because there’s a lot of people who I know are like, “Oh, I heard this, like, this thing knocked over” and you’re like, oh, with that fish string but you push it with?

Shelby: Yeah, right.

Cambria: Most people who are actually looking for stuff, like, like, they’re the first ones to make sure that it wasn’t anything else that.

Shelby: Right.

Cambria: That it was.

Shelby: I’m a hopeful skeptic.

Cambria: Yes.

Shelby: When I go on an investigation. The first thing, really, is to approach it like you really don’t know. We don’t know, and people that say, “Oh, it was a demon. Oh, it was a little girl. Oh, it was this.” They don’t know. They don’t know. So you have to be humble, I guess is what I’m trying to say. And not try and make it something, because if you make it something sometimes you miss what it might really be.

Cambria: Do you often find yourself dealing with, like, skeptics who are trying to constantly disprove?

Shelby: My husband’s a biologist. “It doesn’t exist.”

Cambria: Doesn’t like it. What is often your interaction with skeptics? 

Shelby: I love having skeptics along on ghost hunts. I love it because they are the first ones to debunk stuff.

Cambria: Yes.

Shelby: So, they’re very important, and, you know, if there’s somebody’s wife or husband who’s like “I don’t believe in this crap,” I want you on this.

Oliver: Yeah

Shelby: I want you on this investigation.

Oliver: And you were saying there’s, like, it’s not all just ghosts. Like, there’s also been, like, shadow people …

Shelby: So, shadow people. They are actually — these things are something that was never alive as a human. But shadow people, lots of people see them, and that’s exactly what they are: they are shadow. Paranormal is a very wide area, and like I said, that includes UFOs and, you know, all kinds of things. But, I mean, there are — again, I mean, supposedly, in that other dimension, in that other world, there are all kinds of things. And there are portals, okay? That can, that these things can pass through. There are things that are older than time in there. I don’t really think that they mean us harm. I think, more often than not, they like the connection. And if you just talk to them like we’re talking right now, I think that’s more — I think that gets more effective than if you provoke.

Cambria: You mentioned the EVP a lot, is that your preferred tool that you use? Or do you have other equipment?

Shelby: The toolset that I’d use, you know, the very best tool is you.

Cambria: Gotcha.

Shelby: You know, when you go on an investigation, take a minute to just take a breath and just be where you are. You don’t have to romp — people so often are just romping in there with cameras and all this stuff, just take a second. Feel the place, you know? And then I use, I have a, an EMF meter, that’s a good tool, that’s the electricity — but a really good idea before that is to before you start on any sort of investigation, run around, if you can, and make sure where the hotspots are, ’cause it will register computers, it’ll register refrigerators. And then a camera, but then, you know. When I first started out doing this, we kind of said phone stuff is not that great, but now I think it’s okay. You know? ‘Cause they have pretty good cameras on the phones, recording devices, I mean, why not? If a ghost is going to say something on a recorder, why wouldn’t it say something on your phone? But then I also have what’s called an EMF Pump, which actually kind of pumps a little bit of electricity around. Sometimes I use a pendulum. It swings one way for yes, one way for no. Last time I was at Fort Douglas, there were a lot of people, and they were just yabba yabba yabba, so it wasn’t all that great for EVP, so I get out a pendulum, and it was going pretty well and all of the sudden was sticking out to the right a little bit. I was like, “Oh, hi!”

Oliver: This is crazy.

Cambria: That was awesome.

Shelby: You ready to go try it?

Oliver: Yeah!

Cambria: I am so ready.

Shelby: There’s a room downstairs with a little safe in it, we’re gonna go down there.


Cambria: And with that, we made our way out of the puppet room and downstairs to see if we couldn’t find ourselves our own ghost.

[In the safe room]

Shelby: So the first thing you do when you do EVP, is you get everybody’s voices on tape, so that you know. And don’t whisper, because they whisper. So, first thing is: Hello. My name is Shelby, this is …

Oliver: Oliver.

Shelby: And?

Cambria: Cami.

Shelby: Yeah. And we’re here to talk to someone. If you’re here, I don’t want you to be afraid, we’re not here to hurt you or judge you in any way. And if there are any spirits, or anybody, that wants to come and talk to us, we would love to talk to you. Is there anyone here?


Cambria: We spent some time asking questions and trying to get to know what spirit we were talking to, finding out that it was a 13-year-old young girl named Casey, and that she liked writing. And afterward, we reviewed the words on the device.

[In the safe room]

Shelby: So we got: anxious, pencil, guide, travel. This is an interesting one: train. I was like, “Oooh.”

Cambria: We were talking about it.

Shelby: Evolved.

Oliver: And we’re right by the train.

Shelby: Drum. Movie. Casey. Where. And feeling. See this is interesting because, you know, we were saying we wish you love and light and feeling, so those are the things to kind of look at. But “was there money in here?” “Pencil.” There are pencils in there.

Cambria: Well, it’s a little art room.

Shelby: Yeah, yeah. Anyway. So that was an EVP session. You’ll have to play it back to see if you get anything.

Cambria: Woah.

Oliver: Yeah.

Shelby: That we didn’t hear.

Cambria: It was time to check out Fort Douglas. What I’ve been gunning for since the beginning!

Oliver: Very true, very true. And, I think after talking to Fiona, we should go to the Fort Douglas Cemetery. Because that’s where there’s lots of energy.

ACT 3: Fort Douglas

[In Ollie’s car]

Oliver: We are on our official ghost-hunting mission. It’s just me and Cambria. Cambria, we’re going to Fort Douglas Cemetery. And the reason we’re going to Fort Douglas Cemetery is because Fiona said this is where a lot of the energy … hangs out? Is located?

Cambria: There’s a lot of activity there.

Oliver: There’s a lot of activity there. So I think our mission is to contact Clem.

Cambria: Clem is my goal. I would love to see something from Clem.

Oliver: And our method is, I have these copper rods called dowsing rods or energy rods.

[In the studio]

Oliver: So, we had these dowsing rods, which are these rods made of copper that are used to communicate with the spirits.

Cambria: L shaped rods where you hold the shorter ends and they just, kind of, rotate. 

Oliver: True.

Cambria: It was pretty cool.

Producer Elle: Nice.

Oliver: So off we go.

Cambria: Off we go with our dowsing rods, which were like, in history, used to find, like, water underground. But of course, we’re using them to find water, we’re using them to find spirits.

[In Ollie’s car] 

Oliver: People say if there’s, like, water or oil in the ground, it’s a different energy and the rods can point you that way. But, people have also used them as a way to communicate with spirits. As in, saying — you’ll hold the rods in front of you and ask, like, “Is there any spirits here?” And if the rods cross, that’s yes, and then if they uncross it’s no, or stay uncrossed.

Cambria: Yeah.

Oliver: So I think we start with “Is there any spirits here?”

Cambria: Yeah. Start with some basic questions and see where we could get from there.

[In the studio]

Oliver: Genuinely, I didn’t think anything was going to happen with the dowsing rods, and, I am very, very wrong.

Cambria: Yeah, this is the first time that we went without any, like, professionals telling us what to look for, what to listen for.

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: Shelby had her equipment, and knew what to ask.

Oliver: And EVPs

Cambria: And knew what was going on. Also listeners! EVPs, electromagnetic voice phenomenon — if you hear anything weird in the background of this podcast, let us know. So, we started and we decided to just check out the cemetery. It was barren, we were the only ones in there.

[At the cemetery]

Oliver: Okay.

Cambria: Alright. We’ve made it, we’re on our way. We’ve got our dowsing rods. We are officially now …

Oliver: Entering the cemetery.

Cambria: Crossing the threshold.

[In the studio]

Cambria: Took a little moment to make sure we were alone. Didn’t see, I didn’t see any, like, floating Clem figures.

Oliver: No.

Cambria: Or any women in dresses that have also been seen.

Producer Elle: Well, you guys went, like, in the afternoon, yeah?

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: We didn’t go at night. We went later — but it was, you know, a cloudy day, a little more covered. It is a little bit more secluded.

Oliver: Mhm.

Cambria: And it was really cool. Because we got to know a ghost named Jennie.

[In the cemetery]

Oliver: Well, how should we start this?

Cambria: Well, I feel like we’ve got to take a moment, right?

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: To get the vibes correct?

Oliver: Yeah. Let’s take a moment of respect.

Cambria: Yeah, a moment of respect. See if we can invite any spirits to hang out with us, if they want to communicate.

Oliver: Okay. We’re here to, you know, just kind of communicate, no bad vibes.

Cambria: No bad vibes.

Oliver: Just good vibes.

Cambria: We’re here to just see if there’s anyone who wants to talk to us.

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: Give us a sign. Got these dowsing rods to just let you communicate with us. So, straight out, perpendicular means no. And if you cross them, that’s gonna mean yes. Do you mind if we ask you some questions? Alright, so they stayed perpendicular. Do you have a first question you’d like to say?

Oliver: Um, is there anybody here?

Cambria: Oooh. They crossed! Are you moving that?

Oliver: No!

Cambria: Okay! So, they did cross, there is someone here!

Oliver: They just uncrossed. That happened very quick.

Cambria: That was an instant response. Are you …

Oliver: That’s crazy.

Cambria: … are you who people like to call Clem? No. They’re not who people like to call Clem. Do you go by a different name?

Oliver: Are you a man?

Cambria: Looks like a no to me. There was also lots of reports of people talking about, like, seeing a lady in a dress.

Oliver: Oh yeah.

Cambria: Like a beautiful white dress. Okay.

Oliver: That was crazy how fast …

Cambria: That was an instant response.

Oliver: Wow.

Cambria: Wow. That’s pretty wild. Alright. Do you want me to hold the dowsing rods this time?

Oliver: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s crazy.

Cambria: We’ll do a switch.

Oliver: Then you can know that you’re not doing anything. Once again, is there anybody here with us right now?

Cambria: Maybe they left. Oh? Wait, this is actually wild.

Oliver: I know!

Cambria: They do move fully on their own! Thank you so much for coming to see us, we appreciate that we didn’t scare you off. We asked earlier if you were a man and you said no, does that mean you’re a woman? That’s another yes. That’s another hard yes.

Oliver: How is it moving so well?

Cambria: What the heck? I’m not doing anything.

Oliver: I know!

Cambria: That’s so cool. Okay, um, well it’s so nice to meet you …

[In the studio]

Oliver: And then we kept asking questions.

Cambria: And it was a little wibbly wobbly, and we were like, okay. “Will you lead us to where you want us to go?” ‘Cause that’s clearly what it was trying to tell us.

Oliver: I think so, yeah.

Cambria: We said, “Hey will you point us in the direction you want?” And it was like, straightforward, so we kept walking. And then suddenly they stopped.

Oliver: They, like, crossed again.

Cambria: They crossed again. And we were like, “Okay, is your grave around here?” And we got a yes.

Oliver: And then we said, “Is your grave right next to us?”

Cambria: Like, literally, to the right of me, ‘cause there was a grave exactly there. We were in between two graves, but I was closer to the one on the right. 

Oliver: And it crossed again.

Cambria: And it said yes. And we looked at the name — and we had gotten earlier that we were talking to a woman and not a man. We said, “Are you a man?” It said no. “Are you a woman?” Yes. And so that’s when we started looking around, and the grave said “Jennie Lapham”.

[In the cemetery]

Oliver: Look how much it moves! And there’s no wind coming that way.

Cambria: If you’re able, could you actually point the rods in the direction of who’s buried here? Straight ahead? You think we should follow it? Oh? It seems like it’s that way. Alright.

Oliver: Should we follow it?

Cambria: So back to the yes and no, would you like us to find that gravestone? That’s crossed to me.

Oliver: Look how much it moved!

Cambria: Alright, we’re gonna walk straight ahead.

Oliver: Should we walk straight ahead? Okay.

Cambria: Okay. We’re walking straight ahead.

Oliver: Are we going in the right direction still?

Cambria: Back to yes and no. Are we still going in the right direction? That’s a cross, so we are going the right direction. Alright, we’re gonna keep walking. Feel free to — oh!

Oliver: Oh, it’s turning.

Cambria: Okay, it’s turning. Are we at the grave right now? Is it the one directly to my right? Okay, we’ve made it to a grave.

Oliver: Jennie Lapham.

Cambria: So the name is Jennie Lapham.

Oliver: Are you Jennie?

Cambria: Is your name Jennie? That was a yes!

Oliver: That was a very quick.

Cambria: That was a very quick yes. Hi, Jennie! Thank you for guiding us here.

[In the studio]

Cambria: Afterwards, we went and looked it up. There’s a Fort Douglas, where you can look up, like, the names of the graves and get some of the information about where they are. And it’s also, the website that I found is, like, a National Government …

Producer Elle: Deceased records.

Cambria: … like, yeah, National Veteran Deceased Records. So I looked it up and I found her. I found her, so, Jennie Lapham is her full name. And she was born September 9th, I believe? In 1842.

Oliver: She lived 30 years.

Cambria: She was 30 years old, yeah, I have it right here. So, 1842 is when she was born and then she died November 29th in 1872. So, 30 years. Very young.

Oliver: So, what do you think, Elle?

Cambria: And!

Oliver: After we went and had this experience at Fort Douglas?

Cambria: The website also tells you relatives, and it only has a husband. Robert P. Warren. No children.

Oliver: Yeah. Isn’t that crazy?

Cambria: It’s true!

Producer Elle: That’s so weird.

Cambria: Which — we asked enough questions that ended up being true. We were like “Wow.” Even if it was, like, a chance, or just because the energies are crazy, they’re just turning — it was pretty accurate.

Producer Elle: Well, I mean, I’m unsettled. I feel, like, the things that you’ve sent me to look at … I don’t know. ‘Cause, like, I’m a pretty staunch skeptic when it comes to silly paranormal things, as big of an X-Files geek as I am, but I’m not gonna lie, specifically the EVPs really got me. I was like ew. I really just don’t like that. I don’t know how I feel.


Cambria: Would you say that you are more convinced now? Or just more, like, “… Okay.”

Producer Elle: I’d have to — I think I’m more like, at the end of it, like, “Okay. Maybe.”  But I feel like I’d have to, like, look into; ‘cause I haven’t looked into any EVP stuff further, and what are other reasons that an EVP could occur? I haven’t looked into that. ‘Cause I’m sure there’s something out there, ’cause like– you know how the human brain is just, like, pattern recognition? You know, your brain is, like, looking for speech.

Cambria: Yes. And any sort of pattern you find it will try to put together.

Producer Elle: Yeah. And especially, like, there was titles on all of the EVPs. They were titled with what words were, allegedly, said.

Cambria: Yes.

Oliver: Yeah.

Producer Elle: So, I think if I’d, like, gone in blind — for at least some of them — I would not have been able to, like, recognize what was being said. I’d have to, like, sit there and play it a couple of times, to be, like, “Oh yeah, maybe this sounds like he’s saying, ‘Under the bridge'” or whatever.

Cambria: It’s also — speaking of you not knowing about EVPs — I did some research on, to see if I could try to debunk the dowsing rods, ‘cause both Ollie and I, we held them. And the idea is that they just move on their own, and they really do. It’s honestly kind of really cool and impressive. ‘Cause if you’re just holding them still, you get them calibrated, or whatever? Is what paranormal investigators like to say. Like, you just hold them, get them ready, and they start moving of their own will. We talk about it in our audio, there was, like, no wind or nothing to …

Producer Elle: Right. 

Cambria: … be moving it. Which I thought was kinda cool. But, a lot of scientists say that it might just be the ideomotor phenomenon, which is to say that you are subconsciously making movements and stuff.

Producer Elle: Yeah.

Cambria: You know, which has a lot to do with, like, ouija boards, where, like, people are like “Oh it’s moving!” but they’re all — the way that it works is that everyone’s hand is on there, so everyone’s kinda …

Producer Elle: ‘Cause you seem pretty convinced. You seem pretty convinced.

Cambria: I’m …

Producer Elle: Like, both of you seem like you’re very convinced. 

Cambria: Well, you had to be there, honestly.

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: ‘Cause, again — I would say I’m solidly in, like, the skeptic place because, again, never seen a ghost. I’m a very visual learner, and so the dowsing rods did help because I was watching something happen.

Producer Elle: But if it’s all about energy … 

Cambria: It’s all about energy.

Producer Elle: Allegedly, if it’s all about energy, is seeing believing in that case?

Cambria: Humans are very fickle creatures, it is very, very easy to convince people to have memories that aren’t there.

Producer Elle: Ollie, how are you feeling about ghosts?

Cambria: Are you fully convinced? Are you like, “Yeah, there’s a ghost in this room right now”?

Oliver: No, I’m not fully convinced. Still skeptical, but I think it’s very interesting that, I just think the “Are you a woman?” Yes. Wow, we’re, and you look around that cemetery and there’s not many graves for women.

Cambria: Yeah.

Producer Elle: Right.

Oliver: And we found one of the few.

Cambria: And we found not one, not two, but three questions that we were able to fact-check. That were correct.

Oliver: Yeah, and then fact-checking about this person, going back that was kind of crazy.

Cambria: That was cool.

Producer Elle: That was kind of weird.

Cambria: The way we were able to find her. We should’ve asked how old she was. We didn’t.

Oliver: It’s hard when it’s yes or no.

Cambria: That’s hard to do with the yes or no, it’s like “are you a kid, are you an adult?”

Oliver: Yeah, it was hard to come up with questions. When it’s yes or no.

Cambria: I hadn’t thought to ask for age.

Producer Elle: No. Well, of course not. 

Oliver: So, I’m slightly …

Cambria: You know, honestly? The vibes of it? She didn’t, I didn’t feel the need to …

Oliver: She was giving very friendly vibes.

Cambria: … ask her age ‘cause she was friendly vibes, and it didn’t feel, like, juvenile. Like, it felt like I was talking to a whole, just a grown woman.

Oliver: And that’s what she was.

Cambria: That’s probably why — and that’s what she was — and so I feel like, were I to wager the spooky energy guess of like “Oh, well that’s why you didn’t ask, because it didn’t come up.” Or that’s what I assume many people would say. That’s what I’ve heard.

Producer Elle: Would you guys, like, go ghost hunting again? Would you do it again? 

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: For sure. I think it’s a good time. Again, if you’re doing it for the LOLs, or the gags, or to have a specifically bad experience, I’m like, eh. But if you’re just having a good old time, then hey. I think that’s great.

Oliver: I think we learned a lot, yeah.

Cambria: Yeah.

Oliver: You learn a lot of history along with going out and trying to find, like, paranormal, hunting.

Cambria: That’s true. ‘Cause you have to know the history to know …

Oliver: How people go out and find ghosts. And I think the big takeaway for me too is, like, ghosts are still just regular people. There’s not much bad energy out there, of like evil, or like, intent for evil.

Producer Elle: But, like, you’ll see on the paranormal investigator shows they’ll say “Oh, there’s an evil presence!”

Cambria: They love there to be an evil spirit, but honestly? People are still just people. 

Oliver: Yeah.

Cambria: So even when they’re dead.

Oliver: Yeah.

Producer Elle: Do you, like, understand why someone would, like, dedicate a good chunk of their time to, like, proving that ghosts exist? Do you, like, understand that?

Oliver: Yeah!

Cambria: For sure!

Producer Elle: After your trek.

Cambria: Especially …

Oliver: Definitely.

Cambria: A lot of people we talked to had a lot of, like, childhood memories that, like, lead into the path of “Hey? What was going on and why? I would love to be able to explain that.” And some of them still can’t, but they get into the category, which I think is interesting.

Oliver: Yeah, Shelby’s grandma’s house was very haunted.

Producer Elle: Huh. The truth is out there, I guess.

 Oliver: Yeah. But yeah, is that the fifth episode of Can of Worms?

Cambria: Yeah, we’re not staunch believers, but I would say, for anyone out there, if you’re interested: go find out for yourself. Go learn some history, go talk to some people.

Producer Elle: What was Shelby’s podcast that she has? She has a podcast. 

Cambria: She does have a podcast, let me look up the title real quick.

Oliver: Yeah, let’s plug Shelby’s podcast.

Cambria: After Words Paranormal Podcast with Shelby. She talks about not only ghost experiences, but she also goes over ghost stories and ghost literature and talks about that.

Producer Elle: Interesting! 

Cambria: Yeah! Which is really, really cool. And she also does Puppets in the City, so if you guys, if any of our listeners are aspiring puppeteers, go check that out. If you’re thinking about, like, ghosts and want to find out more, go find out for yourself, go get some vibes, get some tools, go on Grimm Ghost Tours, go talk to some historians and see what you can find.

Oliver: Big time.

Cambria: It’s definitely a very individual experience for everyone.

Oliver: Yeah, if you want to be like, “Ghosts don’t exist, I want to live my life …”

Cambria: Then great!

Oliver: “… and eat nachos and do whatever I’m gonna do..”

Cambria: Sometimes it’s more fun to go along with people who want to find it.

Oliver: Yeah, but if you’re, if you wanna go have a paranormal experience of your own, find me and Cambria, because we’re pretty much experts now.

Cambria: Yeah we’re super good.

Oliver: And communicate with spirits …

Cambria: Come find us.

Oliver: … with our dowsing rods.

Cambria: And if you hear any EVPs in this audio because there’s ghosts being mad that we — at us — that we’re talking about them, then let us know.

Oliver: Or if Jennie shows up.

Cambria: I have invited Jennie into my house, which I’ve heard is actually bad to do.

Producer Elle: But you did it anyway …

Cambria: But I did it anyway ‘cause she seemed cool. She seems cool, so if anyone’s like “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.” Let me know. ‘Cause it’s too late.

 Oliver: Yeah. And that’s been another episode of Can of Worms!

Producer Elle: Yeah.

Cambria: Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time!


Producer: [email protected] // @elle_cowley_

Host: [email protected]

Host: [email protected] // @cambria_thorley

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About the Contributors
Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones, Podcast Host
Oliver Jones is a podcast host for the Daily Utah Chronicle's narrative podcast. He is currently a junior studying communications and minoring in environmental science and sustainability. Outside of school and the Chronicle, Oliver likes to ski, rock climb and bird watch.
Cambria Thorley
Cambria Thorley, Podcast Host
Cambria is currently a sophomore at the U and is majoring in English. She loves to write and will talk about the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies for longer than anyone wants. If you’re trying to find her, try looking for her at the car wash — she doesn’t work there, she just really likes car washes.

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