Often referred to as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, Ogden, Utah tends to embrace its ghosts; making this area a prime locale to run a ghost tour. Story Tours has provided Ogden and Salt Lake bus tours and Historic 25th Street ghost walks in Ogden since 2003.
Ogden had its beginnings as a peaceful rural town settled by Mormon Pioneers. That changed when the railroad came to town in 1869, making Ogden the Crossroads of the West. The first murder happened in a camp of Union Pacific workers. Murders, madams, and mayhem soon replaced the tranquility of this quaint town, especially along Two-Bit Street (Historic 25th Street) between Union Station and the Ben Lomond Hotel. Perhaps this bedlam is the reason why there are so many ghosts in this area.
As storytellers, Laurie Allen and Kristen Clay began interviewing shopkeepers along the Historic 25th Street area about their resident ghosts. They were surprised at the responses. Almost every merchant had experienced hauntings in their establishments. If they had not personally had an encounter with a ghost, they referred them to someone who had. One landlord, who prefers to remain unnamed, stated that, “If anyone on this street tries to tell you they don’t have a ghost, they are either lying or oblivious. I have owned or lived in several of the buildings along 25th Street over the years and every one has been haunted.”
Another surprise was the lack of “Hollywood style” hauntings. Most of the ghosts are reported to be playful, mischievous, forlorn or even angry at times, but never violent or malevolent.
Larry Baird of Making Scents Emporium, emphasizes, “My ghosts don’t like to be gawked at. You can’t expect them to jump through hoops or appear just because you want them to.” Larry can identify the names of several of his ghosts who each have distinct identities and personalities.
Many of the proprietors consider their resident ghosts to be friends. A former salon owner referred to their ghost, believed to be Christopher Gasberg, the building’s first owner, as their “Guardian Ghost.” On more than one occasion, Christopher’s apparition closed and locked the door just as a rowdy group of inebriated pedestrians passed by; only to open up again after the perceived threat had moved on.
Upon moving into a new location on Washington Boulevard, a restaurateur experienced an apparition of a man in a bowler hat walking through his kitchen. Barkeeps along 25th Street have also seen a man in a tweed suit and bowler hat walking down the street after closing time. When they move to the window to get a better look, he tips his hat and vanishes with a grin.
In the same restaurant, the owners feel ghosts tap on their arms and shoulders as if they are saying, “Don’t forget about us—we had a life and we have a story!”
For more of their stories, join us on an Ogden or Salt Lake City ghost tour, 801 888-8551, www.StoryTours.com