Just away from Highway 89 in the Logan Canyon, a large piece of property sits with overgrown foliage adorning the paths, run-down cabins in view, and the remnants of a camp left behind still standing. Most know it as St. Anne’s Retreat, despite the Sisters of the Holy Cross not being there since the 50s and even then, only staying at the site sporadically.
Paranormal investigators and ghost hunters have said they hear babies crying and see figures of nuns at St. Anne’s. Many of the legends seem to link back to an empty swimming pool on the property. One version says pregnant nuns drowned their babies in it, others say one nun pushed another into it after it was empty.
The folklore drew a large group of teenagers to the retreat in 1997. After they entered the property, they were held hostage and tortured at gunpoint by watchmen in that very swimming pool. The watchmen held the teenagers there until the cops arrived. It may be because The Catholic Church owned the property through the 90s that the rumors are webbed with Nun horror stories, but the land has more possible sources of paranormal activity than that. Car accidents, drownings, murders, and whatever other undocumented tragedies may have occurred near the area. Before it was a respite camp for nuns, it was Hatch’s Camp for the wealthy. Before that? Well, it was the wilderness. Only the trees left standing know the truth.
When Andrew Tims and his friends decided to go to the camp, they were aware of the stories, both rumored and documented. They gathered in a car, nervous, but familiar with the experience of exploring an abandoned place, and made their way to the notorious St. Anne’s Retreat. Tims is a frequent explorer and a collector of cursed items. It is difficult to frighten someone like him to the point of no return. He had no idea St. Anne’s would be the place he’d never want to visit again.
As they pulled up, their headlights cut through the inkiness, showing dust and fog lingering in the air and a bridge that would eventually need to be crossed. They heard shrieking screams outside, and as Tims looked out the window, he saw a group of people hop in a vehicle and speed off. They got out anyway and together, headed for the bridge.
One of his friends reported feeling sick, but braved through it and crossed along with them. This turned out to be a mistake. Tims says, “We cross the bridge, and my friend immediately starts shaking.” Fear was hovering over the heads of the entire group as they made their way toward Cabin 6, but before they could make it to their destination, the friend’s sickness worsened quickly and drastically, having seizure-like shakes and vomiting. For many, this could be chalked up to a bug, food poisoning, or car sickness, but Tims knew exactly what his friend was feeling because they were all feeling it; A fear of whatever was lingering in this old camp.
They made a unanimous decision to turn around and get their friend back to the safety of the car. As they walked, Tims says he heard what sounded like someone running through the brush near them. The crackling and whooshing noises were distinct and made him nervous. In a sudden burst, the sounds switched to loud stomping directly behind them. Tims saw something from the corner of his eye and everyone in the group started running. They now became like the group of people they saw when they arrived, trying to get away as quickly as possible. They flung open the doors and all jumped into the car to their seats. Everyone felt uncomfortable and queasy. “Two of my friends were crying and one was hyperventilating in the backseat. We drove to a nearby gas station,” says Tims.
As they pull up to the convenience store the brightness of the building flooded the vehicle, but what happened next haunts Tims to this day. “My friend goes, ‘Guys, look at the windows,’” he remembers.” It was the perfect horror movie setup. We got to the gas station, and it was kind of foggy around the roads and then, we saw 60 or 70 handprints on the windows and in the dew on the sides of the car.”
Whether the otherworldly handprints appeared at St. Anne’s or came about from a lingering spirit after they left, Tims does not know — and seemingly, will never try again to find out.
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