Spooky Locations in 6 rural Utah Counties
To celebrate this year’s spooky season, we’ve gathered a shortlist of some of Utah’s most haunted rural counties – Uintah, Tooele, Carbon, Juab, Cache, and Summit. Each county features haunted filming locations that come with enough ghost stories or strange phenomena to keep you on the edge of your seat.
All photos by Allie Russell
Uintah County was established in 1880 and is located in northeastern Utah. It includes areas like Vernal, Whiterocks, and Fort Duchesne where the Ute Tribe Headquarters is located. The area is made up of farmland amid red rock plateaus, and also has a reputation as a hotbed for odd phenomena and strange occurrences. More recently, thanks to television shows like History Channel’s The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch and Discovery Channel’s Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch, wider audiences are curious about what’s happening in Uintah County. The county hosted visitors from 24 states for the first annual PhenomeCon in September 2021.
Tooele County may be one of Utah’s most recognizable rural counties, and yet, you’ll still find yourself stumbling onto places that’ll surprise you. Formed in 1852, it’s the home of the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Wendover Historic Airfield, and the infamous Old Tooele Hospital. The area has hosted documentary productions that aim to capture the rich military history or narrative films that utilize the unsettling landscape that only the west desert can offer.
Ophir, Utah is a semi-ghost town, once a bustling mining town and nestled in a quiet canyon, it now has about 20 residents and a downtown dedicated to preserving its own history. Though, you won’t see many ghosts, take a tour through downtown to see remnants of life during the mine days scattered through the town.
Benson Grist Mill
Benson Grist Mill‘s origin starts with the Mormon pioneers over 150 years ago. It’s said to be haunted by a spirit named Alice, a young girl who allegedly drowned on the grouds. Others have claimed to have felt or even captured a darker energy around the property, it has also been featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures.
Carbon County, Utah was established in the late 1800s, and appropriately, the county also has a long history with the Denver and the Rio Grande Railroads. The only thing richer than Carbon County’s mining history is the surplus of haunted stories! Earlier this year, Mayor Lenise Peterman was featured in an episode of Ghost Adventures to speak on the uptick of paranormal activity around Helper since the start of the pandemic.
The town of Helper, Utah was named after the fleet of ‘helper’ engines that were stationed at the mouth of Price Canyon, waiting to give trains an extra push as they climbed to Soldier Summit. The town is a bit quieter these days but the trains still run through daily. Almost every building on Main Street has a story and it’s just something you’ll have to see to believe – if you dare!
The White Lady of Spring Canyon is a story most locals in the area know well, and she resides in the ghost town of Spring Canyon. At one time, this lively mining town was home to over 2,000 residents but through time and as the area’s heydays came to an end, it’s now considered a desolate ghost town. There are several versions of how The White Lady came to be but most accounts agree that she haunts the canyon wash, wearing all white, and is endlessly on a search for her baby… or revenge.
Juab Historical County Jail
The old Juab Historical County Jail is located at 45 W Center in Nephi, Utah. It was built in 1892 and served as the main jail in the county for more than 80 years. It served as the territorial jail until Utah was granted statehood in 1896 and remained active until March 1974. The two-story building is cold, dark, and eerie, leaving some visitors with visions of apparations moving throughout the 125+ year old building.
The Whitmore Mansion has had many lives since first being built in 1898 in Nephi, Utah. Serving as a family home, a hospital, hotel, threatened with destruction in 1962, was renewed as The Nephi School of Music in 1966, and finally restored as a home in 1978. Today, you can visit the home and with the new homeowners who intend to preserve the history and share the powerful feelings of peace with all who enter. That’s not to say they haven’t witnessed some unexplainable things, but isn’t that to be expected when your house is over 100 years old?!
Cache County is located in northern Utah and was formed in 1856. The area has always maitained its farm-based economy, continuing to lead the state’s production of dairy products. The county is filled with beautiful mountain scenery between farm and ranch lands.
Logan Canyon is a great place to go if you’re looking for fall scenery, but it’s also said to be one of the most hauted places in rural Utah. If you’re a local, you’ve probably heard the stories of St. Anne’s Retreat, which has an extensive history in the area. Stories on the hauntings center around a supposed murder in the 1940s, or a pregnant nun who took her own life, but in the 90s, a group of teenagers visiting the haunted site were held hostage and terrorized by armed security guards, fueling the legends of the canyon harboring a darker presence. St. Anne’s was also featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures. Who do you think is haunting Logan Canyon?
Summit County, Utah is located in the northeast corner of Utah along the Wasatch Back and is most well known as the home of Park City, Utah. Founded in 1884, Park City had over 7,500 residents by 1898, and also faced several tragedies in its early days. That same year, one of the worst fires in the state’s history ravaged the town, destroying 250/300 structures. In 1902, another tragedy occurred when 34 miners were killed in an explosion at the Park City silver mines, legend has it those miners still haunt their old stomping grounds to this day.
Allie Russell is the Marketing Coordinator for the Utah Film Commission. For any press and media inquiries, contact the Utah Film Commission at email@example.com.