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The haunted streets of Ogden

A locomotive train engine on display outside of the Union Station.

Founded nearly 200 years ago, Ogden is home to decades of history. Since its founding, Ogden has seen many people from all walks of life come and go, but what if some have never left the city, even after death? Do they still walk along the streets or around the buildings still standing?

With as much history as Ogden has, many believe that yes, ghosts and/or spirits are present all around the area and are not hard to find. Many local legends, however, are focused on the area around Historic 25th Street and Washington Boulevard.

The Bigelow Hotel first opened in 1927 and is one of Ogden’s most notorious paranormal hot spots. Since its opening the hotel has found itself the place of numerous fatalities. Many believe that the Bigelow is haunted by many guests that never checked out.

Prior to the opening of the hotel, a cook fell to his death down an elevator shaft, giving the hotel its very first death. Since then an elevator attendant was stabbed to death, two men took their own lives by jumping from the building and a widow slowly withered to her death following the passing of her husband.

However, this doesn’t scratch the surface of death within the Bigelow. Many of these deaths have occurred on the 11th floor of the building, giving way to the well-known tale that floor 11 of the Bigelow is haunted.

Although the Bigelow is one of Ogden’s most infamously haunted locations, many members of the staff claim to have never felt the presence of ghosts. Several employees state that in their time working for the hotel they’ve never encountered any unexplained occurrences, any uneasy feelings and never seen an entity.

So, if the Bigelow is a hoax, is the notorious ghost town Ogden a fraud too?

Luckily for paranormal enthusiasts, Ogden is far from lacking in metaphysical presence. The best place to look is not within the reputation-preceding establishments like Union Station or the Bigelow Hotel, it’s in local businesses located around downtown Ogden.

Less than a century after Ogden’s founding, legislation surrounding the prohibition of alcohol was passed. Following the ban of alcohol in the city, tunnels were built underneath the streets of what is now downtown Ogden. These tunnels spanned beneath the businesses with entrances found in basements of brothels and prostitution houses.

Although these tunnels are boarded up now, it was a different story 20 years ago.

One of the old tunnel entrances can be found in the basement of Masterpiece Images. One staff member, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims to have never felt any unnerving presence or seen a ghost in her time working there.

However, the same cannot be said for her sister. The anonymous Masterpiece Images employee said that her sister used to work in the same building years ago, before the tunnel was boarded up, and she has often felt a different type of presence and feelings of unease during her time there.

Along the same side of Washington Boulevard, Weber State University’s very own WSU Downtown is also reportedly haunted.

Sydney Pace, WSU senior and WSU Downtown employee, said that there are unexplained occurrences happening within the store.

On one account Pace recalls an unexplainable event that left her reasonably uneasy.

“One night me and my friends were here past midnight and we heard this loud noise, almost like someone threw a chair across the room upstairs. As soon as it happened we got a gross feeling and chills,” Pace said.

Legacy Tattoo on 25th Street is far from exempt from ghostly activity. One employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, recounts many times they’ve heard weird noises upstairs or times the doors have unexplainably slammed shut.

One experience left the employee feeling particularly afraid. One morning they were upstairs sweeping when they reached a certain area of the room and it felt like they hit a hot wall. They were left feeling sick, uneasy and full of goosebumps.

They ran downstairs to grab another employee and when their coworker stopped in the exact same spot that they did and described feeling the same feelings, they knew they were in the presence of a paranormal entity.

Peery’s Egyptian Theatre is another one of Ogden’s more infamous paranormal locations and many employees have experienced strange and unexplainable activities.

Braun Pacheco works in the box office at the Egyptian Theatre and explains that there have been several deaths in the theater, the most recent being of a construction worker’s daughter.

The construction worker was working on the remodel in the 90s high above the mezzanine when his daughter, whom he had brought to work that day, fell to her death. Since her untimely death the amount of unexplained activity has seemed to increase.

“I’ve had random toilets flush when no one is around, or the lights will flick on when no one’s there and people will swear they just turned them off. Sometimes the lights will change or the doors will shut,” Pacheco said.

Owner of the now closed Mojo’s Music Venue, Ron Atencio, had his fair share of paranormal encounters as well. The scariest happened to a few of his employees when they were bit by a ghost they called Emma.

“She would bite people. I had two people get bit by her downstairs. One got bitten on both sides of the neck, and there were bite marks to prove it,” Atencio said.

Although many of the ghosts Atencio encountered were friendly and mischievous, his building harbored a less friendly ghost as well.

On one account Atencio recalls a friend of his who provoked the ghost of a prostitute by calling her derogatory names being left with scratches deep enough to break skin all over his back.

Perhaps the hottest paranormal spot in all of Ogden is Two-Bit Street Cafe. Most employees there have felt, and even seen, a ghost.

Andrew Shorts describes the establishment as being “rich with paranormal activity.”

It found its origin as a general store and mercantile in the 1880s. Throughout time it’s evolved and changed in purpose. At one point it became a spot that was frequented by Al Capone and his two large bodyguards for poker games.

Shorts, a self pronounced skeptic, conducts a small history tour of the cafe and recounts three separate occasions that individuals have encountered the ghosts of the bodyguards in the Capone room.

“Before I even get to talk about ghosts or the bodyguards, I’ve had people go white as a sheet, goosebumps on their arms, go ‘This is a really cool story, but there’s two really looming, intense presences standing behind you right now, could you finish this story in the main room?’” Shorts said.

Penny Allred-Dayley, owner of Two Bit Street Cafe, has had more paranormal encounters than she can even recall. Her first experience happened just shortly after she purchased the building.

It was December and a small dusting of snow covered the sidewalks outside. Allred was the only person in the cafe at the time when she saw an old man walking on the sidewalk just outside the window.

“I see this little old man in a tweed coat and a bowler hat very slowly walk past the front door. I got up, opened the front door to see if I could see where he went, and the street was deader than a doornail. I look out and he’s gone, I look down and there were no footprints in the snow,” Allred said.

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Gracie Stephenson, News Editor

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