Tales of Ghosts Abound in Salt Lake

Tales of Ghosts Abound in Salt Lake

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Sarah Dallof ReportingDo you believe in ghosts? Salt Lake is full of spots where people claim to have witnessed paranormal activity, even, in some cases, capturing it on camera.

If there's no such thing as ghosts, then what are the flashes of light seen inside Salt Lake's Capitol Theatre, and how did ghost hunters record the voices heard there?

Capitol Theatre is one of 28 stops professional storyteller Cassie Howard makes on her ghost tour. The legend is that an usher named Richard Duffin died in a fire in the 1940s but couldn't move on. He played with the elevator and popped into the women's restroom repeatedly. Theater workers nicknamed him "George." Ghost hunters visited and took recordings. They learned Richard wasn't crazy about his nickname.

Howard said, "When they re-listened to all the equipment, they had a very distinct, ‘My name isn't George, it's Richard.'"

But the name stuck, and so did Richard, who took a special interest in lights, turning them on and off until a stage manager snapped.

"In utter frustration he went to the center stage and said, ‘George, darn it all. If you don't turn the lights on I'm having you exorcised.' All the lights went on," Howard said.

But ghosts don't haunt only theaters. The Brigham Young home at This is the Place Heritage Park is said to house a ghost. Believers say lights there turn on and off and doors open and close. Then there's the matter of this kitchen.

Ron Clifford says, "Coal stove in the kitchen is cold all the time. It's not even serviceable, but people have smelled food cooking there, bread baking in the oven."

Back at the Capitol Theater they've learned how to keep the ghosts away. First, pick up a pinch of salt with your right hand and throw it over your left shoulder. Second, when you go home at night, take off your shoes, line them up heel to toe, toe to heel. That will confuse the ghosts and they won't know where to find you.

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