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SALT LAKE CITY — It’s an enterprise that keeps Scott Evans surrounded by figurines, statues, paintings and furniture that have been around for decades, centuries and even millennia.
The collective history at Euro Treasures, 470 W. 600 South, can certainly be enveloping on its own.
“I tell people, ‘this stuff has soul,’” Evans said, standing somewhere in the middle of the thousands of objects inside his warehouse-like shop. “There’s a little bit more going on here than we think about at times.”
In the decades Evans has worked as an antiques dealer, however, he has developed a belief that something else can linger with or inhabit the time-honored relics — something that goes well beyond simple ambiance.
“Yeah, they all have their own spirit,” the shop owner said as his own reflection was encompassed by a decades-old mirror near him. “Humans have the ability to leave part of their essence — part of their soul as it were — in something that they have created and that they used.”
Occasionally, Evans acknowledged, that "spirit" or "energy" can prove to be negative.
“I started thinking that mask has put a curse on me,” he said, holding a small display case from his personal collection that contained what he said was an Egyptian death mask that is believed to be up to 3,500 years old. “As soon as I bought the thing, my luck started going downhill — just one thing after another.”
Evans said the acquisition of the death mask coincided with a significant personal financial downturn.
“We went from basically having a job to being unemployed,” Evans reflected. “I’ve always been a lucky person, so I (wasn’t) used to this kind of thing happening to me.”
Evans said after two or three months, he finally thought to make peace with the mask.
“I just submitted and I said, ‘OK, I’m going to go ask the mask for forgiveness,’ so I went to the mask, I said, ‘look, I’m sorry, I had nothing to do with desecrating your grave, I don’t know what to do with the mask,’ and as soon as I went through that process, my luck changed again — (I) went back to being the normal, regular, happy, lucky fortunate individual I’ve been most of my life.”
Evans said the experience, decades earlier, has forever left him open to the idea that objects could be haunted.
KSL brought in a medium and a paranormal investigation team separately to see what could be detected from the mask or any other object in Evans’ shop, and what they found was certainly unexpected.
Jade Moser, a medium who performs consultations, healings and house clearings under her Taylorsville-based business named Cisnebella, acknowledged objects can carry spiritual energy with them, but said the objects at Euro Treasures weren’t the biggest issue facing Evans.
“It’s tied to the space and it’s not an it — it’s a man, OK?” Moser said. “The man is about 40 years old and he died and he was very angry.”
Moser revealed that she believed the spirit that was apparently lingering around the shop had visited her in her “dream space” the night before she came to the antique store.
“When I saw him in the dream, he was at the top of this building,” Moser explained. “I knew it was a warehouse. I’ve never been here before, so it was kind of dark and he was looking down on me, and he was watching people come in and out and he was like, ‘good, I got another one.’”
Moser said the spirit gave her the impression of being “the owner,” and her impression was he perhaps died sometime between the 1920s and 1940s.
“He’s the owner, he owns it, he likes to own people,” Moser said. “My feeling with that person, probably when he lived, he was a fairly controlling person. It’s like, ‘no, I want to own you.’ That’s the feeling I got from him.”
The medium said the spirit seemed to have an interest in Evans.
“He follows the owner around a lot – absolutely. All the time.” she said.
Moser said she sensed that the spirit was in the room at the time she was being interviewed, watching from a small distance away, and that he wasn’t particularly happy with the presence of the news crew.
“I told you, ‘yes, he’s over there ’— I heard that,” Moser said. “’He follows him around.’ I heard that. He’s talking to me, OK, and he’s very annoyed with you!”
Moser insisted on immediately cleansing the shop, something she did not want the news crew to film.
Evans said the process took under two hours, but he was also instructed to burn sandalwood for three days. He said he was also was given a special instruction about a 1890s-era doll from Germany that was sitting alone near the front of his shop.
“She said, ‘you have one other problem here,’” Evans said later of the doll, which had an apparent name tag on its foot that read, ‘Black Lea.’
The doll had drawn negative attention from customers in the past.
“Every person that comes in here that looks at her — and she’s a wonderful doll — says something about ‘the creepy doll, the creepy doll,’” Evans said.
Evans said he was told by the medium to make the doll more comfortable because dolls contain spirits too.
“That was one of my assignments was to bring the doll out and I brought her out and as soon as she left, put her in the little thing, and Andrew (Adams) just walked by and jumped when he saw her, so who knows,” Evans chuckled.
Evans had placed the doll in an antique baby carriage, which didn’t seem to help its countenance.
When Marcus and Dani of the Ghost Hopping crew came to the antique store to investigate, much of the notable activity and evidence seemed to take place around Black Lea.
Shortly after the two had begun a preliminary walk-through of the site, Dani said she saw a figure pass by at the end of the aisle as she examined the doll in its carriage.
“I’ve never seen a thing like that before, and it was a person,” said Dani, who acknowledged the only time she had ever seen an apparition was when she was 9 years old.
She said the figure she saw out of her peripheral vision seemed to be wearing a tan coat that was a different color and look than the coat Adams was wearing at the time.
Adams was walking down another aisle at the time and was not in the area where Dani said she saw the figure pass.
“It was the color of that cabinet — it was a tan, like a suit jacket, like a blazer, like a sport jacket,” Dani said. “It’s a weird thing, you know.”
The crew subsequently brought out a word-generating Ovilus III, a white-noise generating ‘Spirit Box’ that quickly cycles through radio waves, and a Paranormal Puck device that also generates words through a text function.
All three devices, which are routinely used in the paranormal investigation community, are purportedly capable of being manipulated by spiritual energy or spirits to produce responses. Almost immediately after Dani touched the doll’s hand and addressed it, saying ‘Lea,’ a male voice came through the Spirit Box and said “what.”
The investigators asked the doll what it thought of Evans, and the Ovilus III produced the word, “kind.”
The investigators, however, also received disturbing responses as they investigated around the doll, including the word, “enemy,” from the Paranormal Puck.
As Marcus and Dani examined a couple of responses that did not seem relevant from the Puck, the Ovilus III — from a vocabulary believed to be greater than 2,000 words — generated the word, “demon.”
During a second, ‘lights-out’ investigation of the doll, no visual evidence was captured through a night vision camera, but Black Lea seemed to grow tired of the investigators.
Shortly after Marcus turned on the Spirit Box, a male voice came through and said “enough.”
A couple minutes later, as Marcus and Dani moved closer to the doll, saying things like “hey, sweetheart,” what can best be described as a dark voice came through the Spirit Box and said “go.”
“We’ll leave you alone — we don’t want to bother you,” Marcus replied.
Away from the doll, the investigators remarked on the positive feeling that existed around the rest of the antique shop and Evans himself.
Though the night vision camera captured a light anomaly moving overhead and disappearing on-screen during an investigation session with Evans and his Egyptian death mask, no overtly scary or disconcerting messages emerged from the other devices.
“I think everything here knows that it’s cared for,” Marcus remarked.
Adams also noted the mood in the room.
“Everything feels, like, peaceful and resolved right here, doesn’t it?” Adams asked.
“Yeah, I don’t…” Marcus started.
“Cleansing,” the Ovilus III interrupted.
The investigators questioned if the Ovilus response was a direct response to Adams’ remark and what Moser had conducted in the shop.
“That’s crazy!” Marcus exclaimed, looking at the response still glowing on the Ovilus. “’Doesn’t everything feel kind of like resolved’ and that said, ‘cleansing!’”
What transpired from the medium to the paranormal investigators left Evans to reflect.
“I think it just gives us a little something extra to think about this time of year,” Evans nodded.
Evans completed the instruction of burning sandalwood for three days after Moser’s visit, and said the shop had seemed relatively peaceful and quiet since.
“The dead are not dead to me,” Evans said. “I think it’s of value to be mindful of them at all times.”