Happy Friday the 13th! I thought I would share with you a little bit about a haunted location about 45 minutes from my home, since the subject is quite appropriate for the occasion.
There are some stories about haunted hotels in the state of Utah, although they're not as common as in some states (specifically Pennsylvania with all the crazy activity in Gettysburg). We do have one haunted hotel that is breathtakingly beautiful and offers tremendous amenities. I'm talking about Ben Lomond Hotel in downtown Ogden.
I've spent quite a bit of time in Ogden and actually really like it up there. The mountains are simply amazing (as the are here) and the city sits on the edge of some of the most rugged and beautiful forests around. In any case, Ben Lomond Hotel, which was originally called the Bigelow when it was first constructed in 1927, is built in a unique architectural style for Utah, called Italian Renaissance Revival. As you can see from the pictures, the building is a work of art.
How could something so beautiful be highly haunted? To start, Ogden has a pretty colorful past. Most people don't know that the downtown area actually has a series of "catacombs" that run under the streets. These tunnels allowed organized crime in the city to move drugs, alcohol and prostitutes around without detection. Supposedly this tunnel system connects up to Ben Lomond Hotel. While debatable, many claim that Al Capone himself stayed at the hotel more than a few times. During his stays, the famous gangster supposedly ordered the deaths of certain people, which was carried out in the basement of the hotel.
There are other stories of deaths in the hotel, although I haven't looked to substantiate any of them. One of the most tragic is the story of a mother during WWII who arrived in Ogden to greet her soldier son on his return from the front. The only problem was he returned in a pine box. The stories say the mother committed suicide in the hotel.
Quite a few rooms are said to be haunted, including 212 and 1010. The elevator also has been said to have a mind of its own. The hotel has picked up quite the reputation, with the famous haunted hotels writer Francis Kermeen even featuring the hotel in one of her most popular books.
Workers and guests have claimed that they have heard phantom noises, smelled phantom perfume, seen full-bodied apparitions, been touched by unseen forces and even pushed so hard they have almost fallen over.
I have yet to stay in the hotel, but I have considered taking a vacation there for the experience. Even if nothing happens at the hotel, I would surely enjoy the amazing architecture and service. Plus the hotel has a MacCool's restaurant in it, which is one of my more favorite places to go here in Utah. You can check out the hotel and even book a room by clicking here.
If you do decide to spend the night here, I would love to hear about anything you experience.