Halloween is once again upon us, so here are a few spooky stories from the archives to get you in the spirit!
Category Archives: Halloweentime
Who doesn’t love a nice jack o’ lantern?
These modified pumpkins were a big deal in my family when I was a kid. Once we had them carved, we’d set them on the fireplace mantle and light candle’s inside them. Then we’d turn out the lights and sing every Halloween song we knew. I’ll never forget those spooky nights.
Now that I have kids of my own, Meadow and I always take the time to carve pumpkins to their requested specs. Boo’s this year was a painfully intricate scene from How to Train Your Dragon. West and Coulter had regular scary faces– but Coulter requested his have a mustache, because mustaches are just plain cool (remind me to tell you his comment about my 5 o-clock shadow sometime). Miss Ella’s pumpkin was Coraline. Deedle’s was Nacho Libre.
What is it about pumpkins and candles, darkened rooms and spooky songs that delight us so? Where did the jack o’lantern come from? Check out the links below:
(Hat tip to Hailey for the pumpkin chef pic above)
When I promised Monday to write some more on Camp Floyd/Fairfield’s colorful history, I had forgotten is that I had already touched on my favorite story in an earlier post. That’s ok– it’s still a cold case.
What drives me nuts about this story is that I can’t seem to dig up the details on it. The only account of this event comes from this wall plaque at Fairfield’s [possibly haunted] Stagecoach Inn:
My thoughts when I read this plaque:
1. When did this take place?
2. Who was Guest A?
3. Who was Guest B?
4. Did Guest B need to change his britches after the shot passed 2 feet over his head? And,
5. Did he beat up Guest A in the morning?
Crazy, I know. Heaven forbid somebody make a passing mention in a journal somewhere. Well I’m certainly not losing sleep over this, but how cool would it be to know little stuff like this?
The Utah State Parks Service made the plaque based on information provided by the descendants of John Carson, who built the inn in 1858. According to Parks Service staff at Camp Floyd, there was no registry kept at the inn, and the story of the shooting was passed down through oral tradition. Gotta love that!
Fortunately the evidence is there. One bullet hole in one wall, a matching hole through the other, and pellet marks on both. We know the inn was frequented by the legendary Porter Rockwell, but just for fun I think we can rule him out:
First, it’s doubtful that an ace gunslinger like Porter would have accidentally discharged a shotgun. Second, if he had been Guest A, Porter would have profusely apologized to Guest B, bought him a new pair of britches, given him free drinks for life at one of his saloons, and patched the walls himself. That would have made it into a newspaper somewhere.
Could Porter have been Guest B? Well, as far as we know, Guest A made it out of the inn alive. Just sayin’.
So it looks like I’m out of luck on this one. At least for another 20 years or so until somebody’s great great great great grandkid finds a journal in an attic.
When it comes to places you’d think might be haunted, the Stagecoach Inn in Fairfield, Utah doesn’t immediately come to mind. No ghastly crime took place within its creaky walls. No ghoulish legend lurks in its past.
The old inn’s claims to fame are its age– it was built 152 years ago– and its roster of colorful guests. Among the notable characters that frequented the inn were General Albert Sydney Johnston and Orrin Porter Rockewell. Beginning in 1860, the inn served as a stop along the Pony Express route. So while the Stagecoach boasts no tales of death or torture, its past is storied just enough to give it some haunted cred. Utah State Parks staffers and Fairfield residents reservedly acknowledge strange occurrences in the old place. Rumors of otherworldly phenomenon at the inn even prompted a paranormal investigation a few years ago.
More on this and some of the inn’s lore Wednesday. For now, though, why not set a few hours aside on October 29 to participate in Camp Floyd’s annual public ghost hunt? Click here to read more about Camp Floyd, then here for info on the ghost hunt.