|Images copyright Steven Symes|
I think that finally is about to change.
Pretty regularly I have people email me about the Old Cottonwood Mill. If you type "haunted Old Mill Utah" in Google my article is the top result. It's a topic that fascinates many people in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. I have never been inside the mill since by the time I first heard about it the building had been closed down. I have visited the outside of the mill from beyond the tall chain link fences that surround out and have felt there is something different about the building.
And by different I mean evil.
I have been in many at least reportedly haunted locations. During my life I have experienced some inexplicable things, some of which make my skin crawl. But the Old Mill is by far one of the creepiest buildings I have ever even been near. The building seems shrouded in mystery for many reasons: there is scant information about it, it has been the site of several tragedies since not too long after it originally was built and nobody has been in it for years.
My wife used to work on the production crew for Touched by an Angel, which was filmed in Salt Lake City. She told me that once they filmed at the Old Mill and the crew experienced an unusual amount of equipment failure. I have heard on the radio here a famous DJ, Chunga on 101.9 the End, talk about his time as a guard at the Old Mill and how the batteries in his flashlight would quickly fail. This is not an unusual phenomena in severely haunted locations. Some theorize the spirits feed on the energy from different devices, storing it up so they can do something powerful later.
A while ago the family of one of the workers tied to the tragedy of the mill contacted me. The worker I mention is the caretaker who accidentally shot himself in the head early one morning. I have looked and looked over the materials they sent me about their brother and uncle, and every time I feel a heaviness. The story of the Old Mill needs to be told and told well, and I feel that I need to be the one who does the work. Part of me dreads wading neck-deep into the details of the Mill because of the feelings I have experienced standing a hundred feet from it. I have contemplated pushing for permission to enter the mill and experience it for myself, which is probably a good idea if I want to write this book. The idea of doing that scares the hell out of me, and trust me when I say that I don't scare easily.
So it's time to tell the story of the haunted Old Mill in Salt Lake City, a site some people claim is the most haunted in the state. I will keep everyone updated about my progress on the project, so stay tuned.