Ghosts make city second home
Listening to doors open and shut can be routine when you are at work. It’s suddenly creepy when you are the only one in the building, as Casey Putscher knows. While working late at the Egyptian Theater, Putscher has heard doors shutting. Since it’s his job to close up shop he knows that he is the only living person in the theater.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, Putscher hasn’t formally met the ghost, but he openly acknowledges her presence. Most of the staff and crew at the theater are familiar with the ghost; they even named the upstairs room after her Edwina’s Room. Rumor has it Edwina played the organ for the theater,when it burned down, the flames consumed her as well. Today actors and actresses go to her lounge-style room for drinks or to hang out but never too late, especially when many of them have heard mysterious footsteps in the room.
"People will see someone standing and then turn around and the person’s gone," says Katherine Christensen, who also works at the Egyptian.
The ghostly figure of an old woman assumed to be Edwina usually haunts the dressing rooms in the basement. Christensen says seeing the figure scared her, giving her cold chills. At this eerie time of year believing in an otherworldly presence doesn’t seem so silly. A ghost hunter affirmed such beliefs after spending a night in the theater and reporting orbs floating about.
Edwina isn’t the only ghost to haunt the area, down the street a presence watches over construction of the Park City Hotel. The ghost gained notoriety by haunting the Claim Jumper Steakhouse. Reports of candle wicks burning without being lit, items rearranged, doors opening and closing by themselves, and claims of feeling a friendly presence all indicated a spirit at the restaurant. Though the steakhouse closed its doors, the ghost may still roam the empty first floor.
The old Snowed Inn had a photogenic presence. The owner built the inn as a replica of his grandmother’s Victorian mansion, which must have been an invitation for grandma’s spirit. Her image was seen wandering the house and in a few pictures guests and staff have taken.
The odd incidents may inspire a midnight stakeout on All Hallows Eve in hopes of encountering one of Park City’s trolling ghosts. For more tangible entities the Heber Creeper takes passengers on a spooky tour of Provo Canyon. Jacob Flesh, who works in the ticketing office, says that the conductor entertains guests with folklore during the 35-minute train ride.
Flesh says that once such story involves a lady preparing for a wedding on the train and the untimely death of her husband. Once the train reaches its destination plenty of creepy things climb aboard for a quick hello. The Haunted Canyon ride is great for families to experience what goes bump in the night.
For more information on the Heber Valley Railroad, visit http://hebervalleyrr.org/.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.