Washington County gets 300 days of sunshine a year, but that doesn’t mean this sunny town is exempt from a ghost or two lurking in the shadows.
Perhaps you’ve heard some of the nearby stories like the Mountain Meadows Massacre where over a hundred people were killed by a Mormon militia, been told about old Sherriff Hardy at the Hardy House Restaurant, or heard of the little old lady who sits at the reference desk in the Val. A Browning Learning Resource Center.
But there’s one more local haunted place to learn about.
Zsa’Jade Ervin, a senior English education major from Los Angeles, and Monica Harris, a senior English major from Alamogordo, New Mexico moved into Chancellor Apartment 5B early last fall semester and said they found a necklace hanging on the closet door. Each of them thought the necklace belonged to the other.
Ervin said the first strange occurrence was when she was home alone, making food. She said she heard loud boot-thudding footsteps in the hallway.
“I said ‘hello’ aloud and asked if anybody was there,” Ervin said. “I checked to see if any of my roommates were home, but there was nobody.”
Harris said her first haunted occurrence was when she was home alone and lay down to take a nap.
“I was pulling the blankets up, getting comfortable and then there was just a soft whisper close to my ear that said my name: ‘Monica,’” Harris said.
They said a cold spot could be felt in the closet; one night late they noticed the necklace spinning on its own.
Harris and Ervin said they have never tried to get rid of the necklace.
“We’ve seen too many horror movies [where] people try to get rid of the [haunted items], and that is when everything goes bad,” Harris said.
The campout in Babylon
Thadeous Moore, a St. George local and ghost hunter in his spare time, said Babylon is the most haunted place in Washington County.
Babylon was an old mill that was built along the Virgin River and is located just north of Hurricane and out by Leeds a little way into the back red sand country.
The mill used to be called Babbling Mills because the people who worked there at night heard voices that sounded like babbling, Moore said.
Moore said when he was younger, him and some of his buddies went out to Babylon for a usual camp out in an old unfinished house.
They laid out their sleeping bags inside the house and went to sleep.
One of his buddies started screaming, so they woke up and quickly found their flashlights, he said.
“He was in his sleeping bag and his sleeping bag was being pulled toward the edge of [the building],” Moore said. “He got out of his sleeping bag, the bag went over [the edge], and we left.”
A storm was just beginning as the boys got in the truck to drive away.
“Our friend afterwards told us he was in a sleep paralysis for a half hour and wasn’t able to move until the bag started moving,” he said.
Moore said he believes there is good and evil paranormal activity in the world, but he felt like the ghost that night was intentionally trying to keep them there.
“Your body is almost like a natural force and you can feel different energies,” he said. “It was definitely a negative vibe that night camping out at Babylon.”
Moore stills visits Babylon frequently during the day and at night, he said.
“You go [to Babylon] during the day and it’s a beautiful, serene place, but you don’t want to be caught out there after dark,” Moore said.