When a location is thoroughly haunted, it shouldn’t be surprising in this day and age when that location is used to scare more people than just the ghosts can do. If you like horror movies you may have seen Utah’s mot haunted location. The Cottonwood Paper Mill and possible some of it’s spirits have been seen in such movies like Halloween: Curse Of Michael Myers, Heredity, and Bleep. But what happened in the history of this building to cause all of the paranormal activity that has been reported over the years?
The Cottonwood Paper Mill is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah off of Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. It was originally built in 1884 as the Desert News Paper Mill. The granite used in the building of the paper mill was actually left over granite from the building of the Church of Latter- Day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City. A paper machine from the Sugarhouse Mill was brought in to grind the harvested trees into pulp which was turned into paper. The mill was powered by a large waterwheel. In 1892, the mill was sold to Granite Paper Mill Company. The next year, at 3am on April 1st, a fire broke out among the extra stockpiles of paper that the mill had created. People in and around the mill thought the fire alarms were an April Fool’s joke and didn’t respond to the alarms until it was too late. The fire completely destroyed the building’s interior, the equipment, and the stockpiles of paper.
After the fire, the paper mill sat empty and unused for a few decades. In 1927, it was rebuilt and opened as an open air dance hall called The Old Mill Club. The dance hall phase of this building’s history stayed this way until 1935 when another fire happened. This time, two vagrants and a dog died in the fire. In 1969, The Old Mill Club reopened as a dance and concert hall for rock bands. In 1966, the building was declared a historic site by the Daughters of Utah’s Pioneers. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the former paper mill was used to host haunted houses. At one point during the 1970s, its claimed that a watchman killed himself in front of his wife. In 2005 the building was condemned and shut down but that hasn’t stop the reports of paranormal activity.
People visiting the old paper mill have reported a variety of different paranormal activity. Doors will open and close by themselves. Lights will turn on and off by their own accord even when the building has no electricity. People have felt random cold spots. A woman’s voice has been heard throughout the building. Shadow people have been seen often around the inside and outside of the building. People have reported seeing the silhouette of a hanged man. A woman has been seen and heard crying by the stairs but disappears if anyone approaches her. A dog has been heard barking and growling but can never be found. Electrical equipment often malfunctions in the building but will resume working properly when removed from the building. Items that require a battery to power them often have their batteries quickly drained.
Since researching this location, I have been toying with reaching out to the current owners and seeing if I can do an investigation there. It is only a 12 hour drive from where I live. It wouldn’t be that hard to drive out there (if I have permission of course) and maybe camp out there for a day or two so I can investigate. If I was to go out there, would any of y’all be interested in joining me? Maybe this spring when it’s warmer but not brutal heat yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.