Not too long after moving to Utah I began hearing about the Old Mill by the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The information I got was like the information I get at first on most famous haunted spots: spotty at best. I gathered it was a mill of some sort (duh) and had been abandoned quite some time ago. The other main thing I heard from sources was just how freaky the place was.
Eventually I had to see the place for myself. I got in my truck and drove the short distance into a hidden valley just off I-215. You have to drive into an upscale neighborhood a couple of blocks to see the Old Mill, which sticks out like a sore thumb on the east side of the winding road.
All around the mill is a chain-link fence with no trespassing signs hanging all over it. Broken out windows adorn the tower, like gaping mouths leading into the mysterious dark interior. The landscape around the mill is barren, an oddity for the area. The whole structure looked dead, like a husk of body after the spirit has gone on.
Sadly I have not been able to go into the building. The current owners of the property do not seem to be interested in letting investigators or journalists tour the old structure, for whatever reason I am not sure. I have had several groups and individuals contact me since I wrote my Examiner article on the Old Mill, asking if I had information on how they could tour it or perform an investigation inside. The previous owners let paranormal groups in and supposedly ran a haunted house and craft boutiques inside the old structure. I’m not sure what kind of crafts were sold there, perhaps little shrunken heads on wreaths with spring flowers.
All in all seeing Old Mill was fascinating. Researching the history of the place was even more interesting, since it played such an integral part in the state’s history. I have gone back several times since, just to gaze at the structure and think about what I already know. I can’t help but feel close to the past being around buildings like the Old Mill, which is partly why I like researching hauntings at old buildings: it grounds me in the past, keeps me connected to where we all came from.
If you haven’t read my Examiner article on the Old Mill, click here (it includes a fairly large slideshow of the building as well).