Friday, May 4, 2012

The Haunted Legend of Kiwanis Park

 
Another segment I am starting on this blog is my research and travel log on busting urban myths and legends in Utah.
My first one for you today, my beloved readers,  is the myth of Kiwanis Park.
Last summer my wife had a goal to stay in shape by going on a hike at least once a week. She always tried to find people to hike with and she would usually get her younger siblings to accompany her. The first obstacle is getting them to commit to a hike. The second obstacle she faced was getting them to commit to where they were going to hike. My wife, Laura, wanted to hike up to a beautiful waterfall in a Pleasant Grove canyon. Her little brother said “I’m not going with you! It’s already dusk and that hike goes through Kiwanis Park and I refuse to go there after dark.” Laura asked “Why is that?” “Because of the skin-walkers that roam around there.”
She was still able to get them to go with her and they took a few pictures. The idea of Pleasant Grove being haunted with something called skin-walkers fascinated me. I had to visit that place the next day and do some investigating.
There was a monument at the park called Battle Creek to remember the fallen in the first Native American and white settler battle in Utah County.
(Side note: Pleasant Grove was originally called Battle Creek.) When the Mormon settlers first came into the valley there was a rumor that spread around the Salt Lake Valley how a band of savage Indians had stolen some horses from Brigham Young’s property. A posse was formed to hunt down the accused.There was a rumor that a messanger tried to send word to the posse that the horses had been returned so it is uncertain why a battle took place. The Mormon settlers killed all the male warriors of this accused tribe and brought all of their women and children back to live in the Salt Lake Valley. Most of these accounts are not valid sources and so we really don’t know why this Mormon posse persisted in this slaughter. Brigham Young always tried to go out of his way to make peace with the Native Americans and encouraged his people to do likewise. He always said, “it’s easier to feed them than fight them.” That still didn’t stop the individual bloody fights among some settlers and other groups of Native Americans.
I welcome any other history buff to correct me on this research if it appears to be inaccurate.
Now that I knew the history behind Kiwanis park I researched skin-walkers. The definition I found was this: In some Native Americans legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires, though they first must be wearing a pelt of the animal, to be able to transform. Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shape-shifting by anthropologists.

With further investigation I found the actual haunted myth behind the park on  the Haunted Utah website  http://www.utahghost.org/Main%20Files/haunted_utah.html

It states:
“Pleasant grove - Kiwanis Park:
Years ago there was a battle between Indians and pioneers. There is a memorial there for all the lives that were lost. Many things happen there. If you go up at night, some have said that they see shadow's running around them. A few accounts say that there is a arch way of tree's that are almost like a spiritual pathway. people that have walked thru the pathway say that instantly they hear screams and smell horrible horrible smell's.”
After hearing about my wife and siblings' adventure and how they took pictures of the hike I took the photos and “improved” some of them by simply picking some with just them in it and then with the help of my six hundred dollar software called Photoshop I added some ghost-like apparitions in the background and then burned them a cd with all the photos and gave it to them. Their reaction was first shock, which lead to skepticism. Since they know me and my crazy nature they knew the photos were a hoax. I added them to this blog for your own personal enjoyment.





Have you ever been to Kiwanis Park? Was it spooky? Please I highly encourage fellow myth sleuths to post their experiences on here as well. 

10 comments:

  1. I've been there several times after dark, and I can't help but thinking of it being haunted. Once, some creature jumped around in the bush, then ran around my feet and to the other side of the trail. It was too dark, so to this day, I don't know what it was exactly. It was like a shadow running around me, so maybe it was really a skin-walker!

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  2. I don't know about the information being inaccurate, but I do know that you spelled "inaccurate" wrong. Ha ha ha.

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  3. It's a ga ga ga... Ghost!! That's cool, now do a picture with me and some ghosts and I'll be so thrilled.

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  4. I've never been there after dark, but I've been in the evening as the sun is going down. My experiences are 100% ghost free, but apparently I need to go later, after it is completely dark.

    By the way, those pictures were awesome.

    Also, I am always up for hikes. If Laura is ever looking for a hiking buddy, Robyn and I are totally in.

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    1. Sorry for the slow response, thanks for the compliment. I have told Laura that you are up for a hike.

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  5. I live around this park and have been up there after dark many times to have fires and drink brew and never heard anything out of the ordinary. Anything you hear can be explained, for instance, a squirrel in the bushes, a deer creeping around, some hobo in the trees etc.I have felt overpowering fear but I think its because of the threat of wildlife such as cougars or people doing who knows what. I have seen deer and other animals mutilated around that area too but all can be explained by wild life. It has a bad vibe sometimes but its usually paranoia that involves a cougar attacking me lol.

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  6. This is fun! I added a back link from my website www.things2doinutah.com.

    Thanks. Kim

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  7. I was driving around Salt Lake County tonight and eventually made it down to this park. I was in search of a somewhat flat wooded area to shoot a music video later this year. By the time I stumbled upon this place it was pretty much dark, but decided to get out and look around anyways. I didn't get far because I couldn't see anything and went back to my car. It turns out I locked myself out, and was sitting there on the ground of the parking lot for an hour and a half. I wasn't really spooked, but I felt like this place could be haunted. If I had had someone with me, as well as a flashlight, I would have ventured out, but for safety reasons I decided to stay with my car until someone came to get me. It seems like the type of place that could harbor some ghosts. It's seems so secluded. I should have done an EVP session.

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  8. I was driving around Salt Lake County tonight and eventually made it down to this park. I was in search of a somewhat flat wooded area to shoot a music video later this year. By the time I stumbled upon this place it was pretty much dark, but decided to get out and look around anyways. I didn't get far because I couldn't see anything and went back to my car. It turns out I locked myself out, and was sitting there on the ground of the parking lot for an hour and a half. I wasn't really spooked, but I felt like this place could be haunted. If I had had someone with me, as well as a flashlight, I would have ventured out, but for safety reasons I decided to stay with my car until someone came to get me. It seems like the type of place that could harbor some ghosts. It's seems so secluded. I should have done an EVP session.

    ReplyDelete