Friday, June 1, 2012

Who was Emo?

I love the Salt Lake cemetery in the avenues of Salt Lake City. It is full of almost every famous and historical Utah Mormon pioneer, outlaws, prophets, jews, big business tycoons and much more. There are so many stories and legends you can investigate there that could take you decades to cover.
Today I will talk about my encounter with Emo. Emo is the one of the most popular attractions in the cemetery because as a child I was told that Emo is the grave of the first wizard and devil worshiper in Salt Lake City. They say he would curse the neighborhood with hexes and other forms of witchcraft, you could hear demonic cries and incantations coming from his home at odd hours of the night. The local residents killed him by burning him at the stake. After completely cremating him they put his ashes in the caged window of the stone monument shown below. Around the 1950’s the urn was cracked and broke into two big pieces spilling the contents of the urn all over Emo’s grave and all around him as well. Some say it was vandals, some say it was Emo himself.

They say if you go to this grave preferably after dark and walk around the headstone three times chanting “Emo Emo Emo” once you have completed this ordeal quickly gaze into the broken urn and you will see the horrid scowling face of Emo himself staring back at you with his eyes glowing red! This is pretty much Utah’s version of bloody Mary.
I read a disclaimer from The Salt Lake City Cemetery do not try this. Anyone caught after hours in the cemetery will be arrested and prosecuted. The grave is located on the south side of the cemetery just east of P street very close to the public road. 

Crimson Eric from states:  Who can say why the story of "Emo" became associated with his grave? Whatever the origin of the fable, the truth is that Jacob Moritz was an honorable man, a respected contributor to the life of Utah."

Jacob Moritz was a German immigrant that moved to Salt Lake and started a very successful brewing business. He was very sociable in society and did a lot of charitable things. When he realized his health was declining he wanted to travel to Europe hoping the fresh air would do well for him. He died while in Europe of stomach cancer in 1909. Some rumors say he is buried there in Germany. Some people say that his wife brought his ashes home to Utah; some people say that Moritz's grave in Salt Lake isn't a grave at all, just a monument erected by his family in his honor and that the urn is just a place for flowers arrangements.

Whether it’s a grave or not I was dieing to see it. Finally after searching the cemetery for a few years I was able to catch the cemetery office open at one of their inconvenient times and sheepishly asked the secretary where Jacob Moritz. “Who?” She said I repeated the name less timidly.” Oh you mean Emo! He’s right over there.” I found the “grave.” My personal reflections were that this place had definitely seen a lot of visitors. The urn was hard to reach since it is stuck behind a steel gated window. I noticed that other visitors had tossed things into the broken urn stuff like a finger nail polish bottle filled with some sort of a liquidy substance and a ton of dimes, nickels, and pennies. I don’t get the connection between so called devilish site and excessive pocket change. If anyone can enlighten me on this I would appreciate it. I didn’t try the chant, one, because it was day light, and second because I’ve seen the movie “Candy man” one too many times. Other than that my whole Emo experience was somewhat boring. Have you seen “Emo’s Grave?” I would love to hear about your story as well.


  1. Yeah, I remember that the loose change cracked me up. People leave silly tokens sometimes, don't you think? I haven't ever seen Candy Man, but I imagine it's a horror film and that I would hate it.

  2. I've never seen it but I'll have to check it out. I generally don't scare easily but the bloody mary story made me terrified of mirrors at night for years as a child, so I probably won't be trying out the chant.