Monday, January 28, 2013

The old haunted Riverton Elementary School

I was raised in a crazy town called Riverton. While attending high school there, I was told of the legend of the old Riverton Elementary School.

The old Riverton Elementary School was one of the first schoolhouses built in the valley. It burned down on July 30th 1926. They rebuilt the school not long after that. In 1996 the City purchased the old Riverton Elementary School and its surrounding 9 acres of land from the Jordan School District for $225,000. By 2005-2006, the city had successfully renovated the old elementary school into a new community center and City Hall, which now houses all of the city’s administrative offices. I participated in some musical productions in this building with the local community theater.

The renovated Riverton Community Center

An old haunted legend of that building tells that the fire ended the lives of a few students. Some of the older kids would say that they knew a friend of a friend, who, on a dare, spent the night in that old building. The mysterious tenant claimed that late at night he could hear children’s voices. He constantly heard footsteps behind him. And in the boiler room, he could hear a little girl crying because she fell down a shoot, or so the ghost of the girl apparently told him.

For my Technology 2000 (Digital Media) class, I got to do an assignment using video editing with Adobe Premier. My friend Tommy and I were taking that class together and we were partners on that particular project. Neither one of us had a clue how to use the program and ended up filming an amateur video outside of class. We had a friend and a correspondent who worked for the community of Riverton and had all the keys to all government-owned buildings in the area.

We convinced him to let us in the old elementary school at midnight so we could film our own ghost movie in there. We ended up shooting a whole bunch of footage that made no sense chronologically to a plot and filmed me mostly walking around in the dark and being chased by other people involved in the film. I brought some fishing line, to make objects appear to be floating in mid air, and frantically turned lights on and off and threw furniture around the room. It ended up being similar to the Blair Witch Project. I believe we even had a shot of my face close to the camera wearing a beanie like one of the kids do in that movie.

The next day at school we showed our footage to a whole bunch of classmates. Some were frightened by what they saw, some were excited and the legend of that building escalated. I had an emo friend who was a big skeptic about the film and didn’t buy into any of our cheap effects, except he pointed out the strange orbs of light that seemed to circle around me and dart in and out of the picture. He described those orbs as being spirits in the film. I thought that was interesting since we couldn’t explain where those orbs of light were coming from. We definitely didn’t create them. When I was asked how I felt in that building that night I said 'normal,' maybe because I was hyped on hormones and excited about being rebellious.
Orbs of light apparently spirits
 I don’t think Tommy and I got an A for that assignment. The anti-climatic part of this story is that not long after we shot that film Tommy lost the film containing me and the orbs of light. He lost everything and has no idea what happened to it. The only proof we have of that evening now is the testimonies of everyone present.


  1. I think you should have gotten an A....That's a spooky legend.

  2. I found this researching for a college paper about on urban legend folklore. I wish you had the film! I practically grew up in that building doing community theater and it is still my second home as I help out with the RAC. I have had personal experience with the ghosts of the building. The theater was definitely haunted.
    When I was about 13 (1998) I was there locked in super late at night with only my Dad and another teenager working on building set pieces. Just after midnight I got bored and went alone to read in the second level classroom near the auditorium. The layout of the room is kinda important to the story. The class room had windows facing south, exterior building with no windows to the east, a hallway on the other side of the north wall and I was leaning on the west wall with a inaccessible crawlspace under the stairs beyond it.
    I paused from my reading to hear that someone was going along the hallway pounding along the walls getting louder as they got further away. I thought nothing about it, thinking that the other teenager was just trying to scare me. When the pounding continued to grow louder and without skipping a beat started across the east exterior wall! Remember this is the second floor and there is nothing beyond that wall. The sound crescendos at it travels along the wall and crosses over to the south side windows rattling. The exterior was lit by the moon and the parking lot lights and I could see nothing there beyond the windows. The banging got quieter as it travels down the wall and stopped right as it reached the corner meeting the wall I was against.
    I leaned my head back to the wall with my eyes wide open unbelieving what I just witnessed thinking "Did I just imagine that!" When BAM! Right on cue and behind my head a loud bang struck the wall. I shot out of their faster then I ever had, running panicking into the auditorium.
    Dad and the other teenager where there and looked at me like i was nuts when i told them what has just happened. They hadn't heard or caused the banging. My dad didn't believe me until a few days later when he walked into the same room and swears he saw a man near my same spot that looked up at him and disappeared.
    Others in the Arts Council had talked of ghosts, it wasn't until that day that we really believed it. After that time I choose to not let the ghosts bother me. The following week I marched into the auditorium and told the spirit it would not scare me. It sound nuts, but over the years I befriended the ghost. If there was only a few of us I would go to the creepy stair case and talk to him, even sing to him, he never bothered me again. Dad saw or heard things working late at night.
    There was some spirit that liked to dwell stage left and down the creepy stair case that led to the old locker room. I visited the broiler room a few times and peeked into the tunnels, i felt there was another spirit there. In the other building there was a ghost in the costume room. Those where the only ones I had strongly felt. But when they renovated the building and I ran stage left to greet my ghost affectingly called Earl, he was gone. He had crossed over during the construction. Now even with lengthy and late night visits to the Sandra Lloyd wing of the community center, I don't feel the ghosts. I hear the kids in the cast tell their own stories of fires, and the children that haunt the halls, but I know the ghosts are gone. These kids have no clue.

  3. The name of one of the ghosts in Riverton Elementary is David LeBaron. He was killed in 1974 during a Satanic Ritual in the Boiler Room. His family was slowly killed one by one during the following months.

    The murders were done by members of the AUB, Apostolic United Brethren, who controlled several individuals and were at war with the LeBaron Polygamists (Earl LeBaron). David had married into the Allred family, a daughter of Rulon Allred who was the prophet of the AUB at that time. David and his wife had three daughters and a young son.

    In 1974, the ritual murder took place on Halloween night after the school Halloween Carnival ended. The janitor, Leo Crane, was forced/threatened to keep the building open and assisted those who stayed behind after the Halloween Carnival.

    The men and women gathered in the room (now used for storage) beside the old boiler. (I have video of the Boiler before it was removed. The film was taken in 2003 during the remodel while the building was empty.)

    The moon rose full that night on Halloween. It was a rare thing to have a full moon on Halloween --- October 31, 1974.
    My sisters and I, and several of the polygamist girls, and men and women in various capacities of leadership in the AUB and the community were in the ritual. I was 10 years old.

    After the father of this darling family was murdered that night, they killed his wife after the school Christmas Program in December around the 19th or 20th, 1974.

    The daughters and their little son were kept in an old polygamous house on Redwood Road near 13150 South. The daughters were killed in the old locker room after a Patriotic Play on February 20th? in 1975. Their bodies were dismembered and layed out on the floor of the locker room. The three girls body parts were hidden in the tunnels that extended beyond the Boiler Room which went beneath the Kindergarten Wing of the school. Today, the Police Station is there.

    The only piece of evidence that has ever been found was one of the girl's shoes. All of their clothing had been burned in the trash incinerator, but a shoe fell under the old Boiler. When it was removed, Sheril Garn found the shoe and placed it in a storage bin. No one knows what happened to the storage bin.

    Three of the girls that were in that ritual the night David LeBaron was murdered, are all grown up. We have been back through the building, working through our therapy and getting stronger. We are now in our 50's. Our parents were involved in the murder that night and have disowned us.

    I have felt peace, knowing that I have done what I needed to do. The night I walked through the school alone, in 2003, I spoke out loud to the spirits of that family and invited them to be at peace and to move on.

    There are still people in the school who from time to time, see the spirit of an older man dressed in coveralls, this is not David LeBaron. This man is someone else.

    The stories of satanic rituals in that building and in the old Tabernacle that was torn down that once stood beside Riverton Elementary are rumors and legends, but for those of us who survived this, we are now healing and gowing forward.

    I believe that long before I was born, the man in the overalls was murdered in that building, and possibly upstairs on the stage.

    There is an open cold case investigating the murder of the Allred/LeBaron family.

    (This family was connected to Rulon Allred who was murdered in 1977 (three years after the ritual murders in the school). Rulon was assassinated by the Ervil LeBaron wives in his doctor's office on Vine Street in Murray, May 10, 1977. Rulon was buried on my 13th birthday, May 14, 1977.

    1. That's a very interesting story. I'm from the same group and I'm pretty sure you're full of it. I'd be interested in knowing some of the other members that were present.

  4. I attended a birthday party today at the Riverton elementary for a friend's babies first birthday and I discussed with the babies grandpa that I spent a lot of time working there in the mid 90s on the old boiler.
    He began to express to me how he had no interest in being in the building at night because of stories he's heard and from
    One experience he had in the building at night alone.
    I have heard from others that the building was haunted.

    I find that very interesting, and yet hard to believe because of my lack of experience in such things .
    I find it hard to believe a murder was committed there and yet I don't know that it wasn't.
    I'm not sensitive to such energies.
    I love old buildings and wish the walls would tell the stories ,and I think it would be so beneficial for undistorted history.
    Well that's my 10 cents .
    I wonder if there will be others to add to this blog