Ghost tour elicits shivers, appreciation of Ogden history

Oct 12 2013 - 8:17am

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Brianne Bryant gasps when she thinks she sees a ghost during a Friday evening ghost tour on Historic 25th Street in Ogden. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)
Karen Kagie, center, leads a ghost tour on 25th Street in Ogden on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2013. During the walking tour, Kagie shares local ghost stories that she has heard from the owners of various downtown businesses. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)
Karen Kagie, right, leads a ghost tour on 25th Street in Ogden on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2013. During the walking tour, Kagie shares local ghost stories that she has heard from the owners of various downtown businesses. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)
Brianne Bryant gasps when she thinks she sees a ghost during a Friday evening ghost tour on Historic 25th Street in Ogden. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)
Karen Kagie, center, leads a ghost tour on 25th Street in Ogden on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2013. During the walking tour, Kagie shares local ghost stories that she has heard from the owners of various downtown businesses. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)
Karen Kagie, right, leads a ghost tour on 25th Street in Ogden on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2013. During the walking tour, Kagie shares local ghost stories that she has heard from the owners of various downtown businesses. (BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- A gaggle of Girl Scouts braved the Eerie East Ghost Walk on Historic 25th Street on Friday night.

The Ghost Tours are hosted by Story Tours, a company formed by Kristen Clay, a storyteller who after studying Utah's history decided she wanted to share the local lore with others.

Friday evening's story guide was Karen Kagie, who said she has been a guide for four years. The stories she shared of her personal experiences with the ghost of her late boyfriend were what landed her the job as a story guide for Story Tours, she said.

The Eerie East Ghost Walk began in the courtyard just south of the Peery's Egyptian Theater. Kagie said the theater was built in the early 1900's and that the young daughter of one of the construction workers met her tragic end while climbing some scaffolding to bring her father lunch.

Kagie said the girl, whose name was Allison, still haunts a seating area of the theater called "Allison's box," where women used to take their babies to calm them during a show. Kagie said employees will often, neatly arrange the chairs in the area, only to have them be disturbed and rearranged later on.

Other highlights of Friday's tour included the creepy haunting of the 13th floor of the Ben Lomond hotel, where a maid once claimed she was nearly drowned in a bathtub by a ghost, the terrifying ghostly murder attempt of a guard in the basement of Creston Plaza, and the assertive ghostly presence of Belle London at Union Station Fermentation with her inordinate distaste for root beer.

Kim Bangerter, of Layton, kept an eye on her Girl Scout troop while enjoying the tour.

"It was a lot of fun; it had a lot of personal touches. It involved everyone," Bangerter said, adding that she believed in ghosts, but thinks they're mostly good. "I do, I know they're there. But I think there are lots of good ones, not evil ones."

Bangerter said she appreciated the history shared during the tour. She also said she thought most people go on tours like this for the shivers, but appreciated the fact that the tour wasn't too scary for the 14 Girl Scouts she was chaperoning.

Amy Medina, of Ogden, also thought the tour was interesting and said she too believes in ghosts. Medina added that her work in hospitals has left her with a lot of ghost stories of her own.

Medina's daughter, Michaela, said her favorite story of the tour was the story of Allison in Peery's Egyptian Theater.

"Some people come hoping to see ghosts," Kagie said. "Sometimes they get pictures with orbs. I think people like these tours because they're full of stories from real people, and they're more real than going to a haunted house."

Story Tours offers both bus and walking Ghost Tours in both Ogden and Salt Lake. More information can be found on www.storytours.com.

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