i used to live in a haunted house part 1

Front porch chillin’ at 79 South

Let me begin by saying…this is not clickbait. This is a very real piece of my history and I’m here to tell the story.

I lived in a haunted house for about a year in college when I was attending the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

79 South 1200 East Salt Lake City, Utah, 84102.

Yes I am putting the address out there for reasons I will explain in the coming paragraphs.

Recently, I was listening to a podcast about the house that was used in Season 1 of American Horror Story (Murder House). The story immediately took me back to when I lived in a haunted house and of course spent the next half hour searching the Internet for any new information about said house. It’s been eight years and still no new information has found its way to the World Wide Web. I’ve tried multiple search engines and ways of inputting the address but still no success. Just a few real estate listings from the last time the house was on the market (more on that creepy element later).

That’s when I decided it was time to tell my story. It is finally time to talk about the house. Because if I can get this story out there then maybe someone can relate. Perhaps someone who used to live at the same address experienced something or knows something too.

I was recently talking to my mom about the house and the idea of this post and a thought sparked. Not everyone’s house that has “activity” is going to be as Google-able as Ted Bundy’s Utah house. (Side Note: Ted Bundy went to law school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. AND he lived in a room in a house near campus. And YES, I do know someone who lived there. AND YES, I’ve been in the house). The point is…just because a house isn’t notorious like Amityville or Los Feliz, doesn’t mean it’s not just as active. For a location to gain that notoriety, the story needs to be told.

To preface this whole series I need to provide a disclaimer of sorts. My goal is to get my story into the world and hopefully connect to someone else who has had a similar experience in my house. It’s not to cause problems but I know that not everyone will agree with or even believe what I have to say.That’s fine. All I ask is – if you are open to hauntings, spirits, ghosts, paranormal activity, etc. this is for you. Even if you’re just curious about the story, then great this is for you as well. If you’re familiar with these types of stories and events then you know that a lot of what is about to be presented is based on my personal experiences, feelings and unexplainable occurrences. I don’t have receipts or tangible proof of anything. I didn’t set up a Ghost Adventures style investigation. If you’re here to judge or demand I show evidence – then this post isn’t for you. I have plenty of others that are less controversial. Lol.

Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to begin!

So let’s start at the beginning. It was early Spring of 2013 and I was looking to move out of the apartment I was living in. A couple of my friends were also looking to switch up their living situation and we all decided to find a place together. We began to house hunt in the neighborhoods near the University of Utah.

The neighborhoods adjacent to campus have some of the most gorgeous old houses that have been around since the early 1900s. They have stunning architecture, features and most have great backyards for parties. In fact, I still miss those house parties to this day. I often tell my brother (who is a current U of U student) that I’m going to wander the university neighborhoods on Saturday nights to find some. He rolls his eyes and tells me how old I am.

We knew we wanted to live within walking distance to campus and one of the girls found what seemed to be a great house in thee perfect location. It was advertised to have sufficient space and even a backyard. Jackpot. I along with the girl who found the house went with her boyfriend one afternoon to scope it out. We met with the current tenant and she showed us around.

The house was built in 1901 and I would describe it as Victorian Style. Currently it is set up to have four separate living spaces or apartments per some Internet research and Zillow listing history. At the time, I honestly couldn’t tell you how many people were living in the house total which now strikes me as a huge red flag. I did know that there were people in the apartments upstairs, but I never really knew who they were.

I’m not sure if this house was built to have four separate apartments or if it was rennovated in the last 120 years. If I could do some digging in the city permits archive I’m sure I could find this answer but, as you will eventually learn, that’s the least important question I have. Anyway, we toured the main level of the house – the space we would be renting.

This level consisted of two bedrooms, a front room, family room, kitchen, one bathroom, a basement with laundry + storage and the backyard. If you’re keeping track then yes you read that right two bedrooms for three people. The front room was being utilized as a bedroom (more on that later) and that is the space I occupied.

So getting back to it – we meet with the current tenant and she seems lovely. After talking with her we find out that all of her roommates have already moved out. I personally didn’t think anything of it at the time. Housing during the college years is hard to come by and if you can find a better situation you take it.

During the tour, we fall in love with the house, start to envision hang outs in the backyard and decide to apply. It also helped that as we were standing out front the neighbor came home and happened to be one of the hot ski bums at our school. Again, jackpot.

Luckily the current tenant was ready to vouch for us and she let the landlord know she had found three excellent tenants to move in when their leases were up.

About a month later it was time to get our keys, sign the lease and make plans to move in. My roommates and I were asked to meet at the house one afternoon. When we got there, all of the previous tenants were present not just the girl we had met. First impression of this group? The vibes were way off and the tension was palpable. I could just tell some shit had gone down with these people. They were not nice at all and seemed pretty hostile towards each other and us. That should have been my first clue…we had no idea what we were stepping in to.

We moved into the house and started having people over to kick off the summer – you know typical college stuff. In preparation for my upcoming study abroad trip my parents came to town. They came over to check out where I was living and my mom sensed something was off with the basement. To quote her – “it was creepy.”

And she’s not wrong – the basement was super creepy. I wish I had a photo of it to show you and the real estate listings I found didn’t advertise it either. It had a weird hallway and a couple creepy doors that I didn’t go beyond.

That was the extent of the weirdness prior to my study abroad trip. Once I got back, however, is when things started to get funky.

Part 2 coming next week!

Author: Jess

Las Vegas local / writer, creator, festival goer, explorer, marketer, promoter, special event & experience curator

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