On October 21 and 22, the Union Station will host its annual “Night at the Museum” paranormal fundraiser. This event tours the most haunted locations within the facility, some of which the general public can’t access by day.
Through its 150-year history, the Union Station has been the cornerstone of Ogden City and was a crossroad for millions of lives during its peak years of activity. After closing for railway transportation in 1997, the Union Station became the current home of three museums and two art galleries, with its management currently transitioning to Ogden City Corporation.
“The Union Station, was everything to this community,” said Bob Geier, the current Union Station director. “It was not only a source of travel but a source of communication and a source of commerce. Everything happened here. Plus it was the livelihood for 60% or 70% of the community, either directly or indirectly.”
The Union Station was an active stop for troop trains during the World War I and World War II eras. It was a stable job source during the Great Depression, a prominent post office, and was open to passenger travel until the late 1970’s. Tracy Ehrig, the Union Station’s business manager, believes that the highly emotional experiences that could have taken place at the station may have influenced its current amount of paranormal activity.
“I believe that because we are a transportation site, that kind of creates a natural location for spirits to hang around,” said Ehrig. “Since we’ve been here since 1869, millions of people have gone through here.”
The station is a recurring stop for paranormal investigation teams, and evidence in the form of video footage and EVP recordings have been found in multiple areas of the building. The head of the Paranormal Investigation Team of Utah (PITU), Jenny Wright, has been with the event since 2007 and has brought in seven investigation teams to assist with the tours this year.
Multiple visitors to the station and staff members have reported strange occurrences within the building. Claims include sightings of three soldier apparitions in the Grand Lobby, the scent of lilac perfume in an upstairs hallway where a woman in a white dress appears and the presence of a young lady that interacts with men that visit the Old Timer’s room.
Ehrig has had her own paranormal encounters while working at the Union Station, including hearing the sounds of children playing in the upstairs Myra Powell Gallery.
“My co-worker and I could hear kids running around up there and laughing, and I wanted to see them,” Ehrig said. “There are two stairwells, so I came up one stairwell and she came up the other one, and we figured, there’s no way they could get downstairs without us seeing them. And so we came up, and we met in the middle, and neither one of us saw any real kids leaving the area.”
The teams will take the tour groups to explore allegedly haunted locations in the Union Station’s scale room, Browning Theater, basement, upstairs hallways, art gallery, Old Timer’s Room and a preserved medical car that was active during World War II.
Though several Union Station staff members have reportedly quit after their own paranormal accounts, Geier says that no dangerous incidents have resulted from these experiences.
“This was always the place you came to go anywhere,” said Geier. “So I think sometimes, people want to go somewhere when they’re passed on. Then they come here, thinking they can get somewhere.”
Tickets for Night at the Museum are $15 and can be found online. Several tour times have already sold out, and a Haunted Marketplace will be open during the event, which is free to attend without purchasing a ghost tour ticket. The market will host photo opportunities and local vendors selling merchandise themed for the Halloween season. Visit the Night at the Museum event page for more information.