Location Description and History
The next entry into the mountains was during the 1820s by fur trappers and traders from Santa Fe and Taos; among them Etienne Provost, from whom the city of Provo takes its name. Following Provost into the Wasatch came British and American trappers, including Peter Skene Ogden, William Ashley, Jedediah Smith, James Bridger, James Clyman, among others. The competition between British and American fur interests throughout the west became moot when, by 1840, silk replaced beaver fur as the height of fashion.
When Mormon loyalty to the United States was questioned during the Civil War, Colonel Patrick Connor and his Third California Infantry were ordered to Utah to establish Fort Douglas at Salt Lake City. With Connor's encouragement, the Californians spent much of their time prospecting for minerals in the Wasatch and other areas near the city.
In 186, prospectors discovered silver, lead, and zinc deposits in the canyons and mountains southeast of Salt Lake City, particularly in Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and Parley's Canyons. By 1870 towns like Alta and Park City had sprung up and taken on the aspect of other mining towns found throughout the West. Alta at one time supported twenty-six saloons and six breweries, while the major portion of Park City's municipal revenues were received from saloon licenses and fines for prostitution.
Several of the locals that we talked to have had experiences of their own and were more than willing to show us where the "haunted" mines were located.
The mines are reached after a vigorous back road ride , followed by a strenuous 2 mile hike into the back hills of the mountain range. In this area there are multiple mines, most of which are no more than 100 feet deep. According to the locals, the ghost is guarding his hidden hoard of gold and will chase anyone that enters his mine. Eerie feelings and obnoxious smells are also reported to be associated with this ghost.
By the time we arrived it was 7:00, giving us no more than a few hours to really investigate. We searched through several of the mines, looking for any unusual. The second mine that we investigated was probably the most interesting. Everyone had a strange feeling of being watched while we were in there.
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Although we were not able to find anything interesting it is important to note some of the discrepancies in the claims of the witnesses. We asked for more detailed descriptions of the miner and the description wildly vary.
When the descriptions of an apparition vary, as in this case, it is often indicative that the witnesses are perceiving an actual person, not a single "ghost".
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