This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
Since the beginning of Halloween, haunted places have become popular. Lucky for Carbon County residents, such places are found throughout the community.
The Elmo Geary Theatre, built in 1960, was one of the first theatres in Price. It was named after Elmo Geary because of the innovations he brought to CEU and his determination of building the theatre. Geary was the main theatre instructor at the college for many years. He taught acting, play script analysis, voice for theatre, and many other theatre classes.
It is said that Geary used to sleep underneath the stage of the theatre on a roll out bed. Eerie incidents have occurred to give reason to believe that he haunts the theatre.
One night while Professor Corey Ewan, PhD, was in his office, he saw a door outside his office open slightly, come to a halt, then open further. Nobody, however, exited the room. Ewan then crept to the open door, and to make sure it actually closed, he gave it a somewhat heavy push and it slammed shut. Before he had even entered his office to sit down again, the door opened and slammed behind him.
During the play “King Lear,” the faucet in the men’s dressing room would turn on by itself. Students would turn the faucet off, but that didn’t end the phenomenon.
During “Hello Dolly,” an actor sang a Roger Waters’ song. Mid-song, loud crashing sounds were heard on the left, right, and back of the stage. The five people in the theatre looked at each other, and Ewan joked, “Well I guess that Elmo doesn’t like Roger Waters.” It was then that another unexplainable loud crash occurred.
One night, a gel (colored piece of gel to change the color of lights) floated down from the grid. According to Ewan, this was in no way possible: in the first place, there were no lights there for it to come from. In the second place, it was locked in a gel frame. It could not have possibly been moved, but it was.
Ewan once had a visual experience of Elmo. He looked toward the side of the stage and saw somebody wearing glasses. The figure disappeared as soon as it had been seen. Ewan is positive that the figure was Elmo’s ghost.
Elmo is not malicious. Supernatural events occur that cannot be explained, but nobody has ever been hurt. “Things happen that make the hair stand up on your back, but I’ve never felt my life threatened,” he said.
Some people have tried EVP in the theatre; a few have heard odd sounds, but some haven’t picked up anything on the recorders.
Another haunted place around Carbon County is Spring Canyon where the White Lady resides. But who is the White Lady? Her story has become misconstrued over the years; but now, the facts will be revealed. Farrah Nelson, a student at USU-CEU, knows the story first-hand because the White Lady is her great grandmother, Nina Oviatt Grundvig.
She lived in Wattis with her husband, Daniel, and three children. Daniel died in a mining accident in Emery County in February of 1927. One day in the following October, Nina was in Spring Canyon with her three children for a relative’s birthday. As the party came to a close, she decided to start her car to warm it up, leaving her children inside while she made the quick trip. When she hopped in the car and started the engine, she accidentally shifted the vehicle into reverse, and it rolled over the edge of a cliff in the canyon. She died at the scene. (None of her children were in the vehicle.)
The vehicle had not been moved, so when drivers would pass by at night, the lights would reflect off of the windshield of Nina’s vehicle. People thought they were seeing a ghost instead of their
own lights. And so began the story of the White Lady. It is believed that she still haunts Spring Canyon to this day looking for her husband and children.
For the final place featured in the story (note: far more than three haunted places exist in Carbon County; but these places affect students most), many students enter this building on a daily basis. It once was a hospital and is now known as the Computer Business Building.
The history of the building isn’t well-known. According to John Bird, it was built in the 1950s (or sooner) and additions were made to the building up to the mid-80s. The hospital was moved in the late 80s and the building was remodeled for 3 to 4 years. It was complete in the early 90s.
Mysterious happenings give reason to believe that the building is haunted. “The elevator goes up and down all the time with nobody in there to push the buttons,” stated Bird. He also mentioned that late at night when nobody else is in the building, he can hear children playing on the upper level.
The morgue is in the basement of the building, but Bird hasn’t noticed anything peculiar there. In Bird’s opinion, the building is haunted by Dr. William “Bill” Greshik who worked in the hospital from the beginning. He spent many hours and days at a time in the building until he retired. He passed away before the building was abandoned. He saved the life of Bird’s father. “I think he was so use to being here, he just didn’t leave.”