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Davis Journal

Davis County’s own haunted ranch

Oct 06, 2023 12:17PM ● By Braden Nelsen
The sitting room, or parlor at Fielding Garr Ranch, where much of the paranormal activity has been reported.

The sitting room, or parlor at Fielding Garr Ranch, where much of the paranormal activity has been reported.

ANTELOPE ISLAND—On the east coast of Antelope Island visitors can still find a centuries-old ranch. Started in 1848-1849 by Fielding Garr, it marks one of the oldest settlement structures still standing in the state, but not the first human activity on the island, according to Carl Aldrich, Fielding Garr Ranch Manager. 

Thanks to a natural freshwater spring in the ranch, people have been frequenting that specific area of Antelope Island for over 6,000 years. It stands to reason, therefore, that in those thousands of years, there may be a few of those people who decided to stick around, even after shaking off this mortal coil. 

While Aldrich himself doesn’t necessarily believe in ghosts (probably a good thing for someone managing the ranch), he does “wonder if those experiences might change the energy of the place.” He’s certainly not alone, either. Since taking the reins of Fielding Garr Ranch five years ago, Aldrich has played host to many paranormal investigators and their groups as they’ve toured the property, looking for evidence of the unexplained.

Much of those investigations center on the sitting room, or parlor of the old Fielding Garr house. Part of the original building that’s been around since 1849, it’s likely the oldest section of the ranch, featuring a stack rock foundation, still in place as it was laid down by Garr himself. Aldrich explained that the parlor would have been where most of the activity would have been when it was a functioning ranch, including visits from the Governor and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young.

As with other paranormal investigations around the ranch, much of the activity reported has been involved with EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon. The theory behind EVP is that, as confirmed by science, there are pitches and sounds that fall outside the range of human hearing, but that can be detected, and recorded by audio devices. For many paranormal investigators, the belief is that they can ask a question in a haunted room, and record the answers they may not be able to hear in person. 

Whether or not these are legitimate disembodied voices, or simple radio waves transmissions, or something else is a topic hotly debated, but, Aldrich reported some definite spooky occurrences. One such EVP recording happened when paranormal investigators asked the question “How many people are in this room?” to which a recorded voice responded correctly, “Six.”

The paranormal activity hasn’t been limited to EVPs either. Aldrich explained in the small copse of trees surrounding the natural spring, people have reported feeling watched, faces have been seen in the bunkhouse window, and at least one has even been scratched by an unseen entity. It seems like someone or something is at least disgruntled around the ranch, but why would that be?

One possible explanation could be that Fielding Garr, the namesake of the ranch, and the one who started it was likely buried on the property, but his grave has yet to be found. With no organized cemetery on the island, and no grave attributed to Garr on the property, it could be anywhere on the ranch, but Aldrich has a theory.

According to a 1930’s oral history, there were 2-3 marked graves near where the old barn once stood, which is now an open field/orchard. Could it be that Garr, and others buried there are a bit upset about their graves being lost? Or are they simply trying to reach out to inform others of the location of their earthly remains? 

Regardless of what the explanation is for these unexplained phenomena, whether it’s radio waves, or in reality something unexplained, Fielding Garr ranch is one of the best spooky spots in Davis County and would make for an intriguing visit this October.