Folklore: noun, an oral tradition passed on over decades, an urban legend or a modern-day myth. Here’s a taste of some Utah folklore:
1. Bigfoot and the Bear Lake monster
Legends of a massive snakelike Bear Lake Monster have existed for decades, and Bear Lake locals still warn tourists to watch out for the alleged monster, especially after dark. People who are missing or injured could credit natural wildlife or blame that sneaky water creature.
Bigfoot also holds his own in The Beehive State, coming in 11th in total reported sightings in the nation. If you’re interested in experiencing your own Sasquatch sighting, plenty of websites offer specific areas to explore.
2. Mountain myths
The origin of names can be confusing, especially when a lot of time has passed. There remains some dispute regarding the nomenclature of “Sardine Canyon” along the US Highway 89/91 between Brigham City and Wellsville, Utah.
Some say the canyon was named because early settlers ate there and left sardine cans behind, while others claim the canyon is difficult to maneuver, like a can of sardines. Still others surmise the name comes from three canyons packed into the space of one: Box Elder Canyon, Mantua Canyon and Dry Canyon.
3. Scriptural spirit spooks
According to an address given by Brigham Young in the Tabernacle on Jan. 20, 1861, the Wasatch mountain range houses spirits of the infamous Gadianton Robbers referenced throughout The Book of Mormon, a scriptural book for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Brigham Young, “There are scores of spirits here, spirits of the old Gadianton robbers, some of whom inhabited these mountains There are millions of these spirits in the mountains, and they are ready to make us covetous.” Regardless of whether you’ve read The Book of Mormon, a great host of murderous spirits lurking nearby is enough to scare anyone.
4. The curse of the petrified forest
Although the Escalante Petrified Forest is a Utah State Park and threatens fines for removing natural materials from the park, many people still take a small piece home as a souvenir. Oddly enough, countless souvenirs have been returned with letters explaining a trail of misfortune tied to the stolen object. Because of this unexplained phenomenon, the consequences of stealing the wood have become known as a curse of bad luck.
5. Hobbitville in Sugarhouse
What has long been referred to as “Hobbitville” is sometimes thought to be a place where evil hobbits gather and commune in devil worship. However, this area is simply the vestiges of Allen Park, a former bird sanctuary owned by an avid bird-collecting doctor. While Dr. George Allen built small houses to finance his aviary hobby, these were lived in by single locals, not devil-worshipping hobbits.
6. Farmington whale
In December 2014, a satire website called “World News Daily Report” published an article saying a whale carcass was found on a farm in Farmington, Utah. This report was shared on social media and became viral without many people realizing it was never an actual report in the first place. Still, it’s worth wondering about, as an over-eager philanthropist released two Australian whales into the Great Salt Lake in 1875.
7. Alien eggsComment on this story
Speaking of lakes, Utah Lake had its own paranormal mystery when unsuspecting friends discovered “alien eggs” on the frozen ice in 2015. Small objects were seemingly laid out in a circular pattern in the middle of the frozen lake, and were melting into the ice to create an intriguing piece of art. Funny enough, the alien eggs turned out to be just that: an art piece.
When it comes to Utah folklore, one thing is for certain: the truth doesn’t always make a great story. However, if you’ve been injured and feel like someone is spinning tall tales to avoid responsibility, contact Robert J. DeBry & Associates today.