SALT LAKE CITY — Why haven't the Jazz won a national title in their 38 years in Utah?
According to Grimm Ghost Tour tour guide, Rachel Hunt, who goes by Abby Normal, it's the ghosts' fault.
On a recent chilly night, Hunt explained to a group of thrill-seekers that excavation of the site where the Jazz arena now stands reportedly disturbed an ancient burial ground. The human remains were buried in a small grave in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
“So they say that is why the Jazz have never won a championship game,” Hunt said.
After laughter and a couple of groans, Hunt continued her tales of the supernatural.
It's all in a day's work for the tour guides with Grimm Ghost Tours. The company offers tours to locations of actual reported hauntings. The fun, interactive adventure includes some lesser-known stories of the Beehive State's past.
Hunt, from Layton, has been with Grimm Ghost Tours for four years. She began her work as a paranormal investigator and also serves as a tour guide.
"I like them all because it helps me understand a little bit more about who we are," Hunt said of the various sites.
Prior to her work with Grimm, Hunt said she never had any experiences with spirits.
"I'm one of those that heard about activity, and I'm like, yeah right," Hunt said. "My perspective has changed where I've seen things I've never before in my life experienced."
On the night of our tour, Hunt led the group on Grimm's Old Town tour, which takes guests to some of Salt Lake's most haunted sites that included the Rio Grande Train depot, the Salt Lake City Cemetery and Gravity Hill — with a much appreciated stop at Hatch Family Chocolates along the way.
A mother-daughter team was among those on the tour. Tracy Gregrich and her 15-year-old daughter traveled from Tooele.
“It is kind of neat to see your city in a different perspective,” Gregrich said of the tour. "You never get to see this side of stuff because you are always too busy doing something else.”
That excitement and positive experience is what Paul Wheeler hopes will happen.
Wheeler, the co-founder of Grimm Ghost Tours, has always been interested in the paranormal world. He and a friend opened Grimm Ghost Tours in 2011 and started with the Old Town Tour.
“We wanted to create this tour to make it an interactive adventure and make it fun for people and to get out the history that not everybody hears,” Wheeler said in an interview with the Deseret News. ”They see these cool buildings and they have no idea what they are about or what their story was.”
Wheeler has done a lot of research on the history of the buildings and sites. He said he read old journals, newspapers and even interviewed people to make sure that the stories are told respectfully. Grimm Ghost Tours has won several awards and was featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.
Other tours include the new Fort Douglas Cemetery tour, the Paranormal Investigations tour that goes on all year and the Outer Reaches tour that runs from spring to fall. Grimms also offers two family friendly tours. The Salt Lake Cemetery tour is offered seasonally and the Grimm Christmas tour is offered after Thanksgiving through the end of December.
"Come to have a great time and learn about some of the things you may not have known about this rich jewel of a city that we have here,” Wheeler said.
For more information and a haunting good time, visit grimmghosttours.com.