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The Old Lehi Hospital is gone but it's haunted history remains
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The Old Lehi Hospital in Utah County was at one-time a modern center, the building originally built for a bank in 1891 known as the Lehi Commercial Bank. It may have also housed offices for the Lehi Fourth Ward of the L.D.S. church on the upper floors but I was unable to verify it with a third party.

The hospital and it's staff witnessed many births, and deaths over the course of it's existence from 1921 to 1968. One source estimated that between 20,000 to 30,000 births alone took place in the hospital before closing permanently in 1968.

The many deaths, rumors and mysteries like a nurse supposedly killed by a crazed doctor when he hung her from a flag pole greatly contribute to the stories of ghostly spirits lurking around long after they departed earthly human bounds.

My experience with the old hospital comes first hand. I was one of only a handful of tenants who lived in a ramshackle apartment in the building for a brief period in the mid 1970's. Had my mother known that a crematorium existed in the basement, I highly doubt we would have stayed even one night.

At the time, there was also a photography studio located in the front of the building, and offices for Clover Club Potato Chips in the back. Our apartment was a two level unit, the lower a separate bedroom, a combination kitchen and living room and small area for a washer and dryer, carved out of offices and space on the buildings first floor.

I had unobstructed access to an entirely vacant second floor to myself for my 'bedroom'. I distinctly remember the west facing window was a half arch type, looking like half moon on its side that would cast an eerie light on the walls as cars drove past.

My bed, at my request was put centered on the nurses station which was a wood riser with no rails about 2 feet high in the center of the large open room.

My first encounter with an apparition came when seeing the outline of a man, standing in the doorway leading to what was the hospital records wing and stairs to the third floor. He was there most every night, never moving from his position in the doorway but noticeable enough to make his presence known to me. Oddly, getting to sleep was never really a problem.

One day, curiosity finally got the best of me and and I went into the records area and to explore the third floor during daylight hours where I found boxes and boxes of patient records, many of them from decades earlier. Many pointed to the patients being there for mental evaluation or confinement.

An obvious person to ask about the building was my mother, and before I had even fully asked the question, she said "though I never saw a ghost, I always felt a heavy presence around when I was there, especially alone".

Some years later, mid 1980's-1990's the building even housed a 'haunted hospital' each year around Halloween, complete with students playing the screaming insane asylum patients interacting with frightened guests. A popular stop on the tour for those who could handle the decent into the basement while hearing strange noises, some, from an eerily unknown source was the site of the famed crematorium.

The old hospital building is now gone, its owner Todd Vincze sadly was not able to secure financing to save the beleaguered historical building and it was demolished in 2009 but its storied history, and maybe even a few of its spirits remain.

Sources

Utah Ghosts: www.utahghosts.org
National Register of Historical Paces: http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/ut/Utah/state2.html




by Staff Writer / Nick J. West (October 11, 2010)
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