If you flash the lights of your car onto Flo’s grave three times her ghost will appear and come towards you.
Like most legends it’s impossible to trace this one back to its source. There are a couple of different versions explaining how Flo died, leaving her ghost forever waiting at her grave. One version says that Flo was waiting to be picked up by her boyfriend, to go to the school dance at Ogden High when she was struck and killed by a car. Another says she died from choking on a piece of candy.
Just how close is any of this to what caused Flo’s untimely death? The truth is, not very close at all!
Florence Louise Grange was born on November 24th, 1903, in Ogden. She was the second child born to Dottie Susan Mumford and Ralph Manton Grange. Most of the references to her called her by her middle name Louise, and not Florence or Flo.
From what little information is available, it seems like she was a well-liked girl. There were a couple of mentions of her being a guest at various parties and she was on a school volleyball team in 1916.
In 1918, the United States (and the world) saw the worst influenza pandemic to date, the Spanish Flu. An estimated 20 – 50 million people died from this worldwide. It claimed the lives of almost 700,000 people in the U.S. alone. Utah was the 3rd hardest hit state. It was so bad by late November 1918 that both of the hospitals in Ogden were full, and city officials turned an LDS amusement hall into an emergency care center. People were required to have clean bills of health from their doctors just to enter Ogden. From September 1918 until June 1919 over 2,343 deaths in Utah were reported to have been caused by the Spanish Flu. What was odd about this strain is that it was particularly hard on young, otherwise healthy people.
According to Grange family history, the entire family contracted the flu after one of their tenants became ill and brought it into the household. Most of them caught a mild case and didn’t spend any time in bed sick. Louise, however, was not so lucky.
It’s also worth noting that her family had a strong automobile connection. Could this be where the legend connects her death with an automobile? Her father Ralph Grange was one of the first auto mechanics in the state of Utah. He was well-known throughout the state for his knowledge of fixing, building, and racing cars.
Louise caught the flu and died at her home at 5 am on December 29th, 1918 at the age of 15. Her official cause of death was listed as “died suddenly, probably of endocarditis.” The contributing factor was influenza. Her death certificate also states she had been sick for ten days.
You can find “Flo’s Grave” at the Ogden City Cemetery located near 20th & Washington. Her grave is on 7th just north of Martin. The plot number is 2A-13-32-5W. Surrounding Flo’s grave are the graves of her parents, grandparents, and, at least, one sibling.