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Hobb’s Hollow

by Jennifer Jones
Hobbs Hollow Reservoir The Dead History
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Legend:

In the 1970’s a group of people went to Hobb’s Hollow to go for a night swim after they had been drinking and they were dragged down by the undertow and drowned. If you visit Hobb’s Hollow at night you’ll hear people calling for help, and strange reflections in the water. ((http://theghostsocietyofutah.angelfire.com/hauntedhotspots.html))

Hobbs Hollow No Swimming Sign The Dead History

The History:

Hobb’s Hollow got its name from the family that settled in the secluded area in the late 1800’s.((http://hobbs.parkinsonfamily.org/histories/hobbs-ben.htm)) Originally created as an irrigation pond for local farmers, construction of the earthen dam that created Hobb’s reservoir began in 1916((Davis County Clipper, 1916-04-07 Layton Lines)) and was completed by May 1920.((Davis County Clipper, 1920-05-21 Layton Lines))

Hobbs Hollow Dam The Dead History

At its greatest depth, the reservoir reaches 30 feet, and people have been warned against swimming here since at least 1943.

Hobb's Hollow Reservoir

The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) · Wed, Jul 21, 1943

The first drowning occurred here on the 6th of August, 1944 when Pvt. William C. Opey and three other men from nearby Hillfield had gone for a swim on a Sunday afternoon.  The men stated they were swimming across the pond when they heard William Opey calling for help. Pvt. William Smith tried to help Opey to shore but became too tired to continue holding them both above water and Pvt. Opey went under, and did not resurface.

Hobb's Hollow Newspaper Article

The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) · Wed, Aug 9, 1944

When the body failed to surface and all attempts at locating it with grappling hooks had also been unsuccessful, authorities used dynamite to blast the reservoir in the hopes it would cause the body to become dislodged and float to the surface.  Three days later on Wednesday, August 9th, 1944, Ptv. Opey’s body was retrieved and was sent to Washington D.C. for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Hobbs Hollow Reservoir The Dead History

Over the next 60 years, five more people would drown in Hobb’s reservoir.  Joe Junior Munoz, aged 16, drowned while swimming with friends on July 26th, 1959.

Joe Junior Munoz The Dead History

The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) · Mon, Jul 27, 1959

Andrew D. Nightengale (16) and Michael Holden (16) drowned under similar circumstances in July 1965 and 1968.

Andrew Nightengale The Dead History
The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) · Tue, Jul 20, 1965
Michael Holden The Dead History
The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) · Wed, Jul 3, 1968 · Page 15

On August 3, 1971, 19-year-old Charles Humphrey, a strong athlete drowned while swimming with two of his friends.

Hobbs Hollow 1971 Drowning The Dead History

The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) · Wed, Aug 4, 1971

 

There were no reported deaths from 1971 – 2003.  The last accidental drowning at Hobb’s Hollow occurred in 2004  when an 11-year-old boy went missing after taking his dog for a walk.  His dog was found sitting by the edge of the water, and the boys body was found in the water, not too far from shore.

Almost every newspaper article referencing a drowning at Hobbs Hollow says that police state no swimming signs are posted around the reservoir.  Even today, you can find YouTube videos of people jumping off of tree swings into the reservoir.  City officials regularly cut down the tree swings and have removed many of the big trees near the shoreline that held the swings to further discourage swimming here.

Hobbs Hollow Waters Edge The Dead History

*An interesting aside, when my boyfriend and I took these pictures, we both had fully charged phones.  I had taken pictures up until the above picture was taken with no problems at all.  When I walked to the shoreline to take the picture my phone was completely dead.  I thought it was strange and asked my boyfriend to take the picture for me.  His phone was suddenly extremely laggy and he noticed that his battery life had been cut in half, but was able to take the picture. When we left this area and were back on the trail heading towards our car my phone turned on and was at more than 50% battery life.

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6 comments

Brose April 2, 2016 - 3:03 am

I live in the neighborhood near Hobbs hollow. Kids often say that satanic cults go down their and perform their “rituals”. Theres an abandoned house near the area as well that brings a lot of stories (mostly teenagers vandalizing it though). Great article!

P.S. Sorry if I double post, it wouldn’t send my last comment for some reason.

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Nate September 25, 2016 - 10:18 am

Love it.

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Jenn September 25, 2016 - 9:09 pm

Thanks!

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Keegan February 20, 2017 - 9:53 am

Great article! As a person who has both been swimming (back in the 90’s) and fish’s pretty frequently there (even at night) I have a always had an interest in this area. I could possibly see it having under tows due to it being used for irrigation, but I’d imagine most of the deaths are a result of intoxaxation, and reckless behavior. Can’t say I’ve ever heard screaming at night, but the place does have a weird vibe. Has since I first went there, and without knowing the details of the area.

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Jenn February 20, 2017 - 10:21 am

I’ve only been there once, I thought it had a weird vibe to it as well. I can’t imagine swimming there!!!!!

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Sharon September 15, 2017 - 6:33 pm

A group of friends and I went there in 1999 on Halloween night….we went to a list of places with a “History” of paranormal activity that night… but this one was especially creepy, we did drive slow and stopped with the windows down and heard the screams of help…. freaked us out!! We also seen the little girl at the ogden cemetary, there was kid handprints on the bumper of the car once we finally got it started again. There was also an abandoned house in Hooper we went to too that had a story of a family of 4 that the husband murdered his wife and kids with an ax in the late 1800’s early 1900’s (don’t know the exact year) but there was old fashioned kids shoes, and looked creepy with all the antique stuff and crumbling walls… they said if you climbed up to the upstairs (the stairs were missing) you would see the family and the father would pop out from behind the door and chase you….my friend fell and he was white as a ghost, he never talked about that night.

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