Over the last few years of investigating and interacting with other teams, I’ve noticed that so many of them don’t do more than just basic research on the locations they are investigating. Some don’t do any research at all. Many simply don’t care, I think the others probably feel lost and don’t really know where to start. The result is a lot of misinformation being passed down from person to person. Over time, the supposed history of a place is mostly legend and hearsay.
As a result, investigators who don’t do proper research go into a place, set up equipment and plan the way they’re going to investigate based on the stories related to them. Now, while I think that it’s totally reasonable for a team to investigate based on experiences of the people who are familiar with the place, it is equally important, if not more so to take the history into account.
A perfect example of this was the Old Utah County Jail. This building had been a jail for about 30 years give or take a few. On my first investigation there, that was all we knew. We thought the layout of the building was very odd. Portions of the building seemed a lot older than the cell block area. And there was also a lot of small, non-secure office type rooms that didn’t seem to fit with this just being a jail.
The day after our investigation I began to start digging to see what info I could find about the history of the old jail. And after a few hours, I found what I was looking for. Proof that the building hadn’t always been a jail. What I found was that the original building was a care center for the elderly / rehab center for people transitioning from the hospital to their home.
Suddenly it all made sense! It explained why half of the building had a completely different style, and why there were a lot of small offices that didn’t fit with what you would expect a jail to look like. It also explained why most of the long hallways in the older part of the building had handrails.
I also found a handful of verifiable deaths, one which was horrifying as the woman burned to death, all of the deaths occurred in the older, more innocent-appearing part of the building.
While I’m no longer connected with the team I investigated the jail with, I can say that during subsequent investigations we set the equipment up in the original part of the building and got fantastic results. Unfortunately, due to extreme vandalism, the jail is no longer open for investigations. I think that future investigations could have been so interesting, it is truly a shame.