Chilling Hauntings in Utah’s Rio Grande Train Depot

Ghost train on tracks
Photo credit: flickr/38136824@N08

Photo credit: flickr/38136824@N08

Utah is filled with plenty of haunted spots and attractions. One such place that features several haunted sightings is the Rio Grande Train Depot. The construction of the Depot was completed in 1910 by architect Henry Schlacks. It was a popular train station from 1910 to the 1940’s, and was used as the main rail line for Salt Lake City.

The Depot was also known to be the main waystation for soldiers coming and going from Fort Douglas during World War I and II. As automobiles became the main mode for transportation however, the railroad saw less and less foot traffic. It eventually stopped operation in 1947, which was around the same time hauntings and apparitions started to appear.

The ghost that causes the most frequent hauntings at the Rio Grande Train Depot has been nicknamed the Purple Lady. She is said to visit the café and 2nd floor of the station, wearing a dark purple dress, dark frazzled hair, and a foul demeanor. Footsteps and voices can be heard in these areas, but the ghost is also said to frequently appear in a physical form.

The story of the Purple Lady is one of unrequited love, betrayal and death. Legend says that back when the Depot was popular, the Lady was sending off her husband who had enlisted during WWII. On the platform the two had a heated argument about how the man no longer loved the Lady. He took his engagement ring and threw it into the train tracks. As the distraught Lady went down to retrieve it, she was killed by an oncoming train.

It is now said that her spirit haunts the Depot, filled with jealousy and rage to antagonize and frighten patrons. Out of the many instances, the most detailed occurred in 1992 and was recorded by Christine Gustin, a secretary for the Utah Historical Society.

Her report states that a woman had entered the bathroom and felt a very cold and disturbing presence. When she turned around, there standing in front of her was an angry woman in a purple dress sitting on a couch. The woman ran out of the bathroom screaming.

Another spirit that frequents the Depot is of a worker that helped build the station.

Ghost of worker at train station

Photo credit: flickr/63458564@N04

The story says that he was killed in a terrible accident when he was working on a tunnel between the station and the nearby power plant. This ghost has been known to move things around and play pranks on employees and patrons. One security guard stated that when he went down to check the cellar one night, the lights were flickering on and off by themselves.

He then felt the presence of an unknown entity, and suddenly the lights stopped and the feeling was gone. While the Depot is no longer used as a train station, it is now a historical landmark that allows visitors and tourists.

So if you want to book a ticket to see frightening paranormal activity, then check out the Rio Grande Train Depot.