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Mon, Oct 21, 2002

          TX. Fremont High

Your eyes dart around, searching for anything out of place. You timidly move into the room, ready to grasp onto your nearest companion at any second. Suddenly, out pops a frightening ghoul from the nearest hiding place.

Why do we go to haunted houses year after year? People like to be frightened. Many teenagers look forward to the openings of yearly haunted houses.But what if local haunted houses were really haunted?

One local scary attraction says it is. Utah Paranormal Exploration and Research (UPER) has been documenting paranormal activity at Dead Haven, in Ogden, for one year.Merry Jane Barrentine, a member of the paranormal research group, says, "Dead Haven is getting more active."

UPER, which is based in Ogden and has been around for three years, says it has documented abnormal sounds and orbs at the building. Orbs look like white balls and are said to be energy
remaining from someone who has died.

The theory is that the energy given off by frightened people attracts spirits who thrive from that energy. During the past year, the further away it got from Halloween, the less action
UPER says it recorded at Dead Haven. Dead Haven is in a former farm-implement store and warehouse in an area of Ogden that has a lot of history. It"s no surprise to "With the history of 25th Street and this part of Ogden, there is plenty of reason for energy to be in this building,"
she said.

The owners of Dead Haven, Warren Braegger and Jason Bench, say they have had lots of scary experiences when theywere alone in the empty haunted house, setting up props."Lots of things happen that you kind of brush off, but looking back, you realize were strange," said Bench, "like getting an ice-cold feeling, walking a few steps and it"s the normal temperature."

Actors at Dead Haven have also had frightening experiences. More than one person says that a doll in the Bloody Mary room has been seen with her head spinning around.

Even so, Laura Ventling, a freshman at Ogden High School, said she enjoys working at Dead Haven. "I"m not usually scared," she said. Does it sound a little too "Sixth Sense" for you? You"re not alone. Braegger says that they receive plenty of criticism about their hauntings. "A lot of people think it"s bogus," he said.However, it may be worth noting that UPER members receive
no payment for their work and say they actually enjoy doing this sort of research.

Although you might be skeptical of ghosts and the paranormal, haven"t you ever noticed someone in a spooky room of a haunted house who seemed a little out of place? Or maybe a prop figure that you imagined at any time would jump out and grab you? Maybe they really weren"t meant to be there. Barrentine that they"ve recorded paranormal activity.

"I believe in ghosts, because they"re my friends," said Brittanie Noon, a junior at Bonneville High.
Haunted Hollow, a unique outdoors haunted attraction in Ogden, has had nothing unusual to boast of, except the occasional homeless person or two."We"re just here to give people a good time getting scared," said owner Bob Tillotson."I don"t believe in the kind of ghosts that Halloween is made of.

"Nightmare Boulevard, the reincarnated "The House," has not had anything paranormal reported in its new  location on Washington Boulevard. But at its old Ogden City Mall location, an unexplained old man and a little girl were seen often.

John Schmitt, a manager at Nightmare Boulevard, said, "I saw the little girl a few times and the old man once. A lot of people reported seeing them; I definitely believe in ghosts."
Miranda Ross, a junior at Bonneville High School, agrees. "A haunted house that"s really haunted is more worth the money," she said.After all, they aren"t called haunted houses for nothing!

If you want to get spooked, try out these Ogden haunted houses: Dead Haven, 159 23rd Street;
Haunted Hollow, 1550 S. 1900 West; and Nightmare Boulevard, 38th and Washington Blvd.

Ogden Standard Examiner
Teen TX