Idaho has long been a hotbed of national paranormal attention. Our history as a mining and encampment state, where all too many men and women perished without family to claim them, has resulted in dozens of structures and areas said to be haunted by the spirits of their former inhabitants. Many of these spaces have undergone attempts at revival in hopes of chasing the restless departed and their memories away, but the stories remain and the investigations continue to this day.
If you enjoy creepy thrills, urban legends, or the subtle terror that comes from the exploration of long-forgotten urban spaces, then a chilly evening spent wandering these areas as the wind rustles the leafless trees should do the trick — but beware. This
road trip will take you all across Southeast Idaho’s most terrifying and “active” areas. So grab a flashlight, grab a friend, and be prepared to spend a few spooky evenings exploring some of the area’s most well-known haunted spaces. If you dare…
1. Rock Creek/The Singing Bridge, Twin Falls
An eerie set of hidden, handmade steps reportedly leads down into the meandering river canyon, where thrill-seekers can find a faded carving in the rocks which has since come to be known as the "Devil's Henchman." Time and vandalism has worn away the faces of his eight abducted children, etched into the rock face, but the Henchman himself is still faintly visible. A late night visit will allow you to hear unearthly whispers amidst the rustling of river grasses, and sense the chilling presence of the Henchman haunting his territory.
To find the steps, locals report that one should follow the road beside the "Singing Bridge" of Shoshone St. -- which has since been replaced by a modern concrete structure -- until the path ends. A series of abandoned buildings will greet you, and it is behind these that you will find the steps that lead down into Rock Creek.
2. Stricker Ranch, Hansen
The Stricker Store and the Stricker home are all that remain of the Rock Creek Stage Station that was once an important part of the Oregon Trail. Urban legends dating back to the late 1800s report that Lucy Stricker murdered her husband in their bedroom, and that specters of both figures still haunt the home, appearing late at night to passerby and making their presence known via distant, swinging lanterns in the small cemetery not too far away. The ancient, smeared blood on the stairs only adds to the tale.
While the murder itself is inaccurate, the historical ranch is no doubt a hotspot for paranormal activity. A midnight drive down the back road, a quick stroll through the abandoned, eerily silent rural countryside and out to the graveyard, and a peek or two inside the ramshackle homestead are sure to frighten you into belief.
3. Howells Opera House, Oakley
Like many theaters across the nation, Howells is home to a resident spirit -- a former actress -- who makes her appearances mid-performance. Her presence is felt throughout the 1904 theater house, however, particularly down the center aisle. A female voice has been heard echoing from around the stage, and reports of ghostly lights in photographs have added depth to the rumors surrounding the small, antique-style playhouse, which sits separate from the rest of the town.
4. Albion State Normal School, Albion
The Albion State Normal School was once an educational institution for teachers, but the school now sits abandoned, falling victim to time. Empty hallways filled with debris, shattered windows, and eerie auditoriums still lined with the decrepit remains of wooden seats all pulse with an inexplicable presence. Lights, footsteps, and voices have all been documented by various paranormal groups, but who they belong to, nobody is quite sure. There are multiple buildings on campus, all echoing with the same unearthly sensations. Spend a darkened evening simply wandering the open campus and see for yourself.
5. Ammon Park, Pocatello
A young girl in a blue dress is often seen swinging in the park late at night, disappearing in the blink of an eye when spotted. Others also claim to have seen her hiding behind a large tree near the swings. All accounts say that the girl perished here, perhaps in an accident, and that her spirit haunts the park out of fondness for her beloved pastime. Take a midnight stroll through the park and have a seat on one of the long row of swings. You may or may not see someone sitting next to you, her black buckle shoes swinging gaily in the evening breeze.
6. Rose Hill Cemetery, Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls was the original center of Idaho, long before Idaho was granted statehood in 1890. The city is filled with the memories and final resting places of countless original settlers, but in this cemetery, there is one particular aboveground tomb upon which if one knocks, you might just hear its inhabitant knock back. Legends surround this square mausoleum, which is located towards the center of the landscape, similar in style to the image above. They say that the occupant will only respond to the solicitations of those who are nearing their own demise. Whoa.
7. Craters of the Moon
While not the safest place to wander after dark, as a land once roamed by thousands of years of Native Americans, the rocks, crevices, and caverns that make up Craters of the Moon palpitate with the spirits of Idaho's ancient past. Standing in front of an open cave, surrounded only by empty space, a rocky landscape, and the spirits of the deceased is simply surreal in the dark.
8. Get Inn/University Inn, Gooding
This building was a tuberculosis hospital in its former life, and various attempts to revive and remodel it have taken place over the years including a stint as the Get Inn. Today, the building seems abandoned and the reports of spirits and apparitions continue to grow. Former TB patients, mysterious orb sightings, and a cemetery of numbered, nameless graves nearby all add up to a uniquely spooky environment that in the dead of night can make you shiver inexplicably. Numerous paranormal groups have explored the darkened hallways, and activity is always reported.
What do you think, would you take this terrifying road trip? Have you ever had any frightening paranormal experiences in Idaho? Make sure to tell us in the comments below and on our Facebook page,
Idaho Only, what terrifying places you want to see the next road trip! We love researching Idaho’s haunted legacy and can’t to share our finds with you!