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The Abandoned Town In Utah That Most People Stay Far, Far Away From

The little town of Thistle was once an important stop along the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. As many as 650 residents lived here, and the town had a school, saloon and several restaurants. The train depot serviced the steam engines as they came through the canyon.

After the railroad changed from steam locomotive to diesel, trains no longer stopped in Thistle, and the town slowly decreased in population until just 22 homes were occupied. Many of the residents who stayed had lived there for decades, and they loved their little town. But after a spring of heavy rain in Utah in 1983, a landslide blocked the Spanish Fork river, causing a massive flood that took out the rail line and completely wiped out Thistle.

For a unique look at the town, check out this aerial footage by YouTube user, Mark Wilson:

Is Thistle haunted? We think it certainly is. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, it’s clear that what’s left of this decaying town is creepy and haunting. Though no one lives here now, memories of a once-vibrant little town are still alive. So, if you think you hear voices in the wind, or the splash of a footstep along the edges of moss-covered ponds, you might be hearing a ghostly spirit…or your mind might simply be conjuring images of the people who once lived, worked and loved each other in this little Utah town.

Ready to explore some more of Utah’s ghost towns? Take this road trip!

Catherine Rees
Catherine is a lifelong resident of Utah. She's a writer, researcher and observer of the human condition.