Utah Nature November 07, 2017
You May Not Know That This Popular Utah Cave Is Haunted
Imagine being inside Timpanogos Cave after visitors have gone home for the evening. Your flashlight goes out, and you’re enveloped in total darkness. Just then, you hear footsteps and whispering. You think it’s one of your co-workers playing pranks on you, but when your light comes back on, no one is there. Is this popular national monument haunted? Read on and see what you think.
Stories of hauntings have plagued this cave since long before Mormon settlers came into Utah. The Great Heart of Timpanogos is a stalactite found inside the cave. There's an ancient legend surrounding the heart, and the area's history.
The story varies a lot, but involves a young Indian warrior (Red Eagle or Timpanac) and a beautiful Indian princess (Ucanogas or Utahna). In one version, the people are suffering greatly from a long drought. Red Eagle sees Utahna and falls in love with her beauty. He tells her that he's a god, and is meant to marry her. Though she has many suitors, she agrees.
Utahna finds out that Red Eagle is not a god and jumps from the top of Mount Timpanogos, killing herself. Heartbroken, Red Eagle gathers up her body and takes it into the cave. The Great Heart stalactite grows at that spot, as a tribute to unrequited love, and both spirits still haunt the cave today. You can read other versions of the story on the
Timpanogos Cave National Monument website
While some believe that the warrior and his bride-to-be haunt this place, the legend is generally thought to be false. It's an entertaining story, and that's about all. But...other stories of hauntings are much more believable.
When you take the ranger-led tour of the cave, there's usually a portion where the ranger turns off all the lights and lets you experience total darkness. It's definitely a creepy feeling.
Some park rangers over the years have claimed to hear voices and footsteps while in the cave alone after hours. One man who worked at the cave many years ago, said that it was an ongoing dare among employees to enter the cave and douse their flashlights. While some were able to last the five or ten minutes required to receive win their bet, others came out visibly shaken. They claimed to hear approaching footsteps and whispers and the strong presence of others in the cave. The employees outside the cave swore they hadn't entered it.
Other employees have heard or felt strange things at the cave's entrance.
One woman swore she heard loud knocking coming from inside the cave after closing the door. Thinking someone had been left inside, she opened it to find that no one was there. Other people have heard the heavy door rattling in its stone doorway.
The trail itself is said to be haunted.
Park employees head up the trail early every morning and back down after the cave tours are complete for the day. Many claim that they've heard moans, whispers and laughter coming from the switchbacks above or below them. One man said that he heard thundering footsteps coming up behind him and thought that his co-worker was running down the trail to catch up to him. When he turned with a smile to greet his friend, there was no one in sight.
The visitor center at the bottom of the mountain may also have some resident spirits.
Employees report feeling as though someone is watching them as they close up for the night. Sometimes in the morning, objects that were on shelves have fallen to the floor, and other items seem to have been rearranged in the middle of the night.
What do you think? Is Timpanogos Cave haunted?