Brigham Young Farm House

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This farm house has been a favorite for spirits of the Young
family, before it was moved to Deseret Village…

These spirits moved on, except for Young’s 19th wife who was a handful while she lived.

She has become a strong, friendly, helpful presence now in the house.



Built in the mid 1800s, it is described as the central house of Brigham Young’s experimental farm colony.

He built a wooden, gabled structure with 2 floors, that sports a front porch that wraps all the way around the house.

On the first floor, it has 2 living rooms, as well as the normal living areas found in a house built at that time period.

The stairs to the second floor start in one of the living rooms.

On the second floor, there is a ballroom, a sitting room, and various bedrooms.



This farm house has been the favorite house to haunt, it seems, for many years.

Before the house was given to the state, and moved a few miles away from its original place to be in the park project in the ’70s, it was bought by antique dealers: gifted psychic Gwen Wilcox and her husband, completely unaware that they had unseen co-owners.

The police have often used Gwen Wilcox’s psychic abilities to help them in their investigations, and readily gave her credit as being authentic, and talented.

Six weeks after moving in, she began to meet the spirits who were then active in the house.


Reported Incidents Before the Move to the State Park:

Spirit of Brigham Young

She first saw an apparition, of a 75 year old man, sitting in the front room, with his foot on a stool, and a cane in his hand.

He was a strong, visible, friendly presence in this house, and kept the Wilcox family company.

He willingly communicated with Gwen Wilcox, by psychic impressions, giving her information that she and her husband used to restore the old house.

Other Spirits from the Young Family

Other Spirits that appeared to Gwen Wilcox and talked to her through psychic impressions were:

Ann Eliza, Sara Decker; (his second wife), his favorite son, John A. Young.

Negative Spirit

A scary, upset apparition of a man who had murdered someone during a robbery near the house, around the year 1900.

A Friendly Party Sprit Guest – John Young?

After living there for 15 years, and restoring the old house completely, the Wilcox family gave the house to the Mormon Church and had a reception there in celebration.

During this farewell party, a young, handsome man, dressed in 1880 dress attire, came up and pleasantly talked to Mr. & Mrs. Wilcox about the house in great detail.

They thought he was a live person, until the picture taken of the three of them came back, showing only the Wilcox couple; there was only a big space where this young man had been standing.

Perhaps this was the realistic apparition of young John Young.


Reported Incidents After the Move To The State Park:

After the move to the state park, other entities became dominant in this house.

Background of Ann Eliza Webb

The entity of Ann Eliza Webb has become a strong, friendly, helpful presence now in the house.

She was Brigham Young’s 19th wife, who was a real peppercorn when she was living! She was a strong-minded woman, who found out she hated polygamy by living it.

When she was “rotated” to this house, she despised it so. Especially annoying were the stairs that started in the living room. Brigham then built her a townhouse, but purposely put the stairs again in the living room, which was the last straw.

She divorced Brigham, wrote a book, entitled, “Wife #19, The The story of a Life in Bondage,” and toured the country, denouncing Brigham Young and the Mormon Church. {The Mormon Church banned polygamy in 1890.}

Ann Eliza Webb as a Ghostly Party Guest

While two other guides were giving Clara, a tour guide, a birthday party in the house’s kitchen, two of the three people present looked up and saw a small female apparition dressed in black, with her hair on top of her head, looking out the living room window.

Though they couldn’t see her face, she fit Ann’s description perfectly. The third person had her back to the living room.

Perhaps Ann came physically to this birthday gathering, because all three women admired her so, and she was, after all, one of the original hostesses in this house, which she considers hers now, which she gladly shares with the living.

Ann Eliza Webb Likes to Help

During a guided tour, a guide was pointing out a human hair wreath that was hanging in the parlor, saying that it was a common art project for the women of this era.

As she was pointing it out, it gently lifted off the nail it was hanging on against the wall, and floated out about 4 inches, and floated back into place when the guide was done speaking about it.

Was Ann Eliza kindly trying to assist the guide during the tour, being her more cordial and helpful self? It appears so, as her presence is the one most strongly felt and seen.

{Or, there is a small chance that it was the second wife, Sara Decker, or it could be one of the children, that are heard playing throughout the house.}

Kid Noises – Ballroom and Inside Rooms

The ballroom was built to have the kids’ parties. Apparently, they are still there reliving their fun experiences, ever since the pictures of Brigham’s many kids were brought into the farm house after a flood destroyed the original pictures that were on display there.

Ballroom: Pictures of kids hanging on the wall now that were replacements for the originals destroyed have spirits connected to them.

One morning, when the park was closed during the month of March, a retired gentleman, who was a guide there, was on the first floor, going about his business, totally alone.

He suddenly heard kids playing, singing, dancing, and running around in the second floor ballroom. After inspecting both floors of the house, and the area around outside, he was definitely alone.

He came back inside to a then quiet house, but the kid-caused commotion started up yet again.

Inside Rooms: Another guide heard children playing in the parlor, and upstairs as well, when she was totally alone in the house.

Strong Aromas Coming From Kitchen

Various people and guides on occasion have smelled chicken soup cooking or potatoes frying.

The wonderful aroma had drifted in from the kitchen, which had no working stove, prompting one workman on the first floor to ask the guides if they were cooking lunch.

Ann and/or perhaps Sara are going about their business, cooking in their kitchen.


According to the volunteer guides, yes it is.

After the move to the state park, other entities became dominant in this house.


Perhaps, Brigham Young found peace, and went to the other side, taking Sara and John with him. Not only was his house completely restored the way he wanted it, but it was given to his beloved Mormon Church!

Ann Eliza: Why is she still there? Perhaps she is looking for the peace she didn’t have while alive. She may have never forgiven herself for marrying Brigham in the first place. Perhaps she likes the house, now that it is in such a nice park, with such nice people, who can benefit from her help.

Thankfully, the scary, unhappy apparition hasn’t made an appearance in the new location, and no one feels his unsettling presence.

No present-day investigations have been reported, though Gwen Wilcox lived with her ghostly housemates for 15 years, which is quite a psychic research project, on a personal level.



2601 East Sunnyside Avenue
Salt Lake City UT 84108
(801) 582-1847

The Brigham Young Farm House is at the Old Deseret Village.

Old Deseret is a village of old, historic Mormon homes that can be found in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Pioneer State Trail Park, on 2601 Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108. This historical display is open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Like Williamsburg, Virginia, Old DeseretVillage is like a living historical museum, where park employees dress up in the style of the age, demonstrate the way the people lived, and give tours of the old homes. All the homes are the original structures, except two, which are replicas of the original homes.

Many park guides have reported numerous para-psychological phenomena throughout Old Deseret, which clearly indicates that unseen entities still are hanging around there, on friendly terms with the living, with the exception of one.


  • Photos © Tom Carr
  • To really get the historical feel of Old Deseret Village, visit a fabulous website:

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr


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