The old Union Pacific Station in Ogden, Utah, was the hub of transcontinental railroad traffic for a little more than 50 years. The current structure was erected in 1924 after the original building was destroyed by fire. The grand lobby of the station is typical of train stations that were built in the early 1900s.
The structure is a Mediterranean-style building with large murals at each end of the main hallway, which depict the completion of the transcontinental railroad in Utah. Once an active railroad station, Union Station is now home to several museums: the Utah State Railroad Museum, the Browning Arms Museum, the Browning Kimball Car Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Gallery at Union Station.
There are many ghost stories that surround Ogden’s Union Station. The one most often told is the story of the lady in blue. The particulars of the legend depend upon who tells you the story; however, no matter what version you hear, there are many aspects all of the stories have in common: A beautiful woman wearing a radiant blue dress is jilted by her lover.
Blinded by tears of sorrow, she runs, wailing, across the yard. In her grief, she doesn’t watch where she is going. She steps in front of an oncoming train and is killed. Another version of the story claims the woman in the blue dress and her lover are arguing in the station yard, and he takes back her engagement ring and throws it away.
The woman, in tears, runs to recover the ring and (again, not watching where she is going) steps in front of an oncoming train and is killed. Regardless of how the story is told, visitors to Union Station are frequently terrorized by the sound of a wailing female voice and by the sight of a woman in a blue dress dashing through the rail yard. “The woman in blue” is not the only specter at the Union Pacific Station.
During several investigations of the old building, the Utah Ghost Hunters’ Society (UGHS) have recorded many instances of EVP and have even seen strange mists floating down the stairs and across the great hall on the ground floor. During one investigation, Chris and Nancy Peterson (of the UGHS) actually heard a woman’s voice speaking in the ground floor hallway by the restrooms.
The station has a rather grisly past that may account for some of the activity that haunts the old building. In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, the station received the bodies of many American soldiers who were killed in the conflict. At times, the loading docks were piled high with coffins. Each coffin had a routing tag on it, routing the coffin through the Utah hub to its final destination.
Another section of the building of supernatural note is the Browning Arms Museum inside Union Station. The museum is a comprehensive collection of the firearms produced by Browning Arms. It is thought that some of the firearms in the collection have ghosts of their own. Visitors and security guards tell of seeing a few men dressed in old military uniforms, including one gentleman with a long handlebar mustache dressed in a Civil War uniform.
Written by — Chris Peterson President, Utah Ghost Hunters’ Society
2501 WALL AVENUE
OGDEN, UTAH 84401
TEL: 1 (801) 269-8444