Have you ever heard of Santaquin, Utah? I’ve been to Utah a couple of times but not to Santaquin. If you’ve been there, you most likely had the 14 inch scones at Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant. Sadly, those legendary scones are a thing of the past. Leslie’s closed down in November, 2020.
I’m going to discuss the hauntings at Leslie’s because, along with the scones, the hauntings were legendary. Some hauntings trace back to the land and not the building. It’s thought the land is cursed by the Ute. Back in the early days, the settlers and the Native Americans had a falling out that resulted in bad karma that resulted in a curse.
Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant was not the first business at this location. In fact, various businesses used this space for over 100 years, including a gambling hall, a bar, a bomb shelter, a sporting goods store, a boxing venue, a Greyhound bus terminal, a gas station, and a flower shop.
Wayne Smith, the father of Leslie Broadhead, constructed the current building in 1974. After he passed away, Leslie and her brother made the building into the restaurant for their mother. She was a school lunch lady and I’m sure they wanted to provide her with a chance to be more creative with her cooking. The food at this place was great. Along with her scones, all the selections at the restaurant were homemade.
The restaurant opened in 1984. The building looked like a log cabin and all the inside was, and still is, wooden. Photographs lined the walls. As her family became aware of the hauntings. Leslie Broadhead, the owner, started hosting ghost investigations with dinner. She said the ghosts brought lots of visitors to the diner.
Let’s start our talk of the hauntings with an inventory of the ghosts. Two male spirits dominated the diner. Next, two ghosts from a car wreck near the restaurant were thought to be present. Other sightings involved a lady in a blue nightgown and a little brown-haired boy. An unhappy lady in red was seen. And last, and my personal favorite, people reported seeing the town-drunk ghost. He just liked to have a drink at the bar.
The lady in blue and the little boy were thought to be part of a family from the 1900s. The lady, her husband, and her son lived in the town. The husband mysteriously disappeared. After that, the son drowned in a canal near the building. And the last tragedy, the woman committed suicide. The ghosts of the lady and the boy were seen around the restaurant.
Leslie had a few stories of her own. She told of one time when the building, the all wood building, caught on fire. She said the place would have burned to the ground if not for the ghosts. Maybe they were firemen ghosts.
She also told a story involving her daughter. Leslie and Bobby came into the restaurant one morning and the chairs were stacked on the tables. That sounds like a scene right out of Poltergeist.
And lastly, you did not want to steal from Leslie. She said when people did steal, the spirits let her know who the thief was.
The next phenomena freaks me out. A clock in the diner stopped running, until a certain day when it mysteriously started running again. This isn’t too worrisome but when I tell you it was running backwards, it takes on a creepier vibe. Clocks are only made to go clockwise, right?
Ex-employees from the restaurant reported a lady in red. She never spoke to the workers but she would scowl and growl. I’d love to hear the backstory here.
Psychics stated that 15-20 ghosts, or 60 ghosts, or 100 ghosts haunt this place. No one knows how many ghosts there are because of the portal or multiple portals thought to be in the basement. Different numbers of ghosts might be present at different times. Investigators experienced mood changes in the basement. Anger and anxiety were experienced. There is a door and a staircase in the basement that lead to nowhere. Yuck!
Even Leslie, who was pretty upbeat about the hauntings, admitted the basement was, and probably still is, a little frightening. She believed the curse from the Native Americans trapped ghosts in the building. When the diner was operating, Leslie didn’t call anyone in to lift the curse because she knew ghosts were good for business.
Doors opened and closed at the diner. Footsteps and children’s voices were heard in places where there were no people. Lots of electronic glitches happened when the place was open.
We’ll have to be be patient and wait to see what becomes of the building. Will it be haunted by the same spirits? It they remove the bar, where will the drunk ghost go to get a drink? I hope the new owners embrace the hauntings as much as Leslie did!
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Jenni covered the Skinwalker Ranch this week on The Crooked Key Podcast. The episode is titled Haunted Utah-A Plethora of Paranormal. Click on the Libsyn podcast link on the sidebar to listen.
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