October 28th, 2007, sometime after dark. My friend, who I’ve called Adele since sometime in 1995, and I were on our somewhat annual Halloween trek to the Salt Lake Cemetery and other Halloween destinations. This year it took us to the remains of The Haunted Old Mill. It was falling apart, one section of the roof was gone, walls crumbled and it was completely closed off with a high fence.
We walked around a bit, taking some pictures in the dark, talking about the experiences we had had there years ago when they still did the haunted house in the building. We were joined by three college aged kids and continued checking out the place together. At one point, can’t remember who first suggested it, we started talking about sneaking over the fence and getting into the abandoned building. Despite being in my mid-40’s and Adele in her late 30’s, we’d reverted back to their age and got caught up in the thrill of sneaking in with them. The five of us started walking around the fence looking for a weak spot where we could get in. There was a field next to the Old Mill, going up the side of the hill, where we figured we could find a weak spot in one of the clump of bushes. I was leading the way up the hill, in close to total darkness, I turned around to look at the group, make a comment and get what I called my “Blair Witch Project” photo. This comment about the Blair Witch Project heightened our anxiety and the group suddenly got quiet, but we kept plugging along.
Just as I found a kink in the fence, right behind a big bush, a bright light shines on us from the road at the top of the hill. I have no idea what anyone else thought, but my gut reaction was “Damn, we’re being abducted by aliens, we’ll miss out on that scary old building.” A disembodied voice comes from the light and informs us “You’re trespassing. Leave the area now.”
Double damn. It’s only a cop, shooing us out of there. But out of there we went, back down the hill to the car. I offered the college folk a ride back to their car and one of the guys replied “And do I get the candy in your pocket too?” We’d been traipsing around the mill long enough that it was said in a friendly way so we all laughed, but at the same time I understood that meant “No, but thanks.”
Adele and I got in the car and headed up to the Salt Lake Cemetery.