A Halloween Poem

We had a great time at Haunted Homestead and our visitors appreciated our story tellers, Holly Barrick and Gary Howe, for getting them into the Halloween spirit. Many a fine yarn was spun that night and we thought we would share with you one of our favorite Halloween poems, “Little Orphant Annie”. This poem was written by Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1885. The first stanza introduces us to Annie, who then tells of children that have been taken by goblins for misbehaving. The moral of the poem, obey your parents. The poem reads as follows:

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,

An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,

An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,

An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;

An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,

We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun

A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,

An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you

Ef you

Don’t

Watch

Out!

Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–

So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,

His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,

An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!

An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,

An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;

But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout–

An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you

Ef you

Don’t

Watch

Out!

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,

An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;

An’ onc’t, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks was there,

She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!

An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,

They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,

An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!

An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you

Ef you

Don’t

Watch

Out!

An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,

An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!

An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,

An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–

You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,

An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,

An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,

Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you

Ef you

Don’t

Watch

Out!

Storyteller Bill Kerr does a great rendition of this poem. See it by following this link:

Bill Kerr: Little Orphant Annie

 

Cedar City’s First Halloween Party

William R. Palmer

William R. Palmer

During the 1950’s Cedar City historian and businessman William R. Palmer had a weekly radio program on local radio station KSUB. During his show, Forgotten Chapters of History, Palmer told tales of local history and sometimes covered other topics. Thanks to Special Collections at the Sherratt Library on the campus of Southern Utah University, many of these programs are available to listen to. On October 26, 1952, Palmer presented the story of Cedar City’s first Halloween Party.  Click the links and enjoy your holiday as you listen to Forgotten Chapters of History.

Cedar City Halloween Party

Text of Radio Broadcast

 

Haunted Homestead 2016

October is here and that means you need to be ready for all the ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Get into the holiday spirit with a collection of fun and thrilling events at Frontier Homestead State Park providing a perfect lead in to All Hallows Eve.

img_0210Starting off Frontier Homestead presents Haunted Homestead running on October 10 and 11 from 6-8pm. This family friendly event will get you and yours into the Halloween spirit. Not only will we be providing some unique Halloween themed games, we also will have spooky crafts, ghost stories told by local storytellers, and other haunting surprises. Come explore the Homestead and see our spooky decorations. Be sure to enter the “Haunter” House, if you dare. Admission is $5.00 per family or $1.50 per person. Friends members  get in free.

 

The night time is perfect for telling stories.

The night time is perfect for telling stories.

On Wednesday the 12th join our very popular cemetery tour.  This year our tour will be begin at 6:30 pm in the museum parking lot. Come learn about some of the more interesting headstones and stories about the graveyard. You may even hear about the rabid coyote. Please dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Admission is free to this event.

Thursday October 13 we present the very popular More than Ghost Stories program. Are ghosts real? Do spirits walk among us? Most everyone has had some type of experience they can’t explain.   If you’re a believer, or just curious, you can join local paranormal investigators as they recount their ghost hunting adventures over the past year and share their findings with the public.  The

A paranormal investigator explores a local business.

A paranormal investigator explores a local business.

team has conducted investigations at numerous locations in an attempt to separate folk lore and stories from genuine paranormal activities. Evidence from the investigations will be presented and discussed, allowing you to come to your own conclusions – is it real, or just your imagination?

At our Homestead Halloween events there is sure to be something to make you think, shake, or laugh so come join us. For more information call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/fronteirhomestead, or our website www.fronterhomestead.org

A ghostly apparition?

A ghostly apparition?

Mrs. Webster – Another Iron County Tale

A number of years ago we asked the community to share with us some of the legends and lore that have passed through their families. This tale is one of the many that came our way. With the exception of the photos, we are posting this story exactly how we received it.

Mrs. Webster

By a Cedar City Resident who prefers to remain anonymous

We have had several experiences in our home with a ghost that we call “Mrs. Webster”. Although when the kids have an “incident” they get a little unsettled, for the most part “Mrs. Webster” has been a calm and to some degree a caring ghost in our lives.

Our home was built by Parson U. Webster and is known by his name.  It is reputed to have been built sometime around 1865 and served as a home for his two wives, to whom he was married at the same time, had rooms rented, and, since the living room on one side of the house was large by standards of the time, served as a place for “wakes”. Families of the deceased would ‘sit with the dead’ in what is now our family room. My wife grew up in this home and says that she and her brothers and their friends always thought the house was a little spooky.

A great storyteller is necessary for a spooky story.

A great storyteller is necessary for a spooky story.

We do not really know if the presence in our house is the ghost of Mrs. Webster or not, because another older Grandmother who was renting a room once long ago passed away quietly in a bedroom that we used as the Master Bedroom at the time of my first introduction to her. It could be her, or any one of the women who were “sat with” so long ago.

When our oldest son was a toddler, I went into his room and laid down with him to help him get to sleep one night and fell asleep myself. After waking I walked back into the bedroom where my wife was sleeping and saw the figure of a woman sitting on the corner of the bed. Thinking it was my wife, I asked “why are you sitting up?” The figure stood, took two steps away from the bed and disappeared. It was dark so the fact that I couldn’t see her was not so strange, but when my wife sleepily said “what?” and she was snuggly in bed, I had an eerie feeling, but I blamed it on being sleepy.

Sometime later, my wife was taking a turn with the restless baby. She said she was awakened, and felt a presence in the room; someone seemed to be leaning over the bed. She said it was a comforting feeling until she realized there was no one there! But she says it was not a scary presence.

The kids do not share our comfort with our houseguest and when she does make an appearance where they are involved, my wife and I generally end up with additional bed partners. Sometimes we will hear footsteps or doors squeaking in another room and we call out to whomever we think is there, only to find no one!

Happy Halloween from Frontier Homestead

Happy Halloween from Frontier Homestead.

It’s a little strange, but the only incidents with “Mrs. Webster” have always been in the upstairs of the home where the bedrooms are, and the sightings have decreased in number as the kids grow older. Coincidence? You decide! I’m looking forward to having grandchildren to see if she comes around a little more.

Blood on the Porch: An Iron County Tale

A number of years ago we asked the community to share with us some of the legends and lore that have passed through their families. This tale is one of the many that came our way. With the exception of the photos, we are posting this story exactly how we received it.

Blood on the Porch

The Story of the Edward Meeks Dalton Murder

Told to Belinda Harrison by Shirley Mercer a granddaughter

Is it true that the blood of the innocent cries out from the grave?  Here’s a story that will make you wonder!

Edward Meeks Dalton came from an affluent Parowan family and was a very handsome and likable man who was held in high regard in this little close-knit community.  He played the guitar and had a wonderful personality.  People would come to his home to listen to him play his guitar, and often the guests would join in singing with him.

Edward Meeks Dalton

Edward Meeks Dalton

Edward and his first wife were married when he was 19 years old and about 6 years later he married his second wife.  He adored both women and they loved him. They led quiet lives and lived peacefully for a time.  But when, in 1862, anti-bigamy legislation was signed into law, this Mormon polygamist didn’t want to abandon either of his two wives.  So he didn’t.  Therefore, he became a lawbreaker and a hunted man.

In light of the new anti-bigamy laws, the local Marshal was obligated to arrest Edward and take him to jail.  So Ed always made sure that his horse was saddled and ready to ride in case he had leave in a hurry.

Ed said that many times he would be asleep in his home and have a premonition that he needed to leave.  He would get up and leave in the middle of the night, often riding to Arizona where he would work for several months at a time before returning home to Parowan.

There was a time that the Marshal finally caught up to Ed and arrested him.  Ed told the Marshal that he was going to run away from him, and with that he sat down, removed his boots, and started running.  He ran to his horse and escaped from the Marshall.  Ed eluded the Marshall many times because of his fast horse and determination.

In Beaver, another small town about 45 miles north of Parowan lived Marshal Thompson.  He vowed to get Edward ‘dead or alive’.  One night, Marshal Thompson and a deputy went into Parowan to the home of Mr. Page who lived on the street that Edward would be on driving cows to the fields the next morning.

Marshal Thompson, his deputy and Mr. Page laid in wait for Edward.  Early the next morning, Ed, completely unaware of the ambush that was about to take place, came down the road herding the cows.  Marshal Thompson stepped out of Mr. Page’s house and shot Ed in the back!

Dalton's Grave Marker

Dalton’s Grave Marker

Ed was mortally wounded and Thompson and the others carried him to Page’s porch where they laid him.  He begged for them not to let him die there, so they tried to take him to his mother’s house a few blocks away but before they got there, Ed breathed his last.  A good man had died.

Later, after Thompson had shot and killed Edward Meeks Dalton, he felt as though he was always being watched by an unseen presence.  No matter where he went, he felt Dalton’s accusing eyes on him.  Thompson finally snapped and lost his mind.  He died being haunted by what he had done.

The blood that was on the porch where Dalton had lain at the Page home was scrubbed away, but it returned.  The porch was painted over and over several times, but the blood always came back.  There was nothing that could be done to remove the innocent man’s blood from the porch.  So the question remains, is it true that the blood of the innocent cries out from the grave?

An ode to Dalton

An Ode to Dalton

Haunted Homestead

friends banner

October is here and that means you need to be ready for all the ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Get into the holiday spirit with a collection of fun and thrilling events at Frontier Homestead State Park providing a perfect lead in to All Hallows Eve.

mummy

Are you my mummy? One of the crafts we will be doing at Haunted Homestead.

Starting off,  Frontier Homestead presents Haunted Homestead. This family friendly event will get you and yours into the Halloween spirit.  Not only will we be providing some unique trick or treat locations, we also will have spooky crafts, ghost stories told by Utah Shakespeare Festival Education Director Michael Bahr, and fortune telling games from the 1920’s. Come explore the Homestead and see our spooky decorations. Be sure to enter the “Haunter” House, if you dare. Admission is $5.00 per family or $1.50 per person. Friends members get in free.

On Tuesday the 21st join our very popular cemetery tour.  This year our tour will be begin at 6:30 pm in the museum parking lot. Come learn about some of the more interesting headstones and stories about the graveyard. You may even hear about the rabid coyote. Please dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Admission is free to this event.

At our Homestead Halloween events there is sure to be something to make you think, shake, or laugh so come join us. For more information call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/friendsofthefronteirhomestead, or our website www.fronterhomestead.org Frontier Homestead is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City.

Can you spot the changes in our Halloween themed logo?

Can you spot the changes in our Halloween themed logo?