The Haunted Mill In Teton Idaho
Event: The Haunted Mill
Official Website: thehauntedmillinteton.com
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Address: 95 N 2400 East teton, idaho
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About the Haunted Mill
The Haunted Mill was established in 1997 as a family-oriented entertainment attraction catering to people of all ages with the common goal of being spooked. Dennis Briggs, the founder of The Haunted Mill, formulated a plan over several years to turn this historic flour mill into a spook house for all to enjoy. Each year Dennis seems to outdo himself as he develops new areas on the property to make The Haunted Mill even bigger and better.
While The Haunted Mill was only opened to the public in 1997, it has been spooking friends and family of The Haunted Mill, Inc. for decades. Much of the story content in the tour is purely fictional, but there are several instances which are true – we’ll let you decide which are true and which are witch tales.
The Haunted Mill, Inc. is family owned and operated and is based out of Teton, Idaho. The Haunted Mill, Inc. consists of:
Founder and CEO – Dennis Briggs
Board of Directors:
Holly and Dave Francis
Britt and Crystal Briggs
Brandon Briggs and Harmony Hay
Heath and Colleen Briggs
Heidi and Jamey White
History of The Teton Flour Mill
Built in 1890 by James Siddoway, Robert Siddoway and James Briggs, the Siddoway Briggs Co.: Financed by James Briggs.
Since money was scarce, the gristmill exchanged wheat for Flour & script, (a form of money).
About 1906 the mill site became a home for a culinary water supply for the town of Teton, also an electrical facility called Teton Light & Power.
On Sept. 2, 1892, using a steam powered generator operated by Will Naylor, the first 100 lbs. of Old Faithful Flour was produced.
On August 19, 1911, George and Eva Briggs, one of James Briggs’ sons, purchased the Mill and enlarged its milling capacity, replacing the generator with a water wheel & adding a Sawmill (from the Green Canyon area) to the back of the mill. The sawmill sawed the logs for many of the mill’s expansions including: the grainery just to the north of the Mill, other log buildings around the Mill, and many homes in the area.
Flour was marketed from Roberts, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; & Montana. At this time the mill produced Whole Wheat Flour & Germade, a cereal byproduct made during the flour making process.
In 1926 a new brand name “Rose of Idaho” replaced the “Old Faithful” brand name.
In 1932 a larger water turbine was installed.
On March 6, 1947, George and Arminda Briggs, son and daughter in-law of George Briggs, purchased the mill and added Pancake flour sold in 50 lbs. bags.
In 1963 & 64 the flour milling was discontinued and the mill was expanded & changed into a farm service center, cleaning grain & selling all kinds of farm products.
On June 5th, 1976, the eastside of the mill was damaged by the Teton dam flood.
The mill was then sold in 1984 to Bingham Engineers as a hydro electric power plant site which ceased operation in 1994 from faulty design.
In 1997 the mill was once again returned to George & Arminda Briggs . On Nov. 7, 1997 the mill was sold to the Haunted Mill Inc. The Haunted Mill is operated each year by Dennis & Kim Briggs, son and daughter in-law to George & Arminda Briggs.
As you go through the mill, we encourage you will take time to notice the original flour equipment and other antique machinery. We hope you will respect this historical sight, or the Old Miller will get you.
And have fun.
Directions To the Haunted Mill
The Haunted Mill is located in southeastern Idaho in the town of Teton, Just 1/4 mile north of Russell’s Junction.
If coming from Idaho Falls:
Take US Hwy 20 North to Rexburg.
Continue 1/2 mile past Sugar City to exit 339.
Take exit 339 and go East.
Travel East for 3 1/2 miles to Teton City.
Upon entering Teton, turn North on 2400 East at Russell’s Service Station.
Travel 1/4 of a mile North to The Haunted Mill.
If coming from Jackson Hole:
Take Hwy 22 West, which will become Hwy 33 West over the Jackson Pass.
Follow Hwy 33 Into Teton City, turn North on 2400 East at Russell’s Service Station.
Travel 1/4 of a mile North to The Haunted Mill.
The Haunted Mill Hours
The Haunted Mill admission
No credit or debit cards accepted
Regular Admission: $10
Monday’s are Family Night – Admission: $5
Tuesday’s are half price Night – admission: $5
Wednesdays are group Night – Admission: $5
thursdays are humanitarian Night – Admission: $5 with qualifying donation *
* Qualifying Donations:
– School Kits: blunt nose scissors, gummed individual erasers, pencil sharpener, #2 pencils, box of colored pencils, spiral bound notebooks (70-150 sheets)
– Hygiene kits: hand towels, bar soap, toothpaste 6-8 oz. toothbrush, non-breakable combs 10 inches long with no tails.
Under 14 not admitted without an adult
A portion of the proceeds go to the Landaboard Memorial Foundation which is dedicated to helping children’s charities.
The Haunted Mill is not for the faint of heart. If you have a history of heart problems or other medical condition which may be aggravated by high levels of fear or excitement, The Haunted Mill may not be for you.
However, if you like to live on adrenaline and enjoy a good scare, please come see The Haunted Mill and pay your respects to the haunts and spooks that call this historic flour mill their home.
The Haunted Mill Tour
Come on inside and take a look… Be careful, the Old Miller and his cast of spooks are ready and willing to give you a scare.
Legends of the Woods: Slender Man
There is a picture that hangs in the basement of the owners of The Haunted Mill. They have been collecting mill related art for years and years. This is just one of several pieces. It is a very simply sketched and then inked piece of the granary and the hillside below it. Standing on the hillside is a faceless man. Up to this point, we have always assumed it was just a drawing of one of the original owners of the mill outside the granary. It has never been a focus of the collection, until now.
At a partial board meeting, I was in the room where this picture hangs. While we were discussing some changes we would make to the mill in the granary, the picture fell off the wall. It was odd, but things like that happen. I picked up the drawing, because it fell closest to me. The drawing was upside down, when I picked it up. There were some faint scratches across the back. Not out of the ordinary for an older picture and it didn’t appear damaged. I turned the picture over to see if the glass was still intact. It was. The faceless man on the hillside took a place amongst some snacks and drinks as I set it on the table closest to me in the room.
We continued on with the meeting for several more hours. At one point we took a much needed break to stretch our legs and use the facilities. Upon returning to my seat, I noticed on the coffee table the picture had been moved and turned over again. I am not sure if one of the board members had touched it at this point, but I have been with this company long enough to know that I need to pay attention to things that seem out of the ordinary.
I picked up the piece again and examined the back closely. I almost dropped the picture when I realized what seemed to be scratched into the back of the drawing. It was the words: Slender Man. I froze. Being a little familiar with the Slender Man legend, I quickly flipped the picture over to examine it. The faceless man on the hillside now made my skin crawl. I flipped it back over and as people returned to the room; I asked each of them, if they had moved it. They had not. I suspected that a victim of Slender Man, perhaps the original owner of the drawing, was trying to warn us.
At this point, I should probably give a brief summary of the Slender Man legend, for those who do not know the legend. I admit I haven’t researched it as well as other legends for this fact: one of the central points to his story is that researching Slender Man is the same as inviting him to find you. He prefers to remain in the shadows and doesn’t want people to know about him. I don’t want to tempt him to becoming interested in me. I should also note that not all the stories are the same, as is the case when you are dealing with legends from various cultures. I will focus on the elements that are most plausible, because there is evidence of them in several legends. I also have made some assumptions, based on what I know of legends. This is my interpretation of the Slender Man, but I feel it is very close to the original roots of the legend and other similar legends that may be Slender Man, but don’t call him by the same name. I should also note that there is likely more than one Slender Man, just as there are multiple vampires or yetis.
It is said that a Slender Man starts as someone who works with wood, like a carpenter or more often a lumberjack. As with a few other legends, these woodworkers weakness is perfectionism and vanity. He is usually praised for his craft and seeks to make what he does pure and without flaw. Therefore, if he is a carpenter, he is the finest in the land. This vain perfectionist is involved in a terrible accident that deforms his arms, face, and legs. He lives and is healed, but his physical features remain altered. He feels he is rejected by humans because of these disfigurements, but it is more likely because he feels they will not accept him flawed, because of his vanity and perfectionism issues. He retreats to the trees and in his insane mind he is accepted by the trees who seem him as perfect. His solitude and unstable mind lead him to the belief that this turn of events in his life is his destiny and that he is the rightful guardian of the trees. His mission becomes to perfect his woods.
Humans are now considered a plague to the woods. Therefore, he starts to take on the characteristics of the trees. His facial features disappear. He becomes taller and his arms become more like limbs of trees than arms. His hands and fingers become wispy, like tree branches. His life is lengthened to that of the oldest trees. He is often described as tall, slender, and faceless, with extraordinarily long arms. In some of the legends he has multiple arms, like a tree has multiple limbs. He uses these arms to grab unsuspecting children and adults who venture too close to his woods. The arms are also the instruments he uses to cause harm or death to his victims in various grotesque manners. As self-proclaimed guardian of the wood, he hunts down anyone or anything that is a threat to the trees.
The biggest threat in his mind is people who are aware of him, because if they someone defeat him, no one will be left to defend the trees. If he determines that you are a threat, and pretty much all humans are, he will hunt you down until he captures you. Therefore, if you have seen slender man, he has seen you and you will only live until he catches up with you. This is why I am vague in this description. I stopped my research when I determined that the legend was more than likely not just legend.
So, could this picture that I described actually be evidence of Slender Man at our mill? The legend, to my knowledge, has Germanic origins and the town of Teton did have immigrants with the same ties or origins. I know that some immigrants brought their legends with them, and, at times, the subject of their legends followed them as well. However, Slender Man is always linked to wooded areas. To my knowledge, the area surrounding the mill never fit this description.
Of course, I had to research this to make sure. I discovered that before the mine, and the fields, and the mill there were lots and lots of trees. The entire area where the mill and granary are today was once filled with Quaking Aspen, Cottonwood, Black Willow, and Wild Plum trees. A few of the trees still remain. In researching the trees in this area, I stumbled across several additional legends linked to these trees.
It appears that when this area was covered in trees, they were just as frightening to the residents as larger forests you read about in fairy tales. Legend has it that residents disappeared when they would come to gather plums from the trees or to harvest the trees for various purposes. This is not surprising to me. I have thought for some time that the strange occurrences linked to the mill could not have started with the mill. It is often the land on which it sits that holds the secrets.
As for Slender Man, I am convinced that he was once a part of this area. I am sure he was not impressed with the destruction of his trees. I hope he is not still around the area and passed on when he lost most of his trees. I wouldn’t recommend people go looking for him either, because there are still several trees at the mill that date back to when it is clear he guarded them.
Legends of the Woods: The Masks of Fastelavn
As often happens in research, you sometimes find the thing you were looking for and quite often you discover many things you were not looking for. This is what happened when I went looking for trees. I did indeed find my trees. I also found a very unfortunate story of a young boy who enjoyed Fastelavn.
Fastelavn is a tradition in Denmark. It is very much like carnival where there is feasting and celebrations in conjunction with lent. However, when Denmark became a protestant nation, it changed this feast to coincide with Easter, rather than Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, Fastelavn is held 7 weeks prior to Easter Sunday. Children dress up in costumes, like they would on Halloween or at Carnival, and go about asking for treats from neighbors. There is also a great feast. One of the traditions the children enjoyed almost as much as eating was the “flogging” of their parents. Parents awoke on Fastelavn to children smacking them with feather that are attached to twigs. Not the traditional flogging, but something they liked to do. I find it strange, but a lot of cultures have different traditions.
I came across a story where a boy disappeared the morning of Fastelavn. I wish I had not found this story, because of my sincere aversion to old-fashioned masquerade masks and costumes. These are the white masks that cover all or part of the face. The eyes are cut out, so the person wearing it can see through the mask. Sometimes, these masks are painted and decorated. The costumes were often large, colorful and frilly. Is this sounding familiar modernly? It should. These masks and clothes are the ancestors of clowns. I don’t think I would have enjoyed Fastelavn. Hoards of children all dressed up like clowns running about the neighborhood, well, for me that is the stuff that nightmares are made out of.
The young boy in this story’s name was Aksel Schmidt. The legend indicated that he awoke early the morning of Fastelavn, dressed himself in his costume, and went out to get branches for himself and his sister Edith. Edith was awake and dressed as well, but stayed busy at home collecting feathers to tether to the branches. Their parents were sleeping awaiting their flogging, I suppose. Askel did not return that morning, nor did he return at all. His parents went looking for him when they awoke, but the only thing they found were his footsteps in the snow that ended at a very unusual chokecherry tree. It was the only chokecherry tree in the area. It was noted that it was unusually large and that even though it was February it still had several of its bright red chokecherries intact. The parents assumed he climbed the tree to get branches and that maybe he tried to return home hopping from tree to tree and that he fell into the nearby stream and was frozen quickly and carried off. His death was listed as accidental drowning.
Edith, however, never believed her brother was dead. She claimed she saw him the night before each Fastelavn dragging something back towards the chokecherry tree. Everyone believed she was quite mad. She promised she would find him. Maybe she did. It is hard to know, because it appears that one night just before Fastelavn Edith ran away. She left the house wearing her Fastelavn costume and her footsteps also ended at the chokecherry tree. That is all I could find on the matter in my research, but for me, the story doesn’t end here.
The chokecherry tree in this story is still alive. I have seen it. It sits in the field just below the granary. The tree is actually where my fear of white masks began. Each February, my siblings and I would see two of these white masks hanging from that tree. They would be there one day and then gone. Having no idea at the time of Fastelavn, I could not have connected these events. If I was a journal keeper, I am sure I could go back and read about the masks and count that they always hung seven weeks before Easter on Fastelavn.
I have hated that tree since I was little. I was convinced it was evil and I did not like to go near it. I still don’t. I know that it survived fires in the field. It was left when the swamp and trees in the area were cleared. For some reason, this tree has remained. Since the mill has opened as a haunted attraction, however, I have not seen the masks just in February. They now also hang opening night in late September or early October. It seems maybe Edith and Askel have found another place to wear their costumes.
Legends of the Woods: Teeth and Claws
If you are familiar with the area in which The Haunted Mill sits, you will note that there is a definite slope that separates the front of the mill and the back of the mill. This landscape is consistent of the area around the mill as well. If you are looking to run a water wheel in a mill, this slope is a definite advantage, because if there is water flowing it will create a waterfall and the power needed to use the waterwheel. In the wooded times of the mill, this natural slope created something else that is water related: a swamp.
The lower areas of the mill were very much like a swamp, according to my research. This isn’t surprising to me, because the shallow aquifer that is in the area often presents water seepage still in the area, however, it isn’t very significant, because there are a lot of wells and other measures that have been taken to draw the water out of this area to other farm areas for irrigation purposes. However, before these measures were taken, the water was a constantly present in the lower plains of the mill area.
And a swamp is okay, I suppose, as long as there aren’t alligators. One would assume that alligators could not make it in Idaho, because of the climate. Really, when it comes to the mill, assumptions are dangerous. There are natural hot springs in the area and it appears that one of these hot springs fed into the shallow aquifer for a time, before it was diverted for other means. This would make it possible for alligators. I only tell you this, because there are a lot of accounts of alligator attacks during this time and a woman was convicted of witchcraft and drown in connection with these deaths.
The spinster woman sold the teeth and claws of alligators as charms. (Alligator teeth are thought to give you luck in money matters and the claws are thought to possess the properties to give one strength and power.) The woman also pedaled addition remedies for many aliments. There were many claims that she controlled these alligators and caused them to attack customers who owed her a debt. It is said that the alligators were in her power when their eyes glowed yellow. Many of the victims pointed to the supernatural glowing of their eyes prior to their attack or watching the attack of their loved ones. The spinster woman’s name is unknown, but all accounts indicate that she was convicted of witchcraft and the murders, because she also had yellow eyes. However, the attacks did not end with her death, they only increased. The swamp was cleared eventually and there was a claim that four 10-foot alligators were found and killed as well.
These accounts are varied and sketchy and I would give them no heed, if it weren’t for the glowing eyes. Many of those who are around the mill a lot have seen on a dark night what appears to be the glow of yellow eyes. Sometimes only a pair of yellow eyes, but sometimes, several more pairs. Now, I say eyes now, but at the time, we thought them just to be small yellow lights that would appear and disappear. The only area they are seen is in the area below the granary and mill and sometimes the mill race. Additionally, people have asked us if our Lady in White, still wears white, and she does. I have seen her for myself.
However, there have been several accounts of a woman in grey robe who wanders the area as well. The woman in grey is said to have raven hair and wear a robe or gown that was entirely grey, and a distinct and large necklace made of teeth and claws that hung almost to her navel, and, of course, her yellow eyes. The workers and other people who have seen her indicate that she is usually difficult to see, until she looks at them with her eerie yellow eyes. Some said they would not notice her at all, if their attention wasn’t initially fixed first on several small yellow lights smoldering near the ground. Then, they see the figure, but not all have had her stare at them with her piercing yellow eyes. I have seen the glowing yellow lights. I don’t know whether I was staring at the alligators or the grey-robed woman. In this case, I hope it was the alligators. I really hope I never see the teeth and claws, whether they are attached to a necklace of the woman in grey or some sort of supernatural alligator.
The first year the Haunted Mill opened many eerie things befell those who played and worked at the mill. One of the truly disturbing things that happened involved our scarecrow. The scarecrow used to hang in the field behind the large bonfire. As visitors and workers would warm themselves by the fire, many claimed that the scarecrow’s eyes would reflect the light of the fire. This was very interesting to us because the eyes were just black triangles drawn with marker on a gunny sack face. We couldn’t see why anyone would think that they reflected the light of the fire. Then, the reports become more distressing because people quite often reported that the scarecrow was on fire. We would run out to put out the fire, but would find the scarecrow unharmed. After a few times of running out to put out an imaginary fire, we decided something should be done. So we had workers watching the scarecrow to see if we could figure out what was happening.
After the first week of watching the scarecrow, the workers would report that the scarecrow disappeared from its spot. None of them could say how it disappeared or where it went. Upon investigating this problem, we would always find that the scarecrow was moved next to one of the bonfires, either in the front or the back of the mill. The workers never caught who was moving the scarecrow. Meanwhile, visitors started to claim to have seen the scarecrow inside the mill or just outside the mill warming itself by the fire. The visitors thought the scarecrow was a person in costume. We knew this wasn’t the case.
A couple weeks went by and the scarecrow mystery still wasn’t solved. We started to ignore the reports, because it all seemed harmless. Then, one night, a worker described a awful scene that we could not ignore. He claimed as he was watching the scarecrow, he saw the eyes of the scarecrow begin to burn as if they were on fire. Thinking he was catching someone lighting the scarecrow on fire, he slowly approached the scarecrow. He stopped in his tracks when the scarecrow turned and looked directly at him. He then watched in horror as the scarecrow started walking towards the fire. He claims that just before the scarecrow reached the bonfire, it burst into flames. This sent him running to find us. We ran out to investigate what he claimed and we saw that the scarecrow was next to the fire, but completely intact and no signs of burning anywhere. The worker quit that night. We knew we couldn’t afford to lose anymore help, so we took the scarecrow down and stored it in a nearby shed. As we were cleaning the shed this year we found the scarecrow.
On our 10th anniversary we decided to throw caution to the wind. Therefore, we have returned the scarecrow. He no longer hangs in the field behind the bonfire, but don’t be surprised if you see him there. For some weird reason, this scarecrow seems to like fire.
Lady in White
Some of the locals in Teton have affectionately given this name to Eloisa McKinnon. According to the legend, around 1890 Eloisa’s parents arranged for her to be married to Tom Nelson. Tom was an old and strange man, but he was a rich farmer and her parents were poor and needed a rich in-law to help them out of their financial situation.
She begged her parents to call off the wedding, but they refused. Later, as she was being fitted for her wedding dress, she realized that she would rather die than marry Tom, so, wedding gown and all, Eloisa ran off into the night. She ran until she reached the newly constructed town flourmill, where she entered, climbed to the third floor and leapt through an open window to her death in the water below.
The townsfolk of Teton believe her ghost haunts that very place even today. Many people who now work there, or have been in the mill, have seen her ghost wandering the mill in despair. Her spirit was damned to repeatedly leap to her death throughout the fall season, still wearing her white wedding gown.
So for all those who dare come to experience The Haunted Mill, be aware that you too may see this Lady in White.
This is the name given to the waterfall that runs along side the mill. It seems that there have been a lot of deaths caused by this waterfall and the sharp rocks below it. It has been said that the pool under the falls stays red for days after the deaths occur. Most believe that it is because the water doesn’t circulate properly because of the rocks and the narrow outlet of the pool.
Yet, there are those who don’t always accept the scientific point of view and tend to label this phenomenon as supernatural forces at work. It is their view that the red water may be the victim’s way of warning others of the dangers of the falls. Those who have been involved with the mill and know of its unusually high occurrences of strange events tend to lean towards the supernatural explanation.
Don’t take their word for it; come decide for yourself which explanation is more believable. I do hope that in the course of your further investigation that Blood Falls won’t also cause you to become its newest victim – but of course I can’t guarantee it.
Widow Makers Web
The cellar of The Haunted Mill is home to many creatures. The most volatile in my opinion are the spiders. Worse than any ghost, are these 8-legged fiends who plague the walls and floor of the cellar in this old building. And if these things aren’t enough to freak you out, I should warn you there are also strange occurrences linked to the catacombs below the mill where the spiders love to dwell.
The workers in this region of the mill claim that frequently they hear a woman weeping. The workers described the sound as very quiet, at first seeming to be covered by the shrieks and moans elsewhere in the building. This is one of the unsolved mysteries of this old place. No one in the town, the workers, or even the owners seem to know why there would be a weeping sound in the cellar, yet they all know about it.
It is the one subject that no one wants to talk about. I could only imagine why. A further investigation of this phenomenon is required, but I couldn’t talk any of my researchers into going into the damp basement. Believe me, I wasn’t going down there to check it out, with all of the spiders creeping around.
The Crib, another word for silo or granary, is also one of the newer additions to The Haunted Mill experience. Two brothers who grew up near The Crib in the fifties swear that this old building is also haunted. When I asked them about it they related the following story to me:
They were playing one day near the granary when they saw a small boy of six or seven enter into the abandoned silo. They quickly followed him into the crib to warn him of the dangers that were in the building. Many cattle and sheep strayed from the pasture surrounding the crib and into its bowels looking for food. These animals broke through the rotted floor and fell to their deaths; the brothers were afraid the same would happen to this boy.
They called to him through a crack in the door, but he just giggled and asked them to come in and look at his marble collection. They slid open the door just enough to see him start to climb the grain elevator. The brothers pursued him warning him of the dangers, but he kept going to the top. When the two brothers reached the top the boy was not there, only a small shoe box.
They were horrified because there was no where to go from that point except down 75 feet to the rotted floor below. They looked down to see if they could see him, but he wasn’t there and there was no hole in that particular place in the floor. One brother, curious, opened the box, and inside it were old baseball cards and marbles.
The two promptly descended the ladder that was nailed to the side of the grain elevator and ran home. They never saw the boy or his box again, though they looked for both in the old granary for the next few weeks.
Strangely enough, though, the two brothers did start to find stray marbles everywhere. The marbles seemed to just “appear” on occasion in that field and around the crib from then on. The trick for you is to now enter The Crib without seeing your own apparition, and hope someone has re-enforced the rotting floors.
The Crib: Part 2
The Fate of Jacob Wright
While there are many events that have happened in the crib are worth describing, some we feel compelled to tell. This is one of those events. The event takes place in the 1930s, shortly after the mill started producing the Rose of Idaho flour. At the time the supervisor of the mill’s granary was a man named Jacob Wright. His duties included overseeing the grain entering and leaving the grain silo of the granary.
The last few weeks of the grain harvest, Jacob became irritable and distracted. He claimed there was a prankster ghost that was always pulling “tricks” on him. He said he swears he could hear it whispering unspeakable things in his ears. The last day of harvest Jacob was supervising as usual in the rafters of the grain silo. The day progressed normally, until the grain auger stopped working. An investigation as to the cause revealed a bloody, mangled Jacob, or at least part of him, that was clogging the grain auger. No one knows exactly what happened, but what they do know is that Jacob fell from the rafters into the grain silo that day. The weight of the grain being poured on top of him prevented him from escaping after he fell. Jacob’s predicament was intensified, because they were removing grain from the bottom of the bin, as grain was being added to the top. The removing process created a very strong pull within the grain sort of like making the grain seem a lot like quicksand. So, with the grain pouring on top of him and being taken from below, poor Jacob didn’t have a chance. He was caught into this wheat-quicksand and buried alive. Eventually, Jacob’s fate was revealed when the auger stopped.
Many workers became convinced that Jacob became a victim of a prank pulled by the ghost that he thought was plaguing him. Others wrote it off as a terrible accident, but nothing more. Yet, since then, others have also claimed to have heard the whispers and some have claimed to have seen the ghost of a man up in the rafters of the now empty grain silo. Some believe it is the prankster ghost still trying to pull tricks and others think that Jacob now haunts the place of his tragic death. The owners of The Haunted Mill believe there are many ghosts who make this place their home, including both Jacob and the prankster’s ghost. Yet, there are still some who think there is nothing more than rotting lumber inside the grain silo and that the whispers are nothing more than the over-active imagination of simple farm hands. One thing is certain: There sure seems to be a lot of “accidents” happening at this particular mill, especially around harvest time. Therefore, as you are touring The Haunted Mill this year, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. We would hate for there to be any more “accidents”.
Psychotic Suspension Bridge
Yes, there is a real suspension bridge in this haunted attraction. It’s like something straight out of the movies. As you walk across the bridge, you can actually see the water flowing below. If that isn’t bad enough, you also can feel the mist off of Blood Falls blowing onto your face; these two attractions are just that close to each other. Combine Blood Falls and the Psychotic Suspension Bridge, throw in the darkness and the dog, and you’re in for a freaky ride.
Are you wondering about the dog? Well it should be no surprise to you that this haunted attraction is actually attracting spooks as well as people. This enormous white dog seems to wander the grounds outside the mill. His favorite place seems to be on the Psychotic Suspension Bridge. Guests during the Halloween season have seen him disappear off the bridge into the night, and have just dismissed it as a clever trick.
This dog however is not a smoke and mirror trick, he is real. (Real doesn’t necessarily mean alive, in case you were wondering.) When he was first seen it was thought that he was a stray or someone’s pet, but no one has laid claim to him yet. He has only been seen during the days that the mill is operating, other days in the year he doesn’t appear to be around.
The first year of operation some unsuspecting guests actually claimed to have pet the white beast. I can’t say whether that is true or not, but I will bet that he will be wandering about this year, too. As if hanging unprotected high above rushing water isn’t enough to scare you already, you also have to worry about an appearance from a ghost hound. But if you like being scared, it’s a good time.
This is sure to be one of the spookiest parts of The Haunted Mill. You might want to bring an extra change of clothes in case you… well, “soil” yourself.
The owners of The Haunted Mill have added, what I believe to be, the most disturbing and claustrophobic attraction yet. This would be the 300-foot underground mine that legend has named the Miller’s Mine.
The Miller Party was one of the first groups to cross Idaho on the Oregon Trail. The company of seven families was named after the Albert Miller family, who funded and led the expedition. The Miller Party was headed to Oregon in search of land to make into a homestead.
The Miller Party would be crossing Idaho in the fall of 1855, during the Idaho Gold rush. Most of the miners were paranoid of others laying stake to their claims. One group in particular was convinced there was gold in the area that is now called Teton. The years these miners spent searching for gold drove them mad. When they saw the Miller Party crossing through their area, the miners didn’t think twice before they slaughtered every man, woman, and child.
After the slaughter, they piled all the bodies and belongings of the Miller Party on a nearby hill and burnt them until they were no more than cinder and ashes. The miners feared that, if they left the bodies to rot on the land, the smell would attract mountain lions and bears.
After a long cold winter, spring came, and the miners decided they should dig a new mine. They were still convinced that there was gold somewhere in the region, they just neglected to dig in the right places. As they were searching for a new place to dig, they came across the site where they had burned the bodies of the Miller Party. The hard winter and gold fever had blocked the slaughter, and most all of their other memories, out of their minds. They only thought about the gold. As they crossed the site, they noticed something. It was gold. Not a lot of gold; fourteen small lumps of gold in total. They thought for sure all of their years of searching had paid off and the gold they had been searching for was buried in the ground beneath the hill.
One by one the miners who were digging the mine began to disappear. Convinced there was gold in that hill, the others were not bothered by the disappearance of their comrades. Actually, many of them were secretly glad, one less person to split the gold with. Eventually, all the miners disappeared. The families the miners left behind began to worry when they had not heard from their loved ones. A search party was formed to find the missing miners. When they arrived, they did not find any of the miners at the mine and the campsite looked abandoned.
Instead, at the entrance of the mine, they found a journal and fourteen small pieces of gold. Hoping that the journal would tell them where to look for their loved ones, the search party opened the journal to the day that was marked, October 15th, or the day the miners massacred the Miller Party.
The journal entry, written with what appeared to be the sharp tip of a cinder, contained a history of what had happened to the Miller Party, the name of each person that was killed, and a plea to bury the remains of the wedding rings that belonged to the parents of each of the seven families (the fourteen gold pieces the miners found) in order to put the souls of these families to rest. The entry was concluded with one eerie remark:
“Get the job done quickly. The mountain lions, which have chosen the mine as their den, have developed a taste for human blood. – Albert Miller Leader of the Miller Party”
Have you ever been out in a wide-open grain or hay field and gotten the eerie and immediate feeling that you aren’t alone? Or that someone is watching you? Or that you should run? Well, you may want to pay close attention to those feelings, if you come to The Haunted Mill this year. As part of your tour of the Haunted Mill this year, you will be forced to enter The Labyrinth.
The area known as the Labyrinth is part of a wide-open field full of tall prairie grass. Of course, there is an interesting story of how that portion of a field came to be known as the Labyrinth. The name was given to us by an elderly woman who came to the owners the year she heard the mill was opening. She said no one should be allowed to go into the Labyrinth. The woman pleaded the owners not to open the mill at all and in doing so she related a terrible tale. She explained that she and her sister were playing hide and seek near the mill one day. It was her turn to count. She remembered peeking and watching her sister run into the tall grass near the riverbank. As soon as she got to ten she raced to the tall grass thinking she would find her sister easily. However, she never found her sister. She looked for hours. Finally, it was dusk and she raced home to tell her parents that she couldn’t find her sister. Family and friends looked for days in the grass and the nearby river, but her sister was never found. She said it was so strange, because she never heard a sound from her sister after she entered that grass.
The woman again begged the owners not to open, explaining that her sister was not the only one who went missing. She said that lots of people went missing in that area. Dogs were known also to run into the grass like they were searching for a bird or cat and they also disappeared without a sound. “That is the worst part about it,” she said. “When my sister disappeared, she never made a sound. You would think if she fell in the river or someone took her, or she fell down a hole that you would have heard something. There would have been a splash, a scream, a slip, a struggle, the dry grass crunching under running feet, but there was nothing: Nothing, but the feeling that I shouldn’t be there; that someone was watching me; the feeling…that I should run.” Her face was so pale and disturbed as she uttered her last sentence that the owner agreed that he would not allow people to go near the area known as The Labyrinth as long as the old lady lived. This woman is no longer alive.
And so, with a death, the Labyrinth is reborn. We don’t know if it will claim victims as it has in the past, we can only hope…