Paranormal Investigations and Provo’s Forgotten Past

Several weeks have gone by and we have not talked. Dear reader, we have been busy readying the Asylum for guests. We have even had two weekends of admitting new patients. Make plans to visit us in the near future…

The paranormal world surrounds us. Most of us live our lives not aware of the world of ghosts, spirits and energies hovering so close to our own. A growing number of believers have started forming groups to explore this mysterious world. Like minded people join together to share experiences and gather evidence of the afterlife. While the idea of paranormal investigations is nothing new, recent surges in popularity have brought it to the forefront of our popular culture consciousness.

We at the Asylum are very excited to be hosting a paranormal investigation night held by a very respectable group in the paranormal investigation world. The Paranormal Illumination Society will be with us October 10th. A scan of their Facebook page will give you an idea of what they are all about. Check them out and like their page here;

Stories are emerging from cast and crew. Late night hotspots have been found…when the crowds have left and all is quiet and still the hair on the back of your neck will stand on end. Many have reported the creepy feeling of being watched. I find myself occasionally looking over my shoulder as I make my rounds through the dark halls.

Not only is there present day evidence of perhaps ghostly encounters but this particular part of Provo seems to have an interesting past. Upon doing a search of the internet and a trip to the local library one will uncover a host of unusual events and tragic occurrences that have taken place in our cozy little town. Let me give the references now so you can read further on your own;

Holzapfel, Richard N. A History of Utah County. Utah County Commission. 1999 p176-181

Brown, Mary and Holladay, Valarie Images of America; Provo. Arcadia Publishing. 2011 p49-50

Carter, D. Carter Tales from Utah Valley; Strange and Sometimes Spellbinding Selections from the Daily Herald’s History Page. Daily Herald. 2007 

One particular part of Provo’s history that is mostly unremembered today is the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-19. Many harrowing accounts of this epidemic that swept the world are found throughout the history pages many are unaware of the small page that Provo occupied of this story. Nearly 200 souls lost their lives to this epidemic as it swept through quiet little Provo in the fall and winter of 1918-19. Provo was under quarantine. People were banned from gathering in large groups. Many were fearful to even leave the seeming safety of their homes. Whole families were taken by Influenza. Funerals and burials were a daily occurrence. Might I leave this subject with an excerpt from Holzapfel’s History of Utah County, “His father came into the room and asked if they should remove the body or wait until morning. They decided to wait and then, to everyone’s surprise, he opened his eyes. He said later, I know no one will believe me, but I was dead-I could see everyone in the room and heard their conversations, but I came back when they started talking about taking my body out.”  

Might I encourage you to read into the past of your own town and your own family history. It will always be fascinating and bring you much delight. It is with utmost reverence we retell these stories to you. We have much respect for the stories of the past and long to shine a light on those souls who have past on before us. By remembering our past we enrich our present. Likewise investigating the paranormal world brings us greater knowledge of the mysterious world around us. I am a firm believer the world is a much more mysterious place than most take it for. Learn about it. Research the unknown, the forgotten and the things that might make you a little uncomfortable.

Don’t forget we are here to entertain you!!! We are now open weekdays. Open everyday except Sundays through November 2nd. 

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Dark Inspirations part 2

Are you ready for another round? Let’s celebrate the coming season by visiting more dark corners and dusty places. Let’s talk about the authors, artists and horror provocateurs that keep us up at night. Why are we so obsessed with their spine tingling tales and visions of madness? Let’s put more wood on the fires of our dark imaginations. Hold my hand as we plunge head first into the abyss…

First tonight I want to highlight some true visionaries of the dark visual arts. Simon Marsden is a photographer I have admired since first being exposed to his work as a child. I remember fondly thumbing through a borrowed library book of his work. His pictures were transformative to me at an early age. They took me away to far off places now long forgotten shrouded in mist and darkness. They haunted me as a child and they haunt me today. Take a few minutes to explore his archives. Let his work take you away. Feel the ghostly past come alive as you walk the paths and crumbling staircases. I hope you enjoy them as much I do. Or at very least I hope these places visit you in your dreams.

Is it possible to make an abandoned mental hospital even more creepy? Check out this article about an artist in Italy who has done just that.  The pictures are surreal and strangely beautiful. They make us question the locale and overwhelm us with a sense of the uncertain past.

Next, let’s explore two giants in the literary world. These authors combined works have influenced generations of horror, science fiction and fantasy creators and fans. Edgar Allan Poe and H P Lovecraft today are still some of my favorite creators. I often turn to their words as a source of inspiration for writing projects and daydreaming nightmares. A fun site for the Poe beginner is  Might I recommend reading a few selections of his poetry. Poe is probably best known for a certain poem but, be daring and go explore…I promise you wont be disappointed. Visit  and see what the H P Lovecraft historical society is up to. This is a great example of the inspiration Lovecraft is to so many.  is a site that chronicles his vast work.

One more place to visit tonight… Haunted Houses have been dear to me since childhood. One particular haunt that helped nurture and feed my love of the art and dedication behind the creation of a haunted house is Rocky Point. I know every haunt nerd gushes at their love for this place and I’m no different. My memories of this place are of vast sets and detailed characters. You could feel the love and passion of its creators on every visit. It was a place you would return to every season (sometimes multiple times in one season) just to see the new stuff and to experience your favorites returning to give you wonderful nightmares. I am proud and honored to say I was able to take my oldest son to experience Rocky Point before they closed their doors forever in 2007. Take a look at their website and get a glimpse of the power that once was.

I leave you dear friends for tonight. I hope you’ve enjoyed our time together. Maybe I have introduced you to something new or renewed and confirmed your love of something old. The picture below is a glimpse of what waits for you as our doors open September 20th. Until next time…happy nightmares!Image



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Dark Inspirations

Dear Reader,

What inspires us to create such dark delicacies for your enjoyment? What lurks in the dusty cobwebs of our collective subconscious? Lets explore some of those places both real and imaginary together as we huddle around our glowing computer screens this fine summer evening. You may just find we are more alike than you ever imagined or you may run screaming into the night madness nipping at your heal…

Abandon places capture our attention. There is just something about crumbling facades and broken windows that draw us in. It is in our nature to want to know the stories and people these walls could talk about. In particular places of importance hold vast knowledge of forgotten times and people, places such as; ancient schoolhouses where children learned and grew, old factories and hotels where lives where lived, places of tragedy or of historical significant where the world watched in awe. Tonight lets focus on hospitals, sanitariums and asylums. Gothic monoliths held prisoners of the mind in dark rooms who spent their days wandering corridors tormented with personal demons. Psychiatric care was not what it is today. Methods and treatments of long ago now seem barbaric and frightening. Take some time in hospital hopscotch follow the link below. The pictures and stories contained tell of dark times most have forgotten. Images of hallways, rooms, beds, equipment and personal affects are haunting and ghostly. They illicit a real response; real terror, real fear, real madness. Exactly what we aim for…

Another facet of inspiration I wish to explore tonight is true crime. We all have heard stories of deranged killers. Its stuff of Hollywood movies; Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger and a host of others. These don’t frighten me as much as the real deranged serial killer. Infamous names such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer illicit responses of fear and dread. Tonight I bring you the story of Americas first documented serial killer, Dr. H H Holmes. Read his biography in the link below. I promise you that uneasy feeling as you lay down for bed. Pull the sheets up tight and think happy thoughts. These are real stories…

Farewell for tonight dear friends…that’s enough for one evening. I fear I too will be uneasy as I climb into bed. Much more is in the works. We will go over more inspirations another night. The world of the imaginary waits for us to explore. Another night we will go into the science of fright. Plus more hints, clues and pictures of the upcoming season will be available soon. Sleep tight…

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Mossy Tree Productions

Here is the latest from Mossy Tree Productions, “Shadowed”. Check out his other stuff from our links page.

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First Trailer 2013

Good afternoon from deep inside the Asylum!

Here is your first look inside the madness! Step up to the window…wipe away the dust and cobwebs…press your face up close and enjoy…

Experience for yourself September 20th 2013!

Thank you Mossy Tree Production for this awesome trailer! Check out their stuff from the links page.

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More Introductions…

Hello Folks,

It is time for another introduction.  This time we are all in for a special treat…straight from his mind to yours I proudly present the boss man himself…

Name: Randall Lay, aka Randy

Wanted: Terrorizing Utah County residents

Occupation: Owner, Anguish Asylum Haunted House

Has been know to associate with individuals of questionable repute.  Has spent years perfecting craft.  Originally a resident of Palmdale, California.  Spent hard time at Cal State Bakersfield and BYU.  Is married to the former Susanne Whitney.  Currently resides in Orem.  Is known to be involved with organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Haunters.  Suspected involvement in other mysterious activities, as reported by USPS and FedEx employees.  Maybe recognized by lack of body piercings and tattoos.  Walks with slight limp, due to the great accident of 69′.  If seen, do not approach.  May be mentally impaired due to sleep deprivation and lack of basic social skills.  Make no sudden movements, back away slowly and notify local authorities.

There you have it folks…the man behind the mystery revealed.  Look for more profiles of us weirdoes in the near future.  Also check the links page out for some more neat haunted house related sites real soon.  Next time how about we introduce someone from deep inside the Asylum?  The good Doctor is itching to tell his story.  Stay tuned…

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Hello…readers, friends and…patients,

It’s been far to long…let’s talk.  It’s me Butcherman.  My purpose in writing today is to give you a glimpse into my mind.  I want to show you who I am, what my interests are and where I find inspiration for the nightmares we are about to unleash upon you and the world.  So here it goes…

My name is Butcherman.  The name was given to me as an actor in another haunted establishment.  I like to think of it as a term of affection and what can I say it stuck.  Over the past 20 some years I have worked in many other haunted establishments.  The years have taught me that scaring you is as much a science as it is an art.  I have become a mad scientist of sorts.  Admittedly I am not very good at many of life’s other necessities (gardening, making my bed and being nice) but I have become really good at delivering nightmares.  My nightmares are different, very much unlike any nightmares you have encountered before.  I feel this business of fright we are in has become a bit stale.  At Anguish Asylum we are very into being unique both in the nightmares we choose but also in how we choose to deliver them.  We are very proud this upcoming season to present a new show that will haunt you for years to come.

I am the proud father of five butcherkids and have been married to butcherlady for nearly 14 years.  Family is important and we all take part in haunting you.  Each of us has strengths we use to make the show we are involved with extremely terrifying.  Haunting is very much a family affair.  So look for us in the bowels of the Asylum… we will be waiting.

I am quit fond of things old and forgotten.  I often think I may have been a carnival barker on the boardwalks of Coney Island in another life.  You’ll be happy to know the sideshow business is alive and well thriving in various parts and underbellies of America.  Urban Decay is fascinating.  I love to wander in abandon places and feel the history and stories that once inhabited now vastly empty and lonely places.  Horror has been a love of mine since I was a child.  You can see this in my tastes in film and literature.  Music is the backbone of my life and my tastes are as varied and interesting as life itself.  Then there’s haunted houses…  Look for my favorites in the links page.  Thanks for getting to know me a little better.  I look forward to getting to know each of you even if only fleeting as you’re running in the opposite direction.  Look for more bio’s of our cast and crew in the very near future… Thanks


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