21 October 2022

The McCune Mansion's Haunted History

The iconic McCune Mansion at 200 N Main St in SLC has a haunted history associated with it.

McCune Mansion on an October evening 2022

McCune Mansion on an October evening 2022

This large home was built in 1901 for railroad/timber/mining mogul Alfred and Elizabeth McCune, after they sent their architect, S.C. Dallas, on a two-year tour of the US and Europe for him to study architectural styles and techniques.

The mansion is outfitted with exotic materials from around the world and has two ballrooms. The roof is made of thick handmade tiles from Holland, originally costing $7K ($247K today), for example. It was the first million-dollar home in Utah.

In 1920 the McCunes gave the home to the LDS church and became the McCune School of Music and Art. Throughout its years it has been a family home, residential rental, music school, dance studio, reception center, art gallery, and office space. In 1999 it was purchased and restored and now serves as an event space and often hosts weddings.

The McCune mansion is often referred to as haunted and there is a myriad of ghost stories associated with it. Most often, the stories include cold spots, oddities with the lights, moving objects, and music coming from a hidden alcove near the central staircase.

McCune 3rd floor ballroom, from mccunemansion.com
McCune 3rd floor ballroom, 2016, from Trip Advisor Barb J
McCune 3rd floor ballroom, 2016, from Trip Advisor Barb J
McCune 3rd floor ballroom, 1985, from HABS file.

The ghost of a girl who dances in the 3rd-floor ballroom has been reported, often enjoying the festivities of various gatherings. The ghost of Elizabeth McCune is said to inhabit the kitchen and often moves bowls, pots/pans, and other kitchen implements. Most stories are of friendly spirits.

Mirrors and paintings seem to be associated with the little girl. An electrician working on the house reported that he saw the girl wearing white emerge from the enormous mirror in the 1st-floor drawing room; she looked around, decided everything was ok, and then went back into the mirror. The electrician never returned to the home.

Music alcove, 1985, from HABS file
Servants’ staircase, 1985, from HABS file

In my research, stories of the McCune Mansion being haunted seem to originate in the 1990s, especially after Philip McCarthy started preservation efforts in 1999.

Haunted Salt Lake City (2018) by Laurie Allen, Cassie Ashton, Kristen Clay, Nannette Watts
Specters in Doorways Revisited (2009) by Linda Dunning
UDSH file
HABS file
ksl.com Dec. 17, 2010
Salt Lake Tribune Nov 15 2001

No comments:

Post a Comment