11 October 2023

I was featured on X96 Radio From Hell

Gina reads my #SpookySLC story!

Gina read my Spooky SLC story on this morning's Radio From Hell show!  It happened to be an event that took place where the X96 studio now stands (Broadway Media Building).  

It was my story about an alligator in the SLC sewers.  You can see the reel on my Instagram.

And here is the story: 

About 1900, a rumor emerged of an alligator living in the SLC sewers. 

The Salt Lake Hot Spring Sanitarium was a bathhouse, swimming pool, and spa that used hot spring water piped from Beck’s Hot Spring. It was at 52 W 300 South which is now Broadway Media.  (Read about the history of the Sanitarium building, and this interesting story about an early civil rights lawsuit).

In April 1902, a young man from the telephone company was sent to fix the phone lines in the basement of the Sanitarium. He was deep in the back of the dimly lit basement near a long tunnel that encased the water lines connecting the Sanitarium with Beck’s Hot Spring, about 2 miles away.

He suddenly heard a curious sound and caught a glimpse of a monstrous animal scurrying back into the tunnel. The man’s hair stood up in afright and he immediately scrambled out of the basement.

The animal turned out to be an alligator named Jim who had been living in the Sanitarium’s basement and water system for the past 2 years. Jim was originally part of an exhibition of 3 juvenile alligators in the front window of the Sanitarium in 1899.

Once the alligators became too large (and no longer cute) they were disposed of: one was killed, and another was sold to the UofU’s Biology Dept (this one died 4 months later; supposedly its brain and skin were preserved).

The story told to reporters was that Jim was found to be listless and supposedly dead, so he was thrown into the basement of the Sanitarium. The management denied any knowledge that Jim was alive and blamed its employees who left lunch scraps in the basement and who must have unknowingly kept the gator alive. (More likely "knowingly")

Regardless of how Jim became a resident of the basement and the water systems of the Sanitarium, it is unknown what happened to him after he was found out. Supposedly, the management of the Sanitarium organized a posse to search out the alligator and finally dispose of him.

From my archives. Originally posted Oct 2021.

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