Utah’s Ghostly Grave Robber of the Great Salt Lake
Utah is home to many urban legends, ghost stories, and folklore. One of the early ghost stories of pioneer-era Utah is that of Jean Baptiste.
According to Only In Your State, Jean Baptiste was a gravedigger at the Salt Lake City cemetery in the late 1800s.
In January of 1862, a man named Moroni Clawson was killed after a standoff with law enforcement, and no family or friends came forward to claim the body. Salt Lake City police officer Henry Heath paid for the burial.
A week later, news reached Clawson’s family and they came forward to claim the body and have it moved to the family’s cemetery. When the body was dug up, it was found that the burial clothing had been stolen.
Officer Heath investigated Baptiste’s home, and not only found Clawson’s clothing, but also the clothing from more than 300 other burials.
Jean Baptiste was arrested and threatened by angry mobs and fellow prisoners while in jail. So, he was then sentenced to exile on Antelope Island.
When it was determined that he could swim away from Antelope Island, he was moved to the more remote Fremont Island.
Two weeks later, when a rancher came to check on his cattle herd on Fremont Island, he found one of his cattle killed and a small wooden house torn apart.
John Baptiste was nowhere to be found and people began reporting sightings of a man wandering the shores of the Great Salt Lake.
You can find more creepy stories in the stories linked below.