Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Man Named Jolly

     My friend is currently in Southern Utah working near Zion National Park.  He heard an awesome ghost story involving an old cabin down in the area.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any old pictures of the place, but the story was too good to pass up.  Here is what he wrote about it from his blog

     I rode along on an ATV tour our rec director Kourtney was doing. She told us this story during the ride, and it was so awesome, I took Portia out this evening for the same ride.
     Back in the early 1900′s, a man by the name of Jolly (first name or last name? I’m not sure) came to southern Utah early in the spring. Near what is now the East Entrance to Zion National Park, he found a beautiful little canyon where he thought he could make a living raising cattle.

     Soon after, while spring was still springing, Jolly brought his wife and two children to the little canyon, and built a beautiful house next to a cool brook. His cattle happily munched on the green grass and his family began to settle in.

     As spring came to an end, and the scorching summer season began, Jolly and his family were surprised to find that the cool brook slowed to a trickle, turned to moist sand, and quickly dried up. They were far from the Virgin River, and water was no where to be found.
     As the long, hot days passed and they used the last of their water, Jolly realized that he and his family could not survive. They didn’t even have enough water to leave their new home to go get help.
      Finally, his cracked lips spread into a smile, and he unexpectedly invited his wife and children to go for a walk down the dry stream.  They came to what was once a lush waterfall.
     Once there, he threw his wife and children off the cliff and they tumbled to their deaths.  He returned to his house, and wrote down what he had done, and then walked back to the dried up waterfall and threw himself down as well.
     When you stand at the edge of the waterfall (or dry fall), if you feel the wind blowing at your back, that’s Old Man Jolly trying to kill you.  If you feel the wind blowing in your face, that’s his wife trying to save you.

     As the years have gone by, Jolly’s old ranch has changed hands several times. Each owner has tried to repair and remodel the house, as can be seen by the various modern improvements on the house. But each owner has left the house before finishing because the spirits of Jolly and his family still haunt their old home.
When you visit Jolly’s Gully, enjoy the view, but make sure you bring plenty of water!

     Erik took an ATV out to Jolly's Gulch but it is accessible by hiking if you want to visit.  To get to the location, you have to take the East Rim Trail at Zion National Park.  According to information that I found on the internet, the Gulch (and the waterfall, if there is one at the time) are located about 2.8 miles from the East Rim Trailhead at the eastern entrance of Zion National Park.

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