Seriously Strange Secrets of Small Lake City

“What do you want to do this weekend?”

We’ve all asked it.  We’ve all been asked.  Usually, what follows is a routine back-and-forth, more suitable for angsty suburbia-dwellers.

Luckily for us, this bland if not quiet metropolis, dubbed Small Lake City, offers an answer in the form of urban exploration.  We’re not talking about Hobbitville, the Devil's Gate, or the defaced Jesus tree, but sites whose credibility are not entirely dependent on urban legends.

I present to you, the secrets of Small Lake City.  

Have you ever envisioned Joseph Smith’s face carved on to the head of a sphinx? ...I sure as hell hope not.  Regardless, this is a very real sculpture, iconic to the Gilgal Sculpture Gardens. Tucked in the middle of a block between homes and businesses, a majority of people are completely unaware of its existence. This attraction is dedicated to the legacy of Thomas Child’s desire to give physical form to his deep felt beliefs. The Gilgal Sculpture Garden, home to 15 different exhibits is a free attraction located at 749 East 500 South in Salt Lake City.  Visitation hours are as follows: April-September from 8am-8pm and October-March from 9am-5pm. For further information visit: http://gilgalgarden.org

Daniel II: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

A pyramid that was allegedly constructed by the guidance of other dimensional beings also casually resides among us.  Yeah, you read that right...an alien pyramid.  Though not as impressive as the Luxor on the Vegas strip, this bronze-colored pyramid in the shadow of I-15 is enough to cause a rubber-necked car accident.  Amen Ra, the founder, was contacted by higher Beings in a series of “visits.” Having been an elder to the Mormon church, a married father with two children, and a man with an educated background, Ra wondered why the Beings chose to contact him. The Beings instructed him regarding their desires and the necessity for this pyramid. Dubbed, "the Summum Pyramid," was built between 1977 and 1979, and serves as a main teaching space, meditation hall, and place where modern day mummification is practiced. The Summum church offers mummification services to people and pets alike who yearn "for something more..." Prices range from $67,000 for people and as low as $4,000 for a pet under 15 pounds. To be honest, this story is too much for me to regurgitate without profuse amounts of goosebumps and the growing fear of nightmares  Read about the counters here:  http://www.summum.us/about/firstencounter.shtml or here http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/summum-pyramid 

Pyramid's location: 707 Genesee Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104  

 As if obscure architecture and alien pyramids are not enough…let’s talk about the grave site marked “Victim of the Beast 666."  Wait, what?!

The grave site of Lily E. Gray lies in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. This grave site has integrated itself into the category of Salt Lake City’s strangest places simply due to its fittingly spooky nature.  The simplicity of this headstone marked with a startling epitaph calls for recognition.  In addition to the stark words engraved on this memorial are primroses, often referred to as “The Devil’s Lantern.” Scope it out.  I dare you.  

To finish this off I cannot resist an honorable mention: The Anderson Tower.  Just North of 300 North on A street on the West side of the road once stood a tower built from the same stone as the Mormon temple.  This tower was built in 1884 by entrepreneur Robert R. Anderson with the mission of constructing a viewing tower for the growing city.  Unfortunately, the location on which this structure was built was already the highest point to obtain an unobstructed view of the city, therefore it did not generate much profit.  The structure did not receive as much attention as anticipated, resulting in the destruction of the monument in 1932.  http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/anderson-tower-monument

Over time, Salt Lake City has revealed itself to me to be one of the most interesting places in the country due to its ability to produce endless interest-provoking secrets. Get out there and explore the precarious place we live in.