Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Carson Campbell is a 17-year-old junior in high school. He lives in Sandy, Utah and has lived there most of his life. He is part of student government and plays on his high school football team. He likes to hang out with his friends in his free time and read books, mostly fictional stories. He is a member of the LDS faith and works at the local Home Depot. He is also my best friends younger brother.
I had to FaceTime Carson because there wasn’t a time that worked where I could meet with him in person. When I ended up FaceTiming him, he answered and was at his high school’s basketball game in Sandy, Utah and I was in my apartment in Logan. I told him I could call him back later when he wasn’t busy but he insisted that it was okay and we could just do the interview now. He left the noisy gym and walked around the school to find a quiet place with good connection. We both were familiar with FaceTime so it was easy for us to talk about the Devil Worshipers House over the phone without any technology questions or concerns. This legend trip is usually done with high school students that live near Sandy, Utah, it is usually a big group of people that know what the house is and either one person or a small group of people that don’t know what is going on. This kind of legend tripping is usually figured out after the first trip, meaning that after a person goes for their first time, they usually figure out the figures on the roof are chimneys or their friends tell them the truth. I have done this before in high school, both being taken there for the first time and taking people there. It is something that a lot of people that went to the high schools in the Sandy area have done and when you ask people about it, they have either been or have heard about it and want to go.
Carson: So I’m going to do when you take someone else.
Me: Okay, whatever is more interesting.
Carson: Are we ready? So you first pick up your victim –oh gosh I shouldn’t have said victim [laughing]. Okay, start over [laughing], you should not have picked me [laughing]. So first, you pick up the person you are wanting to see the Devil Worshipers House, and you start talking to them about the rituals that they do on the roof,
Me: Which are?
Carson: [Caught a little off guard by my question] Um, if like for example you tell them like, if you are super quiet you can hear them saying spells and incantations and like whispering under their breath. And like all this stuff and you like hype it up and tell them all these stories, that happen in the past that aren’t true like one time I went and I took someone and I said that one time they heard us looking at them, like sneaking up on them and one of them turned back to look at us and we sprinted back to our cars [rolling his eyes] as fast as we could. And then you take them to the house, and you turn the music down really low [imitating turning down the card radio] so the mood gets set and [laughing], you walk, it’s a kind of walkway to the – so you can see it from the back and, you look and it looks like there are these statues, well [rolling his eyes] real people [laughing] on the, oh my gosh, on the roof. And you’re like that’s them, shhh [putting one finger over his mouth indicating shhing] and then they get really freaked out and you run away and that’s the Devil Worshipers House. The whole thing is a hoax and they are chimneys but it is really fun to take someone for the first time. And there are 3 chimneys so I feel like that is a lot of chimneys for one roof but they are there.
When Carson was telling me this story, he knows that I have been to the house and I know the way it works so he was laughing and interrupting himself when he thought that he was saying something wrong. He was telling me the story over the phone while he was in his high school for a basketball game so he would have told me the story different if he was taking me to the house for the first time. He would have been completely serious and wouldn’t have laughed if he was taking me for my first time. We are good friends so he was making jokes before we started talking about the actual legend tripping so he was in a good mood. This is supposed to be a funny thing that people do to their friends, usually on a weekend at it has be done at night, Carson said he wouldn’t take his mom to do this. Carson was rolling his eyes in the interview because he knows I know it is fake and people actually believe it even though it does look very realistic, like 3 people standing on top of the roof with cloaks on. He was laughing throughout the interview because he would say something that wasn’t exactly how he wanted to say and paused a few times to think about what he wanted to say.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Muse, Courtney, "The Devil Worshipers" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 198.