Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Bridgette (Gette) Luke is a coworker and good friend of mine. Born in 1989 and a Cache Valley native, Gette lived in Seattle for a few years before moving to Logan during high school, and has been here ever since. She is a host and busser at Herm’s Inn, a local breakfast hub in Logan, Utah, and has been working there for about six months.
“Herman’s Inn,” as it was initially called, made its debut in the early 20th century, with the exact year and dates unknown. Built and founded by Herman (“Herm”) and Elizabeth (“Lizzy”) Johnson along Canyon Road, Herm’s Inn was, at one point in time, quite literally one’s last chance to “gas up” before entering the mouth of Logan Canyon. Decades later, after over half a century of neglect, Herm’s was bought and restored by local businessman Jim Laub to revive the building and its glorious history. Reestablished in 2012, Herm’s Inn is now a popular breakfast and lunch destination for those who know how to find it. Despite its unassuming appearance and quiet location within a residential area, Herm’s holds a colorful history, including an underground whiskey operation during prohibition, and notions of the building being haunted. Herm’s Inn is now home to a collection of old stories and legends that still circulate around the Valley today, not to mention a series of newly developed jokes, traditions, and numinous experiences among current employees. I interviewed Gette along with five other coworkers from Herm’s in the living room of my apartment. The setting of this group interview was very casual: we were all circled around my coffee table, drinking beer and wine, as we often do together on our evenings after work. This is a brief account (or set of accounts) that emerged in conjunction with several other stories and conversations regarding the supposed hauntings at Herm’s. Though the actual incident about the little girl in the story had occurred months ago, Gette and I learned this story less than a week before the interview, which spread widely across the restaurant in a matter of days. Most, but not all, of the people present had already recently heard this account. Amanda and Steve, who I work with on a regular basis, gave their input as well. The other pieces from this interview can be found under the following names: “The White Figure,” “The Children See Ghosts,” “The Pantry Door,” “Haunted Coffee Spoons,” and “The Heroin Spoon.” I also interviewed the owner, Heather Santi, and manager, Andrea Steffes, about their uncanny experiences at Herm’s, which can be found under the following titles: “The Ghosts of Herm’s Inn,” “The Moving Lockers,” “The Black Figure,” and “Something Down the Stairs.”
Amanda: Well, and Jen, that cleans, she said that, uh, the tv [in the basement at Herm’s] just like, randomly turned on.
Gette: Oh! [leaning forward] We asked her about it that night [cf. “The Children See Ghosts”] when she came into clean when we were all done. [I] was like, “Hey did you know there’s a ghost?” and she’s [Jen] like, “I don’t wanna talk about it” [laughter] Do you remember? [Gette looked over to me for recognition].
Mira: Oh do you remember what she said about her little girl?
Gette: Yeah her little girl said that she’s sick of talking to ghosts or something like that?
Mira: Yeah, she has a five-year-old daughter and, her name…it’s like Ada, right?
Mira: And Ada came up to Jen one day, and was like, “Mommy I’m just tired of talking to the ghosts.” [long pause, then laughter]
Amanda: What the fuck! [laughter]
Gette: Well think about it, little kids, like see things because they believe it because they had like better imagination, like the older you get, the more you’re like, “No I didn’t see that.”
Steve: See like I’m not sure that’s the- I think of it the opposite, like they’re still fresh. They haven’t been tainted by the world yet and how we’re supposed to view everything that they still can see what’s there.
Gette: Like they see it the way it’s supposed to be seen? Instead of the way we think it should look like?
Steve: They haven’t disconnected from like the reality of it. They’re just taking it in as it comes instead of being like, “No I’m not seeing that ‘cause it’s not real.”
Gette: Yeah, they believe it...because they’re so young.
Mira: Gette do you believe in ghosts?
Gette: [hesitating] Yeah...I don’t know if I believe in full figures of ghosts, but I know that I’ve seen some shit that freaked me out.
From this conversation, it’s difficult to discern if anyone from the group interview actually believed in ghosts, however there was no denying for anyone that the accounts mentioned here (from Jen and her daughter) were interpreted as legitimate, leaving everyone a little tense. The content shared was typical among this group (as we talk about work often), however, and everyone present seemed comfortable overall, as they were all drinking and laughing periodically.
ENGL 2210: Intro to Folklore
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Davis, Mira, "Tired of Talking to Ghosts" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 475.