Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Kelton Jorgensen is my brother-in-law. He was born and raised in Hyrum, Utah where he is currently still living. He is 22 years old and is the third of four brothers in his family. Kelton has a fun personality and has always been one that likes to make every situation exciting and fun. He enjoys playing games and being around people. Kelton served a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint in Vancouver, Canada. He is currently a student at Utah State University.
I interviewed Kelton in his home in Hyrum, Utah after we had a conversation about this folklore project over dinner. We were both sitting on couches in the front room, while his parents and one of his brothers were talking in the other room. When Kelton first started telling the legend, he was a little nervous because he didn’t want to mess up, but once he started talking and getting into the story, the nerves disappeared. When I asked him where he originally heard this legend from, he said he heard it off-handedly while in class, but then a few years later his friends invited him to go and see the place where this legend originated from. The legend of the haunted swings originates from Mount Sterling, Utah. This legend was started by a kid wanting to scare his friends. This kid got one of the friends to go and “hang” himself from the harness of the circle swing set. When the rest of the friends went out the circle swing set and they saw that one of their friends had “hung” himself, they were all super scared, and one of the kids even peed his pants. The kid that pretended to hang himself was a counselor in the bishopric to my father-in-law, so he told Kelton how it actually started.
So the story goes that there was a a husband that decided to come home early to surprise his wife uh he’d come home and actually found out that his wife was cheating on him um with this guy and so ended up killing the wife and the guy that she was cheating on him with and [took a deep breath] the kids came home from school that day and wanted to know where their mom was, and um so the dad’s like here I have a surprise for ya, so he took ‘em out back into this little field that they had behind their house and, there was this circle swing set he had built for ‘em, um and what he did is he ended up hanging up all hanging all five of his children around the swing set and hanging himself from the from the middle of it, um and if you go there at night the swings will still move by themselves and you can actually just hear the if you listen really quietly you can hear the little kid’s laughter um as they play on the swings.
Kelton told this legend in a voice that he uses in any day-to-day conversation. He also spoke fast and did little pausing while telling this legend, and didn’t have to think too hard about the details, which implied that he seemed to be familiar with the legend. His body language was very minimal, and most of the time he was slouched over with his elbows on his knees with his hands doing something with his phone. Kelton told me that the time he went to the haunted swings with his friends, the swings didn’t move, and he didn’t hear any children laughing, but he knows other people who have seen them move and have heard laughing.
Dr. Lynne S. McNeil
Semester and year
G7: Horror Stories
Jorgensen, Eliza, "The Haunted Swings" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 566.