Friday, October 26, 2012

Urban Legends

High school wasn't my favorite. People who say, "These are the best years of your life!" are BIG. FAT. LIARS. Yes, there were TONS of fun times. But the best? I'd say no.
However, the fiction was AWESOME.
I saw Shadow Manor's post about urban legends over at Shellhawk's Nest and I thought, Maybe I should post about Hyrum. Halloween is definitely the best time...
So, here is the story, as told to me by my older brother, Mr. Bagley, Mr. T, and a few other great storytellers.

FYI: All places mentioned in this post are real. The happenings however are iffy at the least.
And this man has nothing to do with the LDS church.

Kenny owned a mine near Koosharem, Utah. He'd been mining it for a while and only found bits and pieces of gold. It wasn't much, but he had a feeling he should just keep going. One evening, after he had sent his workers home, he found what he'd been looking for. A gold vein running deep into the mountain. He cursed himself for sending his men home early. There was no way Kenny was going to leave now.
As he sat at the mouth of the mine, a large shadow crossed him. Jumping up, prepared to face a bear, he saw a man. The largest man he had ever seen.
Kenny thought this was his lucky day. He introduced himself as the owner of the mine. The man said he had come this way looking for work. Kenny smiled, looking at the man's arms.
"You're hired."
The giant smiled, shaking Kenny's hand, careful not to crush his new employer's wrist.
"By the way, I'm Hyrum. Hyrum Smith."

That night, the two men worked hard, filling buckets and carrying them out to a safe place. A few days later, Kenny celebrated with his family, a few close friends, and Hyrum. As he raised a glass to his his new help, Kenny's wife eyed him approvingly. The gold wasn't enough for her, and her greed for a new prize grew.

Hyrum continued to work for Kenny. With his size and strength Kenny's mine grew, tunneling deeper into the mountains. Kenny's wife grew more and more fond of Hyrum, lusting after him constantly. Kenny was so happy he didn't notice, and Hyrum was humble and kept to himself.

One evening, Kenny was away when Hyrum stopped by to speak with him. Kenny's wife bade him inside their cabin. Trying to seduce him, Hyrum refused, his integrity and loyalty ingrained in his large frame.
Infuriated that Hyrum would refuse her, Kenny's wife lied when he returned, saying that Hyrum forced himself on her. Kenny was furious and decided to get revenge.

He knew the vein in his mine was exhausted, but Hyrum did not. Kenny sent him deep into the mine. Setting up explosives the night before, he set them off knowing Hyrum would never be able to survive.
Kenny pretended to be upset and called for his other workers. They dug until they came to the place where Hyrum's body should have been. All they found was a boot with a bloody stump.
Workers noticed a tunnel off to the side. As they followed the blood, they came to a deep hole. Lowering ropes with lanterns, they were unable to see the bottom. Kenny told them enough was enough. Hyrum should rest in peace.

Trying to ensure his innocence, Kenny used some of his gold to purchase a headstone for Hyrum. He closed the mine permanently and had several of his men place the large stone at the entrance.
The next day, the stone was found at Kenny's cabin, broken in two pieces. The people of Koosharem were baffled. The only person that could have carted the stone from his mine to his home was dead. Wasn't he?
Kenny purchased another headstone and put it in the same place. Again, it was found at his home, broken.
Kenny decided not to waste any more of his gold, and months later, Hyrum was practically forgotten.

When the first snow fell, Kenny had to go away again and leave his wife home alone. The night he returned, he saw strange footsteps in the snow. One was a large boot print, the other, a plain circle. Like a stump.
His heart racing, he followed them to his door. It was slightly open and the lantern inside swung from side to side. Slowly pushing in, he saw his wife, strung up. Her heart was no longer beating, but she was still warm.

A week later, the people in town hadn't seen Kenny or his wife. When they went to his cabin, they found her, still hanging, and Kenny, lying cold on the floor. The doctor said he seemed to have died of a heart attack. He had no bruises, no lacerations, nothing that indicated anything else.

Over time, there were Hyrum sightings. One evening as a farmer was looking out over his flock, he heard the squeal of his wire fence being stretched and bent. When he looked out to the far side, he saw Hyrum, squatting near a post, watching the sheep with the same look a wolf gives a lamb. With the grace of a dancer, he leaped off the fence and ran at top speed towards a large ewe. He was swifter than the farmer expected. In less than a minute, Hyrum had grabbed the sheep and headed back the way he came in. Leaping over the fence, he slowed, turned around, and waved to the farmer. It seemed almost as a thank you. Turning back, he disappeared into the trees, the ewe's bleating growing quieter until it stopped abruptly.

A family came to their summer home in Koosh one day to a terrible smell. In their basement they found a pile of blankets. Littered around the room were bits of animals, empty cans of food, and several large boots, all for the left foot.

A group of scouts were on a camp out up Koosharem canyon, singing songs around a campfire when out of the woods came a giant of a man. He picked up a small boy on the end of a log and disappeared into the woods again. The leaders ran after them, calling for the boy. His screams grew louder as they gained on the giant. He seemed to have aged some since the last sighting. Finally he dropped the boy and disappeared, this time for good. When the leaders reached him, he shivered, unable to speak. The stench on his clothes was terrible, that of rotting meat. For days after the incident, the boy drew pictures of a pale face with icy blue eyes.

Once in a while, on quiet nights, you'll hear the dogs start to bark on one side of town, and slowly the barking will sound clear to the other side. That's just Hyrum, taking a stroll through Koosharem.

Locals know to keep a look out for mountain lions, coyotes, and Hyrum Smith.


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