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During our winter trip to Zion, we had one day where we just didn’t want to hike and I remembered the Grafton Ghost Town was nearby so off we went!
I didn’t really know what to expect, i just knew that it was rumored to be haunted and I’m a big fan of haunted things. I remembered seeing a reel about the haunted cemetery near Zion and it turns out that haunted cemetery was a the Grafton Ghost Town.
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AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential.
Booking.com – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
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The weather was perfect the day we went since it was January. We went to the cemetery first since it’s the first thing you actually get to. I walked around it a bit but not long because the ground was extremely muddy.
From there we headed over to the main part of the ghost town. There are a few buildings you can walk through including the schoolhouse/church, the Russell home, the John Wood house, and the Louisa Russell home.
There are a few signs around the property explaining the different buildings and the history of the settlement, which I’ll get into in a minute. We took our time walking through the buildings we could. There isn’t ay furniture or anything in them but you can still see the different rooms.
There isn’t a ton to see and do here but it’s a fun way to spend a spare couple of hours near Zion, doing something a little different and less busy than some other places nearby.
What is the Grafton Ghost Town?
Back in 1859, five Mormon families were told by Brigham Young to move to a place called Wheeler to start a settlement to grow cotton. Within two years 28 families, 168 people, called the settlement home.
Not long after though, tragedy struck and the town was taken out by a flood. Fret not, though, they moved not far away and established the town of Grafton by 1864. Here, they grew alfalfa, cotton, and wheat to support themselves.
The community soon faced a lot of deaths from diphtheria, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever as well as accidents. There are about 77 graves in the cemetery from loss to disease, but primarily a high infant mortality rate which accounts for about 50 of the graves.
Grafton was almost entirely abandoned during the Blackhawk War but in 1868, several families and Native Americans moved back to the settlement. However, by 1919, the last class was taught with just nine students when most of the residents relocated to nearby Rockville and Hurricane.
The last residents officially left in 1944. In it’s heyday there were about 30 structures, but only five are left to see today.
Where is the Grafton Ghost Town?
Google Maps should take you right there, but from Springdale, head away from the park (toward Hurricane and St. George), and follow that main road for about 3.5 miles.
Once you get to Rockville, turn left on Bridge Road then turn right on 250 S/Grafton Road and follow that for about 3.2 miles. On the left you’ll see the cemetery and the rest of the ghost town is to the right. It’s at the end of that road, really.
How much is the Grafton Ghost Town?
Free! There is no charge to visit the Grafton Ghost Town but donations are accepted to help restore and maintain the grounds and buildings.
How long do you need at the Grafton Ghost Town?
I would plan 1-2 hours total for getting there and walking around to see the buildings. Maybe a little longer if you’re coming from St. George but it doesn’t require all that much time. It’s a good side trip from Zion or on your way/too/from the park if you have some spare time.
Is the Grafton Ghost Town really haunted?
Maybe, maybe not. I can’t find much about hauntings here, just that one reel I remember talking about the haunted cemetery and a few brief mentions of people reporting hearing babies crying and children laughing, some even seeing a woman walking around.
I think a lot of people mostly report a creepy, unsettling feeling though. If you’ve experienced anything here or have a good source on hauntings, I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Is the Grafton Ghost Town worth it?
I think so, if you have spare time and if you love ghost towns. I liked it, I’m glad we went, but it wasn’t quite what I expected even though I didn’t really have any expectations? If II was really short on time, I’d skip it, but if you have two extra hours, it’s worth a stop.
Grafton Ghost Town photo gallery
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Have you been to Grafton Ghost Town ? What did you think of it? Do you want to go? If you’ve been, did you have any paranormal experiences?