BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Idle Isle Café in Brigham City is currently the oldest Utah restaurant still in operation today at over 102 years in business. Founded in a historic building, the restaurant has had countless reports of ghost activity from visitors and staff alike.
First opened along the Main Street of Brigham City in 1921 as a candy shop before becoming a full-service restaurant, it has since become a staple in town.
However, the site of the restaurant dates back even further to when B.M. Young, the son of Brigham Young, invested thousands of dollars to complete the brick building in 1892. It was originally named the “Armeda block” in honor of his wife, Armeda Snow Young, also the daughter of LDS President Lorenzo Snow.
In the past, the building has been home to all sorts of businesses, including a women’s hat shop, shooting range, school, and confectionery.
With such a rich history, Idle Isle has garnered much acclaim for its vintage interior, friendly service, tasty menu, and, according to the staff in interviews with ABC4, all sorts of unexplained paranormal activity after hours.
At nighttime, it’s said that the apparition of a woman dressed in 1920s attire has been seen peaking through doorways. Others report spotting shadows wandering the restaurant, as well as the presence of a tall man’s spirit watching the staff. Even more, several at Idle Isle note both seeing and feeling a mysterious cat roaming the dining area.
Beyond any spirit sightings, many staff tell of ominous and unexplained sounds such as women’s voices murmuring at night, the clanking of pans, and hearing their names being called out from nowhere.
From the kitchen, some tools are said to move on their own, and doors slam shut without warning. Some staff also claim to feel strong touches, taps, and tugging on their clothes while in the dining area.
Further accounts given to ABC4 include a motion-sensing paper towel dispenser that would reportedly lose control until being told to “stop” — wasting many rolls over time before it was finally replaced by a manual dispenser.
When venturing into the restaurant’s basement, staff and owners report other unexplained phenomena after dark, as well as an eerie feeling in various corners of the building.
According to the owners of Idle Isle Café, the spirits who reside there are friendly remnants of townsfolk and others who’ve since passed but enjoyed regular visits to the restaurant.
The area itself has a storied past, which involves hidden underground tunnels that connect to buildings and homes across Brigham City — reportedly used by polygamist families during the 1800s as they were evading persecution by the government.
In interviews with other businesses along Main Street, ABC4 learned there’s plenty more paranormal activity that occurs almost daily in other landmarks around the city.
Those who visit both Idle Isle and Brigham City — whether or not they believe in the supernatural — cannot deny the small town’s tales and the magic felt throughout.