Legend of the Haunted Forest

Cletus Snodgrass grew up in the Bayou country of Louisiana making and selling his famous Bootlegger Moonshine. He was quite successful and many people couldn't get enough of his moonshine. After a few years, he caught the eye of a local barfly named Helga Vandersnoot! She soon fell in love with Cletus and his moonshine. In 1848, there was major Civil unrest in the south, and on a whim, Cletus decided to pony up and marry Helga, and soon after had their first child named Otis. In search of a more exciting and fulfilling life, they decided to head West with the rest of the pioneers. It was a long and arduous journey. About the time the Snodgrasses hit the Utah line, his Mules were plum exhausted and couldn’t go much farther. He decided to follow a wagon train to Utah County to stake his claim and build a homestead near the shore of Utah Lake in an area called Nutty Putty Creek.

Over the next few years, Cletus built the Nutty Putty Hotel, General Mercantile store, and Livery Stables that would later support the Pony Express when it started in 1860. With the increase in Pony Express riders came more people to support them. Cletus decided to get his Bootlegger Moonshine business back up and rolling and planned on selling it to all the Mormons that surrounded the area. Little did he know that his Moonshine business idea would be a Dead End with the Local Mormons and decided to focus more on the constant stream of travelers. One night he hosted a lone traveler who loved his moonshine. He drank with Cletus late into the night until he passed out. As Otis hid under the table, Cletus dragged the drunk feller into the back room where he began his grisly work of harvesting human blood so he could add just 2 drops of blood to each bottle of moonshine. This was his secret ingredient! It was from this experience that Otis became obsessed with the taste of blood. On several occasions, Helga would let Otis play in the forest and go out later to retrieve the lad and would catch him gnawing on small animals he had trapped. After a few months, Otis’s teeth became pointed and sharp. When the local guests would reach down to pat the toddler on the head, he would look up at them with beady little eyes,then proceed to hiss and chop his teeth at them!

As Otis grew older, he didn’t like strangers coming and staying on their homestead. When they had guests, Cletus and Helga made Otis play in the less desirable areas, like the mosquito infested forest out back that was full of all kinds of critters! Over the next several months, people would wake up in the hotel with only bloody stubs left in place of fingers. It was discovered that Otis became more irritated as his blood lust grew. Sporadically, he would sneak out of his bed, head over to the hotel and gnaw on the guest’s fingers as they slept. Meanwhile, Cletus and Helga were at a loss as to how Otis became so bloodthirsty. As Otis became older and stronger, his desire for human blood increased to the point that he started to cannibalize whole bodies and would drag them out and bury the remains in the forest. With all the missing people, rumors were spread and people became leery of the Nutty Putty Creek area. This was devastating to his Parents’ business and by the 1870’s, the area was completely abandoned!

Cletus and Helga were beside themselves due to their livelihood being destroyed and finally Cletus revealed to Helga his secret moonshine recipe. She was flabbergasted that her husband had been murdering people for years and hiding their body's in the forest. Then the realization hit her that she must put a stop to all the loss of life. She pulled some cyanide from her secret treasure chest and put three drops in Cletus’ drink at dinner. One sip and Cletus was lights out and dead as a doornail! Helga, without thinking, drank the rest of Cletus’s drink and immediately went belly up! Otis ran into the forest and was never seen again.

The Snodgrass homestead was completely abandoned and was later considered Haunted! All the people that lived on and around the Snodgrass homestead moved from Nutty Putty Creek, to the area now known as American Fork City. Nutty Putty Creek’s name was later changed to Bone Creek due to the high number of human bones found along the creek's banks in the forest. Many trespassers have said that if one listens closely in the forest, little Otis’ hissing and chopping teeth can still be heard! Legend has it that ‘OTIS LIVES’!