The Many Mysteries of Kay’s Cross By Clint Wardlow

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The explosion was loud. It echoed through the town of Kaysville, Utah. Many residents heard the boom. It was 10 p.m. Tuesday, February 25, 1992. Some one had snuck down into Kay’s Hollow and filled up one of Kaysville’s oddest structures with explosives and set it off. Kay’s Cross was no more…sort of.

Unless you are from Kaysville (a suburb about 25 miles north of Salt Lake City), chances are you have never heard of Kay’s Cross. It is the stuff of legend in Davis County—an imposing stone and mortar structure that loomed 20 feet high over a remote hollow. A large letter K adorned both sides. To get to it most folks had to first hike through the Kaysville Cemetery and then trudge over scrub-oak covered hills.

A lot of Kaysville teenagers made the trip over the years. Kay’s Cross was just too irresistible. The spook tales surrounding Kay’s cross are varied and many. During a full moon the cross gives off an eerie glow. Or a strange spectral woman haunts the cross, chasing away visitors. Or Satanists perform sacrifices at its base on Halloween night. Or the face of a murdered woman appears in the cross on the anniversary of her death. Or the cross will burn anyone that touches it during its glowing phase. Or mysterious dog men guard the cross. Pretty wild stuff.

The most popular myth is that the cross was built as a monument to the landowner’s murdered wife or family. Some tales say they were the victims of marauders, but in one version, it is he who murdered his wife—or seven wives, depending on the teller—and hung himself near the cross in remorse. In its most grizzly form, he buried six of his wives around the cross and one standing upright in its base. Another legend is that he sealed only the heart of his wife in the cross. The center of the cross had been hollowed out over the years, evidence of curiosity seekers excavating for this gruesome trophy.

As dramatically satisfying as these stories are, no news stories can be unearthed concerning such murders taking place in Kaysville. One of the few stories written about Kay’s Cross, a 1981 Lakeside Review report by Maggie Holmes, relates a legend in which a series of malevolent spirits guards the cross. In this spooky tale, anyone who wants to visit Kay’s Cross must sneak past these specters residing in the Kaysville cemetery, or the ghouls will make them pay. One gets the feeling that the teenage sources for this bizarre ritual were pulling Maggie’s leg.

A less ghost-oriented story surrounding the cross is that an irate farmer, probably the landowner, guarded it. He would chase away any visitors with a shotgun loaded with rock salt. Many first hand witnesses have verified this, so it has the ring of truth.

Though no official history exists for the building of Kay’s Cross, there are some theories. The least likely explanation is that it was constructed by Kaysville’s founding father, an acolyte of Brigham Young named Bishop William Kay, as a boundary marker or burial place for his wife. Most long-time residents, though, believe that polygamists built the cross in the 1940s and the letter “K” on the cross stood for the family name of Kingston. In 1992, a non-bylined story in The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported that Charles and Ethel Kingston owned the land. Some have suggested that Kingston’s followers built it as a monument to their leader. Others have postulated that Kay’s Cross is nothing more than a property marker for Kingston land. Is this irrefutable proof that the Kingstons built Kay’s Cross? Not by a long shot.

The explosion that took out Kay’s Cross was pretty spectacular. It obliterated the base and hurled ten-pound chunks of rock up to 80 feet. The only known casualty was a pheasant roosting in a tree some forty feet away. An investigation failed to reveal what type of explosive was used. The sheriffs dutifully sent evidence to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. No one was ever arrested. The case remains open.

Though toppled, the ruins of Kay’s Cross still lay in the hollow. Development is making its way towards Kay’s Hollow, but for now it is untouched by builders. Shattered bottles around the Cross’s ruins testify that it remains a teen hangout. As long as an aura of the unknown hangs about, folks will be drawn to this oddball landmark, whether Kaysville residents like it or not.

Devil Worshipers of the Cross

In Kaysville, UT there is a place known to some of the locals as Kay’s Cross. It’s a field with a lot of trees and there are some small houses around. Over the years devil worshipers and such would go there and do animal sacrifices and other weird things. To get these actions to stop the town members blew up the cross. This was a very long time ago, but at night weird things still happen. I have seen tall figures in black that seem to hover and teleport, glowing eyes, and clothing and tents that have been ripped apart. My friend has a story about sitting in his car with one of these black-cloaked figures coming towards them, and the car wouldn’t start or lock.

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