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Myths and Haunted Places in Utah and the Terrifying Stories Behind Them

Tis the season of ghosts, haunts, and paranormal phenomena. To get you in the Halloween mood, here is the fifth of our six part series about myths and haunted places in Utah and the terrifying stories behind them.

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The Midnight Massacre

Kenna Wagner

Kenna's career is dedicated to exceeding the buyer’s expectations and to always do what is right for the customer...

Kenna's career is dedicated to exceeding the buyer’s expectations and to always do what is right for the customer...

Oct 4 2 minutes read


The Midnight Massacre

At midnight on July 8, 1945, two months after the end of WWII in the European theater, American private Clarence V. Bertucci reported for duty at a prisoner of war camp in Salina, Utah. He had been drinking earlier that night and claimed that "something exciting is going to happen tonight." After the midnight changing of the guard, Bertucci climbed the guard tower and loaded a .30-caliber Browning machine gun. Bertucci then began to fire into the tents of German prisoners of war, raining 250 rounds of ammunition down on the sleeping men. Nine men were murdered and another twenty wounded.

Time magazine dubbed the bloody night the “Midnight Massacre,” which is remembered as the “worst massacre at a POW camp in U.S. history,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The victims of the massacre were buried with full military honors at Fort Douglas Cemetery. Bertucci was declared insane and committed to a hospital in New York. A museum at Camp Salina now honors the lives of the men killed in the Midnight Massacre, but those who visit the site report strange sounds, electrical disturbances, and other strange phenomena.

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