Pocatello: Kraft Plant

Warehouse owner hopes to put ghost story to rest

By Kurt Friedemann Journal Writer POCATELLO

In the years since it was abandoned, the Kraft House has become woven into local legend. Surrounded by a wood reminiscent of the The Blair Witch Project and solidly encased in local spook lore, the former Kraft Foods Inc. warehouse has become a place where adventure seekers test their mettle on Halloween night. The former factory and warehouse was built in 1924 by Kraft Foods. The three-story building operated as a plant until 1955, when Kraft production began to scale down. By 1967 the large foods producer had begun construction on a 450,000 square foot plant north of Pocatello and abandoned its old site along Kraft Road. After Kraft Foods left, the building stored everything from fruit to rail cars and even, some believe, ghosts. An Internet site recounts the most common tale related to the old building: In 1984 a girl was taken to the Kraft house after being drugged by a jealous man at a party. She was raped in a chair in the middle of a warehouse room and in the process the man’s gun went off, killing her. Ten years later at 3:59 a.m. 15 calls were made to 911 from phone lines in the warehouse. Operators reported hearing a woman cry please help me. When police arrived they found a chair in the middle of a warehouse room and and a bullet nearby The bullet from the original crime scene was never found and police will not confirm or deny if the bullet found was the one from the first crime scene. Pocatello Police and the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office both say the story is bogus. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said there have been reports of satanic rituals performed at the site or just general vandalism and trespassing, but that’s it. There may be some graffiti on the wall but there have been no reports of C.W. Kraft floating around, he said. Pocatello Police Lt. Brad Hunt agreed. There are always reports of things going on over there, he said. But usually it’s just kids trespassing. That’s the problem, says Leroy Bartu. Bartu is the current owner of the former Kraft warehouse and he says vandalism and trespassing are costing him money. Bartu owns and operates Idaho Rail Shop Inc. from the old warehouse. He and his small crew rejuvenate old rail cars there. It’s become such a nuisance that Bartu hired Rover to watch over the place. Rover is a Chow guard dog and very protective of his territory. Bartu said he diden’t want to be forced to take such action, but he’s tired of trespassers breaking fences, doors and ruining walls with graffiti. I don’t know what to say, he said. People have thought this place was haunted ever since my kids were little. It’s not haunted, it’s my business. Bartu tells a story of a time more than a year ago when he was touring the site in anticipation of buying the building and surrounding ground. The former owner spotted some kids jumping the fence to have a look at the run-down building. The owner was ready to cite the kids right there, Bartu said. But he convinced the man to let them go. That was a long time ago. Now Bartu himself has lost his patience and is ready to call the police each and every time he catches someone on his property without permission. I don’t want to cite anyone, he said. It’s just got so bad I’ve got nothing else I can do.
NOTE: The following story was posted with permission from the Idaho State Journal

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Comments:

  • Dustin N

    Submited on: Wednesday 19th of December 2012 10:08:44 PM

    I am a local photographer that has been looking for a old warehouse type area to do a photo shoot in. If the owner is looking over these comments please contact me and maybe we could work something out! newyorkyankeesman@yahoo.com Thanks, Dustin >>
  • kassie

    Submited on: Tuesday 30th of October 2012 04:43:21 PM

    go here on halloween! >>
  • Dalton

    Submited on: Tuesday 30th of October 2012 04:10:19 PM

    GO there on halloween and enter the basement. The devil and i will be waiting. >>
  • Take a spelling course!

    Submited on: Saturday 27th of October 2012 07:33:06 PM

    First and foremost, the spelling within these comments is horrendous, please pay attention in school young ones! Second, have any of you confirmed that a rape & murder took place in this warehouse, or are you children scaring yourselves with generations o >>
  • just me

    Submited on: Saturday 1st of September 2012 12:55:36 AM

    i live on kraft road a couple houses away from the kraft house &&there is something in my house.. my friend came over &&could tell right away.. he said its a man stuck in my basement &&he killed someone here &&hes trapped.. he opens doors that i KNOW i lo >>
  • I see dead people

    Submited on: Sunday 26th of August 2012 05:41:01 PM

    I know for a fact that the Kraft factory is haunted, and so is the abandoned house that is just before the Kraft factory. The old man you saw is real, and so is the beautiful young woman. The thing is though I would be careful if I were you the beautiful >>
  • wooooow

    Submited on: Friday 25th of May 2012 01:56:04 PM

    i went to the kraft house last night. i must say it is one of the creepiest places i have been. me and some friends walked their at 11 at night. by the door we saw a dog a real dog behind a door and it didn't bark or anything it looked very scared though. >>
  • Chris

    Submited on: Thursday 24th of May 2012 02:10:59 AM

    Does anyone know the actual address cuz I just moved onto kraft road >>
  • MAryyR.

    Submited on: Tuesday 31st of January 2012 08:11:40 PM

    me and a couple of my friends really want to see this place i have heard so much about it that it seriously has sparked interest to us. but we dont want to trespass so ""previous owner"" if there is a way to get us in there to check it out without getting >>
  • me

    Submited on: Thursday 26th of January 2012 04:02:39 PM

    in regard to previous owners comments, gunshots were never mentioned in above as you said. I am aginst the breaking and entering and vandalism. Truly there is art everywhere around us. just look! I am a beliver,and I pray for that women\\\'s spirt and >>

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