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:

  • patrick 13

    Submited on: Wednesday 9th of March 2011 02:25:39 PM

    ths is the craft place try the kraft house 1666 kraft road!!!! >>
  • patrick 13

    Submited on: Tuesday 8th of March 2011 05:17:36 PM

    i went there and i all most pee my self it is so crazy in there i saw somyhin in the corner and looking at me and all my friends it was so scary i have to go back to in envestagate.!!! >>
  • Amanda

    Submited on: Sunday 23rd of January 2011 03:48:10 PM

    I went there when i was younger and to me its a rite of passage to see if you can get through an hour there.. but i agree if you vandalize the place you are ruining it.. you respect things and they hang around and you get treated better.. i dont think you >>
  • April

    Submited on: Monday 6th of December 2010 10:59:08 PM

    Sarah you mentioned seeing an aold man in a window of an old house do you know which one it is? The reason I ask is my great grandmother owned a bunch of the property and some of the old houses up there before she died and eventually sold off some of the >>
  • Rick James

    Submited on: Friday 5th of November 2010 02:11:22 PM

    Tyson it's by the green belt. or on the end of kraft road. >>
  • Rick James

    Submited on: Friday 5th of November 2010 01:56:08 PM

    Oh and Good Job keeping us out. all we had to do is go underneath the bridge and walk around the fence. FAIL >>
  • Rick James

    Submited on: Friday 5th of November 2010 01:52:55 PM

    This is a BS Story. I've been their and it's not haunted. But it was a fun time :). >>
  • Rochelle

    Submited on: Friday 2nd of July 2010 06:59:12 PM

    Soo. Me and some friends went down there, and there were signs all over that said beware of dogs. well, what i want to know is if there really are dogs around there. We didnt really have anything weird happen to us, but my friends and I kept hearing noise >>
  • Jessica

    Submited on: Sunday 27th of June 2010 08:22:25 AM

    You're correct zander, the art on those trains should be appreciated. If any of you go out there, make sure to walk by the trains and look at some of the cool designs people have painted on them... true urban art >>
  • Storrrm:)

    Submited on: Thursday 17th of June 2010 05:07:22 PM

    I actually went up there last night drunk with a couple friends, and I had this off feeling the whole time.. I had a baaad feeling about it. One of my friends and I started to head back when we got by that wall that is completely caved in. I just felt lik >>

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