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:

  • stephanie

    Submited on: Tuesday 15th of June 2010 05:22:57 PM

    me and my 3 friends went out there at about 2 am and we pulled up and saw a shitty ass car all beat up so we rolled down the window and it dissaperedso we were sittin in the car doin our thing and all of the sudden a bord from the 2nd story fell off one o >>
  • Zander

    Submited on: Saturday 12th of June 2010 03:47:15 PM

    All of you need to appreciate the art that's on those damn trains, would you love to look at rust or fucking art. be tasteful people. -cheeks. >>
  • jesse

    Submited on: Monday 31st of May 2010 03:22:44 PM

    fred that light that you see out in the middle of the field is a water heater me and a couple of friends went out there at night in march but i did get a weird feeling that someone or something was watching us like a man thats what my friends said to but >>
  • fred

    Submited on: Monday 31st of May 2010 02:03:11 AM

    i have been to the kraft plant twice at night with two different sets of friends the first time we saw a girl in a white dress and as we left and drove past the abandoned house were the party was we saw a glowing light in the field and there was no one ou >>
  • Kat

    Submited on: Monday 10th of May 2010 06:49:08 AM

    Those screeching sounds you hear are that young girls screams. Some people have heard it just by driving past the plant at night. You don't have to enter the property to hear them...you can hear them outside the plant too, up to 3 blocks away on Kraft Roa >>
  • Patrik M.

    Submited on: Saturday 1st of May 2010 05:38:50 AM

    No wonder people are breaking in! $100 a person? Lets get fucking real.... >>
  • noscare4me

    Submited on: Thursday 1st of April 2010 08:53:24 PM

    The kraft plant is lame! no ghosts just alot of bird poo. Dont waste your time! >>
  • previous owners

    Submited on: Thursday 1st of April 2010 01:22:51 AM

    Just to let you know -- if you are ever caught trespassing around the Kraft Plant, you will wish it had been the ghost. We have worked there day and night and there is nothing there. YOU ARE TRESPASSING IF YOU ENTER THE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION, AND YO >>
  • RENA

    Submited on: Monday 29th of March 2010 04:59:35 AM

    me and two others went to check out the kraft place this was last night and early this morning..we jumped the fence and walked around the place we smelt achohol and was not sure if it was just from kids but we didnt smell it the first time around..we foun >>
  • jordan

    Submited on: Saturday 27th of March 2010 04:32:59 AM

    Me and my buddies were out looking at haunted places around town and we stopped at the Kraft house. When we got there it just seemed to be a scary place that gave you a bad feeling, but after leaving we returned and after stopping for a few minutes we dec >>

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