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
Submited on: Thursday 18th of March 2010 03:11:12 PMWell even if this place is haunted that still doesn't give vandals the right to trespass. Private property! >>
- jennifer robinson
Submited on: Tuesday 9th of February 2010 03:27:58 PMok i have been to the kraft house and yes it is very real me friend got pazessed by a demon there. it is bad news. if u stand by the river and wait you willhear big objects being twrown in the river but no one and you will not see anything. it is a very s >>
- Tearle B.
Submited on: Tuesday 19th of January 2010 04:10:10 PMSara, if you would like to, i have info. on the factory. And I could get my contact to possibly talk to you. just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org put ""Kraft"" in the subject line....thank you >>
- Tearle B.
Submited on: Monday 26th of October 2009 01:29:07 PMA Couple people i know did trespass and got into the building. Their stories are all too real. That place IS haunted and i just think the owner doesn't want to admit it. He should try and go through there. >>
Submited on: Tuesday 15th of September 2009 12:39:50 AMok, i have a question and cant find any info on the net. i just moved to pocatello and had been driving down kraft rd. on the way back to the highway, i looked over at an old abandoned house on my left side and saw a man standing in the window. he pointed >>
Submited on: Saturday 15th of August 2009 02:03:46 AMim not saying i believe in ghosts or anything but i see how there are bullets every year or ten years after the accident or whatever it was but not the night it happened! >>
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