The scary old Shilo Inn is getting a new owner and a total multi-million dollar rehab. You know the hotel. It’s the only building here in the Capitol City that looks like bad Vegas hotel with red neon running up on all the 12 floors. If you were born in the 1970’s or recently moved here you wouldn’t know the history of the place. It is sadly the scene of the largest murder/suicide in Utah’s history back that took place back in 1978 and it’s a horrible story.
It was a regular summer morning and commuters were getting off the freeway and heading in their usual routes to work when bodies starting falling out of the sky on onto the corner of 200 South and West Temple from the Shilo Inn. Pedestrians and cars alike had to dodge what turned out to be a woman and her seven children falling out of the warm sky. Some folks on the ground were screaming STOP! up at the hotel room balcony where the woman stood and yet others yelled JUMP! in anger when the mother finally stepped over the edge. I remember that morning. We didn’t have cell phones back then and there were no Instagrams of the bodies littering the streets.
Rachel David threw her children or ordered the older ones off the balcony of her hotel room there and then she followed them to her death. One child survived. Ms. David was the widow of an excommunication Mormon known as Immanuel David. He had committed suicide a few days earlier by sucking up enough carbon monoxide to die, because the Feds were after him. His given name was Bruce Longo and he believed he was God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. God was about to be indicted on tax evasion-although press at the time never said what God did for a living, only that he was head of a religious cult and lived from hotel to hotel with his wife and brood. His cult was his family and he didn’t have any known followers outside the hotel rooms.
Only one of the family survived: a daughter also named Rachel. I heard that she landed straddling a wall and horrific injuries. She was in surgery for a full day and was confined to a wheelchair and later moved to a relative’s house in Coloroado. I think she recently passed.
If you got to www.hauntedhouses.com there are reports of a woman and a little girl who haunt the hotel to this day. The ghosts (like other hotel guests) “enjoy the first floor pool area” and guests here laughter in the video gaming area when no else is in there. Supposedly the ghosts of the David mother and one of the children play at lot of tricks on the maintenance crew by unscrewing light bulbs and moving tools around.
The new owners are going to turn the Shilo Inn into a Holiday Inn. The neon is going away and the only outside glass elevator in the city will be torn off the north side of the building. You may have noticed this past holiday season that the giant red Christmas tree was not lit up on top of the roof-an indication of the sale of the property. It doesn’t matter what the owners of the Holiday Inn franchise do to the cosmetics of the building. The place will always be a murder scene and the ghosts of the mom and children may forever wander the building.