Haunted Houses: The Art of Scaring in the 21st Century

October 13, 2017

Any time of year, be it day—or especially night, Utahns can venture through ghost towns, creep through haunted houses or explore the paranormal. But during the peak month of October, you’ll experience the $3 million local All Hallow’s Eve industry that rivals Utah’s ever-lucrative wedding industry. Commercial haunted houses may have their roots in Madam Tussauds, Chamber of Horrors, and, yes, even Disney’s Haunted Mansion, but the art of evoking screams has come a long way from stationary wax decapitated French men and ghosts floating in mirrors. Salt Lake Speaks sat down with Nightmare on 13th‘s Casting and Art Director Jimmy Dilley and Marketing Director Travis Hahn to find out what goes into creating a cutting-edge Haunted House and why it’s getting harder to scare the pants off people.


Utah’s Wild, Wild West Days

September 28, 2017

When Ogden was chosen as a connecting city for the transcontinental railroad, the Wasatch become a hub of activity—both legal and illegal. While it might seem difficult to believe looking around our state now, Utah used to be a rough and tumble part of the wild west that housed criminals, mobsters, speakeasies and houses of ill-repute. In fact, the Madams who ran brothels were some the wealthiest residents of Northern Utah and owned quite a bit of property for women in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries. Salt Lake Speaks invited Sarah Singh, Curator of Special Collections at Weber State University Stewart Library to discuss how Utah’s wild history allowed women to engage in power politics, property ownership and, yes, prostitution.


Is the iPhone X worth $999?

September 22, 2017

Apple’s recent announcement of their upcoming iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10) meant to showcase the company’s 10th anniversary of their juggernaut iPhone product. While the internet will often go all abuzz at any Apple announcement, changes coming along with the iPhone X didn’t have universally positive reactions. The removal of the home button in lieu of Face ID technology and the decision to fully encase the phone in glass to create an “edge to edge” screen have even ardent Apple fans feeling a bit apprehensive. And all this without even mentioning the whopping $999 price tag. Salt Lake Speaks sat down with Todd Cohen, a tech industry veteran, to discuss whether or not Apple’s newest toy will break sales records or cause some to convert to the iPhone’s archnemesis, the Android.


Walking the Wild Side with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams

September 14, 2017

County Mayor Ben McAdams wants to restart his community’s compassion for the homeless. Last spring, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams was groping to understand Salt Lake’s homelessness crisis. He had all the statistics to make a controversial decision on a new homeless shelter—but something was missing. McAdams put on a jeans and a hoodie, left his ID and money behind and walked into the Rio Grande district to get a more intimate idea of it meant to be homeless. He would be scared, cold and witness drug use. But McAdams returned convinced that a long-term solution to homelessness—beyond law-enforcement sweeps—has to be found.


Utah’s Medical Cannabis Debate

September 5, 2017

While several states have already voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the conversation in Utah is in a much different place. Christine Stenquist, director of Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) Utah, is bringing this conversation to the forefront of Utah’s political stage.


Axe Throwing Sets Up Shop in Utah

August 24, 2017

The relatively unknown sport of axe throwing is starting to sweep the US with over 20 locations nationwide. But how did this Viking pastime infiltrate the mainstream? You can thank Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa.


Utah Mommy Blogging: Ali Hynek of Nena & Co

August 17, 2017

Ali Hynek found her way into Mommy blogging, or ‘influencing’ as she prefers, after her triplets were born two years ago. Hynek had already developed a face and following through her fashion company, Nena & Co., so the transition into mommy specific blogging was easy. For Hynek, the instagram account began as a digital scrapbook for keeping pictures of her sweet PEAs, (Penelope, Ethan & Alejandra), but eventually it has grown to be one of Utah’s top mommy influencing accounts. Hynek discusses how she grew her company and her personal account, how she manages products and branding and how to balance what is seen on social media and the reality of motherhood. 


Utah’s fascination with Romance Novels

August 11, 2017

Utah's fascination with pure romance. Most people have an idea of what a romance novel is: raunchy, lowbrow and made for lonely women. But the numbers paint quite a different picture. New York Times Bestselling author and local Utahn, RaeAnne Thayne, joins Salt Lake Speaks to discuss the subject. 




Facing Utah’s Hate Groups

August 4, 2017

Many consider Utah safe from the kind of aggressive hate group activity often associated with the South, but that is not the case. Dr. Rebecca Barrett-Fox, assistant professor of Sociology at Arkansas State University whose research specializes in the rhetoric and logic of hate groups, explains why there has been an extreme increase in hate group activity and visibility in the last eight years. 


John Dehlin: Mormon Excommunication and Shunning (Part 2)

July 13, 2017

John Dehlin talks about excommunication, cult vengeance, shunning and rebuilding his spiritual life. PART TWO 

John Dehlin, a psychologist best-known for his global podcasts “Mormon Stories,” was excommunicated by the LDS Church as an apostate more than a year ago. He spoke frankly with Salt Lake magazine Managing Editor Glen Warchol about the price of speaking out—being shunned by his Mormon community, having his children harassed and finally being forced to leave Logan for Salt Lake City.