Kay's Cross is haunted. It was built by a polygamist man named William Kay. He got angry one night and killed all of his wives in the late 1800s. Instead of of burying them at the cemetery near by and making tombstones for every one, he just buried them in his back yard. He erected a huge 17 foot cross as a memorial to his deceased. He even cut out his favorite wife's heart and put it in the hollowed out center right behind the "K." His wives haunt to Cross to this day.
Does that story sound familiar? If not, you can now say you've heard the basic backbone to the legend. It's the story I heard over and over again growing up in the Kaysville area.
My name is Matthew. I was born in 1992, the same year the Cross was blown up, and the stories survived all these years. My dad grew up in Ogden. He heard the ghost stories growing up too. As a teenager he ventured out to see Kay's Cross. At that time it was still standing.
Would you believe me if I told you that the actual facts are stranger than the stories?
In order to create the YouTube series that you can watch on our home page, we had to do a lot of research. The page you're reading now is an attempt to combine everything we've learned about Kay's Cross. From here on out, I'll give you the facts only (as far as I know them).
I started my research at UtahGothic.com This website had a lot of helpful information. It got me thinking. I quickly realized that there probably wasn't a lot of truth to the myths I had always heard.
My friend Jake decided to help me with this project. We discovered that William Kay really had nothing to do with Kay's Cross. William Kay was a good man. He helped settle Kaysville. He was the first LDS Bishop here back in Brigham Young's day. He was so great that they named the town after him. I want the world to know he never killed any of his family!
Bishop Kay's picture hangs in the Heritage Museum in Layton next to one of my ancestors. My great, great, great, great grandpa, another settler of Kaysville was one of Bishop Kay's close friends, his name is John Green. Knowing this gave me even more of a personal incentive to figure out this mystery. This isn't just local history. To me it's family history too!
"I first saw the Cross in 1947 so it's at least that old." The director of this local museum, Mr. Bill Sanders, explained. Mr. Sanders actually has an entire binder full of information on Kay's Cross, including newspaper articles, reports by students, and many pictures.
He told us a little bit about the destruction of this landmark. Kay's Cross was blown up in 1992. But, who blew it up? That's one of the strangest mysteries yet.
Why would someone blow it up? Were they hiding something? Some say that the cops or the property owners just got tired of it. Teenagers were known to go to the Cross and try to freak each other out. Teenagers coming to the Cross were also known to be involved in underage drinking and other illegal activities there. The area was very difficult to monitor. However, there is no hard evidence convicting the police, the property owners, or any neighbors of blowing it up.
This piece of the mystery has the least light shed on it. I called the police department. They told me to go to the Sheriff's Office. Strangely enough, Kay's Cross is at a part of town that's not technically in Kaysville. Although right in the middle of Kaysville, it's technically considered just a part of Davis County. I found this particularly strange because the surrounding areas are in Kaysville.
For the city police this means they don't have jurisdiction. It falls to the county sheriff.
It's easy to uncover that the Sherif's Office sent a "bomb expert" out to the Cross the day it of the explosion. I wonder how they found a "bomb expert" hanging around that very day. Either way, no one was ever arrested. The case just seemed to fade away after awhile.
I asked for and filed for the original police report, but no one ever got back to me.
We even went to Kaysville City and asked to look at the city council meeting minutes the week it was blown up. "There's nothing there," the lady at the desk quickly responded. "I've looked through all the records myself. There's nothing on Kay's Cross or the family that owns the property." She seemed to dismiss us rather quickly. It should be our right to look at those minutes, but I didn't push it too hard.
We went to the Davis County Courthouse and eventually ended up in the Recorder's Office. "Is this the place where we go to look up who owns property in the county?" I asked the lady at the desk.
"Yes it is!" She pulled down a map and I pointed to the property only to discover that it was owned by a mysterious cooperation named "LPM." Then the computers went down. No more documents were available. Although the lady did quietly admit that she believed polygamists owned that property.
Mr. Sanders suggested that we go to Boynton Road. He said it was the closest street to Kay's Cross. He wanted us to just start knocking on doors to see if any of the neighbors knew who built it. I didn't want to go that far just yet.
We went back to the Recorder's Office a few days later to find a tax document that LPM Cooperation filed regarding the property. They filed this new tax information earlier that year on May 16, my birthday. This was getting strange.
We also heard rumors that Kay's Cross was built by a man named Krishna Venta. We looked him up and found a blog all about him.
Francis Pencovic was his real name. This Californian lived around the same time the Cross was supposed to be built, but was he really ever in Utah? He was a cult leader and told people he was the Messiah, yes, Jesus Christ. He even changed his name to Krishna. At the end of his life he ended being bombed by own of his "followers." He was killed the same way to Cross was, in an explosion. However, he died in California.
We weren't convinced. Could this guy really be the builder of Kay's Cross? It just didn't seem to make sense. Maybe it was a cover up story.
I decided to search for Pencovic on FamilySearch.org a website for doing Genealogy put out by the LDS Church. I indeed found a military record of Pencovic in Utah in 1946. My skepticism immediately started to change.
We also finally decided to go to the neighbors of Kay's Cross down on Boynton Road. No one answered the first door. We went to the house across the street. Still no answer. Just as we were about to go to the next house the door creaked open. The lady there told us that for the first time ever the people that owned the property that Kay's Cross was on were doing a spook alley. She agreed to pass along our contact information.
Could this be true? All these coincidences were too strange.
A man named Jared was in charge of the Spook Alley. Although he admitted he was not the property owner. He had wanted to do a spook alley there for year and this was the first year the property owners finally approved. Jared also told us that he believed Krishna Venta was heavily involved in the construction of Kay's Cross. He heard stories from his grandfather who was boy at the time the Cross was being built.
We never officially met the property owners, but had to sign a document from them to gain permission to film some scenes at the Cross.
Here's the website to the Spook Alley. They also have some pretty crazy stories about people venturing off to the Cross in the past. They are fun to read.
We knew KSL had some news stories about the Cross too. We got permission from the local new station to use their footage for our YouTube series. A paralegal, Mr. Aaron Thompson, was especially helpful in getting us the information we needed.
We still don't know all the answers. It honestly is clouded in mystery. Maybe you can find out more. Was Krishna Venta really involved? Did the police department blow it up? What's the real story? Post your comments on this blog, or e-mail us. We want to know what you think.
Here are some helpful websites on Kay's Cross:
The rights to our series is now officially owned by the Heritage Museum. If you have any questions you can e-mail: KaysCross@gmail.com