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Here's Utah’s 'creepiest' urban legend

Cottonwood Canyon in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is pictured on Sept. 14, 2003.
FILE - Cottonwood Canyon in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument September 14, 2003.
Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Every state has an urban legend. And Utah’s is petrifying.

According to Business Insider, Utah’s "creepiest" urban legend centers around the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

Legend holds that anyone who leaves with a piece of petrified wood will be cursed with bad luck forever.

“Park manager Kendall Farnsworth stated in 2014 that he gets about a dozen packages every year containing a piece of wood from the park and an apologetic letter detailing the sender's misfortunes,” according to Business Insider.

Read more at Business Insider.

The state park legend also made Ranker’s list of most “freaky stories and urban legends that prove Utah is the creepiest state.”

Just so we’re all clear, no proof exists about this myth.

However, Ranker also noted that dozens of people have taken pieces of wood from the park only to return them later with letters that apologize for “ignoring the warnings and recounting all the horrible things that happened since they left the park."

Legends of America, which keeps track of urban legends across the country, shared a few letters that the park received after people stole pieces of wood.

One person wrote, “It was a great challenge sneaking it out of the park. Since that time, though, nothing in my life has gone right.”

Another explained, “My life has been totally destroyed since we’ve been back from vacation. Please put these back so my life can get back to normal! Let me start over again!”

Of course, the park prohibits people by law from taking pieces of wood.

“Whether the curse is real or simply guilt and clumsiness is up for debate. What is known is that, curse or no curse, removing anything from a state park is against the law, but luckily this park appears to get its stolen bits sent back,” according to Ranker.

So where did the legend even come from?

Stories of bad luck related to stolen wood date back to the 1930s, but there’s no central source of their origin, according to Legends of America.