Door latch
Door latch on one of the cabins at St. Anne's Retreat

What we have is a history of oral tradition and a legend-tripping custom which entails visiting a site of the supernatural—a thrill seeking event—experiencing the legend by ostension by acting out the legend, which has been going on for over fifty years. First, the civic brush fire that ignited after Diane Browning's article, “A Haunted Retreat,” published on Halloween 1986 that caused considerable emotional distress in the Catholic community. Then, during the trespassing event of 1997 the public debate primarily dealt with property rights vs. civil rights and also local concepts of justice vs. local folklore and tradition; whereas in 1986 the incident provoked tension among Catholics and Mormons. Both cases involve the legendary St. Anne's Retreat and the local lore persisting through the generations. 

To understand the emotional load and the religious dimensions in these legends is to understand local belief and perception of the world, including the presence of the Catholic Retreat established some fifty years ago in Logan Canyon. Fundamental attitudes of Mormons towards Catholics is an essential component of the religious dimension, but what appears prominent through the legends is gender—and the struggle to maintain, and confirm the male role in this religious culture. The legends serve as faith promoting events of not only the male establishing his role as dominant, but it is also an attempt to verify that the Mormon Church is superior and one that will prevail over the other.