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No Peace For Rusty


I am not an easy sell. Although I am quite convinced that spirits are among us, whether we can always perceive them or not, I still roam this plane with a solid and healthy sense of skepticism. Along with my skepticism comes some degree of psychic ability, especially clairaudio and (as you will see) something called "radiosentesis" which means the ability to feel the emotions of the dead at a particular location, linked to an event.

I've had a few instances of what I call real connection with the dead, but what I am about to relay to you was so profound and powerful that it changed my view on the afterlife, forever.

Last spring, my wife and I decided to make good on a long time desire - to go on a "ghost hunt" with a local paranormal research group here in Salt Lake City. The hunt started with a couple of orientation classes at a local High School (Taylorsville High, for any Salt Lakers who might know of the place) and then in three subsequent weeks we would be off to our various investigation stops around the area.

When we first walked into the school, we entered from the West side, and I was smacked dead in the face with such a bone chilling, foreboding cold that I immediately wondered if the school's air conditioning system was raging out of control. We continued on to the east side of the school where the class was first to meet.

The teacher was also the director of the paranormal group leading this foray. He informed us that in three weeks, the last stop of the investigation would be the very school we were in, because back in 2001 this very school was the sight of a tragic student suicide. He wouldn't give us any details past that, but said the school had reported quite a few incidents of ghostly activity which definitely pointed to the continued presence of the dead student.

He suggested to us that we use our acquired skills from the earlier site investigations to help us in learning about this suicide, and any presences we felt at the school. He wouldn't tell us the student's gender, name, or where the student killed themselves in the school. That was up to us to "feel" in the final trek of the class.

We proceeded to the various haunting sites, but I just couldn't shake the story of this poor student, who I definitely got the impression was a male. Over the days, it mounted an increasing pressure on my mind and heart. It invaded my dreams. I would be working on something and suddenly be overcome with this intense, near suffocating dread and regret that often forced me to get up and take a walk or run an errand to try and expel it from my thoughts.

It culminated in a sudden breakdown of some kind, where I just exploded into a crying fit, unable to catch my breath. I talked to my wife, who is a licensed counselor, about it and she said that I should not push it completely away but try to put up some boundaries in order to protect myself.

At the end of the class, we were unfortunately unable to attend the search for the Taylorsville High ghost. But to be honest, I was a bit relieved because this poor soul had been haunting me since the class began.

The internet is a wonderful thing, and would have been very easy to use and "cheat" on the instructors challenge for us to learn what we could about the school ghost by using our senses alone. I resisted that temptation, until it became clear we couldn't do school investigation. About two weeks after the class ended, I got online and started digging into the Taylorsville suicide.

And there it was. On October 21st, 2001, Edward "Rusty" Riddle, a student at Taylorsville High, reportedly despondent over a recent breakup with his girlfriend, shot himself in the head in the school hallway of the West Wing - exactly where I first walked into the school and felt that icy, deathly chill that ran the length of the hall.

Immediately that awful set of feelings flooded me again, but this time with such clarity. It was like Rusty was conveying to me that he was still around, confused, angry and profoundly regretful of what he had done to himself and his family. I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything, it was as if the entirety of his emotions were bound into a large ball and that suddenly settled over me, connecting completely with my heart and mind in an attempt to cry out to someone...anyone...who would listen and feel what he did.

That wasn't the end of events. Several weeks later, I felt I was getting some peace again. I was communicating in my own way with Rusty, to let him know that regret is a hellish prison which should never keep his poor tortured soul attached to that school. I was out one night and wanted to pick up some dinner through a drive thru, to take home.

I pulled into the Sconecutter on 5430 South and 900 East and ordered through the drive up window. While I was waiting, and processing all these events to make some sort of end to it, my gaze wandered over the bricks on the outside of the building by the pay window. And there I saw it. Engraved in one of the bricks, like one does when the bricks are not yet hardened, was the date 10/21. The date of Rusty's death.

I just about passed out.

Now, it's easy to shrug and claim grand coincidence. But seriously, what are the chances? What are the chances I'd feel that icy chill in the exact spot of his death? That I would be picking up some dinner at a fast food joint and see the date of his death etched into the outside wall? No, as skeptical as I am, today I stand forever convinced that Rusty's emotions, his "voice" reached out and connected with me across a great divide. He not only touched me in a way that no one else has, but taught me that who we are and what we feel can stay around long after we are gone. Especially if we are hurting because we are "stuck".

I still silently pray for Rusty. He was so angrily imprisoned by his own regret. I can only hope that now, or soon, he will be released from that awful burden.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, VoxMortuus, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

KonaKane (1 posts)
10 months ago (2021-12-11)
This is Vox Mortuus, under a new account as I couldn't salvage my old one. I wrote this story.

After so many years, I came upon this site again last week and was fascinated with the responses. Also that a couple of them were fairly recent. Shortly after posting this story, we moved out of Utah and to Hawai'i, where we are to this day. I've come to find Hawai'i just brimming with ghost/preternatural phenomena. Tons of books already written about it, and even more ongoing cases of hauntings and related events. So much that it deserves its own story which I'll post shortly.

As far as this one, I have not "felt" Rusty since leaving, and definitely got the impression that the final peace vibe I got from him was indeed, final. Makes me happy to no end. No one deserves to be stuck in turmoil and pain on this plane. To those of you who responded, I want to say thank you for still being interested and willing to throw in your side of all this. Suicide is a terrible aspect of humanity and all it's done since Rusty's demise is get worse; especially among young people. Today there are lots of organizations available to help people at suicide risk, or those related to them. Please take advantage. So here's my plug.

If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, call this number now. They can help. Thanks.

Buieboy6 (1 posts)
2 years ago (2021-02-17)
I was a student that year. I knew Rusty on the Youth Council and in theater where he helped with sets. He was shy but nice to me. That day was the saddest day. Not only with Rusty but there were several other students that year that we lost to suicide.
malli19 (1 posts)
7 years ago (2016-02-26)
Very interesting story! However, Rusty passed away on October 12th, 2001, not October 21st. I do like your story, though!
Dancecass24 (1 posts)
7 years ago (2015-11-29)
I'm actually a senior now at taylorsville high school. And you can tell that the same hall way is cold and a lot of students talk about a ghost haunting the school. I heard about rusty in my psychology class last year and it was very tragic.
LMAOLOL1 (1 posts)
7 years ago (2015-08-17)
I hate to burst your bubble, but you have the main fact wrong.
So since you saw 10/21 on the brick wall and in your article wrote the wrong date of 10/21, I highly doubt that it is a coincidence with this tragic event.
I believe that Rusty is a child of God in heaven and is not haunting Taylorsville High School.
I think it is disgusting that a school would have a ghost hunt and keep this tragedy going on and on.

Peace to All and Let It Go!
Tiffanyriddle (1 posts)
11 years ago (2011-10-13)
My name is Tiffany Riddle I am Rustys sister I just found out about this story from Voxmortuus. I would like to talk to you about this please email me at tiffanyriddle11 [at] Thank you I hope it's not too late since this has been 3 Years ago: (
Ramzey (9 stories) (130 posts)
13 years ago (2010-02-12)
Did you not sleep 'til you was 13 too? What a stupid stupid question you had asked.
Jonesy (1 posts)
13 years ago (2009-10-01)
I knew Rusty, I was his best friend. We grew up together and known each other for as long as I can remember. I remember this day better than any other. I was standing at my high school with the moment of that happened for 9/11. I remember feeling an awful feeling that day and later learned of what had happened. To read this post about you saying he was regretful I know he was. He had a lot going for him in this life. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think about him and to read your last comment that said you felt like he has stopped his aura from you. Makes me happy to know he has moved on. I will never forget my friend and I really appreciate this post it helps me know that he did let people know he was sorry for what he had done. To the creator of this story I would like to talk to you about this since you said you researched it and found out a reason "why" he did what he did, I would like to now if it was the same one I was told by his family and the one that I believe. He left a lot behind from doing this, as dumb as it sounds (but we were young) we were making back yard wrestling videos and there will always be the blank tape that was never finished because of this tragic event.
sjg0531 (1 stories) (1 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-07)
I remember that day vividly. It was a Friday and my dad was picking me up early that day to take me to a church retreat. He was in the hall below where Rusty died, and heard the pop of the gun. I was a sophomore sitting in Accounting when the school went into lock-down. It made everyone nervous, but we joked about it to calm our nerves. When the principal came on the intercom and told everyone to go to the gym, I was floored when I saw everything blocked off. When we got in the gym, rumors were buzzing saying that some kid killed himself in upper G Hall, but no one knew who it was. I didn't personally know Rusty (I'd seen him around), but I knew a lot of people who did. My friends who knew him never went up those stairs again. I went up there a few times as a short cut to one of my classes, and I remember it being really cold--even with all of the people around me. I've heard about that ghost-hunting class at T-Ville that takes you around the school and such. I thought about signing up, but when it comes down to it, I don't care to go back. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope Rusty will find his peace one day.
gHosTmAgneT_03 (4 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2009-03-19)
i like your story... Now I know suicide is not good... It's a bit scary too... Especially because "Rusty" was communicating with you... Thanks for sharing your story 😊
Verleus (3 stories) (26 posts)
14 years ago (2009-03-14)
student suicide is a tragic trutof the world... And many times, the soul stays back just because of repent for committing suicide... It is most probable that rusty stayed back... I can say this as I am more xperienced in student suicide stuff... As I am a student myself... And also because in india we have at least one student suicide case reported each week... That is because of the unimaginable academic pressure here-due to poverty and unemployment...
Hope rustys soul gets peace,
redflame (1 posts)
14 years ago (2009-01-28)
I knew Rusty. I remember sitting in psychology that day when the principles voice came over the intercom and put the school into lock down. The entrance where Rusty killed himself has been eery ever since that day. Most students refused to walk up the stairs for the rest of the year. It was very tragic and still to this day is in the back of my mind.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-22)
It's so tragic to hear stories of anyone, especially young people with so much life ahead of them, taking their lives because of the stresses they must deal with. I know a lot of people say that it's stupid to kill yourself over a girl/guy, but I've understood from personal experience how it feels to have nothing else but that person (or at least feel that you have nothing else but them.)

Thank you for sharing your story, and I truly hope that Rusty has found his peace. Perhaps through conveying his message to you, he realized that it's only his guilt keeping him where he is, and that his family would want him to move on.

Warmest blessings,

VoxMortuus (1 stories) (93 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-20)
Thanks for your comments, everyone. They have been astute and clear that you see the gravity of what went on here. As an update, I have not felt Rusty's presence for some time now. The optimist in me wants to think that maybe he has finally released, let go and found peace.

Is that what finally happened? I guess I won't know for a very long time. But I hope so.
shandi (9 stories) (86 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-19)
Because I am from Utah, I couldn't help but google this as well. I can't believe I don't remember this happening. If you are ever able to or know someone who could help him cross over that might be worth your time so that he will leave you alone.
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-19)
Thank goodness you were there and Rusty was able to relate with you. Odds are, he has been in torment for a long time and was abke to relay those feelings to you (and unfortunately through you). What a tragic waste of a life!

Hopefully now Rusty is able to move on and fiond peace!

God Bless!
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-19)
Thank you for a "powerful" account that did not only narrate this young boy's unfortunate death but mostly his inner struggle-one you felt so unquestionably.

I like it when people come to accept their gifts while never cease to question their experiences-people who, like you, can see through this "misty veil" and yet remain humble when addressing that extraordinary power to see as far as across the "river bank".

Welcome VoxMortuus and I hope to have you back with more tales to share.
ghostseer (41 stories) (408 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-19)
Bless yourt heart for sharing this story. I know how hard it was to experience the emotional overload. It is always a sad day when one realizes how fragile our minds can be (The suicides/death of our young). Thankyou for sharing your story, I know what you went through!...Blessings, Ghostseer
dreamergal72 (6 stories) (793 posts)
14 years ago (2008-12-18)
That remind me of my own high school Robert E. Lee High that morning I gone to school and there people crying I don't know what going on and I ask my friend who is my classmate and he told me about a girl kill herself in the bathroom that night before morning came that when it happen I was shock to hear that but really I not know her very well some rumor say she is tired of her parent telling her what to do or something that upset her so she gone to school that night and bring gun to the bathroom and shot her head.

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