Urban legends, ghosts, supernatural, the bizarre… Our world is full of the unknown and I really enjoy looking beyond what is there. There is more out there than what we can see. I am going to be writing and sharing five haunts and urban legends of Minnesota, we have all heard of them, or maybe some of them you have not? Let me enlighten you… All the way from the North Shores down into the Twin Cities the unknown and paranormal is there…lurking in every corner and waiting for their story to be told.
1. Palmer House
Location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
If you have not heard of the Palmer House, let me enlighten you… The Palmer House used to be known as the Sauk Centre House. Though, in 1900, Sauk Centre House burned down. Then in 1901, a man named R.L. Palmer resurrected it and expanded the house into 40 rooms with working electricity and bathrooms of which hotels during this time did not have. It was said that there were many people that lived in Palmer House back in its early days, so it is believed that some of the family members likely could have also passed away at that location.
The Palmer House was also featured on Ghost Adventures for its natural haunted site. The Palmer House hosts many ghost hunts at its location as well for the curious minds. The current owner is Kelly Freese and was once a skeptic turned into a believer after owning the Palmer House and having experiences also. Though most of the building has activity, rooms 11 & 17 are rather active.
2. Dead Man’s Trail
Location: Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Dead Man’s Trail is a 48-acre land with trails located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The story goes that a woman was trying to hide her baby as she was trying to evade becoming captured. When she returned to her baby, the waters had swept the baby away and distraught over grief and loss of her baby she cursed the river, claiming the river had stolen the tribe’s future chief. Locals claim they have seen the woman’s spirit in search of her baby and have heard crying and sobs in the distance. Another story was a man was also wanted for murder and hid out on the trail to escape capture. Regardless there are claims that this site is haunted, and I know I want to go check this place out!
3. Wendigo in the Northern Forests of the Great Lake Region?!
Location(s): Silver Bay, Minnesota, Chippewa National Forest
Our third local legend in Minnesota resides in the Northern Forests of Chippewa National Forest with the sighting of a creature known as a Wendigo. A Wendigo is: a mythological native American creature described as giants, with the view as malevolent, cannibalistic, and supernatural beings, associated with winter, the north, cold, famine and starvation. According to legends, a Wendigo is created whenever a human resorts to cannibalism to survive.
The legend is also derived from a medical term known as Wendigo Psychosis in which psychiatrists believe the syndrome creates an intense craving for human flesh and a fear of becoming cannibal. Due to this a documented case happened in 1878–79 for a man named Swift Runner and his family that were starving. Runner succumbed to Wendigo Psychosis and was eventually put to death by the authorities of Fort Saskatchewan. Between the 1800s-1920s several more Wendigo appearances were made near Rosesu in Northern Minnesota with an unexpected death followed each sighting made by the creature.
Though there are other documented cases, the Wendigo creature sightings are also still being reported especially in Northern Ontario near the Cave of the Wendigo and around Kenora.
Many still believe the creature roams in the woods today.
4. 13 Graves
Location: St. Thomas, University in St. Paul, Minnesota
This one is rather interesting and really makes you wonder…for me anyways… Allegedly there are 13 graves that sit along a path near the seminary of St. Thomas University. The 12 graves belong to the nuns that once lived there, and the 13th grave belongs to the Priest who murdered them and then later committed suicide for his guilt. His stone reads “condemnation” while nuns have their Latin names. Legend has it that each time you pass the graves along the trail you will count a different number of white crosses. They appear and disappear each time you pass.
This has come to be just a story and just talk…Stones are not graves at all but prayer stations symbolizing of the cross & the names are the names of the stations just written in Latin. But this does not stop locals feeling uneasy while they walk along the path or hearing the sobs and screams of a ghostly man in the distance! You be the judge and go try yourself!
5. Glensheen Mansion
Location: Duluth, Minnesota
This is also known as the Congdon Mansion. The Mansion once belonged to a woman by the name of Elizabeth Congdon. Elizabeth wanted to have a child, so she adopted a young girl named Marjorie. In 1977 everything changed when Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s maid were found murdered with Marjorie present and wearing her mother’s wedding ring. Though police were unable to draw conclusive evidence to pinpoint that Marjorie had done the deed, she was released, the murders remaining unsolved.
There have been sightings of Elizbeth Congdon, a black shadowy figure walking in the basement, lights flickering, jewelry moving on Elizabeth’s old dresser, and reports by guests seeing two dead women overlooking out the upstairs window. It is quite evident that they are not at rest to what happened to them. The Glensheen mansion does offer tours if you dare to explore!
Tip: I personally have been to this location when I was a child with my parents. I felt something but did not see anything other than my feelings. I would love to go back again, and I do recommend checking this place out. They have a beautiful garden!