Real Haunts, Real Frights

Whether or not you believe in ghosts and spirits, visiting a site that might actually be haunted with a history of eerie movements and noises in the night is the best way to get freaked out during the Halloween season. If you’ve ever seen the show Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, then you know the kind of heebie-jeebies I’m talking about. I don’t recommend you should visit these places with an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) recorder and Ghost Box in hand to do your own ghost hunting (unless you’re crazy enough to do so, make sure to get permission), but the lost souls at these sites provides a different way to learn about our area’s history

Soap Factory (Minneapolis): Created by local artists and actors, this is actually a chilling and frightening attraction. What makes visiting it traumatizing is that there is an actual history of haunts and spooks in the building. In the 1880s it was a soap factory using animal carcasses to make the suds. Sounds pretty gross. It has been said that the hauntings there are “bordering on demonic,” men have been attacked, and a sulfur smell floats through the air. No wonder this haunted attraction is so scary, it’s actually haunted.

Father Hennepin Bluffs Park (Minneapolis): In the summer it’s a peaceful place with free yoga sessions and where parents push their kids around in strollers, but what you might not realize is that this area along the Mississippi Riverfront is extremely old. It’s been around since 1855, making it the city’s oldest street. On the Real Ghost Tours of St. Anthony Main, you’ll learn about the entities that still linger and why they lurk.

Wabasha Street Caves (St. Paul): Bootleggers and gangsters went to the caves during Prohibition, but it appears that not all of them left. There have been sightings of figures dressed in suits from the 1920s and unexplainable mists floating through the halls. Areas of the cave suddenly become ice cold and a ghost bartender refills wine for invisible guests. The legend is that three gangsters were massacred in the back room, buried under cement floors and continue to roam the caves today. Take a tour for more stories, and don’t miss the special ghost graves and caves tours that include ghost hunting.

Palmer House Hotel (Sauk Centre): This place may be 100 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, but it is perhaps the spookiest, most haunted area in Minnesota. It has been talked about so much that Ghost Adventures filmed an episode here. The antique 1901 hotel houses some permanent guests. Lucy is a lost soul with unsettled emotions about her work as a prostitute at the Sauk Centre House before it mysteriously burned down in 1900. She doesn’t like men, refuses to sit on the mattress and can be noisy. It’s rumored that her pimp, Raymond, also wanders the halls and Room 22, where he once stayed. Weird things like random bursts of cold air, the sound of footsteps and slamming doors are common occurrences. Along with these two “guests,” there could be hundreds of other unsettled spirits from the fire as children have been heard playing and laughing at night, even when the hotel has been vacant.

Do you have goose bumps yet?