Minnesota’s Top 5 Spookiest Places

For most of us, Halloween’s host of spooks, spirits, and specters only rolls around once a year. But in some parts of Minnesota, All Hallows Eve never ends. From disembodied voices chattering in Hibbing’s Greyhound Bus Museum to a mournful mother wandering the halls of a 19th-century home in Stillwater, the Land of 10,000 Lakes may be haunted by at least that many ghosts.

Hibbing
Greyhound Bus Museum

Book a round-trip ticket to the Twilight Zone at the Greyhound Bus Museum. With its 15 vintage buses, the site serves as a transit station for long departed passengers and staff. Bus windows and doors open and close by themselves, and at night ghostly mechanics make a racket working on engines. Located next to an old Hibbing cemetery, the museum sometimes receives ghostly visitors. Children have been heard shouting in the empty building late at night, and some staff members have seen a ghostly girl with long black hair and a pink dress running among the tombstones. It is said that if you leave candy out for her, it will be gone in the morning.

Sauk Centre
Palmer House Hotel

Don’t book a room in this 120-year-old hotel for a good night’s sleep. Ghostly cats jump on beds, spectral children run down the halls, and in some rooms objects fly through the air while the furniture rearranges itself. Rooms 11 and 17 are said to be particularly haunted. But whatever you do, don’t go in the basement. Owner Kelly Freese thinks it is the epicenter of the hotel’s strange and sometimes diabolical energy.

St. Cloud
St. Cloud University

My wife is an SCSU alumni and can attest to the spookiness of this campus! It can be hard to get much studying done after dark in St. Cloud University’s Riverview Hall. Over the years, many students, professors, and other staff have reported seeing a woman wandering the corridors, her heels clicking as lights flicker around her. Think twice about heading to the library to get away from the ghosts. The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center is haunted by a 19th-century-era soldier who shuffles among the dusty stacks. And over at Shoemaker Hall and Lawrence Hall, the dorms are said to be home to all manner of paranormal activity, from a young woman floating above students’ beds to a watchful janitor prowling the halls with a flashlight.

Minneapolis
First Avenue

First Avenue, the legendary Twin Cities rock club, is known more for the spirit of its performers than the spirits haunting its darker corners. Built as a Greyhound Bus Depot in 1937, the busy site hosted many partings and reunions. After World War II ended, a young blonde woman in a green coat came to greet her long-lost soldier. He never showed up. Distraught, it is said she hanged herself in a stall in the women’s bathroom. Since the spot became a nightclub in 1970, many patrons have seen or heard the woman weeping.

Stillwater
The Warden’s House Museum

Built in 1853, the Warden’s House was home for the prison wardens who administered the Minnesota Territorial Prison until it closed in 1914. The last warden, Henry Wolfer, lived there with his daughter Trudy until she married and moved away. Shortly after giving birth to her son, she died from appendicitis. Henry adopted the boy and raised him in the Warden’s House. Apparently, Trudy moved back in, too—if only in spirit. To this day, visitors report seeing her staring out from windows on the upper floor; rocking a phantom cradle in her son’s room; or just quietly sitting in the master bedroom.

Learn more by reading Haunted Minnesota Road Trip, which includes a 350-mile north-south trek that connects the dots on our fair state’s scariest and most mysterious locales.