We know that Minnesota has more lakes than hot dishes, but did you know that the Land of 10,000 Lakes is crawling in creepy-crawly paranormal activity? We really shouldn’t be surprised. after all, Anoka, Minnesota, is the Halloween capital of the world. C’mon ghouls and goblins — let’s explore these little known haunted places!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Ness Church — Litchfield
Located around 75 miles from the Twin Cities, Litchfield’s Ness Church might just be a paranormal investigator’s dream. Legend has it that the church is haunted by apparitions of Sioux Indians. There are also reports of a young girl named Annie. Other reports say that lights come on by themselves. You’ll have to see for yourself when you visit this beautiful historic church.
Address: 24040 580th Ave, Litchfield, MN.
2. West Hills Orphanage — Owatonna
Between 1886 and 1945, there were 10,635 "state schoolers" in Minnesota. That is, kids, orphaned, abandoned, or abused and sent to the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children. Many who have visited claim ghostly orphaned children linger. Some have even heard disembodied laughing. Other strange experiences? Books have been known to move of their own, and some witnesses have even smelled phantom cigar smoke!
Address: 540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN.
3. St. James Hotel — Red Wing
This beautiful hotel overlooking the Mississippi River in the charming town of Red Wing has a ghostly past. One spirit, that of a woman named Clara Lillyblad, has been known to hang around room 310 where she lived until her death. It’s not just Clara’s ghost that haunts the halls. In 1890, nearly 98 passengers drowned in a shipwreck on nearby Lake Pepin. In the days after the ship went down, the St. James hotel was used as a makeshift morgue. Many believe the ghosts from that shipwreck still reside in the hotel.
Address: 406 Main St., Red Wing, MN.
4. Lakeview Cemetery — Buhl
The burials in Lakeview Cemetery began in 1913, about the same time the nearby Shaw Hospital was built. Shaw housed patients sick with tuberculosis and mental illnesses. When these people succumbed to their illness, there was usually no money for a proper burial. They received a simple plot in the field which became Lakeview Cemetery. These men and women were not buried with names marking a grave, just a number on a cast-iron cross. Many have seen apparitions on the property, and one ghost hunter was able to pick up an EVP of two ghosts having a conversation!
Address: Township Rd. 7936, Buhl, MN.
5. Wendigo Territory — Roseau
Stories of a creature called the Wendigo have terrorized people for centuries. There are many versions of the story, but a few facts are accepted by all. The creature is said to dwell in the frozen forests in Minnesota and Ontario. It is at least 15 feet tall, with antlers and a skeletal face. Sightings in Roseau, Minnesota, began in the 1800s. The terrifying beast is said to appear to witnesses following the death of someone they love.
Address: Roseau, Minnesota.
6. Greyhound Bus Museum — Hibbing
Head up to Hibbing, the birthplace of the Greyhound Bus Line, for the scare of a lifetime! Given its location next to a cemetery, the Greyhound Bus Museum is rumored to be haunted. Staff members have reported bus windows that open and close on their own. Museum goers have reported suspicious shadows that disappear into thin air. Ghost hunters have confirmed that there is paranormal activity residing on the property.
Address: 1201 Greyhound Blvd., Hibbing, MN.
7. Ferguson Cemetery — Norwood Young America
The tiny town of Norwood Young America is home to more than 3,500 people — and more than a few spirits. The town's Ferguson Cemetery is the final resting place for many who have passed since 1869. One of the cemetery's most famous ghosts is the apparition of a young boy. If you hold still, you may spot him peering around one of the tombstones. Other visitors have reported orbs, ominous feelings, and even the sound of a phantom dog barking.
Address: 18624 County 34, Norwood Young America, MN.
8. Phelps Mill — Underwood
This mill began its operations in 1889 as a flour mill in the days of hydropower. The building has sat idle since 1931. Upon entering the building, rusty old equipment will surround you. The rotting stairways will serve as dilapidated reminders of the past. The site now acts as a county park. Some say the ghosts of workers are still present on the grounds. One visitor reported feeling a hand on his shoulder, only to turn around and find he was completely by himself!
Address: 29035 County Hwy. 45, Underwood, MN.
9. Nopeming Sanatorium — Duluth
This ominous complex, perched on a hill overlooking the freeway in the Duluth area, was built in 1912. The hospital served as a quarantine and treatment center for thousands of patients with tuberculosis. Could it be haunted by the spirits of the disease's victims? See for yourself on a tour of the facility. Schedule yours soon to get in on some good creepy fun.
Address: 2650 Nopeming Rd., Duluth, MN.
10. Anderson House Hotel — Wabasha
One of the longest running hotels this side of the Mississippi, Anderson House Hotel is full of history. Legend has it that one of the hotel’s guests jumped out of the window to her death after her husband failed to return from a fishing trip. She is known to leave dimes around the hotel for guests and staff to find. Book your stay at this old hotel to see for yourself whether the rumors are true.
Address: 333 Main St. W, Wabasha, MN.
11. Calumet Inn — Pipestone
The historic Calumet Inn is full of interesting stories. The original hotel burned to the ground in 1886, killing a Baptist minister. Tragedy struck again in 1944 when another fire killed a guest. Each time, the hotel was repaired and reopened. But trouble hasn't left this place. Tenants have reported seeing the ghost of a well-dressed gentleman roaming the hall. Is it the minister? Employees claim to hear mysterious piano music. Room 308, in particular, is said to be haunted. Do you dare stay at this haunted hotel?
Address: 104 Main Street West, Pipestone, MN.
Do you know of any other spooky places in Minnesota? Let us know your favorite little-known spots in the comments below. And for information on some of Minnesota’s most famous haunted locations, check out our list of
the 11 most haunted places around Minneapolis.