When most people think about Minnesota, they focus more on the lakes and major cities than they do on anything else. But that leaves out some of Minnesota’s most interesting – and mysterious – places. There are several areas across the state that are home to some truly fascinating urban legends. These 6 urban legends in Minnesota are sometimes scary, sometimes fun, but always mysterious.
1. Kensington Runestone
Here’s a legend that is especially unique to Minnesota. The Kensington Runestone was originally discovered in 1898 by Olof Ohman. Inscribed with mysterious runic markings, it was first alleged to be left behind by Scandinavian explorers in the 1300s. But after extensive study, the stone is largely accepted as a 19th century hoax. Still, some continue to believe the stone’s authenticity. You can try to puzzle out the mystery yourself at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria.
2. Hairy Man of Vergas Trails
Just south of Detroit Lakes, the small town of Vergas has gotten a lot of attention for one particular urban legend. So much, in fact, that it was featured on Syfy’s
Haunted Highways. The Hairy Man of Vergas Trails has been fascinating - or horrifying, depending on who you are - people in the area for decades. He’s said to be 8 feet tall and is often blamed for strange animal deaths. He wanders the woods surrounding the Vergas Trails, and many claim run-ins with the creature over the years.
3. Dead Man's Trail
Dead Man’s Trail goes back a long time, but there’s no consensus on the exact story. The most commonly told urban legend, however, is that of a Native American who lost her baby in the water of the rushing river. When she saw that her baby had been washed away, she cursed the "thief" river. Today, it is said that she wanders the trail looking for her lost child. If you listen closely, you can hear her cries.
4. Grey Cloud Island
The story of Grey Cloud Island is a well-known Minnesota urban legend. In this little community just south of the metro, many claim to have been followed by a mysterious white pickup truck that later disappears. Another common sighting is of a man wearing a flannel shirt holding a hunting rifle. He appears at random and seems to be translucent. Many naysayers claim these are merely locals going about their business, but still the rumors persist.
5. Lake Pepin Serpent
We’ve all heard of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, but have you heard of the serpent that lives in Lake Pepin? Pepie, as she is called by some, has been spotted swimming around the lake for decades. But if this is one of your favorite swimming spots, don’t worry. Pepie is friendly. So friendly, in fact, that there have been festivals held in her honor.
If you've ever spent time in northern Minnesota, you may have heard of the Wendigo. This supernatural creature prowls the thick forests looking to feast on human flesh. He's often described as gigantic - up to 15 feet tall - and some say he's too thin to be seen from the side. But when you view him head-on, you'll be met with horror. This legend derives from similar Native American tales, but you have to wonder: if so many people tell the same story, couldn't there be some kernel of truth in it?
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