Ghosts can be found anywhere, paranormal expert says, even in suburban surroundings.
For years, manager Keith Karls would unlock the door at Schmitt Music's headquarters in Brooklyn Center and hear a faint three-note chord coming from the warehouse mezzanine.
At first, he thought someone had left a sequencer plugged in, or that the chord was programmed to play when the door opened.
But it didn't happen every day, and he never did figure out the source of the music -- save for one possibility.
"It was in a major key," Karls said, "so it never bothered me too much. If there's a ghost, at least it's a happy ghost."
Although stories about haunted places frequently feature urban locales, the suburbs are rife with lore and legends mysterious enough to raise the rind on a jack-o'-lantern.
Phyllis Galde, the Lakeville-based publisher of Fate magazine, a monthly digest of the paranormal, said older buildings are bound to have more spiritual energy than newer ones, one reason why more hauntings typically are reported in cities than suburbs.
But, she said, any place can be inhabited by ghosts -- some vengeful, some mischievous, but most good-natured and harmless, she added.
Here are a few examples:
Rosemount: At the Geraghty Building downtown, where Michelle Scheuerlein operates Rosemount Floral, strange things have been happening for years.
One of the apartment tenants upstairs saw an older woman washing dishes, and Scheuerlein has caught a wiff of the woman's perfume. An employee claimed she was escorted to her car by a ghostly man who smelled of cologne. A typewriter in the basement went missing, then reappeared in its former spot.
Maureen Geraghty Bouchard, co-founder of the Rosemount Historical Society, believes the figures are her great-grandparents, who ran a store there a century ago. "They're just guarding things," she said.
Anoka: Many years ago, a woman lost her husband in a mill accident on the Rum River. Now the site is occupied by City Hall, where the woman is said to roam the halls in search of him, said Maria King, who leads a walking tour of ghost haunts for the Anoka County Historical Society.
"One woman was standing in line at City Hall waiting to get a building permit and felt something push her from behind," King said. "No one was there, but the clerk saw it and said, 'Did she push you? I hate this building!'"
People feel cold drafts in the stairways, and find rooms mysteriously unlocked and then locked again. Many women at City Hall avoid the second-floor restroom, which they sometimes have a hard time leaving because something seems to be pressing against the door, King said.
Stillwater: A few years ago, a group of psychics toured the Warden's House and said they detected a young woman called Trudy in an upstairs bedroom, in pain and fussing over a baby.
Right, thought Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society, which owns the house, a remnant of the old state prison, and runs a museum there.
A year later, researchers learned about a warden who had lived in the house and had a daughter who got married, gave birth to a son and died eight months later of appendicitis. Her name: Gertrude.
Others have noted spectral sights in the house -- men in gray prison suits, a woman in an upstairs window when the house was closed, the cradle rocking by itself.