It’s Halloween — time for scary ghost stories. Sorry to disappoint you, but although there’s no shortage of ghost stories around the Twin Cities, few are terrifying. Minnesota ghosts seem pretty, well, Minnesota Nice.
A ghost at the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach — one of many reported over the years at the century-old club — even cleaned up after herself.
It was 2006, recalls Scott Bremer, the club’s general manager. A set of child’s footprints suddenly appeared on the floor by the club’s ice machine. Staffers mopped and scrubbed, but could not get the black footprints off the red floor. Meanwhile, another set of kid’s footprints appeared in the fresh concrete around the club’s new pool. And someone saw a little girl running up and down the stairs out back. So the club called in a group called Anoka Paranormal Investigations, who attempted to contact the girl.
“After that, the footprints disappeared in both locations,” Bremer said.
Not scary enough for you? Well, years before that, Bremer had another unsettling experience. One night after midnight, Bremer and a co-worker rode an elevator up to the third floor to put away some party decorations.
“The elevator door opened up and we pushed the cart out,” Bremer recalls. “All of a sudden it felt cold, damp and the hairs on the back of our necks stood up. We looked down the hallway to our right and there was something floating down the hallway, something green. We looked at each other, backed into the elevator, and pushed the button for the first floor.”
The party decorations did not get put away that night.
A ghost that haunted the MyPillow call center could definitely be called rude. Some years ago, said Amy Fenske, who worked there when it was located in an old schoolhouse in the city of Carver, the center stayed open around the clock to take orders prompted by late-night pillow infomercials. Fenske’s co-workers complained of seeing a ghost in the women’s bathroom.
“They said she looked like a young girl in a petticoat,” Fenske said. “She would turn the water on and make the towel dispenser fall open.”
And sometimes the petticoated girl would even crawl under the doors into the stalls, which definitely crosses the lines of Minnesota etiquette, even for phantoms. “We were trying to sell pillows with the phones ringing all night with employees who were afraid to use the bathroom.”
Many people have witnessed things they believed might be paranormal activities. Doors fly open, objects get hurled across the room, doorbells ring on empty front stoops. Fresh batteries drain all at once. A black shape appears to move around in a series of photos. A recorder left on captures a man’s voice gruffly saying “Get out!”
But for the most part, Minnesota ghosts aren’t very frightening. Three years ago, Jay Weberling moved into a Minneapolis house that had been featured on a TV show about haunted houses. Supposedly, the house held eight spirits — six children, a ghost named Bud who lived in the basement and a guy named Roger who would play the grand piano in the living room.
Weberling heard all the stories before closing on the house. He moved in anyway.
“I love the house,” he said. “I don’t think anybody could have deterred me from that. If they were killing people or something — which of course they wouldn’t have done — I might have thought twice.”
Three years later, Weberling has never had any weird experiences in his sunny, happy home. If there are spirits there, he said, “It’s comforting to me that they’re not mean things, just gentle souls who didn’t want to be left behind.”