Halloween is about one month away, and in honor of my favorite holiday we've put together a list of the most haunted locations right here in central Minnesota. Even if you don't believe in ghosts and ghouls, it's still fun to read the history behind the legends!

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1. Palmer House Hotel, Sauk Centre- The Palmer House used to go by 'The Sauk Centre House' when it was built in 1863. Famous Nobel Prize winner for his literature, Sinclair Lewis worked as a night clerk at the hotel for several years. He even refers to the hotel under an alias name, 'The Mini Mache House' in one of his novels. Hotel staff and guests have reported numerous paranormal encounters over the years. The trio from the Travel Channel's hit show 'Ghost Adventures' did an investigation at the hotel a few years ago.

2. St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud-If you go to the St. Cloud State campus, one thing is for sure, someone knows someone who knows someone who has had a ghostly encounter and lived to tell about it. One of the most well-known stories goes like this; A student had an affair with a married staff member many years ago. She became pregnant and out of fear of people finding out, she decided to hang herself in the school meat locker in Shoemaker Hall--which is allegedly the most haunted dorm on campus. Some students who have lived in the dorm say they have no doubt it's haunted.

3. Saint John's University, Collegeville-Saint John's students will tell you that the woods surrounding the university are haunted by a spirit that's not even human. The story goes that there was a friendly bear on campus that students named Murro. The bear became the school's unofficial masscot. One day, a student was teasing the bear with an oar. Murro grew angry and attacked the boy, killing him. Authorities determined the bear had to be put down. Students say Murro's angry spirit still haunts the woods. He's not the only spirit that haunts the campus. Students also believe that Frank House is haunted by a former student, and wet footprints from Brother Anselm Bartolome who drowned in a nearby lake are also observed by students from time to time.

4. D.B. Searle's, St. Cloud-In 1886, Dolson Bush Searle built the D.B. Searle's building. He was a pretty interesting guy too. Searle served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was even in attendance at the Ford Theatre when President Lincoln was assassinated. From 1939-1970 the building was home to the Colbert Funeral Home--which gave life to some of the ghostly encounters. In 1982, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Skatin' Place, St. Cloud-The legend has it that the Skatin' Place sits atop of land that was once used for farming. Located on the farm was a swampy area where the body of a boy named Gilbert was found lying face down in the marshy water. Customers and employees have noted some strange occurrences in the building over the years. However, it's unclear if a boy named Gilbert really did drown on the property.

These are my top five most convincing haunted locations. Is there anywhere else you think is haunted in central Minnesota? Let us know by commenting with your story below!


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