The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Minnesota’s Palmer House Hotel

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

The Palmer House Hotel is a rather unassuming building that may contain multiple ghostly entities. The site is a landmark in the Minnesota town of Sauk Centre. While it holds historic significance, the Palmer House may also be a prime spot for paranormal investigators.

Haunted Minnesota: The Palmer House Hotel

Palmer House

Palmer House Hotel
c. 2012

The Palmer House was constructed in 1901 on the site of the former Sauk Centre House. The previous building was ravaged by a fire on June 26th, 1900. The new structure, which was built by Ralph L. Palmer, was the first in the city to have electricity.

Nobel Prize winning author Harry Sinclair Lewis worked at Palmer House when he was young.  The hotel was used as the model for the fictional Minniemashie House which appeared in his novel Main Street (1920).

The Palmer House Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11th, 1982.

Paranormal Activity at the Palmer House Hotel

The Palmer House Hotel has drawn the attention of everyone from amateur to celebrity paranormal investigators.  Popular ghost hunting TV show Ghost Adventures recorded their October 5th, 2012 episode at the hotel.  The My Ghost Story series also recreated experiences at the Palmer House for its June 4th, 2011 episode.

Sinclair Lewis is believed to be one of the entities that may haunted Palmer House. This may not be surprising because of Lewis’ personal attachment to the building. Guests have photographed a shrine to Sinclair Lewis in the hotel’s lobby.

The spirit of a young boy who died while staying at Palmer House may still linger in the building.  Guests have reported hearing him bounce a ball in the hallway.  Some have even claimed to see the ghostly waif playing with his prized toy.

A paranormal seminar was hosted at the hotel on January 18th through the 20th in 2008. This event, which became a regular occurrence, included paranormal researcher Chris Fleming, paranormal investigator Patrick Burns and host David Schrader from the paranormal radio show Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Twin Cities Paranormal joined the event and recorded footage of the seminar.  Part of the footage includes K2 meter sessions with noticeable fluctuations as well as EVP recordings. See the video below for the footage. The team compiles evidence from all their investigations, including the Palmer House Hotel. Visitors can check out their evidence on the investigations page (scroll down to find multiple dates for their past Palmer House visits).

Twin Cities Paranormal at the Palmer House

Rooms 11 and 17 are considered the most active in the building. Guests and investigators noted that room 11 sometimes felt cooler than the other rooms. Some also experienced the feeling of a cat leaping onto the bed and stepping over the covers when nothing was there.

Room 17 is allegedly home to a ghostly prostitute named Lucy. Lucy is believed to have lived during the 1880s when the hotel was transformed into a brothel and gambling house. Her story tells of murder at the hands of her pimp, Raymond, who is said to haunt room 22. Due to her tragic end, Lucy does not like men and will physically attack them. Doors have also slammed shut and locked in the room.

Raymond, on the other hand, reacts negatively towards female guests.  He especially dislikes the hotel’s owner, Kelley Freese. This may stem from his belief that a woman should know her place and not take on the responsibility of operating a business like the Palmer House. Freese has felt Raymond’s presence at times and was physically assaulted by him on multiple occasions. She refuses to appease him and continues her role as owner.

Full bodied apparitions have been seen in the bar area. Many believe that a man hung himself here during the 1950s. Multiple paranormal investigators have seen humanoid shaped grey smoke in the room. Al Tingley, who was owner of the hotel during the 1970s, published a book discussing the Palmer House titled The Corner of Main Street which also mentions this strange entity.

The Palmer House Hotel Today

The Palmer House continues to welcome guests to its 20 rooms and 4 jacuzzi suites. The official website embraces the building’s haunted past with images of the Ghost Adventure team and a Palmer House Haunt page dedicated to media coverage and paranormal investigations featuring the site.

Have you been to the Palmer House Hotel (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

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One comment on “The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Minnesota’s Palmer House Hotel
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