When it comes to spooky moments alone in your house, what can you handle? If you can overlook creaking doors or flickering lights, you’re in good company. According to a recent study, nearly 60% of homebuyers said they would buy a house that is believed to be haunted as long as there was a clear benefit, such as location or square footage.
Yet, the majority of respondents said they would not bid on the home if there had been reports of levitating objects, ghost sightings or objects moving from one place to another. (Can you blame them?)
If you’re a haunted house enthusiast, but don’t want to live in one year-round, you’re in luck! We’ve gathered information on six of the most famous haunted houses across Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Visit them if you dare... and please report back if you spot anything spooky.
The Glensheen Mansion
3300 London Road, Duluth, MN
Situated alongside beautiful Lake Superior, Glensheen Mansion is the most-visited historic home in all of Minnesota. The large, immaculate 12-acre estate was built in the 20th century. Now, visitors come to marvel at the property’s sprawling gardens, walking bridges, exquisite craftsmanship and, of course, the 39-room mansion.
So, where does the haunting come in? In 1977, the heiress of the estate and her night nurse were murdered. Mystery around the event still exists and sightings of ghosts and moving objects have been reported by employees and visitors alike.
If you’re interested in visiting the mansion, they host a variety of tours and events.
2097 West Larpenteur Avenue, St. Paul, MN
The farmhouse, now run by the Ramsey County Historical Society (RCHS), was once the scene of a grass fire that tragically took the life of a nine-year-old boy in 1867. Visitors have reported seeing a rambunctious young boy on the site, playing and causing mischief before disappearing into thin air.
When the house was open for tours, morning workers would often find toys splayed out on a rug in the room. It appeared as if someone had been playing with them overnight, although no one claimed to have moved the toys.
Nowadays, you’re unlikely to see anything too spooky on the site. In fact, the RCHS annually hosts a kid-friendly Halloween event on the premises.
207 Huff Street, Winona, MN
Built in 1858, the Huff-Lamberton mansion was briefly owned by the Huff family and then sold to the Lambertons, who went on to own the estate for 90 years.
After the Lambertons sold the property, the mansion was converted into an orphanage and later an assisted living facility — but today, it’s rented by a Winona State University sorority.
It’s rumored that little girls’ voices can be heard throughout the home’s walls and that the attic, which contains the orphan’s belongings, is explicitly off-limits to any visitors. The haunted historic home is not open for tours but you can marvel at the exterior architecture and grounds any time.
The Warden's House
602 North Main Street, Stillwater, MN
As the story goes, Warden Henry Wolfer's family is behind the strange goings-on in this building. Wolfer's daughter, Gertrude, died of complications from childbirth in 1914, and the infant was sent to live with the warden. Gertrude has been seen by guests who report that she wanders from room to room, looking for her son.
While the Warden’s House tour doesn’t usually discuss the ghost of Gertrude, the Washington County Historical Society hosts paranormal programs and other special events through the end of October. Plan a visit to the home to explore what it means for a house to be (or seem) haunted.
150 North Summit Street, Spooner, WI
Frank Hammill was a well-to-do man. He owned the local newspaper, engineered the railroad and was president of his town. However, it seems as though he loved everything too much to leave it all behind. Frank passed away in his home after suffering a mysterious stomach problem in 1922.
Even after he passed, his wife couldn’t escape the feeling that he was always there with her and she wasn’t the only one to experience his afterlife presence. The current homeowners moved in after the previous family fled from fear of Frank’s ghost.
Now, the owners agree they feel they are living in Frank’s house... and Frank’s town. They’ve even heard noises and what they believe to be his voice — but that doesn’t keep them out! They welcome their “guest” Frank and continue to live happily in Spooner.
Follow the self-guided Spooner Heritage Tour to see the home’s exterior in person.
6666 East River Road, Fridley, MN
Built on the Mississippi River, this Greek Revival home served as a summer escape and office for John Banfill. Banfill, Minnesota’s first State Auditor, later sold the home to Laura Locke and William Brown, who turned the property into a dairy farm. The couple was reportedly hospitable and kind, but they did have their share of ghost stories, including accounts of a ghost living in the closet.
In 2014, a paranormal investigation was completed at the Banfill-Locke house. High-tech equipment was used to pick up video footage and audio recordings should there be any paranormal encounters. The group saw various figures and even heard a voice whispering, “Get out!” Others confirm that they’ve heard footsteps, noticed strange smells and seen ghosts on the property.
Now, you can visit the Banfill-Locke house and potentially run into a ghost along the way. The property has transformed into an art center that showcases beautiful creations and hosts educational courses throughout the year.
Ready to buy a less-than-haunted house?
If you’re more interested in touring homes for sale than visiting our area’s most famous haunted sites, reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents today. We have nearly 2,400 local REALTORS® who can help you tour and purchase the right ghost-free abode for you and your family.