PIPESTONE — It wasn’t
the Historic Calumet Inn’s ghostly past
that made nearly 100 people leave and
relocate to the Pipestone Performing
There was simply no
room at the inn for the unexpectedly
large turnout at a presentation by Chad
Lewis, author of “The
Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted
“I had no idea people
in this town were so interested in
ghosts. I guess that says a lot about
Pipestone,” quipped Stephanie Hall, a
librarian at the Meinders Community
Library and an organizer of the event.
Lewis, a paranormal
investigator with a master’s degree in
applied psychology, has authored several
books about the unexplained and unusual,
and his “Road Guide” features haunts in
southwest Minnesota, including one in
His visit was funded
by Legacy Funding through the federal
government and was a collaboration
between the library and the Pipestone
County Historical Society.
“I think the ghosts
just don’t bother to show themselves to
me because I wouldn’t notice them,
anyway,” said Hall, who has worked at
the historical society housed in the
supposedly haunted museum. “But I’m not
Lewis said he first
visited Pipestone about four years ago.
“We made several
trips through the area. My research
partner and I were both working ‘real
jobs,’ if you will, at the time, and we
were doing (our research) as kind of a
long weekend thing,” said the Wisconsin
native. “We’d get as far as we could,
then go back.”
took the audience to haunted locales
around the state, from the Landmark
Center in St. Paul — supposedly haunted
by the ghosts of gangsters past — to the
Glensheen Mansion in Duluth —haunted by
two women who were murdered there — and
right back to southwest Minnesota.
His book details the
legends behind the Ghost of the Clock
Tower in Albert Lea, the Janesville Doll
House and the Sanborn Cemetery in
“They believe the
spirit world is coming into their
world,” Lewis said. “For years locals
have whispered about … this cemetery.
Balls of light floating in the air that
cannot be captured on film. They say you
will hear the faint cry of a young woman
who was believed to be buried alive.”
could also check out the Montgomery Golf
Course, where players putt around actual
gravestones. But of the most interest to
locals in the audience were the spooky
legends that hit closer to home.
The Pipestone Museum
has long been considered haunted.
According to the road guide, employees
once had problems with a pair of boots
in a World War II display that always
seemed to jump off the shelf when no one
was in the room. It was later discovered
the footwear belonged to a victim of the
there was a restless spirit who didn’t
like his boots sitting on the shelf next
to the Nazi artifacts,” the book
Susan Hoskins was
working upstairs at the museum when she
had her own run-in with the
“I thought I heard my
name called. And a little while later I
heard it again. And it was all coming
from the same spot,” she recounted.
Hoskins asked the
woman working downstairs if someone had
been calling for her and learned no one
else had been in the building. Oddest of
all, she said, the voice she heard
called her “Sue,” a name which she is
only called by family members.
The Historic Calumet
Inn, too, has frequently been said to be
haunted, apparently by a musical ghost.
“The staff will hear
a piano and nobody can be found playing
the piano.” Lewis said.
As part of a
Minnesota Ghost Hunters Society
Investigation, video was taken of a
rocking chair there that has been said
to rock by itself. In the video, a wispy
mist appears to float down the middle of
Many in attendance
had their own ghost stories to tell.
One couple traveled
from to Pipestone for their anniversary
and happened upon the presentation.
“I was born on
Halloween, so I’m kind of interested in
ghost stories. I think that’s fun,” said
Shauna Christiansen of Blooming Prairie,
who was celebrating one year of marriage
to husband Matt.
Shauna said she’d
once seen an apparition in college,
while Matt found most interesting the
lore behind Forepough’s Restaurant, a
St. Paul mansion-turned-eatery believed
to be haunted by the ghost of a woman
who hanged herself from the chandelier
A Pipestone man named
David, who didn’t want his last name
used, said he chased a spirit out of a
Pipestone home while babysitting one
evening 13 years ago.
“I think everybody
believes to some level,” he said.