It was the summer of 1893 when James Jensen was building his home on the south side of Albert Lea when he began to noticed the presence of a restless ghost in the upstairs south bedroom. He felt someone or something peering over his shoulder when he would work in that room.
In 1946 Jensen moved out of the house. In the 53 years that he lived there, he rarely used the south bedroom. Over the years, the house changed owners 14 times but they were always driven away by some unspeakable problem.
For several years the home stood vacant until 1964, when Dick and Anita Borland and their 9 children bought the home. Within weeks of moving in, the figure of a tall, thin woman in a flowered pink dress started appearing near the upstairs south bedroom. She was also seen on a small balcony outside the room, in the second floor hallway and most often, near a closet inside the south bedroom.
Before long, none of the Borlands would sleep in this room with the presence who has haunted this house for over 100 years.
This house, which is a private residence near Albert Lea, Minnesota, has had more than its share of problems over the years, starting the year that it was built. It was constructed by James Jensen in 1893 and right away, he noticed that he sensed a peculiar presence in an upstairs southwest bedroom of the house. The sensation of someone following him and looking over his shoulder persisted every time that he was in the room. And he was not the only one to notice it... his family was so terrified that all of them refused to sleep in the room and it remained empty for the entire 53 years they resided there.
The rambling farmhouse sits on top of a high hill outside of Albert Lea and rests on the site of an old log cabin that had been there since the land Was homesteader in 1862. Who pas the spirit haunting this house? Some believe that it was James Jensen's grandmother, who died in the house... or could it be the spirit of a former homesteader, still tied to the location by events that happened years before the house itself was built?
No one knows for sure... but one thing they do know, the place is haunted.
The Jensen family moved out of the house in 1946 and during the next 18 years, the place had a rapid succession of fourteen different owners. Not surprisingly, the neighbors began to wonder if something was ovrong with the house.
In 1964, the Dick and Anita Borland, and their family, moved into the house, finding it in pretty poor condition. The place had stood empty from 1960 to 1963 and peeling paint and broken windows were the least of their worries. The Borlands brought with them their nine children and soon the family mas started on restoring and renovating the old place.
But before they could even move in, they had already encountered one of the ghosts. Several of them were in the front yard, cleaning things up when one of the women saw a lady standing on an upstairs porch.... outside the southwest bedroom. They hurried into the house and found that the place was empty, there was no one there! Seven months after moving in, daughter Rebecca Borland, and her brother Richard, met a woman one morning in the upstairs hallway. She mas tall and thin and wore a flowered dress and an apron. She seemed to be searching for something and cried out to them in a chilling voice, "Help me! Please help me!". Needless to say, the children were frightened and ran downstairs to tell their mother, who first believed they were imagining things. But soon, she also had a close encounter with the woman, who returned and hovered near a closet in the southwest bedroom. A number of the family encountered her there and felt her presence, sometimes seeing her enter the closet and then vanish.
This ghostly woman was never seen downstairs, but another phantom figure was. This ghost, which was of a much older woman, was first encountered standing near the place where the pantry was once located. She slowly faded away and Anita Borland believed that it was the same spirit who had been seen on the upstairs porch before they moved into the house. During the next 18 months, Anita saw the ghost several more times.
She spoke to a relative of the original Jensen family, who recalled Grandma Jensen, a loving woman who matched the general description of the older woman's ghost. Anita Borland believes that this is her spirit but no one has any idea who the ghostly woman upstairs might be.... and if she is the same presence felt by James Jensen when the house was built.
The Old Jensen house is located on s hill outside of Albert Lea, Minnesota, which is on the far south-central part of the state and just across the Iowa border. This is a private residence and not open to the public.
This location has spun some interesting publicity when it was used as a basis for the "Happy Days" episode "Haunted" as well as an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" affectionately entitled "The Haunted House."
Grandma Jensen's House - It's been called the BorlandHouse, but it's mentioned in The Haunted Heartland book under the chapter Grandma Jensen or something like that. I don't think it actually refers to it as the Borland House, but the main haunting is that of Grandma Jensen. Actually, my family once looked at that house when thinking of moving, before we even knew it was in The Haunted Heartland, and my mom got a bit weirded out in a couple of rooms. It'd be neat if you could find more info on that haunted site.