It was three years in the making but the team finally arrived at Minnesota's premier haunted hotel... and were not let down!


Kristin, Dave, and Adam at the Palmer House before the team left. (Justin had already gone)


Location: The Palmer House Hotel, Sauk Centre, MN
Date: March 6, 2010 - Start: 9:00 PM End: 3:55 AM


Weather Conditions:

Partly Cloudy
Temperature: 35 F (OUTDOOR)
Humidity: NA
Pressure: Not Available
Wind: N/A
Moon Phase: 
Investigators Present: Adam, Kristin, Dave, Justin
Video Camera: 4 DVR IR Cams, 1 mini-dv cams
EVP: 2 Sony ICD-8600 Digital, analog recorder, rca digital recorder

EMF: MEL Meter, Cell Sensor






There is so much out there on this location that I direct you towards these two links: 

Adrian Lee recalls history of Palmer House Hotel - ECTO Magazine Historical File





  • Originally the Sauk Centre House in the 1860s. That burned down.
  • 1901 the Palmer House Hotel was built in place of the Sauk Centre House.
  • Was a hotel, part time morgue, and brothel at different times during its history.
  • Entertained famous people such as Governor Ramsay, Sinclair Lewis, Lawrence Welk, and more.
  • Sinclair Lewis wrote a book called "Main Street" about the Palmer House. Later, a book called "Corner on Main" was wrote by Al Tingley, owner of the establishment in the 1970s. This book echoed Lewis' book.
  • Kelley and Brett Freese bought and restored the hotel to its present day nature.
  • Guests are encouraged to talk about the ghosts by the Freese family with paranormal events and ghost reports that guests can fill out.
  • Rooms 11, 17, and 22 have the most reported activity.




The Ghost List Includes the following:

  • A 20 something year old man who is seen as a regular guest in the hotel by staff. One lady who was employeed as a night clerk actually served him at the bar. He tried to give her ten dollars but since the clerk had no change, the ghost actually paid in quarters!
  • A boy who is thought to have died on the staircase is heard bouncing a ball throughout the hallway and laughing. He is also seen on the staircase to peek around the bannister at guests in the lobby.
  • Edward, a young boy, who is interacted with near the toy room on the third floor.
  • Annie, a woman who adores men in her room (11), and is known to touch males while they are sleeping. She is also known to be heard sobbing from the bathroom of the room.
  • Lucy, a prostitute, who lives in room 17. She is known to slam the door and lock it behind her while men are in her room. If you sit in both chairs, she gets upset as it only leaves her the bed to sit on. Being a prostitute, a bed is not a comfortable place for her to be. Lucy had hung herself.
  • Raymond, Lucy's pimp, is thought to have supervised Lucy. He resides in room 22 (across the hall from 17) and does not take interest in any women in a role of power. He is mad that the hotel is run by a woman currently. He shot himself.
  • "The Bride" is a woman who is seen by many on the first landing on the stairs. She sits there and watches the door but never comes down.
  • Michael - a man in the basement who is benevolent and friendly. He does not like being called Mike but will address you if you respect him by calling him Michael.
  • Mrs. Christena Palmer - The matriach of the Palmer House has been contacted by a researcher via a Frank's Box. When asked how to spell her name aftering finding two different spellings, the ghost voice said that it was spelled with an "e" as in Christena rather than the traditional Christina..
  • Mrs. Bradner - She is Christena's mother and is seen in the hotel hallways in a dark dress and on the first landing of the staircase.
  • "The Ick" - something that lives in the basement and has a strong smell of sulfur. (We thought this might be a stinky sewer pipe but cannot explain the way this smell will follow you in the basement and appear in rooms without pipes.) Whatever this is, it is not a ghost. It was never living.


On November 8, 2008, some team called the Minnesota Paranormal Study Group (Mankato) captured this video.


 We returned to the Palmer House with the intent to try our best to explain this video and show you how we did it. You can watch our attempts here:









The team arrived at the hotel around 4 pm. Dave, Adam, and Kristin were set to pick out rooms while waiting for Justin to arrive. While doing so, Adam reported seeing what he describes as a dark mass go down the steps on the third floor near the landing. The three were standing in the hall between 17 and 22 when this happened. Later on, Kelley mentioned Mrs. Palmer and her long dark dress which Adam is guessing that he saw. The object was not higher than 2 feet as it did not appear higher than the seat of the chair near the landing.

While checking out room 22, Kristin reported hearing a noise that she said was the shower curtain moving. Dave also heard this. When we took the tour with Kelley, we were told about how the hangers move by themselves in that room and upon investigating, we found that the shower curtain is silent. When we moved the hangers, the two both confirmed that is what they had heard.

There is a report of smelling the fragrence of cherry tobacco in the hotel's hallway but we have to say that with the hotel's odorizers in the hallway outlets, this might be a cause. We were confused many times when we thought we smelled something but found a plugin air freshener nearby. This may not explain everything but does give a natural explanation and reason for caution when these odors are thought to be smelt.

The team decided that the sleeping arrangements would be:

  • Adam and Kristin (ROOM 11)
  • Justin (ROOM 17)
  • Dave (ROOM 22)

While in room 22, Kristin reported a burn on her neck and it was found that there was a red mark on the back. She reported it to feel like a friction burn. It is interesting since Raymond is said not to be fond of women and she was the only one to report oddities.




5 PM - The Tour With Kelley






We checked out the GhostRadar app on iphone and discussed our pros and cons with it. (Kelley had this.) Dave had the Pub Burger, Kristin had soup, Justin tried the chicken alfreddo, and Adam gave the Mushroom Swiss a shot. All were great. Kelley treated the team to dessert and that was also phenomenal. We could see why this place had a strong dinner crowd.





We were invited to check out the home of Adrian and Lisa Lee, friends of the team's, while they were in the UK. We met Stanley, feed him, and were given a tour by Rachelle Beilke, an employee at the Palmer House. We were impressed with the home and look forward to future memories with the Lees there. Oddly enough, the home is also haunted as lights turn on by themselves despite the owners being in the UK. The home used to be the mayoral home for Sauk Centre and today it fits both of the owners' personalities.





 While the hotel had a dinner crowd, we decided to do the basement first. We started in what has been nicknamed "The Cowboy Room" for unknown reasons. We tried to use the shack hack and were surprised to get negative words coming through such as "kill, die, and get out." The box also called out Adam by name. While listening to this, Justin and Adam saw something pacing in the dark by the white door. When the team left, we smelled a strong smell of sulfur by this door.





The team left the basement after a very nervous and anxious feeling overcame Adam. We checked out the toy room on the third floor and tried to contact the young boy Edward. We were unsuccessful and nothing was experienced.




10:00 PM LUCY'S ROOM (17)

We attempted to do a shack hack in room 17 to contact Lucy. It had mixed results at best and nothing was experienced in this room.




10:20 PM - RAYMOND'S ROOM (22)

The team attempted to communicate with Raymond in this room. Nothing was reported but we did end up taking out a fly so it wouldn't bug Dave while he slept.





Justin, Dave and Kristin set up the DVR cameras while Adam set up command center in the conference room on the 2nd floor. Adam also jumped in the Darkness Radio chatroom to try to gather more reports of people who had been at the hotel.





Dave and Justin investigated the dinner area and when asking for a sign, heard something ruffle one of the plastic trees. They said that it sounded like a bag of groceries sliding along the floor.  Dave also moved a placement setting to see if this would move back to where it was as there are reports that the silverware moves.




12:15 AM - PUB AREA

Justin and Dave tried to recreate the infamous shadow person video with no luck.





In an effort to fill his team out more with the location and what happens in the basement, Adam showed his team the Borderlands video and what happens with rushing. He also was reminded of the "pacing" that happens when they watch people in the basement and felt indifferent with that as he had just experienced that earlier on in the night.

If you would like to see the same video that we watched, please check this out.





Justin and Adam braved the basement again with the shack hack to see if they could get the rushing that is mentioned in the video to happen to them. They also called out the "Michael" in the video and got odd responses. (To be honest, the shack hack for us had never worked this well elsewhere.) They did this in the "cowboy room" once more and when the sulfur smell returned, they respected that and left.

After this, Adam tried to get a hold of Adrian Lee to see if he had any experiences that were off record with whatever this thing was.





Adam and Kristin were in the lobby area between the pub and bathrooms when Adam heard a loud bark come from the basement area. When he asked Kristin if she heard it, she said no and they heard it as it did it again. Adam did not hear it a second time thus leaving neither one of them to hear the same thing at the same time. When researching the sulfur smelling "Ick," Dave walkied Adam and was explained to what they had just heard. What was odd is that this type of being is known to make loud piercing barking sounds. This put Adam at unease as it happened when Dave had just read that paragraph.





Kristin and Adam entered the dining room through the lobby. Adam checked all the silverware but in the process saw something cross by a window that looked out into the parking lot. He thought this was a person outside walking by so he went to go check it out. He was then surprised to learn that the window was approximately six feet from the ground and had air units outside it thus making it unwalkable. There also was no person outside.





Adam tried to recreate the shadow person video in all various walks, distances, and movements. Justin watched the DVR monitor and said that it was not the same as you could see light on Adam and he was not just a shadow mass on camera.




2:45 AM - PUB

The team regathered in the pub area for a few moments and watched people in an apartment across the street as they had a party going on. They talked about their experiences and what all had happened and where they would go to next.




3:00 AM- LOBBY

Unsure of where to investigate next, the team sat quietly in the lobby area and just listened for noises, hoping to hear the barking again or at least the little boy who is said to run through the hallways waking up guests.

While sitting on the couch by the main desk, Adam claimed to have heard a young boy singing the song "Alouette" from the third floor as it was faint and echoing. No one else heard this. The strange thing is that most of western and southern Minnesota was settled by French Canadian fur traders and they were an important culture during the Sioux Uprising of 1862. (The Iron Range is an odditiy in Minnesota culture as it was settled by Scandinavian cultures who came for a new life in the mining business from their homelands.)

The team was tired and falling asleep in the lobby on the couches. Adam tried to push them until 4 am so they could have significant video on the DVR. While waiting, Adam kept seeing a black mass on the staircase that seemed to peek around the first landing's bannister. There is a decorative marking on the post before the railing and this was about the height of the mass that appeared to be a head peering around the post. Kelley later discussed with the team that her friend and psychic Tim Baxton has said that the little boy likes to peek around on the staircase.




3:18 AM - CHIMES?

 The team heard chiming from somewhere in the hotel while in the lobby. This was a faint music box like tone that replayed at 3:04, 3:18, and again at 3:35. We thought that this was a clock in the dining room but the next morning Kelley showed us this clock and it is a revolving clock that does a song and dance if you will. The music was present but when we checked the dining room, the clock's face was not doing the "dance."

Dave and Adam were baffled as to where this could have came from and did not recognize the song that the clock played when Kelley demoed the clock the next morning. Oddly enough, the clock that is in the dining room only works during the day as it is a solar clock and does not chime at night so people can sleep.

The chiming was not synched up to every half an hour or even every 15 minutes. It seemed to be every 15 minutes to us but it was always off by a few minutes of that mark.

We did hear the bells ringing at the church nearby but that did not match what we had experienced that night.





The investigation was just taking too much out of the team and we decided to wrap up the investigation and take down the DVR unit so the workers and guests did not trip on the wiring.

While taking down camera one that was in the basement on the stairs, Justin noticed that there were two small pieces of paper side by side at the bottom of the stairs. He called in Adam and they discovered that these pieces said "HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS FRAGILE. Both pieces were approximately 1.75 inches by 1.50 inches and were of white paper. No one recalls seeing these pieces at the bottom of the stairs on our entire investigation and are a bit of an oddity.





The members returned to their rooms. Adam left a mini DV tape running in his room to record while he slept. The following accounts while sleeping:





None. Slept until 7 am and woke up.





Heard a lot of doors opening and footsteps in the hallway but being that there was a guest in 21 across the hall and Dave in 22, we had to rule it out as natural. He slept until 10 am.






Adam slept on the side without the nightstand.

Kristin fell asleep at 5:20 am or so. Adam stayed up to watch TV and noticed that the TV would lose color in corners and flicker as if the cable was in a freezing glitch. This lasted maybe about a total of 3 seconds for 2-3 occurrences. Not sure why it lost color in corners but the freezing could be broadcast difficulties.

Adam fell asleep around 5:40 am and was woken up around 6:20 am to something touching his nose with what felt like a feather. It was a very slight touch and when he opened his eyes, he saw two dark circles float up and fade. It was almost as if someone was crouching next to him and when he woke up, they stood up. He jumped so much from this that he woke up Kristin and when he mentioned this to her, she didn't sleep anymore.

At 7:10 AM, he woke up to sounds of a lady sobbing in the door entry or bathroom area. He heard it as ".ahhhhhhaaaaa.....ahaha..........ahaha....". This was not crying but rather as if somone was sobbing into a cloth. It was not high pitch but almost as if it was meant to be muffled. Kristin did not hear this.

At 7:45 AM, he heard running in the 3rd floor hallway and couldn't sleep anymore. This could have been the kids in room 1 as there was a family of five in the hotel getting ready to check out.






Adam and Kristin met up with Dave in the diner and had breakfast together. We talked with the waitress about the events of the night and what other investigations that we had.





We checked out the ghost reports while waiting for Kelley to arrive at the hotel. She did arrive shortly after and we discussed what the night brought.





The only member to get much sleep showed up and shared his experience with Kelley. Had no problem in Lucy's room.





Justin had to be back in Bemidji for a relative's birthday. We stayed with Kelley and talked more about our time there.





The team departured the Palmer House Hotel for the Iron Range a little after noon.





Observations and Conclusions

We hope to return to the Palmer House Hotel in the summer as it was an enjoyable stay. Adam described it as making your favorite book real as you appreciate the characters, setting, and images but beng able to see them and experience them yourself is surreal. There are many iconic images of the Palmer House Hotel and it was great to have witnessed them. The town of Sauk Centre is very whimiscal in itself and the Palmer House Hotel has its own magic that it charms you with. The hotel itself feels like it is lost in a time warp but in a very positive way.

We did not have much for activity unless it originated out of the basement. It has been said that when "The Ick" takes over the basement, the ghosts tend to disappear in intimidation. This appeared to be the case but we will return at another time to visit with Edward, Lucy, and others soon.

It was nice to hear that local trusted psychic Tim Baxton had received a message from the ghosts at the Palmer House after we left that he stated: 

"I hear the spirits Thank Adams group for something they did last nite !, it feels like it was a respectful act ??"

We are not sure of this particular act but we do take pride in doing things respectfully and it was a nice touch on an enchanting investigation.

If you read this and do intend to stay a night at the historical Palmer House, the MNPSG encourages you to take heed of Tim's message and the meaning: Everything that happens at the Palmer House Hotel is being watched by the ghostly residents so make it count in your favor!




There was just too many weird incidents that happened to us throughout the night that have been recorded by others that have experienced the same type of phenomena. The fact that we had no prior knowledge to this was interesting. There seem to be varioius levels of haunts here ranging from residual to intelligent.










Teaser Music Video: "Night of the Hunter" - 30 Seconds to Mars









 Tour: The Basement Area









  Tour: 2nd Floor










 Tour: The Rooms









 The Investigation: Basement #1






 The Investigation: 3rd Floor





 The Investigation: Basement #2 and Main Lobby







 The Investigation: Pub and Dining Area






 [BONUS] "LUCY" Music Video

While cutting video, Adam came across this song by Skillet called "Lucy." He thought that it might be a good fit for some scrap footage and to end the Palmer House Hotel footage from our first trip with this dedication.


{flv width="640" height="505"}lucy_mv{/flv}