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Things that go bump in the night

July 22, 2008 - Cindy Votruba
In my blog about my trip to DeSmet, S.D., I talked about watching “Ghost Hunters International” on the Sci-Fi channel that night at the hotel. It sounded kinda cool to go around the country, heck, the world to check out the presence of ghosts in various houses, hotels, cemeteries or bars using all sorts of gadgets. The episodes I watched took place in England (or was it Ireland?) and New Zealand. This Sunday, I bought the first season of “Ghost Hunters.” I guess I’ve become a bit intrigued with the paranormal. But if I ever encountered a ghost, I’d probably be scared out of my wits.

On Monday, I went to the author program at the Marshall Lyon County Library. I had wanted to go anyways, but then I also wanted to do a story on what people’s thoughts were about the paranormal. I mean, there’s various television shows out there — “Ghost Whisperer,” “Ghost Hunters,” etc. And there are boatloads of books about haunted places everywhere, even in Minnesota. Monday’s program featured Greg Lewis, a paranormal investigator from Wisconsin who has gone all over the country investigating different hauntings. He’s said that he hasn’t personally seen anything, but he’s talked to people who have said they’ve seen something a little spooky in certain venues.

For example, the Kahler Hotel in Rochester is supposedly haunted; the elevator in particular. Now I’ve been to the Kahler back in 2004. I don’t remember anything unusual, but I’ll say it was kind of a stately old hotel. I can see the possibility, but I’m the type who will believe it when I see it. (And then start running).

Another haunted spot in Minnesota is Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul. I was there about 19 or so years ago when my high school’s French Club decided to have a fancy meal. The story about Forepaugh’s is that its original owner, Joseph Forepaugh, had shot and killed himself when he learned his mistress, a servant named Molly, had hung herself from a light fixture. It is said that both his and her ghostly presences have been seen in the restaurant. Nothing really odd happened to me while eating there. But then again, I really didn’t know the story back then.

According to the website, the cemetery in Taunton is supposedly haunted by the spirit of a 12-year-old girl. I’m not sure I want to go tramping around a cemetery late at night, but there have been people who did. At Monday’s author visit, a young woman had asked Lewis about starting a local paranormal investigators type of group or something of the like. She’s interested in desecrated cemeteries and has been to Taunton and to the Sanborn Cemetery, which is also said to be haunted. She sounded like someone I wanted to add to my story, but she was a bit reluctant to give her name. Oh well, hope she gets somewhere with her plan.


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