Haunted House
Luke Farrell House: West Mankato
              Don and glenna
              Brian and Lorna Dunne

ALL stories below are 100% true to legend!! We saved the best for last..

Legend has it that the Luke Farrell house in West Mankato is haunted by the ghost of an old lady named Helen. She has been seen on alternate Thursdays in January walking down the grand staircase. She has also been seen as a reflection in the hall mirror. During renovations in 1921, a wall was removed and human bones were found. These bones were said to be of Helen, an old woman who was reported missing by her husband in 1891. Helen had told her neighbor that her husband was seeing another woman and she was going to say something to him the night she disappeared. Jebadiah, her husband married the woman's younger sister (Salum) in 1892 - one year to the day of her sister Helen's disappearance. Salum was later convicted of killing her husband Jebadiah and committed to the Mankato Happy Village Rest Home (a home for the criminally insane at the corner of North 5th and East Walnut Streets). Salum said that her older sister Helen had come back from the dead to haunt her and that it was her older sister who killed Jebadiah.

Legend has it that Memorial Library Room 113 is one of the most haunted places at Minnesota State University. This was a technology education lab in the 1990's. Students who work late in Room 113 are sometimes visited by a former student asking where her technology project is. Students who have seen her say that the room also gets very cold just before she arrives. One student who was working in the room late in the evening stated that he saw her and actually saw her walk though the closed door "Like steam going back into a kettle." Many times the lights go out as students work there late at night. Legend has it that the Shadow People living there use the darkness to get closer to the students working there. Other students working late at night report that a 'student' lab assistant named "Doug" sometimes appears to help students with their work. There was a lab assistant by that name in the 1990's who disappeared without a trace on Pine Ridge Reservation (SD) in 2001.

Legend has it that Tourtellotte Park on East Mable Street off North Riverfront Drive was the former location of Tourtellotte Cemetery, one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States! Many different hauntings have been reported here while the land was set aside as a cemetery and even now when it is a city park. The name Tourtellotte comes from the large number of single (Tourt: not with a mate-{from the German}) males (Ellot: those who must shave-{Mansipot Indian}) living around the area in the past. No one has been buried here since the 1890ís, and the cemetary was so neglected and abused that the stones were simply removed and the area renamed Tourtellotte Park. The bodies were never moved - they are still there - under ground. The site is popular for various groups that are involved in voodoo practices and Satanism, which does not help in the peace of the souls still seen wandering around at night. Some of the ghosts witnessed here include a farmer with his horse pulling an old farrow plow. This is said to be P. Bezanker who drowned in nearby water of the Minnesota River when his horse bolted into the water with the farrow plow and farmer behind. A ghostly farmhouse also appears with a fence and coal lantern swinging from the front porch stoop. Anyone approaching it, finds that it vanishes from sight leaving behind a faint smell of corned beef and cabbage. One of the most prominent ghosts seen in the part is the White Lady, the Madonna of Mahsa Choosets. She is often seen during full moons on months that have 30 days in them, and is thought to be women who is buried here next to her young son: Dos-Cabezas Eddie. One unusual ghost seen here is a two-headed man. No one seems know who this person is or the story of why he appears most often during days evenly divisible by two! During the 1920s Tourtellotte Park was a favorite spot for the dumping of murder victims by mobsters around the New Ulm and North Mankato area. Early 1900s ghostly cars have also been seen speeding around this area on the roads and stopping at the main park entrance.

white lady
Only known daylight photo of
"The White Lady"
The Madonna of Mahsa Choosets
January 11, 1944.


Photo taken by Dr. Douglas Lee
at 2AM June 7, 1999.

Legend has it that many Mankato students doing the walk of shame over the Main Street bridge in the early morning hours have seen a young woman walking across the bridge either in front of them or coming towards them. As they come up to her or as she passes the air gets very cold and sudden panic always follows. Several times students have heard her singing a song. One music major could not get the song out of her head and searched the Web to try to find it. She found that the song the girl was singing was "Come Home Father". A tune that was popular during the Civil War! An old bridge was in this very spot during the Civil War. At the foot of the bridge on the Mankato side there was a large cemetery filled with Civil War dead. Over the years the cemetery was forgotten and the bodies were never removed!

Legend has it that a young man who looks like Cory Feldman can be seen standing on the Main Street bridge on cold summer evenings. Several people have reported to police that they have seen him jump off of the bridge but there is never a splash and there is never a ripple in the water below. A student protester jumped off the bridge during the 1966 Vietnam War demonstration. He was never seen again. His name was Kory Fieldstein!

Legend has it that the sprites of the 13 Swedish fishermen hanged in Mankato for starting the Cod Fish Wars of 1877 can be seen sitting and talking at the river's edge in Sibley park during the evening of December 24th... the day of the hanging.... at the site of the hanging.

line dripping blood

Legend has it that a 1918 John Deere tractor can be seen driving down Riverfront Drive near the new library on the night of November 11th. The driver is said to look like a "ghost holding an American Flag." In November of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day to mark the official end of World War I: November 11, 1918!

Legend has it that late at night on April 10th, the sounds of many types of panicking animals can be heard at Sibley Park. April 10th, 1965 the last great flood surged through Mankato killing many animals housed in the Sibley Park Zoo. The Zoo was never rebuilt.

Legend has it that people walking along the Mankato Bike Path in west Mankato have met a man with long hair and a beard, a woman in a peasant dress, and a black Labrador Retriever. They are very friendly and talk with the people in heavy German accents. They usually ask for directions to the Damn Store in Rapidan, MN. When they do get directions they have been heard to say, "It seems as if we have been walking forever!" Many have said that as the two approach, the air gets markedly colder. Brian and Lorna Dunne and their Labrador Retriever Otto were killed by robbers on this path in 1918 during the great flu epidemic as they tried to escape from the Mankato Pest home. They were believed to be on their way to take refuge at Lorna's parents home near the Rapidan Damn Store!

Rock house
Great Stone House
Legend has it that voices and singing can be heard
along with the smell of a campfire at the great
stone houses in Rasmussen Park on Halloween Eve.
On Halloween Eves between 1712 and 1867 eight
women were burned as witches on this very spot
in Olde Mankatoe.

Photographs taken in the early evening of December
12 at the great stone houses are said to reveal the
images of Gustave and Madeline Svenring,
caretakers of the house murdered in their sleep
December 12, 1887!
ghost faces
Gustave and Madeline
Svenring (?)

Legend has it that in the old Gates Hall (Women's dormitory on the Old Main - Lower Campus of Minnesota State), now a senior citizens home, many residents report the ghost of a college girl walking the hall. A college girl allegedly committed suicide by jumping down the old 3 story tall south elevator shaft in 1920s. Walls have been put up over the elevator doors but senile residents say that sometimes if you listen very hard you can frequently hear the elevator moving up and down behind the wall late at night.

Legends abound about the Land of Memories Park - This is a very active spirit place. Many people have a very uneasy feeling there. Many say they feel as if they are being stalked or hunted. Many divers in the Minnesota River by the park have had strange things happen when they are in the area where the Minnesota River meets the Blue Earth River. A book was published in the 1920's filled with the stories of divers who looked for the pyramids on the bottom of the river at about this site.

Legend has it that many travelers on Glenwood Avenue near the cemetery have reported seeing a male hitchhiker wearing a green jacket. He has black hair and a beard. If they pass him by they are sure to see him again about a mile later. If anyone stops to pick him up, he disappears and is not seen again. A man in a green jacket was hit by a car and killed in 1949 at just about the same spot.


Photo believed to be of "Lillian" taken by BBS TV crew during taping of The "Supernatural Adventures" television show.

Legend has it that "Fort Counsel", located just below Loyola Catholic School-Good Counsel Campus was a military hospital during the Dakota Sioux Uprising. It is also a place of rest for many soldiers and nurses who died there during the war. The Fort consisted of the hospital and several buildings, a large open field, and Councel (later named Good Counsel) Hill. As the story goes a young nurse named Lillian Torgosun died of a broken heart after her husband Henri died in her arms in the hospital. She disappeared soon after but they say that she never truly left the Fort. She has reportedly been seen, in a glowing blue gown, walking from the Fort and calling the name Henri. She goes up over the hill, and then vanishes into a mist. Legend says, every night she would walk from the Fort up over the hill to treat the wounded and check on the soldiers. She still does. There was an incident in the 50s, near the November full moon, when it was very foggy and a police officer thought he hit a woman dressed in blue who was walking along the road in the very thick fog. He radioed the accident in, then got out and could not find a body. When this land was up for sale there was only one bidder... the Roman Catholic Church. Rumor has it that soon after they purchased the land a secret exorcism was held on the property to rid it of spirits. No record of this exorcism exists. It did not work.

Legend has it that the Grand Opera House on Riverfront Drive and East Plum Street (now a wine cafe) is haunted.- During renovation work in the 1980's, workers and crew swear that they saw the ghost of Percy Keene, a stage manager who died in the 1960's. They saw his face in windows sometimes and thought it was a night watchman but the opera house didn't hire any night watchman. Also during the filming of a movie based on a haunted theater the director saw Percy's ghost in the balcony smiling down at him. Other ghosts are said to be in the basement. Percy is the only one of the group who can roam apparently.

Legend has it that the Carnegie Art Center on south Broad Street is haunted. The art center is a house that was built during the depression. The builders, a Mr. and Mrs. Paine, were extremely wealthy, and owned most of Mankato. They owned the larger horse hair furniture factories, and paid their employees with vouchers to purchase goods at stores the couple also owned, basically keeping all the money under their tight control. When the people of Mankato learned of the Carnegie center being built, they threatened the couple that if they ever moved into it the people of Mankato would kill them. The couple feared the people of Mankato. And never did move in. In fact NO one has ever lived in the Carnegie Art Center. Mr. Paine did pass on first, and Mrs. Paine did out live him. She donated their house to the city, with one stipulation, no children under 18 were allowed in it. She was never able to have children, and therefore resented children. Children are allowed in the center now, since Mrs. Paine is no longer alive. It is said that you can see the woman roaming the house during tours. The couple has also been seen together "enjoying" the house they dreamed of living in together. Workers often say a lady at the back of the crowd will start to explain things in the house but when they look for who was talking, a person in the place where the voice came from is just empty space.

mrs paine

Photo taken by security guard in 1972
of person believed to be Mrs. Paine.

Legend has it that the old St. Joseph's Hospital on Third Street is haunted by Rufus. In Sherman Hall, a strange shadow is seen after 1 AM most nights in old seclusion suite vestibules. This ghost is most likely a former patient named Rufus, who hanged himself in the same vestibule. The old hospital has been torn down but Rufus is still seen in the new building.

Legend has it that a boy who screams "Purple" haunts the Mankato High School area! A boy is often seen wandering the streets near the High School. He screams about the word purple constantly!! He apparently believes that he is a distant relative of the former mob boss Lucky "Purple Fingers" Svenciano. The boy has been known to confront high school age girls and speak of his good fortune. Once swayed, most of the girls are never seen again. The boy has no known residence, although he says that he still lives in his parent's basement on Mound Avenue. If a confrontation happens he runs like a lightning bolt and isn't seen again. To everyone that has knowledge of him... he's a ghost!

Legend has it behind the Riverfront Hy-Vee was a wooded hill side where a man was shot to death in the late 1800's. Legend has it that this was the site of the famed Princess Mine. An old Indian mine that was said to contain blue diamonds.   People have told of sightings of a man dressed in the style of a miner walking in this location. These sightings all occur in the early to late evenings. The man is carrying what seems to look like a shovel or pick ax over his shoulder.

Legend has it that in the field behind where the old Gage Tower Dorm at Minnesota State University once stood there was once an old cemetery and when it gets dark many co-eds have seen a young girl hanging from a tree on the south side of the clearing. Beneath the girl is the shadow of what appears to be her lover. Many say that they have heard him crying softly. They have also seen dark shadows move from headstone to headstone. The headstones are not visible during the day! One reason Gage Tower Dorms were torn down was because several of the co-eds swore that they saw the young girl in their dorm rooms. She was hanging from a rope that seemed to extend up through the ceiling. Faculty members around when the dorm was torn down state that this was the main reason the dorm was demolished and never rebuilt on that spot.
I see dead people.
Only known picture of the Gage Tower Ghost.
Taken in 1921.

Legend has it that the property one of the downtown hotels now sits on was once a sanitarium for the criminally insane back in the early 1900's. There is also a rumor that bodies of the inmates were buried on the property and never removed. Employees of this hotel hear strange noises such as doors opening and closing to rooms that are unoccupied. One woman employee was walking down a hall late at night and had a hand touch her shoulder. She turned to see an eerie looking man standing there who then vanished before her eyes. She still works there but you cannot mention the incident to her because she will cry hysterically and threaten to quit. This information came from my grandfather who used to work there. He also said that the huge red sculpture that was on this site for many years was placed were it was "To keep the bodies from leaving the ground" so they could not "take revenge on the city."

Legend has it that an Irish family lived in the house near the stop sign on 5th Street. Legend say that the husband brutally killed his wife and children. Legend say that if you go there late at night and stop at the stop sign then turn your high beams on the stop sign you will smell beer and see blood dripping down from the sign. You will also hear the footsteps of the man walking towards you and singing an Irish song. As he walks towards you, his footsteps get louder and louder until you can feel the hot cabbage breath on your cheek. (The song is said to be "Whiskey in the Jar". An Irish folk song from the 1730's. The girl in the song is named Jenny. The same name as the killer's wife!!!)

Legend has it that the old Albatross Bar near the University was haunted. In the mid-1930s a bartender was murdered there while she was closing up, her body was found slumped in the corner the next morning. She had been stabbed seventy-seven times. Police records list it as a suicide. Her murderer was eventually caught, but not convicted until years later after he committed another murder. Patrons of the bar have reported the juke box apparently starting itself, sometimes running through all the records in a blur. The bar has been replaced by numerous shops. Late at night workers and tenants in the apartments above these shops have reported hearing 30's style music and seeing something, a person or a presence, standing in the shadows, passing behind them in a mirror, and walking across the floor...  never a clear look, always just a glimpse. Enough however to let them know that they are not alone in their businesses or rooms.


Photo of "Frank" taken in TV room during
Richard Nixon inauguration.
Legend has it that the Old Mankato Brewery site at the east end of East Rock Street is haunted. Railroad and newspaper man Frank Hammill is generally regarded as the father of Mankato Beer. He arrived in 1883 on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He later became publisher of the Mankato Advocate, mayor of the town, and a prominent Republican politician. Hammill died suddenly in 1922 of a mysterious stomach problem. His body was displayed in the beautiful house he had built for himself and his family on North 7th Street. His wife lived the remainder of her days there and often reported feeling that Frank was still there with her. As time passed and new owners took over, the house gained a reputation of being haunted. Frank, said the new owners, was still in town. Many guests report hearing noises, voices, and feeling that they simply were not alone in the old house -- one family even moved out. Today the apparent haunting continues, and the current residents are absolutely certain they are not alone. They even refer to their guest as Frank.

Legend has it that before the Government Center was put in the building, it was called Mankato Place Mall, and before this it was the Filbert Hotel and the Showboat Saloon. The area directly above the SSI office is haunted by a past resident who is believed to be named Molly. There are 5 sets of windows above the SSI office. She can be sometimes can be seen looking out the middle (smaller) set of windows. She also opens and closes doors and plays with lights and sounds while people are working. However she does not seem threatening. The open area in front of the SSI office has seen much supernatural activity also. Human forms in turn of the century clothing have materialized in mirrors, sometimes appearing to be walking along the old bar area toward the exit door. A strange voice has even been heard numerous times near the shopping area. In the cellar, unusual cold spots are apparent, as well as the sounds and smells of kegs of beer being moved around. Security guards have been known to experience feelings of nausea while in the cellar, as well as sudden anxiety. Most of these events seem to take place sometime during the middle of the night. The only known daytime vision was during a Minnesota State University Hockey Blue Line Club meeting before a hockey game in 2007. One woman swears that she sat next to a "kindly old woman" named Molly who talked about the old days in Mankato. The first woman turned away to say "hi" to a friend and when she looked back the woman was gone. Her friend says that there was no one sitting with the first lady.

Legend has it that Old Main Village on 5th Street is the home of the Rumpalapa Family ghosts. People have reported loud crashing noises coming from the building. People have reported seeing an old woman looking out the window. People have reported that a little girl has been seen "floating" across the front lawn. Workers have reported upstairs when you look in the mirror they see the reflection of people but when they turn around nothing is there.

Legend has it that the former "Cheers Bar" on Madison Avenue was haunted. Some say that this is why it was sold and the name was changed. The Cheers Bar was said to be haunted by a "red lady." Inebriated patrons say they have seen waiting on tables late at night. Employees won't talk about the subject and no one ever went into the basement. The building is one of the oldest in town and was built on the site where a house burned to the ground in 1875 killing the old woman who lived there.


Legend has it that Mankato West High School was built on the former site of an old Lutheran Orphanage. It has been said students have heard small children laughing and running up and down the hall of the high school. The high school students have had unexplainable experiences, with lockers opening and closing, books flying, and often they hear the cries of small children.

Legend has it that the park on West Welcome is the home of strange happenings on summer nights. Many neighbors call it Lilly's Park because they say that they can hear that name called over and over again on dark nights seemingly from the playground area. On other nights, when the wind is still, people walking by the park can hear children playing and the swings will be swinging. Sometimes a growl will be heard from out of nowhere. It seems that 2 children and an adult (Lilly Gray) were murdered there by a "werewolf like animal" (As reported in the November 17, 1958 edition of the Mankato Journal Democrat). Be careful when going around the slide. That is where one of the children is believed to have died.

Mrs Gray

Legend has it that the Sinclair Lewis House on South Broad Street is haunted... by Sinclair Lewis himself! It has been said that the sound of his typewriter can be heard in the house (and outside when the windows are open on summer nights) coming from the front right bedroom... the bedroom where Lewis worked on his books. People walking on the street have seen a person walking back and forth in the bedroom late into the night. When people stop to look at the person, he comes to the window and stares at the people with glowing blood-red eyes.

Legend has it that the Hubbard Mansion on South Broad Street is haunted. At night you can hear a horse and carriage come up to the front steps, hear a man and a women get out and hear the stairs creek as they walk up them, and silence.

Legend has it that the Betsy Tacy House house is haunted by the ghost of author Maud Hart Lovelace. She has been seen in the window by the porch at nights and also on the front porch. On the porch she is said to repeat "Come home Betsy" over and over again. In 2005, when the "Home Time" television show was filming there, several members of the crew said that they heard a female voice reading from the Betsy Tacy series just outside their door. When they opened it, they could still hear the voice for several seconds... but could see no one.

line dripping blood

Minnesota State Univeristy
tunnel system.

Legend has it that all of Mankato was a forbidden area to the native Americans living in the area. If you check other Web sites you are told that Mankato's original name was Mahatto. Mahatto is an Ojibwa Indian word meaning "Blue Earth". (Mankato is in Blue Earth county and the Blue Earth River meets the Minnesota River there.) This is incorrect and really is a hoax to hide the true meaning of the word and horror associated with the name. Dr. Roger Carlson, the famed geologist published his masterwork in 1918 (used copies of his book may still be found on Amazon and/or EBay). In this work he traced the real origin of the name. It is a Hekawi Indian name meaning "Bone Eaters". (See special note on the Hekawi Indians below.) It seems that before the Ojibwa settled in the area, it was the land of the Hekawi. Mankato was a forbidden zone. Legend has it that strange evil spirits live in caves and underground in Mankato. These evil spirits kill and eat all parts of their victims. Hence the name... Fact or Legend: Road crews are forbidden to dig in certain areas around Broad and Elm Streets. No one will say why. There are no records of road crews ever working late at night in Mahatto?? Fact or Legend: Workers are not allowed in the tunnel system under Minnesota State University after 11 pm. Legend says that three workers disappeared in these tunnels in the 1930's never to be seen again. Legend has it that you can hear their screams and the sounds of something eating and snapping bones echoing through the tunnels late on cold, winter nights.
NOTE: The Hekawi Indian name was made famous by the 1965-67 TV show "F-Troop". The writers were warned not to use the name. They did. Fact: Most of persons associated with "F-Troop" are either locked up in mental institutions or dead! Fact: Everyone reading this will die.
ghost faces
Only known photo of
Hekawi Indians.

line dripping blood

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