Haunted Journeys

St James Hotel

St James Hotel

406 Main Street
Red Wing, Minnesota
55066 USA

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Red Wing MN is home to one of the most haunted hotels in the state, the St. James Hotel. Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

An exquisite Italianate style building, The St. James Hotel was erected in 1874-1875. This was during the wheat-trading boom era in Red Wing. At that time it was one of the most modern hotels of its time. Sitting just a couple of blocks from the steamboat docks and train depot, both business owners and travelers would flock to rest in its warm hospitality.

The proximity to the docks became a bit of a historical misfortune for them. At one time, the hotel was used to serve as a makeshift mortuary for 98 people who drowned in a paddle wheeler capsizing.

In 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the same year, the hotel was purchased and renovated by the Red Wing Shoe Company. It was also given two additions, a shopping courtyard and a new section for offices.

Until recently, the hotel had 61 guest rooms, each with its own unique decoration and bearing the name of a riverboat that used to travel up and down the Mississippi River. In early 2010, a new suite housed in the old Red Wing Iron Works Building was added to the hotel, bringing the number of rooms to 62.

The Hauntings

If you ask to book the most haunted room, chances are you will be directed to Room 310. This is Clara's room, for it belongs to the phantom of Clara Lillyblad. She owned the hotel for 40 years. Her husband, Charles bought her the hotel in 1932, but he died shortly after. She was known for her renowned cooking and her affable, generous spirit. For this reason, the St. James was frequently called “Clara’s Place” by people in town. She died in 1971.

Guests will meet Clara's ghost sitting in the chairs in their rooms. One poor man left the hotel at 2:00 a.m. one night after reporting seeing her floating above his bed. Others have reported difficulty moving her favorite dining room table.

The basement at the St James Hotel is said to be another hotspot. This could be contributed by the fact that the St. James Hotel was apparently built on Native American burial mounds. People have seen the head of a Native American man hovering in the basement area. It is relentless, for it will not disappear until you leave his space. Others have seen an unexplained white mist lingering there.

The horrific shipwreck on Lake Pepin in 1890 in which 98 passengers drowned has contributed to the haunts of this intensely spectral property. For days the hotel was used as a makeshift morgue. Many believe the ghosts from that shipwreck still reside in the hotel.

All of the floors have not been spared by a phantom that lurks throughout the entire property. It belongs to a worker who fell to his death during the construction of the hotel. He also has been seen on the grand staircase of the hotel, identifiable by his iconic overalls. When folks approach him, he fades away.

There is another spirit that tends to be a bit more hostile and unnerving. He is known to attach guests and slam doors. There is also another female spirit that appears in a which dress, who has appeared in the rooms of guests during the night.

You will also hear disembodied voices whispering. Sometimes, the gut-wrenching sounds of children and babies crying can be heard. Cold spots can be felt spontaneously without a source for their appearance.

The hotel has put together a three-ring binder of documents that includes witnessed supernatural accounts, results of previous paranormal investigations, and of course the history of the St James hotel.

The hotel has been featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures.


More spine-tingling reads about haunted Minnesota...


The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations (Unexplained Presents...) Paperback – October 1, 2005 by Chad Lewis  (Author), Terry Fisk (Author), Phyllis Galde (Foreword)     Twin Cities Haunted Handbook: 100 Ghostly Places You Can Visit in and Around Minneapolis and St. Paul (America's Haunted Road Trip) Paperback – September 11, 2012     Minnesota Hauntings: Ghost Stories from the Land of 10,000 Lakes Paperback – August 9, 2010 by Ryan Jacobson  (Author)


  • As Seen on Para TV
Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit.

If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jun/18/2020 | Last time updated: Jun/14/2021

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