Haunted Journeys

Palmer House Hotel

Palmer House Hotel

500 Sinclair Lewis Avenue
Sauk Centre, Minnesota
56378 USA

Add to Favorites

Our Badges


Sauk Centre MN is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, the Palmer House Hotel. Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

Constructed in 1901 by Ralph and Christena Palmer, The Palmer House was considered very modern for its day. Replacing a blemished hotel that stood in its place, the Palmer House was promising its town an actual first-class hotel. Indeed, it was the first building in the city with electricity. The Palmers and their children Hazel Palmer and Carlisle R. Palmer lived there. This was a family affair and commitment. Christena's mother and brother, George Brandner, also worked at the hotel. The workers of the hotel were often vulnerable to what came with the travelers, including the dreaded infectious disease of Diptheria.

The hotel was expanded in 1916 due to the growth in Sauk Centre. The dynamics that occurred during the turn into the twentieth century made this a popular place to stay. The town was the center point crossroad (hence the name) for many Native American Tribes. Here the 1800 pioneers and the traveling salesmen. From this, Sinclair Lewis' novel Main Street was inspired, being his boyhood home. Lewis referred to the hotel as the Minniemashie House in his 1920 novel.

Prior to its existence was another building that was burned down just the year prior in 1900. It was called the Sauk Centre House. Legend tells us that it was a fierce frontier brothel. It had a record of hosting abused and murdered women. Although long gone, some its bad juju energy may have precipitated the beautiful Palmer House

The hotel was renovated in 1993 and the number of rooms went from 38 to 19 and the rooms were made more luxurious for the customers.

The Hauntings

Some say that the Palmer House Hotel is not the most haunted in Minessota. They will argue it is the most haunted in America! Here you will meet their phantoms with disembodied voices, possibly see their spectral apparitions and even witness children playing in the hallways. Yes, they even claim to have their own poltergeist in the bar area!

The most active of their phantoms live in Room 11. Guests have reported feeling unseen hands stroking legs. You may feel a nudge or two when staying in this cozy room. Here people have sensed extreme cold spots and a constant sensation of heaviness when entering the room.

Room 17 is another hotspot for the hotel. It is said that guests can sit in one of the two high backed chairs facing the bed, but you can't sit on both at the same time. It appears that "Lucy" will not be happy for it will force her over to the bed. And she doesn't like it. Rumors of this story tell of Lucy who was a prostitute working at the Sauk Centre House. Lucy is said to dislike men, for she probably has some history in dealing with them. She reacts to male guests by slamming the room door so hard it rattles the pictures on the wall. It is also known to rapidly drop the room's temperature, to almost frigid.

A newlywed couple staying in Room 17 also had a weird experience, when the bride woke up suddenly to see a tall and thin man, dressed in roaring 20's era threads, standing at the foot of the bed. And, no, it was not her new groom!

You may also want to check out Room 22. It is home to a bitterly spiteful entity called Raymond. He is said to be Lucy's pimp. In this room, you will hear unexplained noises from the room above, but stirringly, there is no upper floor.

Guests have also seen the apparitions of children playing in the hallway when there were none registered at the hotel. Some have even witnessed seeing a ball bouncing down the hallway, or echoes of the disembodied voices of youngsters. You may also feel a ghostly cat jump onto your bed. One guest cited seeing the spirit of a young boy on the stairs, halfway up to the second floor. He was described as having green eyes and dirty blonde hair.

There is another apparition that has been witnessed by both staff and guests at the hotel. The spirit is a female wearing a bright red head wrap. She's been known to appear during large events so that only a handful of people were able to see her. Photos later revealed that she could be Palmer's daughter.

The phantoms appear to tinkle with the electricity as well. Lights and the TVs flicker. At times they will turn on and off by unseen hands. No faulty wiring is blamed on this since the entire hotel was re-wired just recently. They also are fond of moving things around in the hotel, including silverware that is carefully placed on the tables for guests. Books have a way of moving on their own as well!

Some of the spookiest activity has happened in the basement. Some say there is negative energy. Some feel that some of the spirits here were victims of the mysterious fire of the previous Sauk Centre House which stood on this land. A dream that presented to a stranger, she relayed the details of envisioned bones that were under the basement's earth. The owner did find bones (as prophecized through the dream), but when she left to get a box to secure them they disappeared when she returned. An apparition of a black dog-like entity with red eyes has also been witnessed here. The basement is only open to paranormal investigators, so you will need to book a room and tour to find out exactly what it all entails!

For a full experience, they offer tours, investigations, and special events. For the most part, the ghosts aren't there to harm anybody. They're mostly friendly and don't mean to bother guests, remind us Kelley Freese, who is the owner of the hotel. Perhaps they are there to keep up the spirit of this sweet town.

This property was featured on Travel Channel's network Ghost Adventures (See below). Watch how similarities have been associated with this hotel with Bobby Mackey's Music World in Kentucky.


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).

For more information, please read our TERMS OF SERVICE (linked below).



Please select from the tags below to see more listings like this 

Date added: Jan/24/2017 | Last time updated: Jun/11/2021

Don't See Your Business or Favorite Haunt Listed?

    facebook instagram pinterest tumblr twitter

We participate in several affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. All of our affiliate programs are intended to provide a means for us to earn small fees by offering respected, relevant and useful products to our readers. These efforts will not be an extra cost to you and are paid directly by the advertiser as commission. Thank you for providing the opportunity to offer these products and services to you, while helping us to sustain our content delivery efforts on this website.

Hello! Please Log In