Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Palmer House Hotel

This weekend we took a much needed mini-vacation up to a small town called Sauk Centre that is the home of the famous Palmer House Hotel, Restaurant, and Pub. This current building is over 100 years old there has been a hotel on this site since the 1800's. The neatest thing about this place, besides it's very interesting history, is that it's rumored to be very haunted. (Read more about the Palmer House Hotel here.)

Sleepy baby on our first night.

While we personally didn't experience any blatant spiritual activity, except for the EMF (electromagnetic field monitor) blinking during the basement tour, it was still an amazing weekend! We had wonderful food and relaxation. Audrey especially enjoyed the play room that was right next to our room. Two things that did happen in our room were: the air purifier turned off in the middle of the night both nights (the owner said it's on a timer) and the smoke detector went off on Sunday morning (but was probably set off by the shower steam).

The highlight of our stay was the "Historical Tour." By the name we assumed this would just be a tour of the hotel with history and paranormal stories thrown in, but it was actually more like a ghost hunt in the basement with the lights turned off. The owner (Kelly) was so nice and accommodating, and I'm sure she's done this for other guests as well, that she had one of her employees babysit Audrey while we were down in the basement for over an hour! Audrey had a lot of fun with this woman, who had teenage children of her own.

Now, being in a pitch black basement where people have had scary paranormal experiences made me a little apprehensive to say the least. I get really freaked out at the idea of sinister spirits and the like, especially after watching "reality" shows of paranormal activity. But it wasn't as creepy as I thought it would be or as creepy as the pictures seem. I'm sure it helped that I was surrounded by other (living) people the whole time!

The first room we went in and sat on chairs that were arranged in a circle. Kelly turned off all the lights, placed the EMF in the middle, and we sat in silence waiting for our eyes to adjust to the dark. She then encouraged people to speak up when they thought they were experiencing something and asked questions of any spirits that might be there. People said they saw lights in various places in the room, but there were some rays of light from upstairs. The EMF did light up a few times in response to Kelly's questions (the theory is that EMF lights up when spirits come near it but it also will light up in response to a cell phone or electric wiring) when it was otherwise off. We took pictures and then Kelly asked a final question, "Can we stay here awhile with you?" The ghost was supposed to light up the EMF for an answer of "yes" but what it did instead was whisper in the ear of an older lady "NO. Leave me alone." This understandably upset her and she was crying and visibly shaken. We talked to her later in the pub and she seemed very nice and normal and was embarrassed about reacting the way she did to the spirit talking to her. She actually told her husband not to tell anyone they knew about this because she didn't want them to think she was crazy!

Taking pictures of any paranormal activity, but it ended up being a picture of other people taking pictures. :) The EMF is on the bucket.

Is that an orb to the left of the bucket or just my crappy cell phone camera?

After that we walked around the rest of the basement. Kelly pointed out ceiling beams that are covered in soot. She thinks that the current building was built on the foundation of the old hotel that burned down in 1900. She showed us some other interesting aspects of the basement as well including the absence spider webs, a coal chute, and antique doors part of the original building.

Under the stairs where human remains were found. Kelly dug and found several of what she thinks were human ribs and left them in a container. When she returned later the bones and container had disappeared and never seen again.

First picture of a chair where many people have had paranormal experiences. Notice no white spots.

Second picture: white spot in the lower left corner by the pile of boards.

Third picture: white spot right next to the chair.

Those three pictures were taken in a row with no one around me at the time. So did I capture an orb on those pictures or is it dust?

Our weekend at the Palmer House was unforgettable and even if you don't believe in the paranormal I highly recommend staying there! We are already planning our next trip there!

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