A Spooky Place in the Woods

Recently Kacie and I made our yearly trek to our favorite place; beautiful San Juan Island in Washington State.  We have been making the journey for almost 20 years to see the whales and our human friends.   Over the past two years, stories have come to us about a mausoleum back in the woods on the northern end of the island.  Islanders have regaled us with stories about ghosts flying around the mausoleum after midnight.  We've heard this from many people, and though I'm not sure I believe in flying ghosts, I do believe every story has a smidgen of truth to it ;)

When we were there in 2011, we hiked the trail to mausoleum, in fact I wrote a post about it,see  http://seekingghoststhestories.blogspot.com/2011/07/spooky-mausoleum.html.  The path to get there, winds though a very old graveyard where people who lived in the 1800's/early 1900's are buried.  Spooky?  Absolutely, and the graves in many cases are surrounded by rod iron fences, which makes them look crazy creepy.  About a mile up the trail, and then down the trail, is an unbelievable structure that is known as a mausoleum.  It is actually breathtaking, and in the light of sunset?  It glows, which gives it it's name, "Afterglow Vista."  I had no idea something as amazing as this was there.  Well now we did.  We were awestruck, and after poking around a bit, we were determined to go back at night sometime.

This year in September, we did just that.  After dark, we arrived at the trail, and we hesitated; it was dark already, and we knew it would be darker still in a few minutes, and of course, I forgot a flashlight.  No chiding, yes I know, as a ghost hunter?  I should always be packing a flashlight.   We knew that it was a distance through the now darkened woods to the mausoleum.   Kacie and I wondered if we should really do this crazy thing without a flashlight?  But then, three people came out of the woods on the mausoleum trail.   Well if they can do it, we can too we thought, and after a few words with them, and a look like we were crazy to go back there without light (they had a small flashlight) we trekked on.  We walked and walked, finally, we found the rod iron and stone archway just steps from the mausoleum.  We stood there, once again in awe of this magnificent structure.

"Afterglow Vista is a little scary" is what I was thinking as I took photos with my phone.  Kacie had the big camera and was shooting lots of pictures.   Finally, we walked up to the Mausoleum.  It is built with pillars that are exactly the same as the pillars that were on King Solomon's temple, with an unfinished pillar and all.  In the light of day it is spectacular; after dark it is, well, spooky. 

Inside the mausoleum there is a big stone table with six chairs around it;  it was eerie, especially so because each of those chairs holds the remains of one of the family McMillen, including John McMillen who built the mausoleum as a memorial.  He built Roche Harbor, and produced an abundance of Lime from this little island.  You can still see some of the old lime kilns around the island, and I'm told that all the trees at the beginning of the 1900's were used to fuel the kilns used to produce Lime.  I think what a terrible misuse of trees, it? is sad.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't look for those flying ghosts.  But nope.  I didn't see any, not that I truly expected to see them.  Someone had told me that it was after midnight that they flew - well, we were NOT going to stay in that creepy mausoleum for several hours, and we knew we couldn't stay long (it was past hours to be there).  I turned on my voice recorder, put it on the table and asked a few questions to any ghosts that might have been around.  Kacie continued on her photo shooting journey, and after a bit we began our way back out of the woods.

By this time it was even darker, and I couldn't see more than a foot in front of me.  Kacie took my phone (it's one of the giant Samsung Note 2s) and turned on the video mode for the little smidgen of light to help us pick our way out of there.  At one point she turned the phone me just as I was looking off to my side and I saw what I thought was a critter of some kind and of course?  I screamed a little "what is it"  Kacie asked then I realized, it was my shadow, and I said so.   I've included the video for you to laugh with us below ;)

We finally arrived at the safety of our car, our adventure was complete.  My recordings were inconclusive, but hey, this was not an investigation, we really just had a very quick visit in the dark to find the flying ghosts.  Next time? I guess we will go AFTER MIDNIGHT, and this time?  With a flashlight ;)


An abandoned hospital.....

Tuberculosis Sanatoriums are said to be the most haunted places, think Waverly Hills, and I can only imagine the suffering that occurred in these hospitals.  From the early 1900's to the time when antibiotics came into play in the late 1930s/early 1940s, TB ran rampant in America.  Called simply, "the white plague", it took thousands of lives.  To battle this deadly disease, large and small, public and private sanatoriums were built throughout the country to isolate and care for TB patients.  It was essential to remove those affected with the deadly disease from their homes, families and society, the virus is highly contagious.  Medical treatment of the day was rest and fresh air, and in some instances, surgical procedures that included collapsing of lungs.  Can you imagine?  Horrific to be sure.  The Sanatoriums were built with huge windows optimal for fresh air circulation, and many had large porches for patients to sleep and live in.

This past weekend we did a walk-thru of an old TB hospital that has been abandoned for years. We carefully walked the entire building, taking in the vibe of the crumbling structure.  Over the years it has been vandalized and many of the large windows are broken; there are sinks that have been pulled from the walls and smashed onto the floor, and graffiti. As I walked the hallways and rooms, I thought about the patients who were treated here.  The lucky ones who survived and left this place, and the terminal patients who died there. Sad. Unlike a general hospital, many people that came to Sanatoriums were already dying, and for them, this was the last stop in this lifetime.

The team searched the building top to bottom so that we could become familiar with the layout and also to determine what locations our stationary cameras should be set up to hopefully capture the supernatural during our investigation, scheduled in the near future.  As a sensitive, I feel that the place is indeed inhabited by lots of spirits; why are they still there?  Why do they stay in a place where they suffered so much?  On our investigation, we will ask these questions, and hopefully?  We will capture the voice of a spirit tell us why. 

At the end of our walk-thru, we discovered that we had left something behind, up on the third floor.  I went alone to retrieve it and when I arrived in that room on the third floor, I suddenly felt pressure on my chest.  It felt like something was squeezing my lungs, and it was difficult to breathe.  I thought, hey, it's the humidity, but the funny thing is that once out of the property?  I was fine, and we were still in the heat and humidity.  Now thinking about it?  I wonder if one of those spirits still in that hospital wanted me to know what it was like; to feel how they felt, not being able to breathe.  Interesting?  I think so, definitely.  It makes me wonder, what will happen in the dead and dark of the night on our investigation when we are trying to communicate with the spirits there?

I guess we will find out ;)




The US/Canadian Borderland area in the far north of Minnesota keeps many secrets, among them, what or who lived there in the distant past. The SIM Crew spent a few days in this remote area searching for Sasquatch a couple weeks ago, and we stopped by an area known as “Grand Mound”. Mysterious, dark, and secretive, this park contains burial mounds. Yep, you read that right; mounds filled with bodies of the area’s indigenous peoples from centuries maybe even millenniums ago. Burial mounds are scattered in in several places on both sides of the border, but this one particular place holds the biggest of them all: The Grand Mound.

We have heard some pretty strange stories about the beings buried in the Grand Mound. Locals have told us that the ancient people buried in the mound were very tall and big people that stood over 7 feet in height. Some people think they are the ancient Squatch. These stories have been handed down from generation to generation, so is there a shard of truth to them? 

The mounds (yes there are others alongside the BIG mound) have been overtaken by trees over the years, and so the mounds are hard to discern; they look hills, take a look at the photos here.  The Grand Mound is HUGE to be sure, and to be honest there it gives me a creepy feeling.  Perhaps the beings buried there are watching us.

Another story that has come to us tells a tale that the people buried in these particular mounds were a cannibalistic people. It is said that when you go into this area now? Mosquitos will suddenly attack in swarms, and that these mosquitos are those cannibals now in another form, still existing on the blood of humans.  Interestingly enough, a couple of years ago we visited this site and were attacked by a swarm mosquitos and left immediately. This time, we went and walked the trail in this public place. Jerry had an ominous feeling about the area and would not traverse the trail.  But me?  I just had to with the others, ignoring his pleas for us not to go. Normally? I listen when he tells me he has an ominous feeling, but I ignored him this time because I so wanted to see what was down the trail.

Beautiful and serene it winds through a soggy area that was once the riverbed of the Bigfork River. The Bigfork changed its course over thousands of years, but the old riverbed is low-lying and prone to standing water. A majority of this land was underwater, and it reminded me of the planet Degobah where Luke goes to learn from Yoda.

Once beyond the standing water the trail was indeed beautiful, the trees and woods awe inspiring. The trail is said to go on for about a mile and winds between a lots of burial mounds. After walking for maybe a quarter mile, I was attacked by mosquitoes. They were all over me and I had to get out. Almost running through the trees, I was panicked – of course thinking of the stories of the cannibals and Jerry’s ominous feeling of dread – and so I was quite happy and relieved to reach the clearing, away from the bugs and OUT of the oppressiveness of the swamp.

The next day we visited the historical museum and visited with the historian there. While he shook his head at the stories we told him, he also admitted that it is unknown what people are buried in the mounds. The Grand Mound is ancient; the bodies at the bottom? could have been buried thousands of years ago.  The more recent peoples to bury their dead in the mounds were the Dakota and then Ojibwa, who came and gave the Dakota the boot. But before that? Truly? They just don’t know, and THAT? Is very mysterious.

I always believe there is a little bit of truth in all stories.  Were these people somehow related to Sasquatch? Were they cannibals? Or, were they just average size non-cannibalistic indigenous peoples, like the Dakota and Ojibwa? We will never know, but it is interesting to think about all the mosquitos we encountered there, and the fact that there have been so many sightings of Sasquatch in the area for many, many years.  I know that this land will never give up its secrets, and so I am left to imagine.

Supernatural? Oh yes, in every way.


An active few weeks.....

After a long, cold, difficult winter and a quiet time for supernatural investigations, our crew is once again hopping. We have had investigations on the calendar each weekend, exhausting and fun all at the same time and our hotline is just that: hot.  Tips and reports from people all over Minnesota.  On Wednesday we celebrated May Day, the Celtics called it Beltane, and it is believed the veil between the worlds is thin, allowing ghosts to move into our world with ease. Is this the root of all the activity? I believe it is, and the closer our investigations have been to Beltane the more activity we have encountered out in the field.

We investigated a north metro bar/restaurant in early April. The place is said to be haunted and employees have reported hearing footsteps on stairs, slamming doors, and being touched. We have found minimal evidence from our investigation there, though we did have some personal experiences. Can the creepy feeling, footsteps on the stairs be explained away as something natural? Perhaps. I do think there was someone there with us that night but only for a short time, and we’ve no evidence to back this up.

In mid-April we went back to the very active area near Walcott Mills that was used as a farm colony to train Faribault State Hospital patients in the art of agriculture. There were only five of us on this investigation – far fewer than we’ve ever had at that location before – and it was quite an experience. From the vacant land where babies have been laid to rest in unmarked graves to the old concrete buildings down the road, the supernatural energy was everywhere. I’ve often said this location? Perhaps the most haunted place I have been to and it draws me back time and again. When I step out of the car near the vacant land where the unmarked graves are, I can feel spirits everywhere. Almost too much to bear, it is fascinating at the same time.

It was at this location where a full bodied apparition of a man wearing a blue shirt appeared next to me on our first investigation of this place. This time around we heard voices, and repeatedly searched the woods and the road trying to determine where they came from, we came up empty handed. It was a cold night, and the day after a major snow storm here in Minnesota, so chances of someone being out there were slim. Our searches found no living people near us in the woods, so where those voices supernatural? We will know just as soon as all the data is reviewed from that night. Of course, I will share what I find at that time. Stay tuned ;)

Last weekend we invited to investigate a big, old mansion in south Minneapolis, built in 1900. Interesting and amazing, this old enormous historical house has secrets to tell, I just know it. We had some personal experiences, and I felt a few spirits around us.  We are now going over our data, and are finding some amazing things to reveal to the owner sometime later this month.

The Grand Staircase
The Dining Room

The SIM phone and email has been very active with reports. Folks in outstate Minnesota have been telling us about Bigfoot tracks.  The photo on the right shows these giant footprints in the snow, open it up and look closely, it is very intriguing. 

We have also had reports of strange lights in the sky, and of course ghosts. Our second Bigfoot Expedition will be in late May; we are headed for the borderlands once again, and me? I hope I get to see Sasquatch, eye to eye ;) Last year we found footprints that we think were made by a squatch, and this year we will camp in that very place, hoping, to find evidence of this elusive creature. Exciting stuff – all of it. Squatchin' though? Is my new favorite supernatural investigation, and fingers crossed that we actually find SOMETHING. Gee, I think we should have tshirts made just for the expedition, perhaps something like:  SIM Crew Gone Squatchin' – hey that sounds awesome, yes?


The SIM Crew turns 3!

This week Supernatural Investigators of Minnesota Turns 3! The SIM Crew began with our very first paranormal investigation at the vacant Stasius bar in northeast Minneapolis. In the past Jerry and Mae worked at Stasius for a lengthy amount of time and knew that several ghosts called the big building home. On that very first investigation, we came up with unbelievable evidence; the photo of the female ghost we had all seen over the years at Stasius, and some incredible EVPs.

 In the three years we've been a group, we  have done an amzaing number of paranormal investigations; we have amassed much evidence of ghosts in the form of evp’s, photos, and video, and we have experienced many unbelievable events.

In 2012 the SIM Crew branched out into other areas of the supernatural. We organized and traveled to far northern Minnesota where we went on a Bigfoot Expedition near the border of the US and Canada. We held a “Bigfoot Conversation” townhall event in International Falls, and on our expedition we did find some ginormous footprints that we believe came from Sasquatch. The prints lead down to the creek and beyond, but we could not follow them as the weather turned foul and we had to abandon our search. Another expedition is planned for this year, and we all have our fingers crossed that this time? We will come across Bigfoot, face to face ;)


What’s ahead? The SIM Crew will be holding several town hall events in locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, where we hope people with stories to tell us will and tell us about their experiences with ghosts, bigfoot, UFO’s, and whatever other supernatural subjects that may come up. In October Bigfoot townhall, several people regaled us with quite amazing stories, not just about Bigfoot but about their encounters with UFO’s. Our own Jerry grew up in Bemidji and had his own UFO experience, and that makes us wonder, what is it about northern Minnesota that attracts the supernatural? We HOPE to find out :)