We came into the central Minnesota town of Sauk Centre at about four o'clock in the afternoon on Friday. The 13th. The date on the calendar is neither here nor there when it comes to strange happenings at the historic Palmer House Hotel, the place we were to call our home for the evening. About that.... Well, a valiant attempt was made.
I was joined on this little road trip with my sister Cori and our dear friend Christy. The three of us all went to The Palmer House for very different reasons. I went because its a great historical site in my beloved state of Minnesota AND it's in a part of the state I am somewhat familiar with. And of course, the hautings. Now, if you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I am a total chicken, so it's not that I wanted to see a ghost or communicate with a ghost, I just wanted to hang out with them. Kind of like being invited to sit at the cool kids table in the lunchroom at school. You don't talk to anyone and feel a bit out of place the whole time, but it's pretty awesome. Christy went because she is working on honing her medium abilities, something she has always had, but is only now recognizing and accepting what it is, so she was out to communicate or have some kind of contact. And my beloved, Cori, she wanted to get outta town for 24 hours and have a fun wine time with two of her favorite people. My sister Cori is not a skeptic, per se, she just believes that the last thing dead people want to do is communicate with the living. She feels they have better things to do than talk to someone who is being, in her opinion, a little insulting, when they are doing that, "Can you make a noise for us?" kind of stuff. So she wasn't closing herself off to anything, she just didn't expect to see or hear or experience anything.
We checked in and hauled our stuff up the narrow and not-easily-navigated-while-wearing-flats staircase to the second floor and went to our room, Room 9. At first, I felt very cozy at The Palmer House, it had a very much a "Grandma's house" vibe to it. A hand-sewn quilt on the bed and small TV with crappy reception on the dresser, ya know, Grandma's house. There were two beds, a double bed that Cori and I were going to share and a twin bed up against the wall that Christy was going to sleep in, a small nightstand next to the double bed with a lamp and alarm clock. As we settled in a bit, Christy was picking up a female spirit, "She's curious." she said. "We are three women here by ourselves, she just wants to see what's up." "Well," I addressed the female spirit, "modern ladies like to watch The Real Houswives of the OC and drink wine with our friends." I had switched on the small TV and the channel was on Bravo, which was showing the ghoul-fest that is The Real Housewives of Orange County. Christy just giggled and said she thought the woman's name was Lucy. Now, full disclosure, I did not watch any of the investigation videos on The Palmer House's website, this Lucy name was something I never heard. Cori however said, "Christy! They said on the video that the lady's name was Lucy, don't you remember?" What followed was a quick bickering session between the two about how Cori didn't have the volume up loud enough on her computer speakers so Christy didn't hear what anything was being said (have I mentioned these bitches work together too?) So, whatever. Wine was waiting for us down in the pub we pretty much claimed as our own most of the night.
My comfort level at The Palmer House was very high. The only way I can describe it in the late afternoon-early evening hours is pleasant and cozy. The pub was awesome. It was Grandpa's part of the house. Very masculine and overstuffed, golfers on the wall, large oak bookcases and lots of liquor. We made a beeline to the couch and wing-backed chairs in the corner next to the fireplace. Towards the end of the night I was stretching out on that couch without any regard of how many people may have done the exact same thing before me, and what level their personal hygiene is at. But, that's kind of the risk you run when it comes to staying in hotels in general.
After sitting in our spot for several hours, with our attentive little waitress Christine keeping us rich in the vino, I decided I wanted to "explore" Sauk Centre. Cori wasn't too quick to give up our primo spot in the pub since it was starting to fill in with a late dinner crowd, but we managed to get her outside.
Hey, Sauk Centre has a movie theater. The end.
In no time, we were back in our corner, wine in hand. Well, me and Cori anyhow, Christy decided she was done drinking. She only had a glass and a half earlier in the evening and the moment she started to drink the energies she was picking up began to disappear. She wanted to keep a clear mind for the rest of the night.
As the night and the chit-chat went on, things started to get more....active, I guess is the word I would use. From where Christy and Cori sat they could see down the entire pub and out a doorway to where the restrooms where. At one point, Christy saw the female spirit, a solid torso, but a faint upper body, as if she was working, going about her business. She also picked up a male spirit in the bar. This man was very irritated that there were so many females drinking in the bar, and he was very focused on the alcohol behind the bar itself. He wanted it. He wanted to have a drink, but, Christy said, since the bartender was female he wasn't going to gain access to it through her. He was mad that women where drinking and that a woman was the one giving out the drinks.
Then, what I thought would never happen happened. Cori was listening to our conversation about God Knows What (probably some disgusting bodily function or hair where there ought not be any hair on the human body) and suddenly made a small "Ohp." noise. "Did you see it?" Christy asked her? My back was to this active area. I was facing the window looking out onto a side street all night. "Yeah. At first I thought it was a woman accidentally walking into the men's room. And then she just kept going. It was just a shoulder." For my sister to say this is huge. Like I said, she's not a staunch non-believer, she's just not a, ya know, believer...While she was saying this and observing, she wasn't freaking out or panicked, she was just casual, where as I would be "HOLY CATS! WTF IS THAT GHOST SHOULDER NONSENSE RIGHT THERE?!?!" (so maybe it's for the best I did not witness this.) Christy and I switched seats though so I could take a peek and see if I saw anything, "It's sorta like a Magic Eye picture," Cori said, "You're not going to see anything if you are starting right at it." Well, bugger. I could never see those Magic Eye pictures anyways.
By this point in the evening we were all starting to get tired and decided to head up to our room and eat candy for a while. Christy made a comment while we were on the stairs that the little boy who is said to haunt The Palmer House was on the steps with us. Apparently he followed us into our room. We all changed into our comfy clothes and Christy went into the bathroom to wash her face, Cori and I cuddled up in the double bed and started being giggle-pusses for whatever reason. Probably because between the two of us we had like, four bottles of wine. My phone was at my feet and I wanted to take a picture of me and Cori so I reached to get it while facing her. Just then I hear a bang at my other side. I looked and the remote for the wall-mounted air conditioning unit, the remote that was sitting in the CENTER of this nightstand, was now on the floor. Christy then came out of the bathroom. "Um, that remote just was thrown on the floor." I tell her. "It's the little boy," she says, "He was tugging at my shirt in the bathroom while I was washing my face and I just told him 'not now.'" Cori laughed and turned on Jimmy Kimmel.
Christy picked the remote up and set it back onto the nightstand and turned her attention to her bed. She was taking down the covers when she suddenly said, "I don't want to sleep in this bed." Christy was soon in the middle of a Cori-And-Roxy sandwich in the double bed. Many giggles followed after this and the general silliness soon turned to talk of the angry male spirit in the basement (so glad I didn't watch any of the investigation videos) and not only where we talking about "Micheal or Mike" in the basement, and the burial ground this building is built on etc., we were also being ridiculous and taking pictures of our legs all together and I was sending them to my husband and brother-in-law like "Haha, aren't we funny and cute?" Our behavior was very carefree and somewhat flippant. Then the mood changed right quick. "I don't want to stay here tonight." Christy suddenly said. "Me either..." Cori echoed. I, on the other hand, was only bummed about my lack of pillows because I need to sleep with like, three or four pillows every night. It's a very elaborate set-up. "I'll even pay for the room..." Cori said. Next thing I know, Christy is on her phone with the AmericInn that sits right on the highways when you first come into Sauk Centre. Oh, they had a room available....some ridiculous suite for 150 bucks a night. No deal. The next call was made to The GuestHouse, a hotel across the parking lot from the AmericInn. 80 bucks! Let's go! (Our last resort was sleeping in Cori's car in the parking lot of the AmericInn. Oh yeah, we had a plan B.)
As soon as we decided the leave The Palmer House, this sense of urgency came over us and our room. I don't even remember packing (probably because I was into the wine...) but I know we were out of there fast, and as we descended the staircase Cori felt a tingling sensation in the back of her head that she first described as a hair stroking, and massive goosebumps, Christy felt sick to her stomach, and by the time we reached the parking lot, Cori was thinking about maybe having a little bit of an asthma attack. The cozy, Grandmotherly feel The Palmer House first gave me was gone and something more sinister had taken over.
"That negative male energy, he didn't like us, he wanted us to leave. He didn't like how we were behaving so comfortably and carefree and having fun and laying in bed together, he didn't like it. And if we didn't leave he was going to settle in our room for the night and mess with us. He wanted us to leave." Christy was saying as we hastily threw our bags into the trunk. "The little boy, I think he was trying to warn us, he was trying to get our attention, that's why he was pulling at my shirt and that's why he threw the remote." Christy continued as Cori sped down Sinclair Lewis Avenue to our refuge. We reached The Guesthouse in record time and was greeted at the front desk by a too-smiley-for-working-the-midnight-shift-at-a-hotel clerk who didn't ask questions. The moment we stepped into our room at the new hotel it felt as though a huge pressure was off of all of us. The air had cleared and we could all breath and think a little better (and bonus...ALL THE PILLOWS!) Sleep was possible in this hotel, where is at The Palmer House it would have been impossible. We all managed to get a few hours of sleep, but we did need to return to The Palmer House in the morning to return our keys (which I insisted stay in the glove box in the car. I didn't want them mucking up our new safe spot.)
Christy and I went back to The Palmer House this morning to return our keys just as a gallery reading with local psychic Tiffany was about to take place The places was jumping, the sun was pouring into the lobby through the open windows, people were excited to be there, the good vibe was back. We turned in our keys and hung around the lobby a little bit looking at the pictures and the music for the player piano. "The other spirits are out when the man isn't." Christy said, "It's almost like he's the one, the boss, the mean guy....the other ones scatter when he's around."
And scatter, we did.
*Part 2 of my blog will be all our wonderful pictures! I'll let you know when it's up!