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The Palmer House: A second home for the paranormal seekers

The Palmer House Hotel Sign
Christy Urick

If you travel along Interstate 94 northwest of Minneapolis for a solid two hours or so you will come across the town of Sauk Centre, MN. Seemingly just another farming community outside of St. Cloud, this small town is home to one of the most well-known paranormal location in the United States.

The Palmer House Hotel serves as the centerpiece to Sauk Centre, a city originally made famous for being the hometown to celebrated author Sinclair Lewis. The Palmer House Hotel was originally built in 1900 after the Sauk Centre House, a less-than-reputable boarding house on Main Street, burned to the ground in a mysterious fire. Ralph Palmer and his wife Christena built The Palmer House on the spot of the former Sauk Centre House as a premier, first-class hotel to serve those coming into town on the rail. The Palmer House was a grand location for its time. It was one of the few buildings in the surrounding areas to have electricity- making it a destination for the privileged.

The Palmer House experienced a somewhat tumultuous mid-to-late 20th century. The hotel changed ownership many times during this period, but is now in the hands of a smart, loving and ambitious caretaker. The Palmer House Hotel is once again a destination, but for a completely different reason.

The charm of the early 1900’s still exists in the architecture and interior design, but that is not the only thing left behind from the past at The Palmer House.

The Palmer House is said to have many distinct spirits still roaming its halls. The most well-known are that of a woman called Lucy, a man, and a child, among others. It is unknown if the spirits knew each other or even were alive during the same time. Lucy is said to have her own domain at The Palmer House, Room 17-more commonly referred to as Lucy’s Room.

Staying in Lucy’s Room is usually a coup for those hoping to experience a haunting; the ghostly activity isn't regulated to Lucy’s Room alone. The bar, basement and several other hotel rooms are known to have their very own spirits laying claim to these parts of the hotel.

The Palmer House is not only a haven for the ghosts it houses, but also for the living who love the paranormal. A paranormal community has thrived and been fostered within the walls of The Palmer House, creating a familial atmosphere for those seeking the supernatural. The Palmer House is like a second home to many in the paranormal field, not only because of high standard of hospitality among staff but also because of the reception given from the ghosts, namely, an active one.