Skip to main content

Minnesota college makes list of most haunted in the Midwest


All colleges and universities have their lore – haunted stories that are passed down through generations of students. But one Minnesota college has made a list of the Top Ten Most Haunted Colleges in the Midwest.

Mysterious Heartland lists St. Olaf College in Northfield sixth on its list.

St. Olaf was founded in 1874 and it isn't short on ghost stories.

According to Mysterious Heartland, in 1887, the college newspaper, The Manitou Messenger reported two ghosts were seen gliding through the upper floor of Ladies hall.

Today, several residence halls, the library and the theater all have ghost stories attached to them. There are reports about a boy in a red cap who appears in Thorson Hall, a woman dressed in lavender known to hang around the Kelsey Theater or other various stories affecting several of the campus buildings.

The school's Vice-President for Student Life, Greg Kneser, has been active in most of the documentation of the incidents over the years. Kneser has kept a ghost file containing many of the reported instances. He also has been known to hold campus tours of residence halls and other areas of campus where the hauntings have been known to occur.

The hauntings have become more fun than fright now, but Richard Hagen is a paranormal investigator from Minneapolis and a St. Olaf graduate. He has conducted investigations in a few buildings on campus.

He told the Northfield News the school is "ripe with spirits." In the report, Hagen says the activity seems to increase in the fall when students return to school because the spirits want to make their presence known.

Mysterious Heartland's Top 10 Most Haunted Colleges in the Midwest

10. Northwest Missouri State – Maryville, Missouri

9. Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

8. Millikin University – Decatur, Illinois

7. Marquette University – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

6. St. Olaf College – Northfield, Minnesota

5. Iowa State – Ames, Iowa

4. University of Notre Dame – South Bend, Indiana

3. Benedictine University – Lisle, Illinois

2. Ripon College – Ripon, Wisconsin

1. Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio

Next Up

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.