Tag Archives: Dain Charbonneau

Discover the Ghosts of the Mabel Tainter Theater

Mabel TainterThe Mabel Tainter Theater has been a center for the arts in Menomonie, Wisconsin, since it was built in 1889. Originally, the structure was created as a tribute to Mabel Tainter, a young woman from the area who loved theater and the arts. She died at the age of 19 in 1886, and her wealthy lumber baron parents decided to construct the theater as a memorial to her. No expenses were spared in the creation of the building. The best stone from the area was used to construct the exterior façade. The designs on the walls and ceilings were created by hand. Huge stained glass masterpieces and gorgeous marble stairs and floors decorate this beautiful building. The centerpiece of the theater is a gigantic pipe organ with 1,597 pipes in the 313-seat theater auditorium.

The theater has been in constant operation since its completion and dedication in 1890 and has seen countless employees and patrons walk through its doors. The building also contained the Menomonie Public Library until 1984, when it moved to a larger building. The only remnant of the library is the Reading Room within the theater building.

The Ghost Story

There are several places in the building where paranormal activity seems to occur. The first is the changing room area in the downstairs of the building. People have seen shadowy figures and heard phantom footsteps here. A paranormal group conducting an investigation in the building caught phantom voices on their audio recorders that they didn’t hear at the time the recordings were made. Sometimes, people in the changing rooms feel as if they are being watched or feel generally uncomfortable.

Another haunted area in the building is the theater’s auditorium, where the performances take place. Again, people see shadowy figures walking through this area, who, upon further investigation, simply disappear. The figures that appear most often are seen on the catwalks that tower over the top of the stage. People see figures on the catwalks and hear voices and footsteps coming from the catwalks despite there being no one there. Other times, while actors rehearse on the stage, they see people watching them from the seats. These figures vanish. Still other times, strange things happen with the sound boards, and the organ makes noise on its own.

The most famous ghost to haunt the theater is said to be that of Mabel Tainter herself. The apparition of a woman in a white dress has often been seen floating through the building. These apparitions are seen most often on the second floor and in the women’s restrooms. The apparition who appears on the second floor seems to just float by eyewitnesses. The apparition who appears in the women’s restroom looks at herself in the mirror and will vanish.

Visiting the Mable Tainter Theater in Menomonie, Wisconsin

Twin Cities Haunted Handbook

The theater offers guided tours, including ghost tours. For tour times and showtimes, check the theater’s Website.

From downtown St. Paul, take I-94 East for about 57 miles into Wisconsin. Take Exit 41, the WI-25 exit towards Menomonie/Barron. Stay right at the fork to get onto North Broadway Street and follow that for about 2 miles. Turn left onto Main Street East and the theater will be on the left.

In Twin Cities Haunted Handbook, ghost hunters Jeff Morris, Garett Merk, and Dain Charbonneau explore all the best haunted locales Minneapolis has to offer, including Dead Man’s Pond, Memorial Pet Cemetery, Padelford Packet Boat Company, the Old Jail Bed and Breakfast, and St. Thomas College and the Legend of the 13 Graves.

Roseville Memorial Pet Cemetery

History of the Roseville Memorial Pet Cemetery

Roseville Memorial Pet CemeteryIn the early 1920s, a man sold off a few acres of his farm to a local veterinarian named Dr. Feist, who immediately turned the area into the first pet cemetery in Minnesota. It was originally called the Feist Pet Cemetery and was privately owned until the late 1980s, when it was donated to the local Humane Society and renamed Memorial Pet Cemetery.

Throughout its many years of existence, a vast variety of animals have been buried here—mostly dogs. The headstones themselves often mention what type of dog it was and include a touching epitaph. Dogs aren’t the only pets buried here, though. There are birds, hamsters, gerbils, cats, and even a horse. The horse’s grave is currently unmarked, and historic records as to its exact location have been lost. One woman even asked the current owner of the cemetery if it was okay if her ashes were buried with her pet dog. After searching through current laws and regulations, the owner agreed to allow it, and her cremated remains were buried with her beloved pet.

Today, there is no longer any room in the cemetery, and no new burials are being accepted.

Roseville Memorial Pet Cemetery Ghost Story

While you might expect a pet cemetery to be haunted by the spirits of the animals buried here, most of the ghost stories actually involve human entities. Every once in a while, people hear what sounds like the quiet barking of a dog or a rustling through the grass, but the dogs from the local neighborhood or resident squirrels could account for these phenomena.

The most often-reported ghost in the cemetery is that of a small boy, seen alone. Often the witnesses notice him in a particular place, but when they go off exploring and then turn back to look at the little boy, he has completely vanished. Other times, those who see this young boy say that he follows them around the cemetery at a safe distance and then suddenly disappears. Still others hear the voice of a small boy but don’t see him.

The other ghost within this cemetery is that of an old woman, seen kneeling in front of a dog’s gravestone. When she is approached, she fades away into nothingness.

Visiting the Roseville Memorial Pet Cemetery

It is best to explore this location during daylight hours. One reason for this is that the cemetery is in a neighborhood, and concerned residents may call the police if someone is walking through a pet cemetery in the middle of the night with a flashlight. Perhaps a more important reason to explore here during the day, though, is that all of the ghost stories have been reported during the day.

Twin Cities Haunted Handbook

Take I-35W North from downtown Minneapolis for about 4.5 miles to Exit 23B, the MN-36 East exit. Follow MN-36 East for 3 more miles before taking the Dale Street exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Dale Street and then take the first left after the highway onto Cope Avenue. The pet cemetery will be on your left.

In Twin Cities Haunted Handbook, ghost hunters Jeff Morris, Garett Merk, and Dain Charbonneau explore all the best haunted locales Minneapolis has to offer, including Dead Man’s Pond, Memorial Pet Cemetery, Padelford Packet Boat Company, the Old Jail Bed and Breakfast, and St. Thomas College and the Legend of the 13 Graves.

The Old Jail

Haunted Bed & Breakfast welcomes guests
in Taylors Falls, MN

A tale from the Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garett Merk, and Dain Charbonneau

Old Jail Taylors FallsThe Old Jail Bed &  Breakfast was, in fact, at one time a jail. The history of the property started much earlier than that, however.  The original structure was actually a saloon built by the Schottmuller Brothers in 1869. The saloon building was connected to a cave, which ran to their brewery.  The beer was brewed in their brewery and then was stored in the lower cave temperatures before being served to the men at the saloon.

In 1884, the area needed a jail, which was built directly adjacent to the saloon.  Some people surmised that the reason for this was so that rowdy drunks could be more easily jailed for the night after causing a scene at the saloon.

After the building was used as a saloon, a variety of other businesses occupied the cave and the structure.  At one time, the building was used as a mortuary, again utilizing the cool temperature of the cave for preservation purposes.  In 1981, the buildings on the property, including both the jail and the old saloon, were converted in the bed & breakfast, which currently occupies the property.

Ghost Story

Twin Cities Haunted Handbook

As far as ghostly activity at this bed & breakfast, at least three ghosts have been experienced here. The first ghost is that of a cat. While there are no reports of anyone actually seeing a cat in the building, people sometimes report feeling a cat jump into their bed in the middle of the night. When the startled lodgers get up to look for the cat, they find there is no such creature anywhere.

The other ghosts, a young boy and an older woman, have been seen together in the building. Sightings of these ghosts are often preceded by a glowing orb of light. Sometimes, the ghosts actually speak. During at least one instance, the young boy was reported to say, “Don’t be afraid; we are here to watch over you.”

For more information on rates and to book a room, visit the website of The Old Jail Bed & Breakfast or call (651) 465-3112.

Jeff Morris, Garett Merk, and Dain Charbonneau explore all the best haunted locales Minneapolis has to offer. Get your Twin Cities Haunted Handbook here.

 

Feeling haunted, Hamline University?

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on a story from Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garrett Merk and Dain Charbonneau

Well there’s a reason for that eerie feeling, and it’s not exams! Both Drew Hall and the Old Main Building have stories to tell.

Hamline University Old Main Building
Hamline University Old Main Building

True to its name, the Old Main Building at one point long ago hosted classes, the dining hall, administrative offices and most other school functions. A fire demolished the building in 1883, but it was rebuilt the following year.

Since the fire, there have been a number of strange sightings. The most entertaining of which concern goblins who cause mayhem (think Peeves from Harry Potter). These creatures push stacks of papers to the ground, spill coffee onto laptops and engage in other mischievous behavior.

Less troublesome, but perhaps more creepy is the portrait of university president George Henry Bridgman, which hangs in the auditorium. Students claim the man watches them as they walk by, sometimes leaving his portrait to stroll around the building and even occasionally plays the auditorium piano. Perhaps he even disciplines the troublesome goblins—though no account of this activity has been reported.

Hamline University Drew Hall
Hamline University Drew Hall

The spookiest sighting is that of the average student who is milling around with his feet hovering above ground and a noose around his neck. Nobody seems to know what happened to this student or why he continues to haunt Hamline. By contrast, Drew Hall’s ghostly activity has a much more logical story.

Although Hamline is the oldest university in Minnesota, Drew Hall is a newer addition built in the mid-1900s. But it wasn’t until the 60s that the elevator was installed, which led to a fatal accident.

A freshman (naturally) thought it would be funny to put his hand in the closing doors to test the sensors and show off to his friends. The elevator sprung open each time he did this, except for once. Just once is all it took to sever the hand of the freshman boy. But the hand was never found…

Today, residents of Drew Hall (particularly female residents) can feel the icy touch of the pranker’s hand on their feet at night. Some claim to see the hand crawling through the stairwells—it’s not like the hand would take the elevator! The phantom hand may be searching for its body, but to no avail.

The best chance to bear witness to supernatural activity on campus is to be a student of Hamline University, however, both buildings are open to visitors during normal school hours.

For more ghost stories, check out Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garrett Merk and Dain Charbonneau