Minnesota Historical Society

Nearly Departed: Minnesota Ghost Stories and Legends

$ 16.95


Everyone loves a good ghost story.

Phantoms of the Paramount, Shadows on Third Avenue, The Legend of Ann Lake, The Boy in the Red Cap. Veteran ghost hunter Michael Norman has uncovered almost three dozen stories of legitimate Minnesota eeriness to thrill readers. Norman, author of five nationally popular collections of ghost tales, interviewed local storytellers and combed newspapers to document legends involving supernatural and strange occurrences. Following old and fresh leads, he gathered stories from all over the state.

Ghost stories have existed as long as humans have been telling tales. Perhaps they rise from our curiosity about what happens to us and our loved ones after death, perhaps they explain phenomena that we do not understand, or maybe, just maybe, the dead do walk the earth. Norman does not attempt to prove or disprove the existence of ghosts but instead allow readers to make up their own minds. his tales feature people's strange and paranormal experiences in quite ordinary places, including homes, theaters, B&Bs, and restaurants.

Many of the engaging and hair-raising accounts involve strange and frightening incidents of the last fifty years; some tales document very recent unexplainable or spectral events. The book includes a list of sites open to the public and documents the hauntings' locations–from Taylors Falls and Pipestone to Northfield and Nobles County–for Minnesotan who may want to "pass through" the sites.

Beware: these stories do not have conclusive endings, since they remain mysteries to this day. but perhaps that's best. An ending would just take the fun out of it.


  • By: Michael Norman
  • Format: Paper, 304 pp, 6x9, place names index, appendix, bibliography
  • Publisher: MNHS Press
  • Product ##: 9780873517171

Michael Norman is a retired associate professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. He has assembled and cowritten five collections of American ghost stories including Haunted Wisconsin, Haunted Heartland, Haunted America, and Historic Haunted America.

"An entertaining and frightening journey through the darkened neighborhoods of Minnesota."
Dave Schrader, host of Darkness Radio and coauthor of Ghost Hunting: The Ins and Outs of Paranormal Investigations


"Skeptic Michael Norman makes authentic paranormal events more meaningful. It’s great to have Minnesota on the paranormal map!"
Phyllis Galde, editor-in-chief, Fate magazine

"Mike Norman has a proven gift for scaring up spooky stories. These hair-raising Minnesota hauntings range from theaters to farm fields to a B&B. Mike reports. You decide. And keep the lights on just in case!
Stan Turner, broadcast journalist



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