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The Nearly Departed

The Nearly Departed

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Minnesota Ghost Stories and Legends

Author Michael Norman

Minnesota Historical Society Press (September 1, 2009)

Veteran ghost hunter Micahel Norman uncovers almost three dozen stories of Minnesota eeriness—just in time for Halloween.


Everyone loves a good ghost story.

Phantoms of the Paramount, Shadows on Third Avenue, the Legend of Ann Lake, Boy in the Red Cap. Veteran ghost hunter J. 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 it’s our curiosity of 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 allows readers to make up their own minds. His tales feature people’s strange and paranormal experiences in quite ordinary places, including homes, theaters, B and Bs, and restaurants. Many of the engaging and hair-raising accounts involve strange and frightening incidents of the last fifty years; some document very recent unexplainable or spectral events. The book includes a map and a public site appendix targeting the hauntings’ locations—from Taylors Falls and Pipestone to Northfield and Nobles County—for Minnesotans who may want to “pass through” the sites.

Beware: these stories do not have conclusive endings since they remain a mystery to this day. But perhaps that’s best. An ending would just take the fun out of it.

Author information

Michael Norman is associate professor of journalism and mass communications (retired) 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.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 304 pages
  • place names index, appendix, bibliography
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873517171

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