Investigation Date: 04-21-2007
Site: The Palmer House
Location: Sauk Centre, MN
Number of Investigations: 1
Reason For Investigation:
We contacted the owner of the Palmer House to see if we would be able to investigate the numerous claims of paranormal activity that have reportedly gone on for many years. Auditory phenomena include hearing footsteps up and down the stairs (though there were no guests currently in the hotel), running of a child in the hallways of the hotel floors at times when there were no children in the building, and employees hearing their name called although no one else was around. There have also been numerous reports of smelling cigar smoke in one of the rooms upstairs even though no one was currently staying in the room and smoking is only allowed in the pub downstairs on the main floor. The most reported apparition is that of a young boy with a ball and others have seen an apparition of a tall man wearing a hat as well as a woman in a wedding dress. Other activity includes various objects moving on their own in the bar and restaurant; some employees said they have felt someone put a hand on their shoulder even though no one was behind them, various electrical phenomena such as TVs turning off and on, and cold spots.
Research & Background on the Property
Before the Palmer House was constructed, the Sauk Centre House stood on the property and acted as a hotel, brothel, and saloon. The Sauk Centre House mysteriously burned down in 1900 and many living in the town at the time did not seem to mind, as most thought of the house as a place of "ill repute". No one reportedly died in the fire and some believe a partial section of the basement for the Palmer House is the original foundation for the Sauk Centre House. Built in 1901, The Palmer House is still referred to as the cornerstone of Sauk Centre. It functions today as it was meant to be when the house was originally constructed: as a hotel, restaurant, and pub. The hotel was remodeled and redecorated in 1993, reducing the original 38 hotel rooms to only 19. If you are ever in the area or just need a weekend getaway, the Palmer House is a lovely place to visit. They also have a Pub and Restaurant located within the hotel where they serve a variety of extremely appetizing meals. Kelley, who is the owner of the Palmer, is one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. She was incredibly hospitable to our team throughout our time at the Palmer House and we would like to sincerely thank Kelley and her wonderful staff for making us feel right at home.
Temperature: 56 °F
Dew Point: 46 °
Wind: 10 mph
Moon: 21% Full
Because the Palmer House was such a large property with many rooms and areas to cover, we had twelve members present during the investigation. No hotel guests were staying the night while we were there, only the owner’s father who lives on the property. TCPS investigated most of the guest rooms on the second and third floors and the basement, as well as all of the “common” areas such as the pub, lobby, restaurant, and kitchen.
Within ten minutes of investigating the basement, two of our members’ cameras malfunctioned. There was also a knocking sound heard from one of the hallways in the basement. At one point during the night, a member was touched on her shoulder in one of the rooms down there. She stated it felt as though someone had pushed their thumb into her shoulder. Shadows were also witnessed there as well. During one of our last rounds of the night, a few of our investigators stated that they were about to leave and asked if any spirits present would like to say anything or make their presence known. Once the investigators started to head toward the stairs, they heard a noise come from behind where they were just previously standing. The source of the noise could not be found. One of the voice recorders used in the basement shut off on its own, even though the team remembered turning it to record and saw the red light indicating the DVR was recording. This also happened to a different voice recorder in the dining room/restaurant area. While in the kitchen, two of our investigators witnessed trays moving on their own, and in the dining room one of our member’s cell phone lit up for no apparent reason. No phone calls, messages, or alarms came through or went off.
Cold spots were recorded in numerous locations throughout the hotel and several investigators reported hearing movement in some of the hotel rooms although no one else was present where the noises came from. One group of members felt like they were coming down with the flu in one of the rooms, when previously they felt fine. This flu-like feeling lingered for almost a half hour and then went away as quickly as it came on. Another group of investigators were in one of the bathrooms of a reportedly haunted room in the hotel when two members of the group suddenly became nauseous. The other member of the group came into the bathroom to see what was going on and went to pull back the shower curtain. Before she even touched the curtain, something fell into the shower and made a loud noise. Upon opening the curtain, nothing was out of place and the investigators noticed nothing was there in the shower to have fallen and made such a noise. Investigators had just finished asking “Tell us what happened in the bathroom”, when they heard a “popping” noise in the Jacuzzi room. Explanation for the sound was not found. A knocking sound was also reportedly heard by another group from this same bathroom.
While sitting on one of the hotel beds, one of the co-founders was touched on her toe after previously asking if any spirits in the room if they could touch one of the investigators. Earlier while in one of the more notoriously haunted rooms in the Palmer, this same member felt as though someone was sitting on her chest and it was very hard to breathe. This feeling only lasted a few moments. After relaying this experience to the owner once the investigation was completed, Kelley told us that one of the hotel guests had experienced something similar to this incident a week earlier. It should also be noted that during TCPS’s preliminary interview with the owner, two of our members and Kelley were in one of the more reportedly haunted rooms in the hotel. After being in the room for only a few minutes, one of the members felt as though someone was standing in the corner of the room behind the door. She also stated that she felt like she should not move from where she was standing in the room. A while later, the other member present asked this member to go over to the other side of the room where Kelley was. When this member finally did move, the door to the room slammed shut with an extremely loud bang. The door to this room had previously been propped open by the carpet on the floor. Kelley told our members that this particular door is always propped open in this manner and said she knew for a fact that the door had been open like this for at least 48 hours prior to this incident. Our members tried to recreate the door slamming with such ferocity. As many times as they tried, their numerous attempts could not make the door slam as loud as what had previously just happened by unseen forces.
Even though all of our EVP’s were captured during the preliminary interview at the Palmer House, we can not deny the personal experiences our team had during the investigation. We believe the Palmer House does indeed have genuine paranormal activity and are currently working to set up another future investigation to gather more evidence.
EVP stands for "Electronic Voice Phenomena". Basically, EVP's occur when voices or other noises are captured on any type of recording media (i.e. tape or digital recorders, video cameras, etc.) that were not heard at the time of recording. Only upon review are the EVP's audible.
How TCPS Captures EVP's
During an investigation, our members use a voice recorder and ask a series of questions. These questions are each followed by a period of silence lasting 20-30 seconds. The reason for the gap of silence is because it is thought that spirits need to gain energy in order to be heard. Sometimes when we review an EVP session, we can hear a voice answer the question(s) or hear a noise that was not heard by any investigators at the time of the recording.
To listen to our EVP's, please right click on the link provided and choose "Save As" (or "Save Target As", depending on your browser). This will save the EVP to your computer and allow for better quality.
Voice 1: During our preliminary interview with the owner of the Palmer House, this EVP was captured in the Pub area of the building. You will hear Kelley, the owner, talking and while she is talking to our members, a voice is heard. This voice sounds to be that of a young child or woman. What it is trying to communicate, we do not know. Filtered Version
Voice 2: Again this EVP was taken from the Pub during our preliminary interview with Kelley. This voice sounds eerily similiar to the "Voice 1" EVP. Filtered Version
Whisper: While taking a tour of the basement, this EVP was caught during one of our conversations with Kelley. Kelley's voice is the main voice you hear and in the background is one of the TCPS members speaking. Once Kelley says something about a lock, a whisper can be heard on the recording. Filtered Version
Voice 3: This EVP was captured while our members and Kelley were upstairs in one of the hotel rooms. The recording begins with one of group talking and over top of her voice is another voice, which almost sounds male. No males were present nor in the vicinity of this room where the recording was done. Filtered Version
Voice 4: Caught in the same room as the previous EVP, this recording begins with one of our members talking. Once she is finished, there is a voice or a sound almost like moaning heard in the background. Filtered Version
Voice 5: After the tour of the Palmer, our members went back to the Pub to eat some dinner before heading out on the road again. This recording starts with one of our team stating "What to do today, what to do today?" and then a voice or sound can be heard. This voice again sounds like a scream or loud moan that is also very similiar to the previously listed EVP.
"Get lost": This EVP was captured while both of the co-founders were having a tour of the basement. On here, you will hear one of the co-founders explaining something, and during this explanation, a whisper can be heard which almost sounds like "get lost". Perhaps they were not wanted down in the basement at that time? Filtered Version