you've ever spent a weekend tucked inside one of the
historic dining cars at the Whistle Stop Inn Bed and
Breakfast in New York Mills, you might have been
unknowingly dining with an uninvited guest. Visitors
to the bed and breakfast in years past occasionally
reported hearing odd noises during their stay, or
mysterious footsteps. One woman even claimed to smell
an unexpected whiff of cologne while relaxing in her
whirlpool. Perhaps these tales are nothing more than
coincidences. Maybe they are stories that were twisted
and exaggerated over time. But maybe there is
something to them. Maybe the Whistle Stop Inn is
Owner Jann Lee doesn't seem to think so.
“Sometimes you hear things, but it never turns out to
be anything,” she said. “If there is a ghost it's
friendly. But I don't think we're really haunted.”
Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk, authors of the recently
published book “Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted
Locations,” wanted to find out for themselves. So they
armed themselves with ghost-hunting equipment and open
minds and headed straight to the source. Their visit
didn't prove the ghostly tale, but Lewis said it
didn't disprove it either.
the book, the authors provide readers with the site's
history and compare it to its folklore. They also
include conversations with employees and town
residents who comment on the spooky stories.
“We provide the evidence and leave it up to the reader
to visit and experience,” Lewis said.
The Whistle Stop Inn is one of many supposedly haunted
Minnesota locations the authors highlight in their new
book. Lewis said the pair actually visited each spot
and only chose locations that had reported hauntings
in the past 20 years.
Among the lot are the New York Mills Regional Cultural
Center, the Old Broadway Food and Spirits restaurant
in Alexandria, and the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk
The book provides specific driving directions for
anyone interested in hunting down the hauntings.
Lewis has traveled much of the world searching for
ghosts and other unexplainable phenomena and has yet
to come across hard evidence, but that doesn't
discourage him from believing it exists.
have spoken to too many credible, normal people who
have had something happen to them,” he said. “It can't
all be hoaxes, psychological disorders,
misidentifications, or mass hallucinations.”
Besides, Lewis said actually witnessing a haunting is
only a tiny piece of his passion.
“Even if you never have a ghost encounter,” he said,
“you'll have an adventure.”
The authors welcome anyone interested in sharing their
own ghost story to access their Web site at
The site also provides information about obtaining the