Grey Cloud Island is located in Washington County, Minnesota. It is a very small area with an equally small local population. This tiny location draws the attention of people frequently because of the historic sites found at Grey Cloud Island. There is the famous Lime Kiln and the Grey Cloud Cemetery.
History buffs find the site a fascinating place to visit as no matter how hard people tried to turn the Island into a thriving community most people had no interest in living or working on the Island. Another reason why so many people venture to the area with an estimated population of 300 people is because of all the stories of paranormal activity and ghost sightings.
There is also a very strong connection to Native American history at the location due to the number of Native Americans buried on the Island as well as the fact it has been an early Native American settlement. For many believers in the paranormal and ghosts Grey Cloud Island is one of the most haunted places located in Minnesota.
History of Grey Cloud Island
In the long history of Minnesota, Grey Cloud Island is an area known for Native Americans and their settlements. The area is also known for Woodland mound-builders. A great deal of fur trade was also done on the island for many years. The presence of Native Americans is the most significant for the area as it was a Native American from which the area’s name was taken.
A tribe of Medwakanton Dakota Sioux lived in the area around the late 1700s early 1800s. It was from this tribe that the Island eventually acquired its name. According to reports the Chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux had a daughter who was named Grey Cloud Woman. This was the first Grey Cloud Woman and she went on to marry James Aird, a fur trader. They went on to have a daughter named Margaret who was also known as Grey Cloud Woman II. A man by the name of Hazen Mooers went on to marry Margaret Aird, or the second Grey Cloud Woman. It was this Grey Cloud Woman for which the island received its name.
See also: Haunted Hotels in MN
Many attempts were made to try to build a strong and successful settlement on the Island but all of the attempts failed miserably. There are a few homes on the Island but according to reports Grey Cloud Township offered those that lived there no schools, libraries, firehouses, police stations, churches or bars. The Island does boast the Grey Cloud Lime Kiln as well as the Grey Cloud Cemetery and a large concentration of Native American burial mounds. The Grey Cloud Lime Kiln was built roughly around 1846. The Kiln stood 35-feet tall and was roughly 20-feet around. It was built for creating quicklime. Quicklime was used for fertilizer and also mortar. It was considered to be a defining structure during the early industrial era.
Along the Mississippi River in South West Washington County, Minnesota is the Grey Cloud Island Cemetery. The earliest marker and verified burial in the area belongs to a baby by the name of McCoy. It dates back to 1873. There are countless stories of paranormal activity at the cemetery. As a direct result of all the ghostly stories, the cemetery is locked and no one is permitted on the premises after sunset. Furthermore, only people living in the local area or people who are directly related to someone buried in the cemetery can also be buried there per strict guidelines.
Hauntings of Grey Cloud Island
The reports of ghostly sightings and paranormal activity are so extensive at Grey Cloud Island it is difficult to determine which is an urban legend and which is fact. With so many stories and reports made Grey Cloud Island is considered one of the most haunted places in Minnesota.
One of the most popular reports of paranormal activity is that of the green lantern. Based on different stories, there are those that say a former Indian Chief wanders around the cemetery carrying a green lantern. Others report he simply wanders around the cemetery. Further stories claim that the green lantern is not carried by anyone. The unusual green light simply appears to move through the cemetery grounds, the woods, and along local roads. Some people have claimed to see the greenish light in the form of an orb our cloud. Other people state they have seen regular orbs around the cemetery and surrounding area. There are also a number of reports that Grey Cloud Woman, the second, wanders around Grey Cloud Island despite the fact that she is buried on the Sioux Reservation with her mother, the original Grey Cloud Woman.
Since the area has a great many Native American burial mounds there are those that claim activity on the island is related to the spirits of the deceased. On nights with a full moon people have stated that they have heard the sound of drums beating. Hearing the howling of coyotes at night or their barking is also something many people swear to have heard when on the Island. People who have visited the Island also claim that the air is very heavy and thick making it hard for one to breathe. This particular claim is one that other people adamantly dispute as they have never experienced anything like it.
A rather unusual bit of activity that numerous people have claimed to experience is that of a white truck that appears to chase people on the Island. Some say the truck appears and vanishes without a trace, others claim the truck has no driver. Those that have encountered the truck are adamant it is not made up. There are also reports of a ghostly apparition on a motorcycle that follows people and can vanish into thin air. Some people dispute the story of the pickup truck stating there are locals who chase off nosy trespassers.
When it comes to a lot of the paranormal activity reported there is a lot of connection to the Grey Cloud Cemetery or tombstones in general. There is one report that within the cemetery sits a row of 12 tombstones that belonged to a group of nuns. People claim you can walk and count 12 tombstones but if you turn around and recount the same tombstones you will not be able to count 12 the second time. One group of people interested in this haunted claim went to the cemetery. A mother who had taken her son was in that group. The mother stated that while she watched her son counting the headstones, there was the ghostly figure of a young boy following behind her son. They immediately left the cemetery in a panic.
The stories of unusual activity in the cemetery abound. There are reports that people can hear disembodied voices while other people claim to hear the horrified screams of a woman. Other reports from paranormal enthusiasts claim to have seen a man wearing a red flannel jacket and an orange hat while smoking and carrying a rifle. The sight would not have caused any issues with those that have seen the man but they say he is translucent. One woman who saw the man in the red flannel jacket stated that although he never uttered a word to her he stared at her causing her such uneasiness she left the area immediately. According to her reports the man reappeared right behind her in the road and shortly thereafter she kept seeing him in her backseat when looking in her rearview mirror. One small group of friends who went to see if they could see the man in the red flannel never saw him, however, when leaving the Island they heard the sound of a young girl whispering from the side of the road “don’t come back,” but there was no one in sight.
There are many accounts of people driving past the cemetery or around the island and there is an overall feeling of uneasiness and fear that creeps into people. Some people have reported that when they have driven onto the Island and gone to the cemetery that their car loses all power. Terrified due to the sound of a woman screaming and overall creeped out feeling the owner of the vehicle managed to get it pushed out the gates. As soon as the vehicle was on the other side of the cemetery gates the car immediately turned on, radio blared, and the lights came on. The driver and his passengers immediately left the island for fear of what had just happened and what could have occurred.
Countless haunted stories continue to be told about Grey Cloud Island. Locals would prefer if most people simply did not visit the Island as they claim there is no unusual activity ever. Other avid ghost hunters claim there is plenty of unusual activity in the area from orbs, to screams, odd feelings and sightings of everything from long deceased Native Americans to the ghost of a woman who appears to be mourning the loss of her baby.