Palmer’s Hotel is indeed one of the state’s most haunted hotels, and has paranormal reports dating back to the ’50s. There are various unexplained things happening in the hotel which makes for great horror stories. The current owner of the Palmer House is Kelley Freese. She has owned the house for more than a decade. Freese was not a believer herself until she came into possession of the house.

Kelley has since tried to note down all the experiences that she and guests have experienced. One of those reports includes the sighting of a ghost of a young boy on the stairs on the way up to the 2nd floor. He’s described as having dirty blonde hair and green eyes.

Many guests have reported seeing a ball bounce down the hallway and voices of young children on many occasions, people report feelings of terror in the basement, disembodied voices, and poltergeist activity in the bar area. The hotel is also reported to house the ghost of Sinclair Lewis, the famous author from Minnesota.

Many other reports have been heard throughout Kelley’s ownership. One of which includes electrical disturbances, with lights and TV’s flickering on and off in guest rooms, this is despite a whole electrical re-wiring and electrical tests throughout the building.

Of all the rooms in the hotel, room 11 and room 17 are reportedly the most active. A newlywed couple was staying in room 17 when one night the wife woke up suddenly to see a lanky man dressed in 1920’s-30’s clothing standing at the foot of the bed.

Room 11 is probably the most active room in the hotel. One night a guest was sleeping with his legs out of the sheets and felt someone’s fingers start to stroke them. He jumped up to see what was causing the sensation and found nothing, yet the feeling continued. Guests staying in room 11 have also reported extreme cold spots and a constant heavy feeling upon entering the room.

The hotel has been investigated by paranormal groups and TV shows many times over the years, and every time they have caught EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomena).


The hotel’s story began in 1863 when it was called the Sauk Centre House. It was damaged by fire 40 years later after it was built and a man named R.L. Palmer resurrected it. He expanded the hotel to 40 rooms, all with electricity and bathrooms, amenities which hotels during that time still did not have.

A lot of people lived in the hotel full time and some even raised families. According to stories, some people also died in the hotel and they have chosen to stay in the hotel. Several guests have reported hearing knocks from the walls, as well as on the doors of the rooms. There are no possible reasons for these knocks. Guests, as well as the hotel staff,  believe that this is how the spirits from the other world are trying to communicate with the living. Ghost children have been seen and heard playing in the hotel’s hallway during the ungodly hours of the night.


Although there are various large hotel chains today, the Palmer House Hotel remains one of the most loved hotels in Minnesota. The small hotel offers exquisitely decorated rooms with a casual and comfortable atmosphere. The hotel has standard rooms, economy rooms, and Jacuzzi suites. Individual travelers or people traveling with their families will find the hotel’s accommodations to their satisfaction.

The Palmer House Hotel’s pub overlooks the Sinclair Lewis Avenue and has daily happy hours from 3 to 6 pm. The bar has a full menu, a wide variety of liquor and wines and a fireplace with lounging couches where guests can get very comfortable. The full-service bar offer everything from martinis, bottled beers, and ice cream drinks. The pub’s Bloody Mary is a must-try. The hotel has a conference room that can be used for various special occasions and events such as holiday parties, birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, and other parties.


  • Colored television
  • Iron & ironing boards
  • Air-conditioning and heating
  • Wireless internet access
  • Pets allowed
  • Daily maid service
  • Wake up calls
  • Laundry service
  • Expanded cable in all rooms
  • Hairdryer

Things to Do

Guests who want to get themselves some antique souvenirs can go to Grandpa’s Attic and Gifts, Just Like Grandma’s and Antiques Osakis. Guests can choose from several antiques that they can add to their valuable collection. There are various shops in the downtown area where people can find all sorts of knick-knacks. There is Martin’s Jewellery Shop, Gold ‘N’ More, Cobblestone court Gift Shop, Bart’s Bakery and Meads Department Store.

Recreation is also not lacking in Minnesota. The GreyStone Golf Club has been named one of the best places to stay by Golf Digest for two years in a row. It provides top-rated and challenging golf experience for professionals, advanced players, as well as beginners. Aside from being one of the best golf clubs, the golf club can also be booked for weddings. People who want to explore the outdoors can go to Lake Wobegon Trail. It is a 46-mile long pathway where people can go hiking or biking.

Room Tariffs

  • Economy rooms start at $65
  • Standard rooms start at $75
  • Standard plus rooms start at $75
  • Economy suites start at $85
  • Suites start at $105
  • Jacuzzi suites start at $125
  • Double Jacuzzi suites start at $175

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