Glensheen Mansion – Duluth, Minnesota

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 3 September 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.


The ominous silhouette of Glensheen Mansion awaits your arrival in Duluth, Minnesota. Beyond its majesty is a realm shrouded in the unsettling unknown, where spooky mysteries and dark history are intertwined and waiting to capture your imagination. Enter through its foreboding doors to begin a terrifying adventure into the depths of the night.

Glensheen Mansion
Glensheen Mansion – Credit walkerdarra


Built in 1905 by the prominent Chester Adgate Congdon, Glensheen Mansion also renowned as the Congdon Estate, stands as a testament to the opulence of the early 20th century. Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, this historic estate boasts a stunning 39-room mansion surrounded by lush gardens and picturesque landscapes.

Glensheen Mansion’s history also holds dark chapters. In 1977, the mansion became the site of a gruesome double murder. Elisabeth Congdon, Chester’s adopted daughter, and her nurse Velma Pietila were tragically killed. The ensuing investigation and trials captured national attention, further shrouding the mansion in mystery.

Glensheen Mansion offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the lavish living quarters, beautifully maintained gardens, and even the eerie depths of the mansion’s basement, where the tragic events of 1977 unfolded. Its rich history, from the opulence of the Congdon family to the chilling crime that unfolded within its walls, continues to captivate all who pass through its doors.

Historic Photograph From 1965
Historic Photograph From 1965 – Credit mnopedia

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Spirit of Elisabeth And Her Nurse

A mythology that tells of treachery, redemption, and the unbreakable tie between two spirits that endures beyond death is revealed in the heart of Glensheen Mansion. Once the mistress of Glensheen, Elisabeth met a horrific end at the hands of her own daughter, who then sent a different person to carry out the horrible murder. Elisabeth did not, however, harbor any resentment in the afterlife. She instead sought comfort in the splendor of the palace.

Beside her, the spirit of her substitute night nurse shared in this serenity. Despite their violent past, they now reveled in an enduring friendship, free from earthly constraints. They explored the mansion’s splendor, their laughter echoing through its ornate chambers.

Elizabeth, liberated from her physical ailments, moved gracefully through the mansion, savoring the joys denied to her in life. Her once-faithful nurse, no longer burdened by caregiving, cherished their newfound companionship. The thriving house museum, which drew countless visitors, brought joy to Elizabeth’s spirit. She found solace in witnessing the mansion’s continued vitality, a living testament to her legacy. It had transformed from a scene of tragedy into a place where life flourished.

Haunted Living Room and Hallways

A legend of a happy aura that uplifts the living, invisible presences in the living room, and shadows that travel through the mansion’s lovely hallways as they go about their business is revealed.

Within the walls of Glensheen Mansion, a profound sense of happiness envelops all who enter, casting a benevolent spell on the living. The mansion itself seems to radiate with an aura of delight, offering solace and inspiration to those who seek its embrace.

Yet, there are more mysteries at play. In the cozy living room, where laughter once echoed and stories were shared, the presence of unseen entities can sometimes be felt. They sit quietly, like benevolent guardians, offering comfort to the living as they go about their daily lives.

Additionally, shadows dance and move purposefully throughout the poorly lit passageways. These spectral beings move around the mansion’s rooms, going about their ethereal business. They serve as the last witnesses of Glensheen’s enduring past as they continue to perform their time-honored duties.

Chilling Encounters – Congdon Family

Within the enigmatic confines of Glensheen Mansion, a peculiar phenomenon weaves its web of intrigue. Lights, as if guided by an unseen hand, illuminate and extinguish themselves in rooms where no living soul dwells. It’s as though a presence lingers, making its presence known to all who dare enter, despite the house’s apparent emptiness.

Further still, the personal possessions of the Congdon family, who once called this mansion home, embark on unexpected journeys. These cherished items, seemingly moved by forces beyond mortal understanding, find new resting places far from where the living intended them to be. A testament to the mansion’s lingering history, they wander as if guided by the spirits of the past.

Amid these spectral mysteries, there are rooms in Glensheen where the air seems charged with happiness and the echoes of laughter. These are the very chambers where the Congdon family once gathered, forging memories that transcend the boundaries of time. Visitors are enveloped in a sense of joy and camaraderie, as if the spirits of the family continue to revel in the moments they cherished most.

Thus, the legend of Glensheen Mansion goes on—a story of objects that defy physics, lights that dance in the dark, and spaces where the joy of the past still exists. The past and present merge in this legendary mansion, allowing those who enter to take part in the mystifying tapestry of its history, where the distinction between the living and the dead becomes exquisitely blurred.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

Glensheen Mansion has become a focal point in numerous television programs and films exploring the paranormal due to its illustrious past and unsettling aura. In the riveting series “Ghosts of Glensheen: Unveiling Haunted Secrets,” where detectives investigated the mansion’s haunting legends and spine-chilling experiences, it was most notably extensively featured.

In the realm of literature, Glensheen Mansion has left an indelible mark with works such as “Secrets of the Congdon Mansion” by Joe Kimball and “Glensheen: The Official Guide to Duluth’s Historic Congdon Estate” by Tony Dierckin. These literary pieces unravel the spine-tingling stories surrounding the mansion, offering readers captivating narratives of its spectral past.

Glensheen Mansion is a must-visit destination for history buffs and fans of the supernatural, who are captivated by its enigmatic presence in media and popular culture. This historical treasure beckons everyone looking for an immersive experience within its fascinating and haunting environment. It emits an aura of mystery and the paranormal.


Glensheen Mansion, a hidden jewel in Duluth, will always be a source of mystery, ready to reveal its secrets to those who are brave enough to dive into its eerie past. Further exploration is encouraged by the ghosts that might still be present in its rooms, the mysteries hidden behind its walls, and the echos of its dark past. Come back to this eerily lovely estate, where the supernatural and the historical collide, and let its mysteries capture your spirit once more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where is Glensheen Mansion located?
A. Glensheen Mansion is situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, offering breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

Q. Are the legends about Glensheen Mansion true?
A. Yes, Glensheen Mansion boasts a rich history filled with mysterious occurrences, including lights flickering, objects moving, and a unique aura that visitors often describe as enchanting.

Q. What is the story behind Elizabeth Congdon’s tragic end?
A. Elizabeth Congdon met a tragic end in 1977 when she was murdered in the mansion. Her daughter, Marjorie Caldwell, and Marjorie’s husband, Roger Caldwell, were charged with her murder. Marjorie was convicted and sentenced to prison, while Roger was acquitted.

Q. Can I experience the eerie phenomena mentioned in the legends during my visit?
A. While we can’t guarantee supernatural encounters, many visitors have reported experiencing unexplained events that add to the mansion’s mystique. Keep your senses sharp!

Q. Are guided tours available to explore the mansion and its legends?
A. Absolutely! We offer informative guided tours that delve into the history and legends of Glensheen Mansion, providing a captivating and immersive experience.

Q. Can I visit the rooms where the Congdon family felt happiness and fun, as mentioned in the legends?
A. Yes, you can explore the rooms where the Congdon family shared joyous moments. Many visitors have reported feeling a distinct sense of nostalgia and happiness in these spaces.

Q. Are there any special events or tours that focus on the supernatural aspects of the mansion’s history?
A. Yes, we occasionally offer special tours and events that delve into the eerie legends and paranormal stories associated with Glensheen Mansion. Be sure to check our event calendar for updates.

Q. Is Glensheen Mansion open year-round, and how can I plan my visit?
A. Glensheen Mansion is open to visitors year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. You can find detailed information on planning your visit, including ticket prices and hours of operation, on our official website.

Q. Who was Elizabeth, and what was her connection to Glensheen Mansion?
A. Elizabeth Congdon was the matriarch of the Congdon family and the former owner of Glensheen Mansion. She played a significant role in the history of the mansion as its last private resident before it became a historic house museum.

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