Haunted Places in North Dakota: Exploring the State’s Most Haunted Locations

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 7 December 2023
  • Time to read: 15 min.

North Dakota is not considered your typical haunt for ghost hunters, but beneath its serene prairies and quiet towns lies a trove of haunted locations steeped in eerie lore. This exploration of the state’s most haunted sites reveals a hidden, spine-tingling side of the Peace Garden State. From the whispers of the past in the abandoned sanatoriums to the shadowy figures roaming old military forts, North Dakota’s haunted places are as chilling as they are intriguing. These sites, often overlooked, offer a unique glimpse into the state’s history and the mysterious tales that have been passed down through generations.

One of the most notorious haunted locations in North Dakota is the San Haven Sanatorium. Built in 1912 as a tuberculosis treatment facility, the Sanatorium was known for its poor treatment of patients and terrible conditions. Today, the Sanatorium is in ruins, but visitors have reported seeing ghostly apparitions and hearing strange noises throughout the property.

Another haunted location in North Dakota is St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson. Many employees have reported ghostly activity in different areas around the hospital, including the elevator that goes down to the morgue, which is said to operate on its own. These are just a couple of examples of the many haunted places in North Dakota that are waiting to be explored.

Haunted Locations in Bismarck

Bismarck, the capital city of North Dakota, is home to several haunted locations that have been the subject of paranormal investigations and ghost stories. Here are a few of the most notable haunted locations in Bismarck:

Liberty Memorial Building

Nestled within the capitol grounds of Bismarck, North Dakota, the Liberty Memorial Building stands as a testament to time. Constructed in 1924, it’s the oldest structure on the grounds. Initially serving as the state museum, it later transformed into the library we know today. But beyond its historical significance and architectural beauty, the building holds a chilling secret.

Liberty Memorial Building - Credit Kent Landerholm
Liberty Memorial Building – Credit Kent Landerholm

For years, the Liberty Memorial Building was said to be haunted by an entity known as the “Stack Monster.” This name, derived from library stacks, was given to a spectral presence that was all too familiar to both employees and visitors. The Stack Monster wasn’t shy about making its presence felt. Mysterious footsteps echoed in empty hallways, shadows flitted across walls with no discernible source, and disembodied voices whispered in the silence. On some occasions, the entity would call out names or let out a random cough. Those brave enough to investigate these eerie sounds would find themselves alone, with no one in sight.

However, in 1981, the building underwent renovations, and the State Historical Society relocated to a new state museum. Since that move, the haunting activities of the Stack Monster ceased. One employee even claimed to have seen a mysterious figure leaving the building around the time of the move. In a gesture of goodwill, the State Historical Society created a special security badge for the Stack Monster at the new state museum, should it ever decide to return. To this day, there have been no new sightings of the Stack Monster at the Liberty Memorial Building. But those who have experienced its presence in the past can’t help but wonder if it might one day decide to revisit its old haunts.

Former Governor’s Mansion

The former Governor’s Mansion, located at 320 East Avenue B, is another haunted location in Bismarck. The mansion was built in 1884 and served as the residence for North Dakota’s governors until 1960. Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a woman in a long dress walking through the halls. Some have also reported feeling a cold breeze or a strange presence in certain rooms.

Lt. Col. George Custer House

In the midst of Mandan, North Dakota, the Custer House stands as a beacon of history and mystery. This handsome two-story wooden home, complete with a wide front porch, was reconstructed in 1989 by The Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation using Custer’s 1874 plans. The house was designed to be a proper home for a fort commander, and it was here that Lt. Col. George Custer and his wife, Libby, lived. However, the walls of this home whisper tales of the past, some of which are unsettling.

The Custer House is believed to be haunted by the spirits of the Custer family and other casualties of the Battle of Little Bighorn. Visitors and staff have reported numerous paranormal occurrences. Mysterious footsteps, disembodied voices, and even apparitions have been witnessed. One of the most notable spirits believed to reside here is that of Mrs. Libby Custer. She is often seen silently welcoming visitors, reminding guides about her pictures, and being helpful when she can. Libby’s deep mourning for her husband, who tragically lost his life in the Battle of Little Big Horn, is palpable in the home.

However, it’s not just Libby who roams the halls. Lt. Col. George Custer himself is believed to visit, perhaps to comfort his grieving wife. There are also reports of other male entities, possibly officers or even George’s brothers, who were also stationed at Fort Abraham Lincoln. These spirits are friendly and welcoming, often following staff, visitors, and paranormal investigators, listening in on conversations. In a paranormal investigation conducted in 2009, EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) were captured, with voices believed to be that of the Custers, expressing sentiments like “No Pictures” and “More Of The Men Have Been Dying”.

The Custer House serves as a poignant reminder of the past, where love, tragedy, and history intertwine. Those who visit often leave with a sense of awe, not just for the historical significance but for the lingering spirits that still call this place home.

Overall, Bismarck is home to several haunted locations that are worth visiting for those interested in the paranormal. However, it is important to remember to respect these locations and the spirits that may reside there.

Eerie Experiences in Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota is a city known for its rich history and culture. However, it is also known for its eerie experiences and haunted places. Visitors and residents alike have reported strange occurrences in various locations throughout the city.

North Dakota State University Campus

One of the most haunted places in Fargo is the North Dakota State University campus – with both Ceres Hall and Minard Hall being particularly lively. Ceres Hall stands as a significant landmark on the NDSU campus. Originally serving as the first female dormitory for the North Dakota Agricultural College, its history is marred by tragic events. A female student, struggling with her grades, took her own life by hanging in the hall. Even today, the third floor resonates with eerie sounds, door slams, and an unsettling presence believed to be the spirit of the distressed student. Another tale speaks of a man who met a similar fate during World War II, hanging himself from the heating pipes on the same floor. The basement of Ceres Hall is no stranger to the supernatural either. Many have reported an overwhelming sense of panic upon entering, and paranormal investigators have documented unexplained sounds and sightings, including a mysterious red light.

North Dakota State University Campus - Credit Michael Allen
North Dakota State University Campus – Credit Michael Allen

Minard Hall has its own share of ghostly tales. In the 1920s, the fourth-floor attic of Minard Hall was a lively ballroom. However, the joy was short-lived when a janitor discovered two lifeless bodies in the dance room after an event. The incident was believed to be a double-homicide, but the case went cold with no suspects ever identified. Despite renovations and the partial collapse of Minard Hall in 2009, students continue to report strange sensations and sudden cold spots within its walls.

While the allure of these haunted legends might tempt many, students are advised against conducting their own investigations after dark. However, during the day, the halls remain open, and the brave-hearted can seek answers to the mysteries that shroud these NDSU legends.

Yunker Farm

The Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, housed in a brick farmhouse built in 1876, is a delightful place for kids to learn and play. However, the museum’s cheerful exterior hides some eerie tales. The spirit believed to be Elizabeth Yunker, who adored children, has been spotted on the upper floors where children’s activities take place. Elizabeth’s apparition is not the only spectral presence here. Near the old well, the ghostly figure of a young child has been seen, believed to have tragically died in the well long ago.

Yunker Farm - Credit Fargo-Moorhead CVB
Yunker Farm – Credit Fargo-Moorhead CVB

Fargo’s Riverside Cemetery

Fargo’s Riverside Cemetery isn’t just any ordinary resting place. For years, whispers of its haunted grounds have echoed through the community. The cemetery, established in 1879, has seen over 18,000 burials, making it the largest and oldest in North Dakota. But it’s not the age or size that sends chills down the spines of visitors; it’s the eerie tales and unexplained phenomena that have become synonymous with the cemetery’s name.

The grounds have always had an unsettling aura. Local children have spun countless urban legends about the cemetery, with tales of ghostly apparitions and mournful cries emanating from the mausoleums. Some say that if you’re unfortunate enough, you might hear the sounds of people weeping and calling out near these structures, with one built in the 1920s and another in the 1970s. The cemetery’s reputation has grown so much that it’s been featured on numerous “creepiest cemeteries” lists and has been the subject of many paranormal blogs and videos. Visitors have reported seeing unexplained mists, orbs, and other anomalies in their photos and videos of the area. Some have even shared their unsettling experiences online, recounting tales of feeling watched or hearing strange noises after dark.

Despite its notorious reputation, there are skeptics. Several ex-employees have come forward to claim that the grounds aren’t haunted at all. But whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, one thing is certain: a visit to Fargo’s Riverside Cemetery is bound to be an unforgettable experience. If you’re brave enough, bring along a camera and audio recorder; you never know what you might capture. And if you do visit, remember to tread lightly and respect the resting souls, for you never know who—or what—you might encounter.

Overall, Fargo, North Dakota is a city with a rich history and culture, but it is also a city with a dark side. Visitors and residents alike have reported eerie experiences in various locations throughout the city. Whether it’s footsteps in a hallway or ghostly apparitions, Fargo is a city that is sure to give you chills.

San Haven Sanatorium

San Haven Sanatorium, located outside Dunseith, North Dakota, is a place that has been abandoned for decades. The hospital was originally built in 1909 to treat tuberculosis patients and was later repurposed to treat mentally ill patients. The hospital was closed in 1988, and since then, it has become a popular destination for ghost hunters, urban explorers, and curious travelers alike.

San Haven Sanatorium - Credit truecrimestateofmind
San Haven Sanatorium – Credit truecrimestateofmind

According to many visitors, San Haven is one of the most haunted places in North Dakota. Visitors have reported flickering lights, footsteps, and voices coming from empty rooms. Some have even reported seeing apparitions of patients and nurses wandering the halls.

One of the most chilling tales from San Haven is the story of the rope. Legend has it that a patient committed suicide by hanging himself from the rafters of the hospital. Visitors have reported seeing the rope still hanging from the ceiling, swaying back and forth as if someone is still hanging from it.

Another eerie experience reported by visitors is the sound of running footsteps in the halls. Some have even reported seeing the ghostly figure of a patient running down the halls, as if trying to escape the hospital.

The windows of San Haven have also been a source of paranormal activity. Visitors have reported seeing faces staring back at them from the windows of the abandoned hospital. Some have even reported seeing the faces of patients who died in the hospital.

The morgue and cafeteria are also said to be haunted. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises coming from the morgue, and some have even reported seeing the ghostly figure of a nurse pushing a gurney down the hall. The cafeteria is said to be haunted by the ghost of a patient who died while eating his last meal.

Overall, San Haven Sanatorium is a decaying and eerie place that is full of chilling tales and ghostly encounters. Visitors should be cautious when exploring the abandoned hospital and should respect the history and memory of the patients who were treated there.

Harvey Public Library

The Harvey Public Library in North Dakota might seem like an ordinary small-town library, but it holds a chilling secret. The library, located about 130 miles northwest of Valley City, is known as one of North Dakota’s most infamous paranormal hotspots. The haunting tales surrounding this library are deeply rooted in its history.

The ghost believed to haunt the library is named Sophie. Sophia Eberlein-Bentz once lived on the very site where the library stands today. Tragically, she met her end at the hands of her husband, Jacob Bentz, who killed her with a hammer on October 2, 1931. The eerie coincidence is that the library opened its doors on the anniversary of Sophie’s funeral.

Visitors and staff have reported a series of unexplained phenomena at the library. Mysterious flickering lights, objects that go missing only to reappear in odd places, and strange computer glitches are just a few of the eerie occurrences. Many believe that these events are the doings of Sophie’s restless spirit, still lingering in the place she once called home.

While the library serves as a place of knowledge and learning, it also stands as a testament to the tragic tale of Sophie. Those who visit are often left with a sense of unease, wondering if Sophie might still be watching over the library’s shelves.

Spooky Sightings at Chateau De Mores

The Chateau De Mores, located in Medora, North Dakota, is a historic site that once served as the home of the Marquis de Mores and his wife, Medora. While the chateau is a popular tourist destination, offering insights into the life and times of the Marquis, it also holds some eerie tales that have intrigued both locals and visitors alike.

Chateau de Mores - Credit minnemom
Chateau de Mores – Credit minnemom

One of the most talked-about paranormal phenomena at the chateau is the “Ghost Light of the Chateau de Mores.” Over the years, many have reported seeing mysterious lights and apparitions within the chateau, especially during the night. These ghostly lights are believed to be connected to the spirits that still linger in the historic building. Some speculate that the Marquis de Mores himself, or perhaps his wife, Medora, might be the source of these spectral appearances.

Visitors to the chateau have also reported feeling sudden cold spots, hearing unexplained noises, and even witnessing objects moving on their own. Paranormal investigators have been drawn to the site, hoping to capture evidence of the supernatural. While some skeptics dismiss these tales as mere urban legends, those who have experienced these eerie occurrences firsthand beg to differ.

Today, the Chateau De Mores continues to be a place of historical significance and mystery. Whether you’re a history buff or a paranormal enthusiast, a visit to this chateau promises an experience that is both enlightening and spine-chilling.

Creepy Incidents at Old Armory

The Old Armory in Williston, North Dakota, stands as a testament to the passage of time and the memories it holds. While the building has been a hub for community events and gatherings, it also carries with it tales of the unexplained that have intrigued many.

Old Armory
Old Armory

The armory, with its historic architecture and storied past, has been the backdrop for numerous events over the years. However, it’s not just the living that have graced its halls. Whispered tales of ghostly apparitions and unexplained noises have been shared by those who’ve spent time within its walls. Some say that the spirits of soldiers from bygone eras still linger, perhaps watching over the place they once called home.

Visitors and staff have recounted experiences that defy logical explanation. From the sound of footsteps echoing in empty hallways to the sudden chill in the air, the Old Armory seems to be alive with activity. There have also been reports of shadowy figures seen darting around corners, only to vanish when pursued.

The Medora Fudge & Ice Cream Depot

The Medora Fudge & Ice Cream Depot in Medora, North Dakota, is more than just a delightful spot for sweet treats. This establishment, while seemingly innocent, is believed to be one of the most haunted places in North Dakota. The ghostly presence that is said to haunt the depot is believed to be a woman. Interestingly, she is known to manifest herself only once a year, specifically on her birthday. While she remains unseen for the rest of the year, her presence is still felt. Visitors and staff have reported experiencing unnatural cold spots and hearing strange noises within the premises. These eerie occurrences happen throughout the year, but the full apparition of the ghostly woman is reserved for her special day.

While the identity of this spectral woman remains a mystery, her annual appearance has become a topic of intrigue and speculation among locals and visitors alike. The question remains: who is this woman, and why does she choose to make her presence known only on her birthday?

Road Trip to Haunted Places in North Dakota

North Dakota is home to some of the spookiest and most haunted places in the country. If you’re looking for a thrill, why not take a road trip to some of the most haunted places in North Dakota? Here are a few stops you may want to consider on your haunted road trip:

Totten Trail Historic Inn – Dunseith

The Totten Trail Historic Inn in Dunseith is a popular spot for ghost hunters. The inn was built in the late 1800s and has a long history of paranormal activity. Guests have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises throughout the inn. If you’re brave enough, you can even book a room and spend the night.

St. Joseph’s Hospital – Dickinson

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson is another must-visit spot on your haunted road trip. The hospital has a long history of paranormal activity, with many employees reporting ghostly sightings and strange occurrences. The elevator down to the morgue is said to operate on its own, and some have reported feeling a presence in the hospital’s chapel.

Ghostly Bed & Breakfast – Anamoose

If you’re looking for a place to stay on your haunted road trip, consider the Ghostly Bed & Breakfast in Anamoose. This B&B is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who died in a fire many years ago. Guests have reported hearing strange noises and feeling a presence in their rooms.

There are many more haunted places to explore in North Dakota, but these stops are a great place to start. Whether you’re a seasoned ghost hunter or just looking for a spooky adventure, North Dakota has plenty of haunted places to explore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most haunted places in North Dakota?

North Dakota has several haunted places, including San Haven Sanatorium, Riverside Cemetery, Medora Fudge & Ice Cream Depot, and more. The state has a rich history, and many of these places have a dark past that contributes to their haunting.

What is the history behind the haunted places in North Dakota?

Many of North Dakota’s haunted places have a history of tragedy, violence, or death. For example, San Haven Sanatorium was a tuberculosis treatment facility where patients were treated poorly and underwent experimental procedures. Riverside Cemetery has been the site of several tragic events, including a mass grave for victims of a 1918 flu epidemic.

What paranormal activity has been reported in North Dakota’s haunted places?

Visitors to North Dakota’s haunted places have reported various paranormal activities, such as strange noises, sudden temperature drops, apparitions, and objects moving on their own. Some people have even reported being touched or pushed by unseen forces.

Which haunted places in North Dakota are open to the public?

Many of North Dakota’s haunted places are open to the public, but some may have limited access or require permission to enter. For example, San Haven Sanatorium is now in ruins and is not accessible to the public, but Riverside Cemetery is open to visitors.

What precautions should be taken when visiting haunted places in North Dakota?

Visitors to haunted places in North Dakota should always respect the property and follow any posted rules or regulations. It is also important to be aware of any potential hazards, such as uneven terrain or unstable structures. Visitors should also be respectful of any paranormal activity and avoid provoking any entities that may be present.

Are there any guided tours available for North Dakota’s haunted places?

There are several guided tours available for North Dakota’s haunted places, such as the Fargo Haunted History Tour and the Minot Ghost Tour. These tours provide visitors with a unique and informative experience while exploring the state’s haunted past.

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