Wayzata, Minnesota

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sepia Saturday - Eating Truth - Nininger Ghost Part Two

Part Two

Truth be told post.

To be, or not to be, was the question 
of whether Nininger is, or is not a town with actual paranormal activity.

First a quick catch up for anyone that missed Nininger Part One read here if needed.

Nininger, Minnesota now a ghost town.


Rural Minnesota

"No legacy is so rich as honesty." - 
William Shakespeare

As far as most records go, it seems it's easier to capture or pick up ghosts, or paranormal activity when you have a building to enter rather than the vast outdoors.

Take for instance this well known hotel in Red Wing.  There are stories about it being haunted as well, but we'll save more about that for another post.

 Still open for business.  Built in 1870, St. James Hotel, Red Wing, Minnesota, and one that Ignatius Donnelly frequently visited.

This photo below is an unexplained photo I shot that still has me puzzled.

It was taken inside my own house.

In regards to the hotel photo, I like to think Ignatius Donnelly spent long hours discussing politics in that very hotel, as well as debating whether Shakespeare's works were actually written by Francis Bacon, but did he ever mention ghosts? 

Surely he never imagined he'd be linked to ghosts or other spirits from the other side long after his death, and yet he has.

Why the Hunt

My own thirst for mysterious or unexplained tales began years ago even before I ever met Chad Lewis.  My quest for real, broken down and abandoned, ghost towns began from my childhood while enjoying summer vacations out west.


During my recent research for my own Minnesota Ghost Towns, I happened upon, "Twin Cities Haunted Handbook" 100 Ghostly Places you can visit in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul- by Jeff Morris, Garrett Merk and Dain Charbonneau.

Instructions follow below 
to determine whether 
Ignatius Donnelly's Nininger City Home Site
 (begins on page 106 of book) 
has ghost activity or not.

The ghost story goes like this.  Supposedly, according to people from the area real ghosts roam in and around Nininger, and specifically where Donnelly resided.  Today it's just a little grove where some folks have witnessed ghostly lights floating between the trees.  There have been reports that these balls of light appear much like 19th-century lanterns roaming about, while others admit that they look more like floating balls of energy.  These balls apparently have manifested in different colors, like orange or red.  Yet, no source has been discovered to explain the mysterious balls of light.

Other people from the area have reported an unexplained presence during the day or night as well.  They have the sense that someone or something is watching them.  Sometimes, they have heard footsteps behind them.

Truthfully, I always investigate with an open mind.

I have found in the past, that what others have reportedly seen in person, I may not experience, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen for them.

I have collected oddities, or unexplained things in my own photographs, and I have heard unexplained noises.

Last week I roamed this area in and around old Nininger several times, and honestly this time as well as other visits out here I haven't seen any  unexplained lights yet.  
The following are my photos from my recent visits.

Frankly, it was assuredly a ghost town, with one Sheriff's vehicle driving by and one older couple on a walk.  That's it, not even one dog or cat came out.

But I did catch a rabbit.  Ironically the shot I took of this one rabbit did have a mysterious shadow on it.

The same mysterious effect on this photo as well.  

My last trip out there, shows how quickly the snow melted.

Do you see anything odd in any of these three photos?

Quirky and mysterious characters of Nininger.

It's possible the paranormal hunters didn't have all the details.  Perhaps it's more likely that a property not far from Donnelly Avenue and located on land right on the Mississippi River is where one should search.

Although be aware it's private property.

Indian John on his boat.
Fisherman by day, and mysterious job by night.

The Jeremy family of Nininger were assuredly associated with an Indian heritage since Alexander J. Jeremy's brother, John acquired the nickname. "Indian John." 

This excerpt was taken from, The History of Nininger- More than Just a Dream

"The story of Indian John Jeremy is a legend both fascinating and gruesome. A description of Indian John conjures up a Dicken's-like character found in the more frightening passages of his novels where the main character finds himself in a foggy old graveyard.  John Jeremy,complete with shaggy appearance and torn clothes, had his nose rearranged in a fight so that it rested on one side of his face.  His spooky image really added an aura of mystery to his successful trade."

He was credited in finding over three hundred bodies that drowned in lakes and rivers.  Indian John Jeremy had a reputation from Florida to Michigan for finding these lost bodies.  Many attributed his luck to mysterious powers and even trained muskrats.  There was much secrecy surrounding Indian John and the tolls of his lucrative occupation which of course he kept secret except for telling his son, John Jeremy Jr. and lastly passed it on to his grandson, George T. Thompson.
Also from the book, "A fisherman by trade, he tended his more mysterious job by night.  In most cases he would be standing on the shore the next morning with a corpse waiting for the undertaker.  Indian John died around 1910 from an accidental cause while hunting rabbits." This was originally written in the Dakota County Tribune July 9, 1954, pg. 4, co. 1-5.

Another quirky addition to Nininger, is an old cave site.  Although, today it's boarded up and ready to crumble.  

The Beer Cellar

In 1982 the Beer Cave, also called, Walt's cave had been in existence for over one hundred years and a source for curiosity for many years.  According to oral history accounts the cave was dug by Civil War prisoners with pick axes. 

Yes, a good number of sources for paranormal activity could result there as well.

I can see where ghosts might discover a place or two to linger yet.  I just don't have a shred of proof.  Yet.


Author R. Mac Wheeler said...


Little Nell said...

Ah Karen, you do like your ghosts. Glad to see it’s ‘in the spirit’ of Sepia Saturday!

Nancy said...

I don't give much thought to ghosts but I do notice that our steps creak when no one is near them or even walking around in our house. It does make one wonder....

Lovely photographs you took.

Bob Scotney said...

The one in your house looks like a window near the stairs and glare that comes in the window from outside.
India Joe has the longest legs and they do not look as if he could stand on them.

Karen S. said...

Bob good idea but there isn't any window there at all!