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Griggs Mansion - HauntedHouses.com

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Location:

This very haunted, privately owned, mansion can be found at 476 Summit Avenue, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on a street that showcases other "grand," old Victorian mansions, built around 1883 or thereabouts.

Description:

The Griggs Mansion has the dubious reputation of being the most haunted house in Saint Paul. This huge, 4 story, Victorian, well-kept sandstone mansion has 24 rooms, described as "cavernous," because of their high ceilings. Each floor has its landing, and a staircase leading up to the next floor. Dark, beautiful woodwork can be found throughout the mansion. There is a large room, just off the fourth floor landing, that has a beautiful, vast skylight, that was installed in 1939, when the mansion was being used as an art school. Behind the mansion there is a comfortable carriage house. Large trees around the mansion provide shade, and a sandstone wall that surrounds the mansion and its grounds provides privacy. It is privately owned by people who don't want to be bothered with ghost hunters, so please respect their privacy.

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HISTORY:

In 1883, a wealthy wholesale grocery businessman, Chauncey Griggs, built this lovely mansion, but lived in it for only four years, before moving onto greener pastures on the West coast, where he expanded his business interests to include the lumber and transportation markets. Over its 100+ years, the mansion has been a private residence, and at one time was divided into apartment units as well. Many families/individuals, who moved in, spent a lot of money on upkeep, furnishings, servants, etc., but wound up leaving after only a few years.

Also, as mentioned above, the mansion became an art school in 1939, and stayed there for 25 years, until the new Arts and Sciences Center was built. Many students and teachers were glad that the new building was built, because now they didn't have to share their school with seen and unseen presences.

MANIFESTATIONS:

While a lot of "supernatural activity" seems to be centered around the fourth floor, many parts of the house have been visited by entities as well. Six or seven entities have been felt, heard, made their existence known by various means and have actually been seen throughout the years. The mansion's spiritual occupants are a young maid, a gardener, a child apparition, a thin man in a black suit, a teenager, Amy, and a Civil War general, perhaps Chauncey Griggs himself. The 7th sighting could've been any of the male apparitions, because only the head of an unclear, male apparition appeared.

1) One of the most strongly felt presences is that of a young maid, who in 1915, hung herself off the fourth floor landing, suffering from depression over an ended romance. Earlier in the 20th century, she appeared to a young servant and a butler in the fourth floor hallway. Her presence has been felt strongly by many people throughout the years. She perhaps is one of the entities that climbs the stairs to the fourth floor, to her unseen rope on the landing there. While climbing this staircase, and standing in the hall as well, people during the day have felt a "sense of foreboding," anxiety, and feelings of distress, that could be quite strong, as three newsmen found out one night, when they came to gather information for a series on ghosts. After setting up camp in the big room on the top floor, and armed with two cameras; one regular and one with infra-red aimed at the well-lighted, top of the stairs and fourth floor hall, and a tape recorder, the men each went out to the hall, but scooted back to the room when they were filled with an overwhelming sense of fear. They heard heavy footsteps coming up those stairs. One brave newsman went though the hall to the stairway, and though he saw nothing, he felt a strong presence on the stairs. They left in a hurried manner together down the stairs, feeling nothing was worth staying a night there.

2) The gardener - Charles Wade, who was an intense, fanatical worker, took great pride in keeping the gardens in magnificent shape, and would often use books in the mansion's well-stacked library to help him in his work. Various people have heard an unseen presence frantically, flipping through the books. Perhaps this distressed entity died before he was finished with his latest gardening project, and feels he has unfinished business.

3) The thin man, dressed in a black suit and top hat - This apparition visited people in many rooms of the mansion, but two eye-witness accounts are given below.

A) A Dr. Delmar Kolb in the early 1950s, joined the art school's teaching staff, and moved into the front basement apartment in the mansion. He awoke one night by the pressure of two dead, cold fingers on his forehead, and found himself in a cold sweat. After turning on the light, he saw a blue flash that disappeared. Two nights later, he was again awakened to find an clear, detailed apparition of a man dressed in a black suit and top hat, who was standing at the foot of his bed. At first, the alarmed Dr. Kolb thought it was a prowler dressed in costume, but realized it was a ghost when the apparition dissolved into the brick wall.

B) In 1964, a Mr. Weschke bought the mansion with the idea of using the place as both an office and his home. He published books on the occult. In 1967, Mr. Weschke was working at the desk in the library. When he stopped to take a break, he saw visually in the doorway of the library, a thin, long-faced man with white hair, dressed in a black suit, who was studying him. The apparition faded away after about 30 seconds.

4) A Child apparition. In 1959, two college students moved into the front basement apartment. One night, something woke up one student, who usually was a sound sleeper. He looked up and saw the head of a child floating above his bed.

5) A teenager, Amy, and a Civil War general, perhaps Chauncey Griggs. When a St. Paul spiritualist/medium. By the name of Roma Harris came to visit the mansion, He felt the "shadowy presence" of a teenage girl, who calls herself Amy. She had had many happy moments playing the mansion's piano. She died young, and perhaps hangs around the mansion where she was happy making music. Perhaps she lived during the art school days of the mansion. Roma also "saw" a Civil war officer, dressed in a general's blue uniform, with the gold trim. As the original owner, Chauncey Griggs, was a Civil War officer, it is theorized that this entity is Chauncey, who likes to keep an eye on his mansion. It also could be another earlier, former owner, who didn't want to leave his mansion.

6) Many unexplained, but typical incidents common in haunted houses have been reported, though no specific entity has been found to be responsible for the noises, annoying behavior that makes the living uncomfortable or befuddled. Windows that had been firmly closed, even nailed shut, have been found open in the morning. Footfalls have been heard traveling up and down the staircases. Shadowy presences have been seen. Unsuspecting students who rented the apartments, have been shaken awake, to find an undistinguished apparition head floating above their beds. Doors open and close by themselves. "Rasping coughs" have been heard coming from empty rooms. Light bulbs suddenly shatter, paper bags have been known to jump off the shelves, and jump across the floor. People in the mansion have felt presences walk by them. Some of the presences happen to appreciate art. While working in the art studio room, with the skylight on the top floor, students had felt presences peering over their shoulder to get a good look at their drawings in progress, perhaps studying with interest the student's efforts.

Still Haunted?

Yes.

Just ask the St. Paul Pioneer Press. When investigating this widely known haunted house, they got first hand confirmation when they themselves came in contact with ghostly manifestations.

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