Editor's note: With Halloween just days away, we searched around the National Park System and rummaged in the Traveler's archives for some ghostly stories. The first is from Voyageurs National Park.
Ghostly encounters aren't commonplace in the National Park System, but then, they're not unheard of, either, as the following sampling attests.
Voyageurs National Park
The Haunting Of Kettle Falls Hotel
Some people believe that the Kettle Falls Hotel is haunted!
Blanche Williams, wife of Charles Williams, first hotel concessionaire, would occasionally hear a party going on in the barroom during the middle of the night.
Knowing the bar was supposed to be closed, Blanche investigated. Each time she would reach the bottom of the lobby stairs the noise from the barroom would stop.
When Blanche unlocked the barroom door, she would find the room empty and quiet.
In 1993, a young couple was operating the hotel. One day, the man got up early in the morning and snowmobiled to Ash River, and then drove to International Falls to get supplies for the hotel.
That night, the woman heard a loud party and thought her husband was with friends in the bar. Unhappily she got out of bed and headed down the stairs to the lobby. As in the case with Blanche Williams, the noise stopped as soon as the young woman got to the bottom of the lobby stairs. She continued on to the barroom and when she unlocked the door it was dark, quiet, and empty.
She reported the room to be warm and smelled of beer and stale perfume; as if a party had been going on. She became scared and ran to her room.
Once there she pulled the covers over her head and later said she was foolish because if a ghost was after her, hiding under the covers wouldn’t do much good.
Years later, two hotel employees had rented rooms in the hotel for a night. One room was just above the bar and the other room was much farther away, down the hall.
Each employee repeatedly heard music and noise during the night and assumed it was the other’s radio. Only after weeks of continuous noise at night, did they realize that neither of them had their radios on. They could not explain the origin of the noise.
To really find out if the hotel is haunted, try staying there all alone some night and see what happens.
As told by the Williams Family and reprinted in the park's Fall-Winter 2012 newsletter.