Last year (April 2017) after a particularly brutal semester of Graduate School, I decided to take a week off from work and spend it in Northeast Minnesota along the shores of Lake Superior. I spent the first half of my vacation in Duluth & Two Harbors doing some hiking, mountain biking and other activities, while I decided to spend the other half in Grand Marais, which is a small town about 2 hours up the shore from Duluth.
As I was settling into my hotel room, I decided to see if there were any haunted places in the area. This is because earlier in the week, I had taken a tour of Glensheen Mansion in Duluth and during the tour, our guide mentioned that there were rumors that the ghost of someone who was murdered there still roamed the hallways.
As I looked up if there were any haunted places around Grand Marais, the name "Maple Hill Cemetery" popped up a few times, mostly on some "Haunted Places" website that had a web design that looked like it came from the early 2000's. The most common sighting there consisted of a man holding a lantern. Nevertheless, I saw that the postings were fairly recent & within the past few years. So the following morning, I punched in the location for Maple Hill Cemetery into my phone GPS and it led me straight there from my hotel room.
To give you an idea of what this place is like, Maple Hill Cemetery is located about 2-3 miles up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais and you get there by turning off onto a gravel/dirt road from the Gunflint itself. There are trees on both sides of the road that only get taller the further back you go & there are also a couple of old houses that are tucked into the forest which are visible on the left. When you get to what appears to be a dead end, the road makes an abrupt left. After driving for another 500 feet, you'll come to the cemetery itself.
The road continues through the cemetery but there's a 3-way intersection in the middle with one of the roads turning west towards a dead end where cars can park. The cemetery has an old wooden church in the center and there are a mix of new & old gravestones dotting the premises. Maple Hill is on somewhat of a slight decline which goes from west to east & since this is the north woods of Minnesota, there are a lot of thick pine trees surrounding the cemetery plot.
When I pulled in, it was a cloudy day and while the snow had melted by the shores of Lake Superior & in Grand Marais, there were still patches of snow near & behind the tree line surrounding the cemetery since temperatures further back from the lake tend to be much cooler but the snow still was melting that day since it was warm enough. Because of this, the western half of the cemetery had a lingering fog hovering just above the ground which was pooling out from the western tree line. As I got out of my car, the first thing I noticed was that the air felt very heavy compared to other places I had been that day; Whether or not it was because of the melting of the snow or condensation is anyone's guess. However as I started wondering around the cemetery, I noticed that it was extremely quiet & I had this feeling that someone was watching me.
About maybe 10 minutes of walking around and taking photos, I was standing right by the entrance to the old church when I asked quietly if anyone was there and within a minute of me doing this, I felt what I can only describe pair of fingers brush the back of my head. I immediately turned around and saw no one there. Again, I asked if anyone was there, though this time I did so in a louder tone of voice. Afterwards I started walking north towards the entrance of the cemetery from which I came from in my car when the air around me became extremely cold over the course of maybe 10 seconds. Now it was around 50 degrees Fahrenheit that April morning so it was already chilly but the sensation I felt made it seem like it was easily 20 degrees cooler.
As this was happening, I had a feeling of paralysis come over me; Not so much in the sense that I couldn't move any part of my body, but rather that I was afraid to move. I felt as if I would punished if I did so much as move from that spot and a sense of fear came over me. In addition, that sensation of being watched got ever more stronger with each passing second and that I felt that my mind was becoming clouded. I stood there for couple moments before I whispered loudly "Let me go!" Almost immediately, I felt my mind clear up, that I could move again without fear and the air around me seemed warm up to back to what it was before.
After this happened, I began walking straight to my car since I made the decision to leave, when I saw what I can only describe as a grey, translucent mist-like figure darting between the trees in the western tree line of the cemetery. At first, I thought it was the fog until I saw it weave left and right in between the trees as it moved along the cemetery border. At first it kept moving right before a sudden turn towards the woods until it was out of sight. I couldn't make out any features aside from that it looked to be about six feet tall and that it seemed to glide on the ground.
As I was leaving in my car, I still had this feeling that something was watching me and it didn't go away until I had made the right hand turn back towards the Gunflint Trail. Frankly, my only thought at that point was that I needed to get the hell out of there. As soon as I made it back to the main road, I floored it back towards Grand Marais.
Even almost a year later, I still can't explain what I saw that day. I have done some research in regards to what happened with my paralysis/clouded mind and that it may have been a potential possession but everything else has left me dumbfounded.
Your story was very well written and easy to understand so thank you for that. Definitely an interesting encounter to say the least.
I guess my first question would be if you are sensitive to spirit?
Based on your interaction with this spirit it's hard to tell if there was any ill intent, as fear is so often caused by lack of understanding/unknown. Though you feeling foggy is odd. I wonder if the spirit was trying to show you something or get you to feel something they felt. So often spirit is limited to how they can interact with the living. I would also bet that a spirit that is not at peace and that far away from other people would be a little over assertive in making it's presence known. Or excited to have the chance to finally share it's story/purpose for staying earthbound. Ya know?
You didn't mention this, but I am also curious to know if you say any prayers for protection or set the intent before you go exploring haunted locations, if you still do so.
Thank you for sharing your experience,
(Also from MN:))