St. Olaf College

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The four buildings rumored to be haunted at St. Olaf College are Hilleboe Hall, where children singing and playing piano have been heard; Kelsey Theater, where deceased Miss Kelsey has been witnessed playing the piano onstage; Melby Hall, where the apparitions of a man and a woman in Victorian clothing have been seen; and Thorson Hall, where the ghostly Red Hat Boy resides with his phantom dog. Red Hat Boy is believed to be a former student who once lived in the dorm.

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Geographic Information

1520 St Olaf Ave
Northfield, MN 55057
United States

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44.4611148, -93.1834255
Rice County, Minnesota
Nearest Towns:
Northfield, MN (1.1 mi.)
Dundas, MN (2.4 mi.)
Dennison, MN (8.0 mi.)
Randolph, MN (9.2 mi.)
Nerstrand, MN (10.0 mi.)
Elko, MN (10.1 mi.)
Elko New Market, MN (10.1 mi.)
New Market, MN (11.4 mi.)
Lonsdale, MN (12.2 mi.)
Faribault, MN (12.2 mi.)

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  1. Holly Morgan Fitterer  |  

    In 1998, my twin sister Jill and I returned from separate semesters abroad. We lived together for the second semester of our Sophomore year at St. Olaf College in Gertrude Hilleboe. Our dorm room was the second door down from the office for the head RA and across from the chapel. During our time living there I had two separate encounters in Hilleboe which I can not explain but to this day still makes me uneasy.
    The first experience happened one night when Jill was already asleep. I got ready for bed, locked the door and had just gotten into my bed. I put my eye mask on and was trying to fall asleep. I then heard footsteps walk across the our tile floor and over to my bed. With slight pressure they began to slide my eye mask down my face. I yelped and ran out of my room leaving my sister Jill in her bed sound asleep.
    The second experience happened when I was showering in the afternoon in Hilleboe. We didn’t have bathrooms in our rooms, just sinks so I was down the hall in the girls bathroom. We had private showers there with an attached area to get dressed in for privacy. While I was showering the curtain was slightly open. I happened to turn towards the dressing area and there was a girl standing there looking into my eyes just inches from the curtain. She had long curly red hair and she was much shorter than I am which is 5’6. She just stared at me but I was so startled that I immediately turned away in shock and fear and when I looked back she was gone.
    I am not sure if anyone has had similar experiences like these at Gertrude Hilleboe but I have always wondered. Please let me know. Thanks, Holly Morgan Fitterer Class of 2000.

  2. I lived in Hilleboe Hall in 1996 and experienced a haunting in my room. My room was on the 3rd (top) floor, the last room down a long corridor….the upper-most outer-possible room.

    My room was atypical. It was much smaller than all other rooms and had a peculiar floor plan with its gabled window placement and a “hidden” closet in one corner. It certainly felt peculiar…even a little creepy. I thought, “Well, at least it isn’t one of the haunted ones…”

    The second week of living in that room, my roommate was away for the night so I was alone in the room and turning out the lights for bed at about 11:30-ish. Within 5 minutes of being there by myself, I heard a strange noise. It was nothing I had heard before but was quite similar to an amplified static. When I opened my eyes, there before me was a very vivid blue light near the window inset, flickering almost as if it were lightning. The static sound and ambient light were unmistakably real before me, yet I’d never seen or heard anything like it before. With it, came a frightening feeling.

    I completely freaked out and flew out of bed and out the door to the hallway. Luckily, I knew my neighbors at that point in the year and knocked on their door. They were also in bed, but still awake. So of course I figured they probably saw this weirdness, too. But when I asked them, they hadn’t seen or heard a thing. All was quiet and calm. Too scared to return to my room, I slept on their couch.

    The following day I decided to investigate. Nothing unusual in my room, and when inspecting the outside of the building, there were no possible power cords, trees, lights, etc that could have in any way been close enough to my room to produce what I saw. There was absolutely no real explanation.

    The weird creepy feelings that came with the room stayed with us for most of the year, but the blue light never returned. I heard that the following year, the guys who lived in that room also felt unsettled and would occasionally experience things moving overnight.
    Gretchen Weisgram, Class of 1999

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