The Kahler Hotel

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The ghosts of former Mayo Clinic patients are said to haunt the hotel, causing eerie sounds and smells and quick temperature changes.

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Geographic Information

20 2nd Ave SW
Rochester, MN 55902
United States

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44.0233826, -92.46561710000003
Olmsted County, Minnesota
Nearest Towns:
Rochester, MN (0.2 mi.)
Byron, MN (9.0 mi.)
Oronoco, MN (10.4 mi.)
Stewartville, MN (11.7 mi.)
Eyota, MN (12.0 mi.)
Elgin, MN (12.9 mi.)
Kasson, MN (14.2 mi.)
Hammond, MN (14.5 mi.)
Mantorville, MN (14.8 mi.)
Pine Island, MN (15.2 mi.)

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Comments (13)

  1. Brittany Mehlhaf  |  

    We met my brother at this hotel this last past weekend, my daughter would not sleep in her pack and play and she hated bath time, this is something that she enjoys and she screamed at the top of her lungs. When she was in her pack in play she would scream as if their was someone hurting her.

  2. I stayed there with my mom and two family friends when I was 15 in the late 90’s while I was seeing doctors at mayo clinic. We have always wondered if it was haunted by what took place then. Me and my friend went to get ice on another floor, took the elevator, got the ice and tried to get back to our floor in the same elevator, only the elevator ignored our floor up and took us down to the basement with the elevators opening on us at the bottom and then taking us up to a random floor and stopping, which felt like forever, then moved again and took us to our floor. When we got off and looked down the hall it seemed to go on forever. and I still remember an strange feeling as if we were lost in another time. When back in the room our table lamp flickered multiple times. We even had to raise the heat it got so cold. And while we were sleeping we heard loud thuds on the ceiling and on our walls. And this was an off season. We have always wondered if anyone else encountered anything out of the ordinary. And now the Internet has made it possible.

  3. I couldn’t if someone was running up and down the halls was there or somewhere else. but was just informed by my mom that it happened there as well. When we were sleeping we heard what we assumed was a kid running up and down the hallways. My mom had checked the hall once and no one was there. I wish I had known it was supposedly haunted when we stayed there it would have made me feel better.

  4. My friends and I had a weird experience of flickering lights when stepping out of the elevator and ones the elevator we were on keeped going to the same floor for no reason, we wanted to go up but it keep going down.

  5. I worked there for long enough to know that the flickering lights and poorly-working elevators were just because the hotel isn’t taken care of. It’s a crappy place to stay unless you fork over the dough for a newly-remodeled room. Some of the rooms even have metal folding chairs in them. Never saw a sign of haunting…. and I was in the creepiest of creepy spots in that hotel.

  6. Me and my family went there this past weekend. Me and my mom was in the our room ( it was about 1 or 2 in the morning). My uncle and my brothers were at the gym. We were watching t.v. and we heard kids laughing out in the hallway. I went to check and no one was out there. Then later that night my uncle and my oldest brother went for a walk and they pushed the main lobby botten in the lobby, and it brought them to the basement. When they got out there was a Russian guy there he said “what are you gays doing down here? You aren’t sopposed to be down here”. That night I couldn’t sleep until 3:30ish.

  7. Brent Friedrichs  |  

    On 13 February 1922 a lady was killed in the elevator of the Kahler Hotel. Orville M Criswell was in Rochester for an operation that was performed sometime in January 1922. In his recovery from that operation he stayed on at the Kahler Hotel. On 13 February 1922 his wife “Flora Bell (nee. Hart) Criswell” came to the Kahler hotel to visit him – her husband “Orville M. Criswell”. She was killed in the elevator at the Kahler Hotel (13feb1922). Orville was making fairly good progress in recovering from the operation. However after hearing of his wife’s death (same building) “the shock of her death was more than he could bear” and on 13 June (not 18 June as article errored) 1922 he too died.

    Both Orville and Flora Criswell are buried in the Oakland Cemetery, Denison, Crawford County, Iowa. I have a copy of the original newspaper obituary and both are listed at “Find-a-grave”.

    There is also a Rochester, MN newspaper article (available online) of either 14 or 15 Feb 2911 (top center of last page) that mentions Mrs. Criswell’s body being transported by family members back to Denison (e/c Dennison) and results of autopsy report – which basically shows that her head was crushed. That particular article however did not mention the Kahler hotel – yet other articles do. It seems quite clear that mention of theaccident being at the Kahler Hotel was intentionally omitted in many of the local Rochester papers.

    Also worth noting is the fact that “Orville M. Criswell” (Flora’s husband) is said to be the primary founder of Charter Oak, Iowa. He was the first registered postmaster for Charter Oak, Iowa post office. Orville’s brother Asbury S Criswell (4 years older) was also a prominent founder figure in the foundation of “Charter Oak, IA”. By 1910 census Asbury Criswell had lost 4 of his 5 children – two which are buried in the Charter Oak cemetery. Hazel M Criswell died age 11 in 1900. Orville W Criswell dies age 8 in 1891.

  8. I was walking in the lower part of kahler that connects to the gonda building. While walking through a hallway that was warm, i felt a brush of really cold air.

  9. January of 2019. We stayed at the Kahler while my husband was having treatment at Mayo. We had no idea it was haunted. My husband went to the bathroom and returned to the bed and I asked him “why did you leave the water running”? He said I didn’t. A little later same thing. I was like why are you leaving the water on? Finally thinking that maybe the faucet was just loose I went to the sink and nope it was tight and the water was off. A few minutes later water back on again. Happened about 6 or 7 times that night. My husband kept hearing tapping noises. He said I think we have a ghost, I was like whatever. Next day the electricity goes off in our room, but not in the hallway. We think the fuse is blown. It comes back on. We head down to check out and tell the front desk, you might want to check the room, the water keeps going on and the electricity went off earlier. He just looked at us and said the electricity has not gone off today.

  10. A friend and I that have begun investigating earlier this year just stayed at the Kahler and didn’t get anything until we saw this photo. Not sure what to make of it as we can’t debunk it being any belongings as this was close to 1am and we didn’t have any bags or anything with us and were not wearing anything black. Feel free to give your opinions.

  11. I worked at the Kahler from 1975-1976 and didn’t see anything but I may not have been keyed in to it. I do know some hung himself in a stairwell while I worked there. I saw the heel or kick marks on the stairwell walls. It’s a very old hotel and there are a lot of patients staying there from the local hospitals due to easy access via an underground passage. The top floor was a pool area when I worked there. It would not surprise me if someone hasn’t moved on from the hotels halls or rooms.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.