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Autumn oddities: Area sites bound to paranormal lore

Late October is a time of endings and of bundling up for the cold months to come. It's also a time to remember autumns past and to recall twice-told tales of mystery and sorrow. Forum photographer Carrie Snyder recently walked leaf-crunchy ground...

Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Late October is a time of endings and of bundling up for the cold months to come. It's also a time to remember autumns past and to recall twice-told tales of mystery and sorrow. Forum photographer Carrie Snyder recently walked leaf-crunchy ground in search of those stories and she took her camera with her. Weld Hall, MSUM Weld Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead, is said to be home to the ghost of a workman who, one legend has it, died from a fall down a spiral staircase leading to the basement of the building. The spirit has reportedly been seen on the stage and elsewhere in the building, including in an elevator. The narrator of an online virtual tour of the MSUM campus says of Weld Hall: "Oh, and a little-known fact about Weld Hall ... according to campus legend, it may be haunted." Trollwood Park

Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Trollwood Park in north Fargo has been home to a performing arts school and something else - a pauper's cemetery. Stories are told of a pale lady who dances around a willow tree. Some have also reported hearing a disembodied voice, thought to be that of an old farmer, telling people to get off his property. Dayna Del Val, executive director of The Arts Partnership, performed at Trollwood as a youngster. She says she never encountered anything spooky there, but she was always enthusiastic about the possibility. "There was a different kind of energy at Trollwood I've never really experienced anyplace else," Del Val said. "We used to think it was somehow attached to all these people buried underneath us ... a feeling like we were doing something so fabulous that it elevated these people who were there because they didn't have anybody to put them in a proper place." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113535","attributes":{"alt":"The railroad tracks in Moorhead. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"296","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Train tracks Train tracks in Fargo and Moorhead have been the scenes of tragic situations over the years and tales invariably arise in connection with people who have been struck and killed by trains. One story found on an online website that collects such tales tells of a homeless man who was camped along a stretch of railroad in Moorhead when he awoke to see the spirit of a woman with glowing eyes far in the distance. Closing his eyes in disbelief, he opened them again only to find that the woman had drifted closer. Spooked, the man woke a companion and the two left hastily to find a different spot in which to sleep. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113536","attributes":{"alt":"Riverside Cemetery in Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"1867","title":"","width":"5342"}}]]Riverside Cemetery Riverside Cemetery in Fargo is a go-to place for those in search of the paranormal, according to Tom Shafer, manager of the cemetery. Shafer sometimes gets calls asking for any stories he might be able to share along those lines, but he says he always disappoints because he doesn't have any. Paranormal websites, however, talk of a mausoleum at the cemetery where, if you place a recording device atop it, you can hear knocking sounds coming from within. Shafer said given the large size of the mausoleums at Riverside, he's not sure how someone would accomplish that. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113542","attributes":{"alt":"West Fargo High School theater. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"3251","title":"","width":"5043"}}]]West Fargo High School West Fargo High School, built in the late 1980s, is said to be haunted by the ghost of "Rupert," a worker who supposedly fell while working on the ceiling of the school's theater. Cybil Johnson, administrative assistant at the school, said staff members sometimes overhear students discussing the legend and it's often drama students doing the talking. Understandable, she said, as it's not unusual for the students to be in the theater rehearsing after dark,with perhaps a mournful wind moaning outside; just the ingredients for stirring up young imaginations.Late October is a time of endings and of bundling up for the cold months to come. It's also a time to remember autumns past and to recall twice-told tales of mystery and sorrow. Forum photographer Carrie Snyder recently walked leaf-crunchy ground in search of those stories and she took her camera with her. Weld Hall, MSUM Weld Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead, is said to be home to the ghost of a workman who, one legend has it, died from a fall down a spiral staircase leading to the basement of the building. The spirit has reportedly been seen on the stage and elsewhere in the building, including in an elevator. The narrator of an online virtual tour of the MSUM campus says of Weld Hall: "Oh, and a little-known fact about Weld Hall ... according to campus legend, it may be haunted." Trollwood Park [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113534","attributes":{"alt":"Trollwood Park in north Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"351","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Trollwood Park in north Fargo has been home to a performing arts school and something else - a pauper's cemetery. Stories are told of a pale lady who dances around a willow tree. Some have also reported hearing a disembodied voice, thought to be that of an old farmer, telling people to get off his property. Dayna Del Val, executive director of The Arts Partnership, performed at Trollwood as a youngster. She says she never encountered anything spooky there, but she was always enthusiastic about the possibility. "There was a different kind of energy at Trollwood I've never really experienced anyplace else," Del Val said. "We used to think it was somehow attached to all these people buried underneath us ... a feeling like we were doing something so fabulous that it elevated these people who were there because they didn't have anybody to put them in a proper place."

Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Train tracks Train tracks in Fargo and Moorhead have been the scenes of tragic situations over the years and tales invariably arise in connection with people who have been struck and killed by trains. One story found on an online website that collects such tales tells of a homeless man who was camped along a stretch of railroad in Moorhead when he awoke to see the spirit of a woman with glowing eyes far in the distance. Closing his eyes in disbelief, he opened them again only to find that the woman had drifted closer. Spooked, the man woke a companion and the two left hastily to find a different spot in which to sleep. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113536","attributes":{"alt":"Riverside Cemetery in Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"1867","title":"","width":"5342"}}]]Riverside Cemetery Riverside Cemetery in Fargo is a go-to place for those in search of the paranormal, according to Tom Shafer, manager of the cemetery. Shafer sometimes gets calls asking for any stories he might be able to share along those lines, but he says he always disappoints because he doesn't have any. Paranormal websites, however, talk of a mausoleum at the cemetery where, if you place a recording device atop it, you can hear knocking sounds coming from within. Shafer said given the large size of the mausoleums at Riverside, he's not sure how someone would accomplish that. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113542","attributes":{"alt":"West Fargo High School theater. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"3251","title":"","width":"5043"}}]]West Fargo High School West Fargo High School, built in the late 1980s, is said to be haunted by the ghost of "Rupert," a worker who supposedly fell while working on the ceiling of the school's theater. Cybil Johnson, administrative assistant at the school, said staff members sometimes overhear students discussing the legend and it's often drama students doing the talking. Understandable, she said, as it's not unusual for the students to be in the theater rehearsing after dark,with perhaps a mournful wind moaning outside; just the ingredients for stirring up young imaginations.Late October is a time of endings and of bundling up for the cold months to come. It's also a time to remember autumns past and to recall twice-told tales of mystery and sorrow. Forum photographer Carrie Snyder recently walked leaf-crunchy ground in search of those stories and she took her camera with her. Weld Hall, MSUM Weld Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead, is said to be home to the ghost of a workman who, one legend has it, died from a fall down a spiral staircase leading to the basement of the building. The spirit has reportedly been seen on the stage and elsewhere in the building, including in an elevator. The narrator of an online virtual tour of the MSUM campus says of Weld Hall: "Oh, and a little-known fact about Weld Hall ... according to campus legend, it may be haunted." Trollwood Park [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113534","attributes":{"alt":"Trollwood Park in north Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"351","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Trollwood Park in north Fargo has been home to a performing arts school and something else - a pauper's cemetery. Stories are told of a pale lady who dances around a willow tree. Some have also reported hearing a disembodied voice, thought to be that of an old farmer, telling people to get off his property. Dayna Del Val, executive director of The Arts Partnership, performed at Trollwood as a youngster. She says she never encountered anything spooky there, but she was always enthusiastic about the possibility. "There was a different kind of energy at Trollwood I've never really experienced anyplace else," Del Val said. "We used to think it was somehow attached to all these people buried underneath us ... a feeling like we were doing something so fabulous that it elevated these people who were there because they didn't have anybody to put them in a proper place." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113535","attributes":{"alt":"The railroad tracks in Moorhead. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"296","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Train tracks Train tracks in Fargo and Moorhead have been the scenes of tragic situations over the years and tales invariably arise in connection with people who have been struck and killed by trains. One story found on an online website that collects such tales tells of a homeless man who was camped along a stretch of railroad in Moorhead when he awoke to see the spirit of a woman with glowing eyes far in the distance. Closing his eyes in disbelief, he opened them again only to find that the woman had drifted closer. Spooked, the man woke a companion and the two left hastily to find a different spot in which to sleep.

Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Riverside Cemetery Riverside Cemetery in Fargo is a go-to place for those in search of the paranormal, according to Tom Shafer, manager of the cemetery. Shafer sometimes gets calls asking for any stories he might be able to share along those lines, but he says he always disappoints because he doesn't have any. Paranormal websites, however, talk of a mausoleum at the cemetery where, if you place a recording device atop it, you can hear knocking sounds coming from within. Shafer said given the large size of the mausoleums at Riverside, he's not sure how someone would accomplish that. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113542","attributes":{"alt":"West Fargo High School theater. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"3251","title":"","width":"5043"}}]]West Fargo High School West Fargo High School, built in the late 1980s, is said to be haunted by the ghost of "Rupert," a worker who supposedly fell while working on the ceiling of the school's theater. Cybil Johnson, administrative assistant at the school, said staff members sometimes overhear students discussing the legend and it's often drama students doing the talking. Understandable, she said, as it's not unusual for the students to be in the theater rehearsing after dark,with perhaps a mournful wind moaning outside; just the ingredients for stirring up young imaginations.Late October is a time of endings and of bundling up for the cold months to come. It's also a time to remember autumns past and to recall twice-told tales of mystery and sorrow. Forum photographer Carrie Snyder recently walked leaf-crunchy ground in search of those stories and she took her camera with her. Weld Hall, MSUM Weld Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead, is said to be home to the ghost of a workman who, one legend has it, died from a fall down a spiral staircase leading to the basement of the building. The spirit has reportedly been seen on the stage and elsewhere in the building, including in an elevator. The narrator of an online virtual tour of the MSUM campus says of Weld Hall: "Oh, and a little-known fact about Weld Hall ... according to campus legend, it may be haunted." Trollwood Park [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113534","attributes":{"alt":"Trollwood Park in north Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"351","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Trollwood Park in north Fargo has been home to a performing arts school and something else - a pauper's cemetery. Stories are told of a pale lady who dances around a willow tree. Some have also reported hearing a disembodied voice, thought to be that of an old farmer, telling people to get off his property. Dayna Del Val, executive director of The Arts Partnership, performed at Trollwood as a youngster. She says she never encountered anything spooky there, but she was always enthusiastic about the possibility. "There was a different kind of energy at Trollwood I've never really experienced anyplace else," Del Val said. "We used to think it was somehow attached to all these people buried underneath us ... a feeling like we were doing something so fabulous that it elevated these people who were there because they didn't have anybody to put them in a proper place." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2113535","attributes":{"alt":"The railroad tracks in Moorhead. Carrie Snyder / The Forum ","class":"media-image","height":"296","title":"","width":"480"}}]]Train tracks Train tracks in Fargo and Moorhead have been the scenes of tragic situations over the years and tales invariably arise in connection with people who have been struck and killed by trains. One story found on an online website that collects such tales tells of a homeless man who was camped along a stretch of railroad in Moorhead when he awoke to see the spirit of a woman with glowing eyes far in the distance. Closing his eyes in disbelief, he opened them again only to find that the woman had drifted closer. Spooked, the man woke a companion and the two left hastily to find a different spot in which to sleep. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2113536","attributes":{"alt":"Riverside Cemetery in Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum","class":"media-image","height":"1867","title":"","width":"5342"}}]]Riverside Cemetery Riverside Cemetery in Fargo is a go-to place for those in search of the paranormal, according to Tom Shafer, manager of the cemetery. Shafer sometimes gets calls asking for any stories he might be able to share along those lines, but he says he always disappoints because he doesn't have any. Paranormal websites, however, talk of a mausoleum at the cemetery where, if you place a recording device atop it, you can hear knocking sounds coming from within. Shafer said given the large size of the mausoleums at Riverside, he's not sure how someone would accomplish that.

Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Weld Hall stairway at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

West Fargo High School West Fargo High School, built in the late 1980s, is said to be haunted by the ghost of "Rupert," a worker who supposedly fell while working on the ceiling of the school's theater. Cybil Johnson, administrative assistant at the school, said staff members sometimes overhear students discussing the legend and it's often drama students doing the talking. Understandable, she said, as it's not unusual for the students to be in the theater rehearsing after dark,with perhaps a mournful wind moaning outside; just the ingredients for stirring up young imaginations.

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I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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