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By Jennifer Burris
The unofficial caretaker at the Pipestone County Museum doesn't make his presence known to everyone, but he leaves quite an impression' on those who do encounter him. Laurie Ness, ghost walk tour guide, said Mr.Henry Abernathy, as he is known, seems to permanently reside at the museum. The building that houses the museum was originally constructed as the Pipestone City Hall in 1896, according to historical sources, The City Hall included the fire department, the local government offices, and the

city water system. Over the years it also housed the city lock up, the public library, a gymnasium, meeting hall and a teen center. In 1966 it was awarded to the Pipestone County Historical Society and in 1968 the Pipestone County Museum was opened. With such a rich history it's no wonder that so many stories of paranormal activity are told and retold. Mr. Abernathy has appeared to both patrons and employees. He once told an employee he liked her haircut and hoped her new shoes were more comfortable, said Ness. The employee had previously told her coworkers her

shoes were uncomfortable and that she needed a new pair. Various psychics have visited the museum over the years and almost all had some sort of experience with Mr. Abernathy, whether it was just seeing him or having an actual conversation with him. Though some stories can't be authenticated and others may have been embellished over the years, there's no question that people have had experiences at the museum they can't quite

Museum phantoms
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The Pipestone County Museum's rocking chair. It is said to have mysteriously rocked itself from time to time over the years. Pipestone Publishing/Jennifer



Continued from page 12 explain. And those experiences don't just include the ghostly Mr. Abernathy. A little blonde girl in a blue dress has been seen on more than one occasion, for example, according to Betty McCabe, museum employee, who has had her own experience involving what she believed to be the little girl. "I was working on a display when I heard something drop," McCabe said. She then walked into the other room and the doll that had been in the display case was a few feet away from the case, lying face up on the floor. The movement of the doll seemed to be inexplicable in any logical way; it was just too far away from the display case to simply have fallen back. "I think maybe 1scared the little girl while she was playing with the doll," McCabe said. "We leave the doll out now so she can play with it whenever she wants to and be able to put it back on her own." Not all paranormal activity at the museum involves apparitions, ghosts that take on some type of physical form, transparent or remodeling the museum a ago the paranormal aoliwiilies se med to increase as ch1mgl!S - the nmseum began to take place. According to McCabe, many paranormal activity experts alarm never went off again. According to the ghost tour tour guides, employees and the Ghost Stories Volume One, a mixture of memorabilia did not belong together. This instance that was witnessed by several employees involved Nazi memorabiliaoriginally paired next to a set of shoes. Each morning the staff would find the shoes in different areas of the exhibit or thrown on the ground' away from the other memorabilia. After it was found out that the shoes were those of a Holocaust victim the shoes were moved to a different area permanently. They stayed exactly where they were placed and never moved again. One day Helen Ray, museum employee, was working when she heard a noise near the dentist display. It was metal hitting metal. It happened three or four times before Ray decided to' call it a day and go home. That was not the only activity that involved the dentist exhibit. A couple of years ago ghost hunters from Minneapolis came to the museum, spending the night searching for paranormal activity. While using an audio recorder hoping to catch EVPs, or electronic voice phenomena, an audible 'I'm sorry,' was heard right in the area of the then dentist exhibit. The museum has a recording of the phrase and is more than willing to While the ghost hunters were there they also focused on a rocking chair upstairs that had been reported in the past to rock by itself. They recorded the chair for several hours and although it never rocked the recording showed a string-like item that floated down in front of the chair. This may not seem that odd until you realize that nothing ever lands on the ground. The museum has a copy of this video as well. Susan Hoskins, museum director, had one unexplainable experience while she was working upstairs in the collections office. Her name was called at least three times from far away. It took a while to register that she was hearing her

The doll (above) that was found outside of the display case is now left out just in case the little girl in the blue dress wants to play with it again. Right: The guitar on display in the Rock _and Roll exhibit where a patron claims to have seen a bright flash of light while looking at the guitar. Pipestone Publishing/Jennifer Burris

c:hanges in the space spirits reside can disrupt, "'aggrDUl"'aUvate.<rtP and activate them. As the remodeling continued there were three nights in a row around 3 a.m. that the museum's alarm system went off, McCabe said. Each time the police and museum employee, McCabe, would arrive and nothing would be amiss. The place was empty and nothing was missing or out of place. A friend of McCabe who was especially attuned to spiritual activity came in and conversed with the spirit. After being assured there was nothing to worry about the ghost calmed down and the

name, but when she did she immediately went downstairs. Her coworker, McCabe, was the only other person in the building at the time and had not called Susan's name that afternoon. Hoskins said everi though she experienced something she couldn't readily explain she isn't sure how much merit all the tales she has heard over the years have. Recently, a patron was visiting the rock ana roll exhibit when she came downstairs and asked if the museum happened to. be haunted. After the employees said there had been people who believe they have seen things, she confessedthat while looking at the display with the guitar there had been a bright flash of light, and she believed that she had seen some sort of ghost or apparition.