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Duluth

Glensheen Mansion
The Glensheen story is one of the most complex and interesting hauntings we have researched to date.   Chester Congdon built the house, which was finished in 1908 (and appraised at that time as being worth $865,000).  Chester's daughter, Elizabeth inherited the house, and after her death it was turned over to the University of Minnesota. Through the years, it has been kept in pristine condition, and in many opinions it is the most beautiful home in the United States.

Now comes the fun part.  The Glensheen Mansion was the scene of the double murder of Elizabeth Congdon and her nurse, Velma Pietila on June 27, 1977.    83 year old Elizabeth had been suffocated in bed with a pillow, and Velma had been bludgeoned to death on a stair landing with a candlestick from the home.

Elizabeth's had an adopted daughter named Marjorie who was in line to inherit Elizabeth's fortune.  Soon after the murder, Marjorie's husband was accused and convicted of the crime, but his conviction was overturned about 5 years later.   Marjorie was also tried but was acquitted.  After his release from prison, Marjorie's husband was found dead under mysterious circumstances.  Marjorie was initially charged with his murder but the charges were later dropped.  Marjorie has a history of several other arrests, particularly for her apparent affinity for starting fires, and is presently serving 15 years in prison for attempted arson.   The case of who murdered Elizabeth and Velma remains unsolved. 

The Glensheen Mansion is a museum today, and can be visited any time of year by the general public.  The tour guides are strictly instructed not to talk about the murders or of ghosts, and no cameras are allowed in the house.  Though they won't comment on these subjects openly, the University of Minnesota does seem to be subtly acknowledging that something is going on in the house on their website.  A caption placed prominently under a slide show on the web site's main page reads ".......feel the presence of the past." 

We think that pretty much says it all!

The photo above was submitted by Gary Schmidt and Loretta Brown, who visited Glensheen and took this picture from outside the mansion.  Here's what they say:

"We took a few pictures of the outside of the Glensheen Mansion,
and in this one photo looking out of the window on the upper right it appears to look like a full apparition of the previous owner Elizabeth Congdon peering out the window overlooking Lake Superior."
 
Awesome Gary & Loretta - thanks!

Glensheen is open for tours all year long, including a "bedroom slipper tour" where you can go inside the roped-off areas - recommended.  It is located at 3300 London Road, Duluth, MN 55804.   Phone: 218-726-8910.

 

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