"Mysterious Minnesota" author to visit Windom
WINDOM -- Adrian Lee, a London native and recently published author of "Mysterious Minnesota: Digging up the Ghostly Past at 13 Haunted Sites," will host a book-signing and presentation Friday at the Cottonwood County Historical Society, 812 Fourth Ave., Windom. The book signing begins at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation to start at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Lee has made recent visits to Cottonwood County to conduct research for his second book, "More Mysterious Minnesota," which he hopes to release next year. While he can't discuss any of his ongoing research for the new book, Lee will share with guests Friday night some of the stories he's uncovered during four years of research.
Co-founder of TIPS, The International Paranormal Society (www.intparanormal.net), and a graduate of both Kent University and London University, Lee moved to the Sauk Centre area in 2008. The sites included in his first book focus primarily on locales in the Twin Cities and historic eastern Minnesota offerings like the SS William Irvin ship at Duluth, the St. James Hotel in Red Wing and the Opera House in Mantorville.
"It really is a journey around the state," Lee said by telephone Wednesday afternoon. He's written about Fort Snelling, the Soap Factory Building in Minneapolis and the Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul, but perhaps his favorite story in the book was an encounter with a ghostly figure at the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre.
"There were occasions when I actually spoke to ghosts," Lee said. "A ghost just walked toward me."
While most people would probably run in another direction, Lee said he gets a fight or flight attitude.
"I'm not going to run away," he said. "There's not times when I've been frightened. I've been concerned.
"When you see things, there's still a part of your brain that thinks you didn't see it."
Describing a ghostly appearance as a human figure comprised of dirty, gray smoke, Lee said he doesn't see these occurrences psychically, but rather physically. The types of equipment he uses in his paranormal experiences often alert him to "imminent" encounters.
Lee works with his TIPS team on these excursions and said, "If we see stuff, pretty much we all see it."
After the encounter at the Palmer House Hotel, Lee said his film crew was "all standing next to me with their jaws on the floor."
Those experiences could make a believer out of anybody.
"People come up to me and say, 'I don't believe in ghosts,'" he shared. "What I've found in my career is that no amount of evidence will be necessary for the believers; and for the non-believers, no amount of evidence will ever be enough."
Still, Lee has evidence of ghost encounters that haven't gone so well. He's had doors slammed in his face, and some people on his staff have been attacked by ghosts, he said.
"One member of my team got scratched from head to foot in the basement of a theater," he said.
Many of the ghosts encountered during his paranormal experiences are from the "Wild West" period when "people didn't like being disturbed," he said.
"If you're going to be an idiot when you're alive, you're going to be an idiot when you're dead," he added.
Lee said the stories in Mysterious Minnesota are "100 percent completely unique."
In the Soap Factory Building, a ghost talked to him in Italian, which lead to research findings that one in five Italians immigrated to Minnesota after World War I.
"There's things like that (in the book)," he said. "I've had encounters with ghosts and done research that I've found to be true. This book has primarily been written by the dead."
The book, at about 300 pages, has been nominated for a Minnesota Book award.
During Friday night's event in Windom, Lee said he will give a lecture based on his first book, complete with photographs of haunted sites and evidence.
"There will be opportunities for questions and answers, and I'll bring along some of my equipment," Lee said. "It's just a really good night out. How often do you have a chance to talk to a professional ghost hunter?"
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.