Chasing Ghost Stories, Faribault, MN

Dan and I enjoy photographing abandoned properties immensely.  The excitement of stepping back into history, and the wonder of what transpired in these ruins can be mind-boggling.

Research is key in finding and exploring abandoned properties.  Ohhhh, the Internet… What a wonderful place for information, sometimes.  As I was briefly searching that morning, (yes, I have to own up to this one) I came across rumors of an old abandoned asylum within an hour or so of our home.  What a find, I thought as my heart started beating faster.

Rumor, after rumor, after rumor, I read:

“I was walking through the tunnel and it leads to the old asylum”

“We even went to the other entrance by Teepee Tonka Park but did not find the tunnel leading up to the asylum”

“ Then walk through the halls.  With 5-6 rooms to the left and right.  Walk through that then it goes on another trail.  Follow it to your left, it brings you to what I though was the tunnel that people were talking about but it is just a bunker room in the hill.”

As I was reading the posts and information regarding the property, I found that there were no directions posted as to how to reach this place directly and it seemed like there was confusion as to which property they were actually writing about. It was like reading a treasure map; picking information out of this post and obtaining information from another.   No matter what we found on this photography outing, I knew that the day would be fun.  With time running out for the research portion, I gathered what I had (although confusing) and we headed off with the starting point at Teepee Tonka Park in Faribault, MN.  We did find the trail in the back corner of the park and headed on our way.  It was a beautiful sunny day; not too hot, not too cold and we were spending the day exploring as we tried to piece together the bread crumbs found on the internet.

From this trail, we did find the tunnels and ventured through them.  I could have gone the whole day without seeing the bats and spiders, but the experience and the memory made was worth it.  Dan was on his game and took every opportunity to joke with me, whether if it were the noises he made in the complete darkness of the tunnels,  or telling me that there was a bat right above me as I stopped to take a picture, or cracking a joke about how we were chancing ghost stories.  Paybacks can be fun 🙂

We might have not found the old asylum, or whatever the abandoned buildings these posts were actually talking about, and that was okay.  What we did encounter was a superb day spent together as we laughed and we joked.   We got to spend a day in the great outdoors doing what we love…  What could be better than that?  Please take some time and join us on this day as you page through the images below.

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20 thoughts on “Chasing Ghost Stories, Faribault, MN

  1. Oh boy; now that was a fun day of adventure. Wonderful photos cutie pie. I especially love the abstract of the trees. It is a testament to your remarkable eye for beauty.

  2. Joe says:

    Very cool series of photos Cynthia 😀

  3. MakeSomethingMondays says:

    It looks like you guys had a great time. I am loving the graffiti images.

    Also, the image of the woods that looks like its blurred (the one between the stairs and the teapot) resembles the cover of the Stephen King book The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I like it! http://www.amazon.com/The-Girl-Who-Loved-Gordon/dp/0671042858

    • Thank you! I enjoy graffiti as well- there are many ways to show your talent!
      About the Stephen King book… WOW! All I am missing is the girl 🙂

      • MakeSomethingMondays says:

        I know! It is crazy. I started reading that book earlier in the week and as soon as I saw you photo i was like “no way”, haha. It is lovely though. They all are.

  4. Jane Lurie says:

    What a cool adventure, Cynthia. Love your images and they really convey the mood of the day. Fabulous effects.

  5. OK, I live in Faribault and even I have not ventured into these tunnels off Teepee Tonka Park. I expect the asylum is referring to the former state school/hospital (back in the day for “the feeble minded”) which is now the location of the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Faribault.

    Looks like you were also in the River Bend Nature Center as noted by the Dairy Lane and Meadowlark trail signs.

    Love your artsy shots.

  6. Trifocal says:

    I really like these, especially the two ‘mossy’ shots near the top of the set. Thank you for posting them.

  7. Eri Berry says:

    Wow, you really have an eye for beauty… beauty in unexpected places.

  8. Taylor says:

    I love your work I live in Rochester and love adventuring myself. If you haven’t found that asylum yet I know exactly where it is been there a couple times it’s very very cool.

    • Thanks Taylor! I had to laugh today after reading this message and called my husband right away. He doesn’t believe it 🙂 I have gotten crap about this day trip for quite some time now and to hear that it actually exists- Super excited! I will email you later because I would love to take you up on that offer!

  9. Daryl says:

    if you went through the tunnel that means you missed the cemetery on the outside of the tunnel!

  10. Katie says:

    I know where the buildings are at that you were looking for. They were associated with the state hospital, but not at the same location. I’ve never been there, but I’ve found them on google maps.

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