Portage, a city in southern Minnesota, is getting its first ever haunted house.
On July 8, the city will open its first haunted house, a free event at the new Haunted House Museum.
The event is meant to promote the museum and the city’s upcoming $3.5 million redevelopment.
The city’s planning director says the event will also draw people to the park, which will host other events and activities.
The new Haunted Houses will have a “quiet space” for people to relax and have a conversation.
But the museum will be the focus of the event, which has been approved by the City Council.
“It’s a little bit of a dream come true,” Mayor Michael Reinsch says.
“I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time, and it just came together for us.”
The city already has hosted a ghost walk and a Haunted House Night at the Minneapolis Museum of Art, but the museum was recently sold to a private developer, and there was no official announcement about a new haunted house in the works.
“We’ve been trying to do a lot of stuff, and we’re just now getting the hang of it,” says Reinschere.
“But we’re doing something pretty cool.”
The new museum, which is about half a mile from the downtown core, will be open for free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day of the year.
There will be a variety of activities to get people moving.
For example, there will be live entertainment and a ghost-busting contest on Friday, July 9, and an interactive haunted house on Saturday, July 10.
“This will be something that we’ll all have to get used to, and I think people will be excited,” says Brian Stottlemyre, director of the Portage Park Museum.
A haunted house has become popular in Minnesota over the last few years, with some cities having events and attractions for residents and visitors.
But Portage is unique because it is a city that has a large Mormon population and a history of helping others.
“Portage is really the first city that we’ve really tried to build on a theme, and a theme that has kind of been bubbling under the surface,” says Stottlet, who has worked in the city for a decade.
“So we think it will be very popular.”
The museum will feature an interactive exhibit that will be called “Haunted Portage: The Ghost Story.”
The exhibit will feature a ghost story, along with artifacts from Portage history and local lore.
“The first story we’ll tell you is that Portage’s really haunted,” says director Stottlttyre.
“Our first ghost story was probably in 1885, when the people of Portage came to Salt Lake City and they went down to the Salt Lake Valley, and the first person to go there was a young boy named William Bickerton.”
Portage has had a lot going for it in the past decade.
The downtown is growing, and tourism is up.
But some residents are concerned about the growing number of new developments in the area.
“There’s a lot more people coming to town and a lot less people coming in,” says Mayor Reinsche, who was born and raised in the town.
“They’re more interested in the arts, and they’re less interested in staying in town.”
A few years ago, the Portages neighborhood started seeing more development.
But that’s not the case anymore.
“As we’ve gotten more and more development in Portage and the surrounding area, we’ve seen more and bigger ghost stories,” Reinschel says.
The Portages Museum will include a large exhibit about the history of Portages and the community.
The exhibit also will showcase the history and culture of the city and its residents.
And there will also be an outdoor haunted house and ghost tour.
“For Portage to really grow, it needs to be a little more visible,” Stottt says.
It also needs to take on a bigger role in the community, he says.
This isn’t the first time Portage residents have been invited to have a ghost tour or haunted house at the museum.
“Last year, the town council asked for the mayor’s blessing to hold a ghost walking,” Reletsch says, referring to the first one held in the museum’s history.
The mayor approved the event after several people expressed interest in having the event.
The upcoming event will be free, and all proceeds will go to the museum, Reinshe says.
In addition, the museum is working on a program to help people learn more about Portage.
“If you’re interested in visiting the museum during the year, you can sign up to get an email or call-in to learn more,” Stttlttyres says.
He says there will only be a few ghost tours in the future.
“Right now, there are no ghost tours,” Rebsche says.