Minnesota’s Boyd House: A haunted short-term rental for paranormal enthusiasts

The tiny town of Boyd, Minnesota, about 145 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, has a population of about 170 people. However, some long-time residents may not have been included in the latest census.

A three-story house on Scandia Avenue has stood in the middle of town for more than a century. A number of families have called it home over the years, but now it may be a portal to the supernatural.

"So I consider ourselves like an Airbnb with a twist," said the home's owner, Jill Shelley.

As a paranormal investigator, Shelley travels around the country visiting haunted houses. About five years ago, she realized a lifelong dream of buying one of her very own.

"Even just looking at the pictures, I knew this was the house for me. Then I actually came here with my teammate Donna, and as we were waiting outside for the realtor to come, we both had this feeling that something was staring at us from the attic window, and we could feel that," explained Shelley.

Shelley says the Victorian house was built in 1901, and about a decade later, Fred and Minnie Eckhardt moved in with several of their children, two of whom died in the house.

When Minnie passed away in the home in 1955, her funeral was held in the living room. Fred died in the house three years later, and Shelley believes their spirits never left.

"I believe they are still here. We've just gotten some different voices that said, 'I'm Fred' or we'll hear things that said 'Fred's coming.' So we feel that that family is here," said Shelley.

Shelley says she's had run-ins with the home's unseen inhabitants since her first night there.

"We were actually sleeping in the living room, and my teammate Donna said she heard footsteps coming down from the stairwell, came in here, and crawled into bed with her. She felt like a little kid crawled into bed with her. She thought I had been doing something, looked over and I was still asleep," said Shelley.

Shelley rents the house out to other paranormal investigators and the general public so they can spend the night and have their own eerie encounters.

"We've heard footsteps. We've audibly heard voices. I've heard kids' voices, adult voices. So we do have a lot of people get touched, or the mattresses move. Some people have seen shadows, apparitions," said Shelley.

But Shelley says she has more than just ghost stories. She has evidence of some of these otherworldly interactions.

Like videos of what she says are spirits triggering radiating electromagnetic field detectors taken in several rooms in the house. Then there are the dark shadows some other paranormal investigators captured on camera in the home's kitchen.

And the inanimate objects she and others have filmed and believe are being moved by some mysterious force.

"So it's probably one of the most active places that I know of that we've been to as far as a house, compared to like an asylum or something like that. Just being a house out in the middle of nowhere, it's very active. It's a lot of fun," said Diana Atkinson of the Northern Outer Realm Paranormal Society.

Shelley says she isn't sure why so many spirits seem drawn to the address, but she is grateful she and others have a place to go to have a spiritual experience.

"Some people say we have a portal here. I'm not so sure about that. I don't really know why they're here, why they stay, but we're happy to have them," said Shelley.

For more information on the Boyd House, click here.