State’s Urban Legends: North Dakota

I used to live in North Dakota. The first house we moved into there was an old farmhouse about three miles east of Steele. There was a storm cellar below the house that could only be accessed from the outside, through a pair of wooden doors in front of the house.

Steele North Dakota farmhouse.

Was this old North Dakota farmhouse haunted before it burned to the ground?

There was something about that cellar that creeped me out and I never could make it all the way down to the last step before turning around and fleeing. At 10 years of age, I was convinced something terrible lived down there and was just waiting to pounce on me if I ever stepped off of those stairs below.

Was the house built on an old, forgotten burial ground? Maybe. Less than a year after we moved out it mysteriously burned down to the ground.

Here’s some other creepy legends located in the Peace Garden State.

The Thunderbird

Oh, you thought Jurassic World was just a movie? Legend has it that there is an honest-to-god pterosaur sailing the winds over North Dakota. It was last spotted in 2009.

White Lady Lane

We first met the White Lady in Montana and again in Nebraska. In North Dakota her story takes a tragic turn.

White Lady Lane is a road that passes through the Tetrault Woods. Her legend in North Dakota is one of a pregnancy out of wedlock, a forced marriage and the baby dying shortly after the wedding ceremony. Upset by the loss of her child and unhappy with the prospect of life with a man she did not truly love led her to a terrible choice.

Dressed in her wedding gown the unfortunate woman hung herself from a bridge. Her ghost has been sighted hanging from that very spot ever since.

The Gates of Hell

Tagus is one of many towns in the state that formed when the railroad arrived. But many of those towns withered once that boom turned bust.

But legend has it that the town was once the site of a Lutheran Church that also served as a site of Satan worship. The church reportedly burned down long ago. But if you stand at just the right spot you can hear the screams of the damned form Hell.

Add some reports of hellhounds, ghost trains and gravestones that glow in the dark and you’ve got yourself a bona fide Gateway to Hell. By the way, the Luthern Church in question went up in flames decades ago. The last church in the town? It burned to the ground back in 2001.

About the author

Richard Paolinelli