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  • Writer's pictureCampfire Frank

Legend of the Ghostly Flagman | Nisswa, MN

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Legend of the Ghostly Flagman | Nisswa, MN
Legend of the Ghostly Flagman | Nisswa, MN

Legend has it that in the quiet town of Nisswa, Minnesota, there's a ghostly tale that haunts the locals to this day. It's a story of a ghostly figure, the flagman of the abandoned caboose that rests in the heart of the town. Now, mind you, this ain't your typical spooky tale. No, this ghost, they say, is harmless, just a lost soul trying to find his way back home.

You see, back in the day, when the railroads were the lifeblood of this town, there was this caboose flagman, some say he went by the name Schroeder, though nobody really knows for sure. He was a quiet man, always dedicated to his duty, waving his lantern to signal the trains as they chugged through the woods.

But one Halloween night, everything changed. The town folks say it was the night when the train crew, for reasons unknown, decided to abandon the caboose, leaving it behind as a relic of the past. Poor Schroeder, they say, was left wandering the streets, oblivious to the departing train. When he returned, the only thing waiting for him was the empty, forsaken caboose, his home and duty both taken away in the blink of an eye.

And now, every Halloween night, as the darkness cloaks the town, his ghostly figure is said to emerge, searching endlessly for a way back into that old caboose. They say you won't see him, not until you catch a glimpse of his dimly flickering railroad lantern, cutting through the night like a distant memory. Some claim to have spotted him along the Paul Bunyan trail, the very same trail where the tracks once laid. And even in the heart of downtown Nisswa, where his presence lingers like an old forgotten melody.

Folks have tried to figure out how he passed, but no one seems to know for sure. Some reckon he must have died of a broken heart, unable to comprehend why his life's work had been abandoned. But regardless of how he met his end, his spirit remains tethered to that caboose, unable to find solace, unable to step into the afterlife until he finds his way back home.

So, if you find yourself strolling through downtown Nisswa on a Halloween night, and you catch a glimpse of a faint, distant light moving through the darkness, remember, that might just be old Schroeder, the flagman of the abandoned caboose, still searching for a way back home, a way back to the life that was abruptly taken from him. And if you see that lantern, well, best believe, you're in the presence of a spirit still tied to this world, still hoping to find the elusive closure that evades him even in death.


This is a fictional story. The characters' names, places, and events are the product of the author's imagination and are not intended to represent any real people, places, or events. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Looking for Halloween activities in the Nisswa Lakes Area? Be sure to check out our list of local haunts, trunk-or-treats, and Halloween parties! Halloween 2023

Burlington Northern Caboose | Nisswa, MN
Burlington Northern Caboose | Nisswa, MN

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