Minneapolis Institute of Art Paranormal Exhibit turns heads

October comes early to Twin Cities


Leo Justesen

The MIA exhibit “Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art” is currently on display. It features spooky pieces from different time periods.

Leo Justesen

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is leaving viewers spooked as its Free to See Paranormal Exhibit is turning young heads. From scary statues to giant alien paintings, every piece tells a story. The exhibit even has audio from the painters themselves talking about their pieces. Prepare to be creeped out as we take a deep dive into the exhibit. 

There are certain rooms for different types of paranormal art. There is a “Haunted America” section, a “Spirit” section, an “Imagining The Unseen” section and my personal favorite section, the “National and Personal Haunting” section. It is said that every person who made a work of art here had experienced something paranormal. Outside the exhibit, everything seems innocent and exquisite, but entering the exhibit, you instantly feel paranoid. Immediately viewers  are greeted by a projected moving hand on the wall. The deeper viewers go, the crazier it gets. Next, you approach the middle room that has entrances to different sections. One piece in there that scared me a lot was a simplistic, yet haunting white-painted wooden board that repeats the words “I’m turning into a specter before your very eyes and I’m going to haunt you.” The projection repeats the phrase too many times to count, and continues to do so until the viewer can no longer read it. The scary thing is, it does haunt you. That is just a spec of what you will witness.

The haunted America section touches on the Civil War and death in the U.S. From all those deaths, ghosts have been thought to roam around the continental U.S. states. After visiting the exhibit, I can guarantee I will not be coming anywhere near an abandoned building for a long time-It gets very paranormal. 

Speaking of haunting, the National and Personal Haunting section has some of the most interesting, yet gruesome works of art. It is based off of traumatic past experiences like

genocide, enslavement and family loss, but what makes the art interesting is that these artists are thought to have confronted ghosts and learned to live with them. 

‘Imagining The Unseen’ is another great part of the exhibit. You get to see people attempting to explain their crazy experiences through art. What intrigued me the most was the mystery behind the art. It’s something that, even when you think you wrapped your head around it, you’re left thinking ‘What was that?’. It shows artists that recreated their paranormal experience. Whether it be physic, magic or straight up supernatural, this part of the exhibit touches on all spectrums. Some artists claim to have new sensory abilities after their unseen experience. This part really breaks the threshold between realism and fiction. However, the most vibrant section to me was the ‘Spirit’ section. The Spirit section is very confusing but is fun to see. Many artists considered themselves psychic mediums; in other words, they feel a connection from the living and spirits or ghosts. It’s interesting to see what people think the afterlife is and how they interpret the spiritual plane. Every piece means something more than what it is on the surface. It makes you want to read into every single piece.

You learn some interesting facts when you walk through each room. Although it may not be the most helpful information, it’s worth knowing other people’s opinions — even if it might be a little crazy. I learned a few crazy facts at this exhibit. First, the art really makes you experience and think about if there are other dimensions or other worldly beings. The painters believe America is haunted by its refusal to come to terms with the supernatural. Many paintings were meant to find their loved ones again in the afterlife. Many artists try to visualize ghosts and the supernatural. They believe the worst situation is to be a ghost. Many believed demons were a part of slavery and oppression. Many artists believe when people die, demons and heaven try to get one’s soul. While that’s only what I was able to write down, it barely scratches the surface of the stuff you’ll see at the exhibit.

Overall, it was worth the short trip to the museum. The Minneapolis Institute of Art made a masterpiece with masterpieces inside it. The exhibit took my breath away and was better than