Wabasha Street Caves Hold Ghostly Stories From Minnesota’s Past
Carved in the 1840s, the Wabasha Street Caves have held many uses since the city of St. Paul was founded. The caves have been home to bars, restaurants, and storage spaces. They have also hosted mushroom growers and cheesemakers during WWII. These activities were legitimate, but the caves were often used for nefarious purposes as well.
The Wabasha Street Caves retain their eerie, creepy feel, and those who are daring enough to explore them are in for a spooky treat.
The ghosts that still walk the caves today aren't cavemen or hunter-gatherers from the Stone Age. They're mobsters from the Prohibition era when the caves were used as speakeasies. The first of these speakeasies, the Wabasha Street Speakeasy, is rumored to have been a hideout for gangsters of that time, such as John Dillinger and Ma Barker. With so many criminals running amok in St. Paul, it’s no surprise that the caves were a site of violence and intrigue.
Where Do the Wabasha Street Cave Ghosts Come From?
Back when mobsters ruled the streets and illegal alcohol flowed through the caves, an unsettling triple homicide brought the city of St. Paul’s attention to the Wabasha Street Speakeasy. Four mobsters were sitting at a table playing cards in the back room of the bar. A fifth man walked into the bar with a briefcase and asked everyone but the card players to leave.
One waitress was still in the bar while the card players finished up their game. She went to the kitchen to clean up only to hear three popping sounds. When she returned to the dining area, the waitress found three bodies on the floor. The man with the briefcase and one of the card players had fled the scene. Given their getaway, it’s believed that this triple murder was a planned hit between the man with the briefcase and the fourth card player.
After discovering the three dead bodies, the woman called the St. Paul police. When officers arrived at the scene, they asked the waitress to stay outside while they conducted their initial investigation. The police came back outside soon after, scolding her for filing a false police report. When she returned inside, the bodies had disappeared, but three bullet holes in the stone fireplace remained.
Legend says that the three mobsters were hidden and buried within a tunnel deep in the caves, but evidence has never substantiated these claims. No one knows who moved the bodies, though it’s suspected that it was either the murderers or the police themselves. What we do know is that there are multiple reports of the ghosts of three gangsters wandering the caves and haunting guests. There have also been reports of a female ghost, though her origin is unknown. The caves are deep and dark enough to host a bevvy of bodies, making them one of Minnesota’s most haunted places.
Visit the Wabasha Street Caves Today
If you like to be scared, you can tour the caves and hear tales of the illicit figures who used to call them home, but be sure to hurry. According to the Wabasha Street Caves’ website, tours will wrap up for the year in November. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for those under the age of five.
Stop by the caves today, and take a step underground and back in time. Go ahead and chase that inner thrill seeker in you this October!
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*Hero image provided by Leverson Budke