Wabasha Street Caves / Down In History Tours
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The Wabasha Street Caves is a 12,000 square foot historical attraction, destination and event facility located just across the river from downtown Saint Paul on South Wabasha Street.
HISTORIC CAVE TOURS
See the only remaining restored Gangster Era site. Historic Tour of extensive caves carved into the hillside in long abandoned mining ventures in 1800’s. Later, was a mushroom farm, and then developed as a Restaurant Casino and Gangsters’ Hotspot during the 1930’s prohibition era. Newspapers reported of an unsolved gangland murder at the casino. Tour guides point out the bullet holes. Some believe the caves are haunted by the murdered mobsters whose bodies were never found. Weekly “Down in History” Tours of the caves, plus Seasonal themes thru out the year, such as Gangster Bus Tours, Haunted Halloween, Ghosts & Graves, and special group tours. Current facility also hosts Private events for up to 200 guests, for banquets, weddings, and corporate functions. The original Bar from the 30s has been fully restored, it was a then record at 60 feet long. Another very popular attraction is the nostalgic Swing Dancing with live Big Band music, happening on Thursday evenings.
SAINT PAUL GANGSTER TOUR
The Original and Best Saint Paul Gangster Tour (2 hours by Bus in comfort) is the only tour that starts at the historic Castle Royal Gangsters nightclub, preserved today as the Wabasha Street Caves. The Tour reveals why Saint Paul was a center for bootlegging operations and criminal activities during the 1930’s prohibition era. Tour route covers all the gangster sights in the entire 5 miles radius of St. Paul where the gangsters lived it up as they planned and executed some of the most notorious crimes ever perpetrated in the upper Midwest. Notorious gangsters included John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, “Machine Gun” Kelly, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, Fred Barker, Arthur “Doc” Barker, and Ma Barker. Your Guide will be a nefarious gangster hood or his moll, who will be informative and humorous. Tour will take you past the most infamous gangster hideouts and the famous nightclubs where many gangsters spent time socializing with the public. Explore with us the elusive sites of kidnappings, and gun battles associated with the 1930’s gangsters.
LOST SOULS TOUR
A special Cave Tour that focuses on the Haunted events that still occurs at the caves.
Recently declared as Winner of the Most Haunted Place in Minnesota by Star Tribune.
The tour guide will be a haunted character, but the tour is not intended to be frightening. It all started during the 1930’s with the unsolved gangland murder at the casino. Some believe the caves are haunted by the murdered mobsters whose bodies were never found. Haunted happenings have taken place ever since. We have so many stories, we can’t fit them into 1 hour. We have selected our best stories and conclude the tour with a slide show! Bring your cameras.
SWING NIGHT AT THE CAVES
Come on down and join the fun on Thursdays at the Wabasha Street Caves Swing Night. Some of our regular bands are THE MOONLIGHT SERENADERS with vocalist Lee Engele, THE MINNESOTA JAZZ ORCHESTRA with vocalists Gregg Marquardt and Debbie O’Keefe, BEASLEY’S BIG BAND with vocalist Courtney Burton, SWING BEAT with vocalis Dawn Thiel, and for those odd 5th Thursdays we have the JERRY O’HAGAN ORCHESTRA, BEND IN THE RIVER BIG BAND, and RED ROCK BIG BAND along with others!
WHAT IS THE MOST HAUNTED PLACE IN MINNESOTA?
Ghost hunters believe many locations across the state are hotspots for paranormal activity.
By Richard Chin Star Tribune
published OCTOBER 15, 2021
Some Minnesotans at the State Fair this year were in a spooky state of mind, judging by their votes for the Star Tribune to tackle this hair-raising question: What is the most haunted place in Minnesota?
The question is even more charged now that Halloween is approaching. But answering it is difficult because scores of locations around the state have a reputation for being haunted, including remote cemeteries, spooky mansions, shuttered sanatoriums, historic theaters, courthouses, battlefields, factories, breweries, caves, music venues and hotels.
Which can claim the Most Haunted title? The experts don’t agree.
So, we looked for which location has been mentioned most in the Star Tribune for being haunted. We found stories about hauntings at First Avenue, Glensheen Mansion, Ramsey County Courthouse, the Lexington and Forepaugh’s. But the winner: the WABASHA STREET CAVES.
Deb Frethem, a tour guide at the Wabasha Street Caves, pointed out bullet holes in the stone surround of a fireplace during a tour earlier this month.
Over the decades, the historic manmade caves near downtown St. Paul have been a silica mine, a mushroom farm, a speakeasy, a nightclub, a pizza joint and, most recently, an event center and swing dance venue which also offers gangster and ghost tours.
Faith Pon, who recently purchased the caves, insists they really are haunted. Within days of taking possession of the caves, she started hearing voices when working late at night, even though she was the only one there.
“I have actually seen a ghost in the cave,” said cave tour guide Deborah Frethem. “It is definitely haunted. I have tons of personal experience [of hauntings in the cave]. I know tons of other people who have personal experience.”
Frethem said a psychic once told her that the cave held 40 ghosts.
“I would call it the most haunted place,” she said. “Glensheen, I’m sure it’s haunted. But it’s probably got one spirit, or two. We’ve got 40.”
Wabasha Street Caves / Saint Paul Gangster Tour
215 Wabasha Street South
St Paul, MN 55107
Contact: Faith Pon