By Charles W. Howson - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display.php?irn=10692536">Minnesota Historical Society</a>, Public Domain, Link
A former Greyhound bus station that was purchased in the 1960’s and turned into a rock club where up and coming artists – on a local and National scale – were invited to play live. It was originally open for only one year but hosted such acts as BB King, Ike and Tina Turner and The Kinks.
Financial issues forced the sale of the club to a conglomerate in the 1970’s who converted it into a DJ driven dance club but it was only a few years before old management was back in the scene and live acts once again surpassed canned music. Now legendary names such as The Ramones, The Replacements and Pat Benatar began to play there.
In the early 1980’s there were divisions in the music in the city leading to a ban of African-American bands and singers being pushed out of all the downtown clubs except First Avenue. These were the days of bands such as The Time and the legendary Prince; who rented the club to film his movie Purple Rain.
As the 80’s turned to the 90’s new bands who become stadium sellers such as REM and Nirvana began to play here. In 2004 the club nearly went under but was saved from bankruptcy.
There is a lot of an urban legends surrounding this haunting. That being said, there are way too many encounters with the paranormal for this to be just a legend.
The ghost most frequently seen in the club is that of a woman who is usually described as either all in white or wearing an army fatigue jacket and bell bottom jeans. So, is this woman who appears in the women’s washroom or is just heard crying in an empty stall or is reported on the dance floor dancing with the living?
Legend says she was waiting for her husband – at the bus station - in the 1945 to return home after the world war. In this version she finds out her husband died in combat as the war ended and she kills herself by hanging herself in the women’s washroom in an empty stall.
Cut and dry right? Not so much.
When a medium was brought in, they saw blood in the women’s washroom; completely inconsistent with a hanging. The 1940’s is also inconsistent with a form the ghost is most often seen in – army jacket and bell bottoms. In this case the woman is thought to have overdosed while injecting in the washroom.
Of course, there are no records of either a suicide or an accidental death happening in either the mid-40’s or the late-60’s in the building. Despite that the woman’s apparition has been seen in the club since the 1980’s. Strangely when the ghost is actually seen, either in the washroom or dancing, she never has visible legs.
The former manager of the club says he knocked down a wall and found a 12 square foot room hidden in the club. All that was in the hidden room was a large booth. This room was used by DJs setting up their shows and they reported the needles on records moving on their own and moans and screams on their headphones.
Although there is no historical proof, many believe there was once a slaughterhouse on the site and the moans heard of that of animals souls dying.
The club staff have seen a number of people in places they shouldn’t be – such as dancing after the club is closed – these people disappear into thin air if approached.
There is even a ghost nicknamed Flippy who makes phantom noises of chairs being stacked on tables.
276 Exchange Street South
Status: Former Residence; Former Restaurant; Permanently Closed
This building was built as a residence in 1870 by Joesph Forepaugh. Unfortunately, the family suffered a number of tragedies shortly after moving in.
The restaurant that existed in this Victorian mansion became a casualty of today’s turbulent economics. They suffered further when their executive chef lost his life at a young age. The restaurant is now permanently closed making access to the building impossible at this point.
Shortly after completing the house and moving his family in Joesph began an affair with a maid called Molly. Joesph’s wife found out the affair but the damage was done – Molly was carrying Joesph’s child.
Molly – now a completely shamed woman – tied a noose around her neck and jumped out of a third story window ending her life.
Joesph shot himself in a nearby forest. It is unclear whether he was mourning Molly or his poor judgement that had destroyed so many people’s lives. Perhaps it was a combination of both.
Both Molly and Joesph now haunt the building but Molly is the more often seen and the most active.
Molly’s apparition was seen in the restaurant. She is especially of fond of appearing in front of new brides. It is thought that with her dreams of a wedding and happily ever after destroyed Molly prefers the company of those who’s dreams have come true.
Joseph is seen less often. He is dressed in period clothing of a gentleman usually walking through the restaurant. He also appears in photographs – usually sitting near a female guest.
This location was originally built in 1922 as a silent movie theater.
It was renovated in 1933 and in 1950 before closing down in July of 1967.
It was then turned into a warehouse until 2001.
It was then donated to the Portage For Youth; a charity that helps young people and families on the east side of the city.
Portage renovated the theater with monies from both the city and an anonymous donor and reopened it as a theater.
Many people have reported being grabbed at by something unseen; this is especially prevalent late at night so has been experienced more by staff than customers.
People in the basement have been physically clawed by something unseen leaving visible marks on their bodies.
Two former employees haunt the theater. Fred – who has a thing for blonde ladies - is a known prankster and has thrown items at people and Jim who likes to keep the theater neat and orderly.
The apparition of a 6 year old girl who wears a pink dress is known for bouncing a ball on the stage, turning off people’s flashlights and was once photographed peeking out from behind a stool. She is the ghost of Mary who was found strangled to death in the parking lot beside the theater in the 1960’s; the murder remains unsolved.
Other Reported Activity: shadow figures in the balcony; disembodied voices; multiple EVP’s; light anomalies; ghosts responding to requests by the living and feelings of being watched.
In 1855 the first brewery on this site was Cave Brewing which became the largest brewery in the State. It was owned by Christopher Stahlmann who died from tuberculosis in 1883. The brewery was passed on to his 3 sons but all of them would be dead within the next 10 years.
In 1898 Frank Nocolin – who had married the widow of the eldest of Christopher’s sons – took over the business and renamed it St Paul Brewing. Unfortunately, this business quickly failed and Jacob Schmidt bought the brewery.
Jacob Schmidt and his partners Adolph and Otto Bremer opened Schmidt’s Brewery. When Schmidt died in 1911 the Bremer brothers kept the business going. They even stayed open during the Prohibition years by brewing non-alcoholic beer.
By 1936 Schmidt Brewery was the 7th largest in the US.
The Bremer’s close relationship with President Roosevelt during WWII got them a contract to supply the troops. By the 50’s, though, competition was getting harder and harder to deal with. In 1954 the brewery was sold the National Brand Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer was acquiring small breweries and running a large number of them to increase its profit margin. Pfeiffer began to have financial issues and ended in bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1972.
The company was run by Minnesota Brewing until 1990 when they stopped brewing beer here altogether. From 2000 – 2004 ethanol was made here but eventually closed up as well.
In 2012 a developer purchased the property and began converting into artist lofts which are available for rent. The Keg and Case 7th West Market is also in the space.
On June 21, 2014 the Schmidt sign over the property was lit up again.
This property is consistently listed as one of Minnesota’s most haunted locations. Despite a couple of creepy events – Mr Schmidt being arrested, but not charged, with murder and a Bremer child being kidnapped by the Barker Gang – the paranormal activity is rumored to be due to some employee deaths when it was a brewery.
An explosion killed 2 employees, one fell down and elevator shaft and a third employee died from inhaling fire while lighting the building; in the pre-electricity days one would assume. All in all, not a bad record for a major industrial site.
The most common paranormal experience is that of feeling like your being watched and what has been described as an eerie feeling. Unexplained sounds and disembodied voices have been heard as well.