Haunted Minnesota: A Morgue Turned Bowling Alley

This basement once held the bodies of dead soldiers until they could be buried at Fort Snelling. Now it's a bowling alley. 

A three hour drive north of the Twin Cities on the shores of Leech Lake is Chase on the Lake, once known as the Hotel Pameda. It was built in the 1850s and purchased in 1898 by Lewis "Bert" Woodruff Chase, who moved to Minnesota with his wife and their five children from New York. The family changed the name to Chase Hotel, and built another modern, upscale tourist lodge called Hotel Isabel on a piece of land where the family once lived on in a tent. 

chaseonthelake.com

Today, a two-lane bowling alley sits in the basement of of the new Chase Hotel, now known as Chase on the Lake. The employees told Minnesota Monthly that the jukebox has come to life unexpectedly, and that ghost children can be heard playing in the hallways. Paranormal investigators, according to Explore Minnesota, say they've connected with spirits of a stable boy and "aggressive" spirits from lumberjack and Prohibition periods. 

The book Mysterious Minnesota says the original Chase Hotel was used as a temporary morgue for the Battle of Sugar Point in October 1898 - the year the business was purchased by the Chase family. Explore Minnesota says the bodies were stored in the basement (where the bowling alley is) until they could be moved to Fort Snelling or laid to rest. 

The Battle of Sugar Point is said to be the last military conflict between the United States and Native Americans. According to Minnesota Good Age, there was a lot of tension in northern Minnesota regarding logging on reservations. 

Chase on the Lake now hosts tourists looking for summertime recreational activities on the lake, weddings and meetings, and even has a spa. 

Photo: Chase on the Lake History page at chaseonthelake.com 

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