Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lake Julia Experimental Station, Puposky, Minnesota

  The Inspector decided at the last minute to visit the Lake Julia Experimental Station, a mistake. On first glance the station, an euphemism for a facility testing alternative treatments for the criminally insane, was impressive. Dr. Frankel, the Station Director, was charming and informed; the staff were conscientious and efficient.
   The Inspector was allowed to interview Giuseppe Maretti, nicknamed Dago Joe, a notorious serial killer. Maretti killed more than 30 women in the Midwest, cutting out and eating their hearts, while keeping a finger as a curio.
  The Inspector sat in the small, padded room across from Maretti, who was composed and compliant, confirming he had reformed his evil ways. At one point, Maretti put his finger to his lips and motioned for the Inspector to check the door, which was ajar. The Inspector looked, saying they were alone.
   Maretti leaned forward, "I am the real Dr. Frankel." He whispered. "The inmates have taken over the Asylum."
   The Inspector was taken back. Quite original; he had never heard that one before. Dr. Frankel hurriedly told the Inspector how he and the staff had been lulled as Maretti and the others appeared to respond to the focused meditation that Dr. Frankel was testing. When his guard was down, the inmates had struck. Rather than escape, they had taken over the station, keeping most of the former staff heavily drugged. Dr. Frankel was kept lucid for medical emergencies, but locked in the padded room.
   The Inspector listened intently, then shook his head slowly. Such a story, he thought. No progress with Maretti, just the workings of a devious mind. He rose from the table to leave, when the door was slammed shut and the bolt thudded home. The Inspector stood in conufsion, then looked back at the man at the table.  "I told you so." Dr. Frankel said.
   A week later, the Inspector's car was found crashed into a tree on the winding Route 15. His skull was battered almost beyond recognition; death was instantaneous.
   Six months later a state audit team made an unannounced visit to the station and the charade was uncovered. State authorities quietly closed the station and retired Dr. Frankel. They relocated Maretti and the other culprits to the high-security facility down state.
   Today the Experimental Station is locked and boarded. The grounds are wildly overgrown; "No Trespassing" signs are prominent. The station is off limits to all.


  1. I have been here many times and have seen some unworldly stuff! I grew up in the Bemidji area and use to drive by it almost everyday! Curiousity got the best of me and I had to check it out sooner or later! I did not leave there the same person. It is a very haunting location and leaves a mark on a persons inner being. Its a very beautiful location but to know the things that have gone on there makes a person sad!

  2. I grew up not far from here. Nothing scary ever happened during my visits, and it's not locked and boarded up. However there is no trespass signs posted.

  3. A true story about this place from someone who lived on the grounds and I currently live at the farm.

  4. My high school boyfriend's dad used to live in what was supposed to be the "nurses house" right next door. That house had been redone and was actually kinda nice and it kind of shared the yard with this place. You'd see it plain as day as you drove up the driveway. It always looked spooky to me but they never seemed to be scared of it and never said anything happened while I knew them. I think they lived there for around 5 years or so. They had asked if I wanted to go in there (as a joke) but I always said NO WAY!! LOL To me, it was even kind of freaky being in their house cause it was so close but the house was nice and the lot was very pretty, you just had an eye sore to the right as you walked out the front door. LOL I didn't know all that much about the place even though I grew up in Bemidji, so it was fun to see this write up on it but now my being there a few times freaks me out a little more!

  5. I owned Lake Julia and I know for a fact it was a sanitarium for TB. Do your research Tom.

  6. I grew up in this area, I had a sister-in-law that was a patient there when it was a tb sanitarium. I had many relatives that worked there and relatives that lived there while it was a nursing home.
    I have no clue as to when it became called "the insane asylum" as people call it now a days.
    my aunt and uncle lived in the nurses house for a while. I never heard of weird stuff - until years later. some people have very over active minds
    It used to be a beautiful place to visit.

    1. my dad spent time at the tb sanitorium and that is what it was

  7. I use to play and camp there when i was a kid with my friends (their grandparents owned the property) at night it would get spooky and you would hear and see things but alot of it was just critters. Later in life I remember going to a halloween party (i think Jane owned it then) and we had a fun time with telling stories
    would like to get to take another look at the old place ,I drive by it about once a week but i never stop in

  8. I drive by sometimes and always wanted to stop and take pictures am a freelance photographer from The RedLake Reservation, But now live in Nebraska, I have always wanted to stop and take photographs.The place tells so many stories and I could just sit and think of all the things that went on there, and photographs speak a thousand words.

  9. My grandmother worked here it's an old TB clinic...

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  11. Dago Joe actually had a press conference and claimed the title made his butt hurt and therefore the facility was closed due to an outbreak of apparent hemorrhoid swelling that now has infected the entire U.S. population.

  12. The property is privately owned.I looked at it in 2001, when it was on the market for sale.

  13. Do you have the guts to post this?

  14. I worked there in 1963---as a nurse---they had under ground tunnels that led us nurses back to our rooms in the normatary----really nice nback then too !