We were pretty excited about this attraction when we read about it on one of our favorite sites – www.roadsideamerica.com. I mean what could be cooler (read “delightfully more inppropriate”) than the macabre social taboo that IS a death-themed miniature golf course INSIDE a working funeral home.
When we arrived, after a 40 minute drive, we pulled up to an empty parking lot in downtown Palatine, Illinois. Empty minus an understated, but presumably factory-loaded, maroon Ford that belonged to the “friendly” funeral director.
The online description was less than specific so we really had no idea how to access what they called the “community room.” So we quietly entered the stately, peaceful foyer of the funeral home and saw the funeral director wave from his office chair.
I demurely butted my head into his space and politely asked if it would be a bother for us to see the legendary putt putt course. Apparently it was an enormous inconvenience as he clarified that we only wanted to “see it” and informed us that he was “about to get very busy.”
This last statement made shiver to think that perhaps he had some creepy otherworldly skill that allowed him to predict forthcoming grim reapery – which would explain his enormous business success. Though it is more likely that he was simply trying to get back to his half-completed solitaire game.
He guided us through a locked door, down a set of stairs to another locked door that opened to a dark room. Once he let us into the room, he clicked a few switches and the room came to life with buzzing and whirring. Video games along the walls sprung to their introductions, and the intricately designed miniature golf course was laid out before us.
We took a few quick pictures and were shuffled up the stairs and out the exit, here are those images.
My only thought, the marketer in me coming out a bit here, if you build a putt putt course in your basement, then offer it for rent to community organizations, youth groups and – best part – free as part of the funeral plan package, you should probably be more excited and hospitable when visitors want to see your visionary creepiness. But this guy was very, for lack of an effective descriptor, “funeral director-y!”