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Wisconsin’s Top 10 Most Haunted Places

Known as “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, breweries, the Green Bay Packers, and outdoor recreation. At Mysterious Heartland, we cannot help loving a state known for how much beer its residents consume. As previously noted, the German and Scandinavian heritage of its residents has created a curious blend of Midwestern folklore. Wisconsin is also a very haunted state, with foreboding roads, abandoned mansions, and bloody brides, but which location will prove to be the most haunted of them all?

10. Boy Scout Lane

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Haunted_Midwest_Roads_10Though not based in fact, gruesome tales continue to persist about this dead end road west of the Wisconsin River. The road, it is said, was named in honor of several Boy Scouts who died there in the distant past. How they died is up for debate. Some say the scouts were murdered by their bus driver. Others say the scouts became lost in the woods and were never found. Still others say a scout dropped his kerosene lantern, starting a fire that killed the other members of his troop. Since then, visitors to Boy Scout Lane have seen a light that gently bobs through the trees. It is believed to be the light from the lantern that started the fire, or someone searching for the missing scouts.

9. The Grand Opera House

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Haunted_Midwest_Theaters_9The Grand Opera House, located on High Avenue in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Percy Keene, who was stage manager there for several decades. The opera house was built in 1883 and held 921 seats. It began to show motion pictures in 1948, but the declining economy put it in jeopardy. The local government stepped in to save the theater. Much of the activity in the Grand occurs around the balcony, where Percy Keene has been spotted several times. A phantom dog has also been seen. A light director saw the dog on stage and asked the actors to remove it. The actors, however, had not seen any dog, but encounters continued. Phantom footsteps have also been reported, as well as a strange orange mist on stage.

8. Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsMarquette University was founded in 1881 as a Jesuit, Roman Catholic university and named after 17th Century missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette. It is situated near the heart of Milwaukee. Johnston Hall is the oldest academic building at Marquette and was reportedly built over an American Indian settlement (some say over a burial ground). It was originally used as a home for Marquette’s Jesuit professors, and a priest allegedly hung himself in his room on the fifth floor. The ghosts of children haunt other parts of campus. Glenn Humphrey Hall, a student apartment complex, was originally the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Marquette University acquired it in 1988, and since that time, students have reportedly heard screaming children. On the fifth floor, the ghost of a young girl has been seen, but she is shy and vanishes when approached. “Whispering Willie,” a boy who drowned in the pool when East Hall was home to the YMCA, haunts that building.

7. Witch Road

Ripon, Wisconsin

Haunted_Midwest_Roads_8As motorists drive down Callan Road at night, the gnarled branches of barren trees cast frightening shadows in their car headlights. Some of these trees begin to take the form of a twisted old crone. The spirit of a witch, they say, inhabits these woods. The remnants of her old house can be found in the woods off to the side of the road. Some visitors have reported seeing the ghost of an adolescent girl hiding behind the trees, still trying to escape the clutches of the witch. Additionally, strange flashing lights have been spotted deep in the woods, and the sound of trickling water echoes down the lonely road at night. Witch Road is not for the faint of heart!

6. Dartford Cemetery

Green Lake, Wisconsin

A variety of ghosts are said to inhabit this garden-like cemetery, which sits on either side of North Street in the town of Green Lake, Wisconsin. One of the most prominent ghosts is that of Chief Highknocker (Hanageh), who drowned in 1911. He was attempting to swim across a river on his way to the shores of Green Lake, which was considered sacred by American Indians. According to another legend, visitors who sit atop a mausoleum on the south side of Dartford Cemetery will be shoved off by the ghostly hands of one of the children interred there. Additionally, soldiers from the Civil War era, dark figures, orbs of light, and even strange sounds have all been encountered at Dartford.

5. Bloody Bride Bridge

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Haunted_Midwest_Bridges_3Locally, this stretch of County Highway 66 is known as “Bloody Bride Road” because of a tragic accident that occurred there long ago. Although local law enforcement agencies deny the incident took place, according to popular memory, a bride and groom were driving home from their wedding when their car spun out of control on this concrete bridge over the Plover River east of Jordan. Both were willed. Years later, a local police officer struck a woman wearing a wedding dress with his squad car. When he got out to investigate, he was startled to see the bloody figure of the woman in his backseat. Others have seen the bloody bride standing on the bridge in the rain. According to legend, if you stop your car on the bridge after midnight and look in your rearview mirror, you will see both the bride and groom sitting in your backseat.

4. Summerwind

Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin

Haunted_Midwest_Houses_5This former mansion overlooking West Bay Lake was once a summer home for Robert P. Lamont, Secretary of Commerce for President Herbert Hoover. He built the home in 1916, and according to legend, he was immediately bothered by ghosts. After his death, the property passed through several owners before being purchased by the Hinshaws in the early 1970s. They reportedly saw shadowy figures and heard strange voices throughout the house. Arnold Hinshaw claimed to discover human remains behind a secret door in the closet, though never officially reported it. The next owner, Raymond Bober, was convinced that the ghost of an 18th Century British explorer named Jonathan Carver wanted to help him locate a deed hidden in the home’s foundation. The house was abandoned in the 1980s, struck by lightning, and burned to the ground. Today, its remains are still hidden in the woods along West Bay Lake.

3. Ripon College

Ripon, Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsRipon College is a small liberal arts college with a student population of only 930. It was founded in 1851, and has a number of notable alumni, including Harrison Ford. For such a small school, Ripon has more than its fair share of resident spirits. Oddly enough, most of these ghosts have manifested as auditory phenomenon. On one occasion, an injured football player got an unwelcome interruption as he lay down to rest in Room 104 of Brockway Hall. Phantom knocks brought him to the door three times. Each time, he discovered no one there. Another football player heard his name being called and awoke to see a gray figure. In Hughes House, a group of freshman girls heard wailing coming from the upper floor and saw shadows moving around. One of the most well-known campus ghosts is that of Raphael. He began to make his presence known after a fire in the Red Barn Theater in 1964. He also manifests with footsteps, wails, and other strange sounds.

2. Hotel Hell

Maribel, Wisconsin

Creepiest_Midwest_Abandoned_3Maribel Caves Hotel, or “Hotel Hell” as it came to be known, is located on the site of a health spa that operated in the late 1800s. The hotel itself was built in 1900 by Father Francis and Eugene Steinbrecker, sons of the designer, who died before construction started. It was built with limestone blocks, giving it a fort-like appearance. Thousands of people came there every year to drink the Maribel Spring water that was bottled next door. A fire broke out in the hotel in the summer of 1985, and it closed soon after. A whole host of legends have sprung up around its empty husk. In addition to the usual floating objects, feelings of unease, apparitions, and the touch of unseen hands, there are wild stories of occult practices as well. According to one tale, a coven of black witches opened a portal to Hell, unleashing unpleasant spirits that are now trapped in the former hotel. The building was destroyed in a storm in 2013.

1. The Pfister Hotel

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pfister_HotelThe Pfister Hotel was built for an extravagant $1 million in 1893 and contains the largest collection of Victorian artwork of any hotel in the world. It is a member of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Pfister Hotel is also famously haunted by the ghost of its namesake, Charles Pfister. MLB players who have stayed there are open about their encounters with the otherworldly. Michael Young of the Phillies told ESPN Magazine, “Oh, f— that place. Listen, I’m not someone who spreads ghost stories, so if I’m telling you this, it happened. A couple of years ago, I was lying in bed after a night game, and I was out. My room was locked, but I heard these footsteps inside my room, stomping around… so I yelled out, ‘Hey! Make yourself at home. Hang out, have a seat, but do not wake me up, okay?’ After that, I didn’t hear a thing for the rest of the night.” Despite all the hair-raising stories, this world-class hotel continues to attract guests and charges upwards of $250 a night.

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and licensed under Creative Commons.

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Comments

  1. Boy Scout Lane Debunked. This is false. The story was made up by a high school student about 40 years ago as a joke. The road is named Boy Scout Ln because it was once owned by the Boy Scouts of America. No one was EVER murdered on this street. There are no spooky lights. I’ve lived here for years, yes my address is on Boy Scout Ln, and there are no spooks. There are several cameras set up to catch trespassers however, as it is now all privately owned.

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  2. Definitely not debunked, you need to take a better look at your property then because I’ve certainly seen things on 3+ separate occasions there.

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  3. Kasaundra says:

    Where is Glenbula Cemetery??? Wayyy scary then all these! From experience!

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    • I just went there yesterday, there is definitely something there, I had felt like somthing was watching, heard noises and the far eastern side of the cemetery has a very creepy uneasy feeling to It recorded a video there, putting it on YouTube and seeing if I can see anything I missed in person. I’m assuming you meant walnut grove cemetery.

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  4. Diana Baldwin says:

    See the old Modjeska Theater in Milwaukee. The back stage and the balcony.

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  5. I have worked at the Pfister hotel. Definitely haunted. Both myself and my coworkers had many “events”. The Imperial ballroom seemed especially active at times. As for the sports teams, well I believe that falls under the urban myth category. Teams love to prank fellow players. I can only speak of my own experiences.

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  6. Noah793@gmail.com says:

    I think you should have listed the Glenbulah cemetery. That place is super creepy and very old. I’ve been up there once a long time ago…I’ve never gone back again. Just very old and creepy. It’s nestled up in a quite hill.

    -Cristian

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  7. Where is St. Nazianz? The whole town in creepy and said to be haunted. I have been there, I must say it gave me the chills!

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  8. I have been to all these places i use to live in oshkosh.. When I went to Dartford Cemetery in Green Lake I sat on the mausoleum with a friend. We used my quiji board on it and once it spelled ‘Hell’ my friend and I ran out of there..Later on i used this application on my ipod called Ghost Radar.. i thought it was bogus it is was supposed to pick up evp’s but i had this instinct to put my ipod by my quiji board and the ghost radar kept saying ‘INDIAN’ and then ‘GRAVEYARD’… it freaked me out lol…This was on oct 27th my bday.. so i remember it well.. I reccomend looking up T.B. Scott Mansion in Merrill, WI.. Great true story..

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  9. Tyler Hahn says:

    So I grew up next door to Witch’s Road, my grandmother knew the Witch and told me all about her. People called her a Witch because she had a stream flowingredients through her basement. The building no longer stands, but there is still some Spooky energy at night.
    A carload of my friends took a wrong turn on there way out to my house, before ever hearing about Witch’s Road, and on the east side connecting to KK, they saw a lady in white.
    Also, sightings of black dogs on the road and in the woods.
    The whole town is pretty haunted though, from several houses, to the college, even downtown buildings.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] the calendar. Yup. This is the month where we love bonfires, hikes, apple cider, and ghost stories. Here are “haunted” places in Wisconsin. Where is the scariest place you’ve […]

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  2. […] more places to visit here is another site worth checking […]

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