Ghosts, spirits, and apparitions have been known to inhabit some of Wisconsin’s most famous places – from a spooky saloon in the tourist hotspot of Door County and a deserted road in the middle of the state to a haunted theater and one of the grandest hotels along Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee. You can come close to experiencing a heart attack all across the state.
Many of the most haunted places in Wisconsin are full of history, which contributes to their eerie occurrences. The upgrading and restoring of old buildings often stirs up phantoms and manifestations. In cases of haunting and manifestations, the older the better.
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Whether you want to see ghosts, hear voices and footsteps, or feel the presence of something (or someone) hurry past, Wisconsin delivers haunts for those looking for big or small scares. Stop by for an afternoon visit or pack your bags for an overnight stay…if you can work up the nerve.
14 Haunted Places in Wisconsin
The next time you are in the mood to be scared out of your skin, come check out one of these spirit-filled escapades. And read all the way to the bottom for a multi-day haunted Wisconsin adventure.
1. Summerwind (Lamont Mansion) in West Bay Lake
Although Summerwind Mansion was destroyed in a fire in 1988, you are still able to visit the property. According to local legend, Mr. Lamont, who bought the mansion as a private residence for his family, saw and attempted to shoot a ghost one evening, thinking it was an intruder.
Shaken up by the incident, Mr. Lamont packed up his family and left the home immediately.
Years later a new family, the Hinshaw’s, moved in, only to be frequently visited by the apparent ghost of colonial explorer Jonathan Carver. A book and a feature in Life Magazine were published about the property, which further solidified its creepy reputation and today is one of the most know abandoned places in Wisconsin.
Location: West Bay Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin
2. Grand Opera House in Oshkosh
As the oldest operating theater building in the state of Wisconsin, the Grand Opera House certainly has quite a history of apparitions. One spirit, in particular, the former stage manager Percy Keene, seems to be sticking around.
Phantom footsteps and slamming doors heading to the balcony are sometimes heard, and at times Keene is seen here. Performers on stage report strange things such as seeing spirits of people sitting in the audience, and set workers have seen a ghostly looking man in the orchestra pit.
Several paranormal investigators have been able to capture some activity and EVP (electronic voice phenomena) on film and recordings.
Address: 100 High Ave, Oshkosh, WI 54901
3. Maribel Caves Hotel in Maribel
If its common name of Hotel Hell is any indication, you may be relieved that you can no longer stay at this hotel.
The hotel opened in 1900 as a therapeutic spa for travelers and later became a tavern. The building burned three times, all on the exact same date in different years, and the skeletons of some of the guests who died in their sleep during the fire were found on certain floors of the building before it was gutted.
Today, all that remains is debris and the old stone walls. The ghosts of these guests continue to inhabit the area and the Maribel Caves underground.
In addition, Al Capone used the hotel as a hideout during Prohibition. Underground passages built for bootlegging are known to hold Al Capone’s lost treasures.
Address: 15401 County Rd R, Maribel, WI 54227
4. Institute Saloon in Sturgeon Bay (Door County)
Featured in the independent film “The Ghosts of Door County” by the Southern Wisconsin Paranormal Research Group, the Institute Saloon is known far and wide for its haunted history.
The previous owner of the saloon, Mabel, who was known to hide bottles of liquor in the toilet tanks, has often been seen by women in the bathroom. Even the staff members and bartenders have been spooked by strange noises and shadows at closing time.
Institute Saloon may not be one of the scariest places, but it might give you goosebumps!
Address: 4599 WI-57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
5. Bloody Bride Bridge in Stevens Point
The Highway 66 Bridge, known as Bloody Bride Bridge, is the site of a sad tale. According to local legend, a bride and groom were driving home on this road on their wedding night and lost control of their car.
The bride was killed in the car accident, and is said to wander on the bridge in her bloody wedding gown. Some have reported that she and her dead husband will inhabit the backseat of your car if you drive over the bridge on rainy nights.
If you’re a fan of urban legends, this is a must visit. In fact, it is considered one of the most haunted bridges in Wisconsin.
Address: near Jordan Park in Stevens Point, WI, USA
6. Dartford Cemetery in Green Lake
Cemeteries often have creepy reputations, and Dartford Cemetery is no exception. A resting place for early pioneers, it definitely makes the list for one of Wisconsin’s most haunted places. It was even featured in an episode of “A Haunting” on the Discovery Channel in 2007.
Visitors to the cemetery have reported sightings of Native American Chief Highknocker wandering around in full ceremonial dress. If you attempt to sit on a particular crypt with a crack in the roof on Halloween, you may be pushed off by a ghost.
Address: 431 North St, Green Lake, WI 54941
7. Shaker’s Cigar Bar in Milwaukee
Located in the trendy Third Ward neighborhood in Milwaukee, Shaker’s Cigar Bar has an old-school throwback feel. It was originally built for brewing and transporting beer at the end of the 19th century, and then served as a speakeasy run by Al and Frank Capone in the 1920s-1940s, with a brothel on the upper floors.
According to rumors, a man murdered one of the prostitutes in a jealous rage. During a 2001 remodel of the building, human bones found to be 70 years old were discovered in a wall. Claiming to be the 5th most haunted bar in Wisconsin, Shaker’s holds ghost tours and many claim to hear and see spirits. Whether it is the ghost of the murdered woman; that is for you to decide.
Hangman Tour at Shakers’ Cigar Bar
Shaker’s was named one of “America’s 5 Most Haunted Bars” by The Huffington Post and chosen as one of the most haunted restaurants in the country by Thrillist. Tour guides hold nightly in-house ghost tours and 3 seasonal, one-of-a-kind walking tours: The Whoring 20’s, The Milwauking Dead, and the Cream City Cannibal tour, which follows the footsteps of Milwaukee’s most infamous resident, Jeffrey Dahmer.
Address: 422 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
8. Humphrey Hall in Milwaukee, WI
Located on Marquette University’s campus, this residence hall used to house Children’s Hospital. When Marquette took over the building to use as a dorm, it had a morgue in the basement complete with an autopsy table and body racks.
Apparently the bodies of the young patients didn’t leave when the college students showed up. Ghosts of children in white hospital gowns have been seen and heard at night in the elevators, and the spirit of a young girl riding a tricycle has been in the basement.
9. The Octagon House
The Octagon House was built in 1856 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was featured as the second-most haunted house in Wisconsin on the History Channel show “Hidden Passages”.
The house is said to have a ghostly young boy whose apparition has been seen all throughout the house. Items have also moved or disappeared, doors have opened and closed on their own, footsteps have been heard, shadowy figures seen, cold spots felt and unexplained sounds and lights have also been reported.
Address: 276 Linden Street in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA
10. Little Bohemia Lodge near Manitowish
The Little Bohemia Lodge was built in 1929 by Emil Wanatka and is the infamous location of the Dillinger gang shootout with the F.B.I. in 1934.
John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson, and several other confederates were hiding out at a small vacation lodge in Northern Wisconsin, a place called Little Bohemia in a town near Manitowish.
Cold spots are a regular thing, and so are flickering lights and misbehaving electronics.
Once one of the most haunted hotels in Wisconsin, it is now a museum, bar and restaurant.
Address: 5625 Little Bohemia Lane, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545
11. Take a Wisconsin Haunted Road Trip
If you are looking to be spooked for an entire weekend, follow this route to take a haunted road trip through Wisconsin. You’ll have the chance to stop at 9 of the most haunted locations in the state, from West Coves Lane bowling alley in Ladysmith down to Kemper Hall in Kenosha.
Make sure to make Boy Scout Lane; an isolated road located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin a priority. A number of ghost stories and urban legends have become associated with the road!
Haunted Wisconsin Hotels
Wisconsin is said to have the thrid most ghosts of any state in the United States. How they came up with this, we aren’t quite sure, but this is for certain. Those ghosts have to find somewhere to call home, so it’s no surprise there are many Wisconsin hotels that report more than strange noises and ghostly sightings during the night. Here are X Wisconsin haunted hotels we recommend you visit!
12. The American Club in Kohler
Built in 1918 for immigrant laborers who worked for the Kohler Company, the American Club Hotel is known for its paranormal activity. Certain rooms are known to be the most haunted during overnight stays. Head to room 209 for the chance to see the ghost of a woman who hanged herself after the death of her husband. And if you book room 315, watch out for the flickering lights as a man walks past the room.
13. Brumder Mansion in Milwaukee
The historic and beautiful Brumder Mansion was built in 1910. Today it is a Bed and Breakfast. It’s also known to be the most haunted house in Wisconsin!
In 1927, this spooky, haunted historic building was purchased by brothers Sam and Ed Pick, who were known to have ties with Al Capone.
There are plenty of rumors that the property was involved in the business of bootlegging prohibition and a notorious speakeasy in the basement.
The Brumder Mansion is said to be home to three known spirits.
The Gold Suite is said to be one of the most haunted and is where a phantom voice was heard telling her to get the dog out of the bed. The mirror in the bathroom of the same room lifted off the hook and was thrown into the bathtub when no one was around.
George’s Suite is where it is believed that Brumder’s son, George Fr, could be the spirit that causes objects to go missing and reappear without explanation. The third spirit is believed to be a young child. It is said to haunt the second and third floors.
14. Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee
This premier Pfister Hotel has hosted many famous actors, musicians, and dignitaries, and often hosts professional basketball and baseball teams when they are in town for games. MLB players and other famous athletes have reported paranormal activity, such as televisions and air conditioning units turning on and off, and strange noises that awakened them in the middle of the night. The ghost of Charles Pfister, the founder of the hotel, has also been seen by guests wandering the halls.
The Best Wisconsin Ghost Tours
If you want to hear more detailed stories about the most haunted spots in Wisconsin, there is no better option than a ghost tour. Tour guides know the true stories about shadowy figures, paranormal activity and urban legends that call Wisconsin home.
Some of the best ghost tours in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin can be found at American Ghost Walks.
Is the hair on the back of your neck standing up yet? If you still feel brave enough, head out to one of these eerie haunts that made our list of the most haunted places in Wisconsin. And when you do, come back here to let us know what you thought!
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Read About More Haunted Locations in the U.S.
- Haunted Stories Behind the Most Haunted Places in America
- 10 Most Haunted Places in America
- Haunted Hollywood
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.