Hotel Hell




The owners have had numerous problems with vandalism.  Be aware that the Maribel Caves Hotel is private property and under constant surveillance.


If you have any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for vandalizing the hotel, please call the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department (non-emergency):  (920) 686-6500.

Location:  Maribel, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin

Correction:  The correct name is "Maribel Caves Hotel," and it was named after the neighboring Cherney Maribel Caves.  Ghost web sites erroneously spell the town as "Maribell" and the county as "Manitowac."  They also mistakenly refer to it as "Motel Hell," but it is more popularly known to the local residents as "Hotel Hell."   Some sources list the original owner as Steinbrecher, but it is actually Steinbrecker.


The Reputed History:
  • The building burned three times and each time on the exact same date.  It was rebuilt twice.  The first fire was in the 1920s.  The last fire was in 1930 and everybody died in their sleep.  Skeletal remains of some of the victims can still be found on the third floor and in the basement.
  • Years ago, one of the hotel guests went psycho and killed everybody in the hotel during a mass-murder frenzy and afterwards he committed suicide.
  • The spirits of those killed in the hotel have lingered in the building.  This spiritual activity attracted a group of local Black witches who conducted secret rituals to curse the hotel and in the process they opened up a portal to Hell through an old fountain in the front of the hotel.  This unleashed a horde of evil spirits that terrorized the town of Maribel.  Fortunately, a White witch came to the rescue, sealing off the portal and confining the demons to the boundaries of the hotel and the surrounding yard.

  • It used to be a spa in the late 1800's for movie stars.
  • During the prohibition, the hotel was owned by Al Capone.
  • It served as a hideout for Al Capone, and he ran a moonshine business out of the hotel and the water bottling company next door.
  • Underground passageways built beneath the hotel during the bootlegging days contain the lost treasures of Al Capone and John Dillinger.
  • A little boy was playing on the roof of the bottling factory and was killed when it caught on fire.


Al Capone:  Mugshot of Public Enemy Number 1

The Investigation:
  • The hotel has burned only once, in June of 1985.  The cause was unknown.  Nobody was killed in the fire.  There are no skeletal remains.
  • There is no evidence of a mass murder and suicide at the hotel.
  • There is no evidence of a portal to Hell.
  • Al Capone never owned the hotel.
  • At one time it did operate as a therapeutic spa where guests benefited from the effects of the mineral spring water.
  • For a while it did operate as a health spa where people could benefit from the therapeutic effects of the local mineral spring water, but cinema was in its infancy in the late 1800s; consequently,  it would not have been frequented by movie stars.
  • Austrian immigrant Charles Steinbrecker designed the hotel to resemble health spas he saw in Innsbruck, Austria.  He died in 1892 before it could be built.  Eventually it was built in 1900 by his sons, Father Francis Steinbrecker and Eugene Steinbrecker.  It was built with limestone from the area.  Thirty masons, commissioned by Father Francis of St, Mary’s Catholic Church in Kaukauna, completed the project in four months.  The Steinbrecker family ran it as a health spa hotel and retreat for clergy.  When Father Francis died in 1927, the hotel experienced a change in clientele which included bootleggers, mobsters, and prostitutes.  It went through several ownership changes until it was purchased in 1986 by the present-day owner Bob Lyman.
  • At one time a bottling plant was built next to the hotel. The  Maribel spring water was sold to fine restaurants and hotels in Milwaukee, Chicago, and other other cities.
  • It may have been a hideout for Al Capone, and it is possible he ran moonshine out of it.  The hotel was the midway point between Chicago and Al Capone's hideout in Couderay, Wisconsin.  The bottling company would have made the perfect cover for his moonshine operation.
  • Although Al Capone and John Dillinger may have frequented the hotel, there is no evidence of secret passageways or hidden treasures.
  • There is no evidence to support the story of a little boy dying in a fire at the bottling factory.
The Reputed Phenomena: 
  • There have been a number of sightings of a figure standing at one of the windows peering out.
  • Many people have reported hearing strange noises such as voices, screams from the basement, footsteps, ringing bells, rolling wheels, and things moving around upstairs.
  • The odor of sewer gases can be smelled in the bathrooms.
  • Some have claimed to have seen objects levitate and move.
  • In the basement, people have reported having feelings of being threatened.
  • On the third floor, people have reported feeling cold hands applying pressure to their back.
  • Books found upstairs have reportedly burst into flames.
  • Apparitions have reportedly been seen on the front lawn and sitting on the side of the road.
  • The ghost of the little boy who died in the bottling factory fire has been seen playing on the roof.
  • The building glows brightly during the new moon.
  • Blood has been seen on the walls.
  • The Dare:  If you shine your flashlight at a second story window, a ghost will flash a light back at you.
The Investigation: 

We spoke with one witness who, on a dare, had spent the night in the dilapidated building.  She reported hearing voices, footsteps, and things moving around.

Currently the owners and the county are considering whether they should renovate or raze the building. 

Further investigation is pending.

View photos of possible ecto-mist.


Designed by Terry Fisk
Copyright © Unexplained Research. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 28, 2004