The Pfister, like many other hotels,
lacks a 13th floor.This may be hard
for some Milwaukee residents to
grasp, but many believe the city to
be haunted. Chances are you are no
more than a fifteen minute drive to
one of Milwaukee’s supposedly
Chad Lewis, Eau Claire native and
paranormal investigator, spoke to a
packed audience at Whitefish Bay’s
Public Library Tuesday night about
his experiences with the paranormal
in Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area.
Lewis received his Master of Science
degree in Applied Psychology from
UW-Stout and since has made his
living on researching the paranormal
throughout the world.
As a paranormal researcher, Lewis
has been vampire-hunting across
Europe and on expeditions in South
America looking for the fabled
chupacabra, a supposed bear-like
creature that feeds on the blood of
Lewis says that although he has
traveled the world around for the
occult, he never needed to leave
home to encounter the supernatural.
Stories of ghosts and haunting are
abundant in Wisconsin through
legends and word-of-mouth.
“We live in one of the most haunted
places in the world here in
Wisconsin,” Lewis said.
A haunting in Wisconsin
Lewis says that Wisconsin has a rich
history in hauntings and ghosts. The
stories of these haunted places have
been passed down from generation to
generation and are believed to be
true by the superstitious.
One of the stories Lewis told
revolves around the Maribell Caves
and Hotel in Maribell, Wis., about
half an hour Southeast of Green Bay.
The Maribell Hotel, also known as
“Motel Hell” by some of the natives,
is an abandoned hotel once owned by
Al Capone that burned down in the
1920s. It is now believed to be
haunted by demons.
Lewis said speculators say that if
you shine a flashlight into the
second story windows of the hotel at
night, a light will shine directly
back into your own eyes. Others
believe the hotel to be a portal to
hell. An old well behind the
building is said to be that portal
and that if you look into the well,
you will feel an unbearable heat
radiating from the well and see
flames reach for you.
Another one of the supposed haunted
places Lewis discussed is Dartford
Cemetary in Greenford, Wis. About 45
minutes west of Fond du Lac, the
Dartford Cemetary is said to be
haunted by Civil War soldiers and
Common supernatural phenomena
witnessed include strange moaning
voices and shadowy figures lurking
the graveyard. It is also believed
that if you sit on top of one of the
burial tombs in the cemetery, you
will be pushed off violently by an
There are many other ghost stories
involving Wisconsin, but the
paranormal in our state doesn’t stop
with just ghosts and haunting.
Wisconsin: equal opportunities for
Wisconsin is also home to paranormal
cases aside from ghost stories and
hauntings. Dwarves and even vampire
stories have also surfaced.
The Facebook group “Wisconsin Death
Trip” wrote about a story of a
vampire in Mineral Point, Wis. A
vampire was sighted by some of the
population there. The sightings
occurred in March of 1981. The
creature was described as being very
tall, over 6’6” and having an
inhumanly pale complexion. Many say
that the “vampire” would frequent
the local cemetery and pursue teens
who tried to enter the cemetery at
According to Lewis, Police Officer
John Pepper believed the man to be
some kind of mentally ill person who
perhaps escaped from a sanitarium.
He saw the figure lurking in the
cemetery one night and chased it to
the cemetery’s perimeter, where the
creature leapt over a six-foot-high
barbed-wire fence with no problems.
The vampire was not sighted after
Pepper’s pursuit until many years
later in 2007.
But vampires aren’t the only
creatures making Wisconsin their
haunt. Milwaukee, like the rest of
the state, has a dense number of
paranormal reports itself.
Ghost stories in the Milwaukee area
are a dime a dozen, with stories
ranging from a single sighting to
entire organizations avoiding parts
of town because of haunting rumors.
Whitefish Bay is home to the
Dominican High School. Many believe
the theater to be haunted. Stories
tell of a nun that was killed in a
fire and her spirit now haunts the
theater. Her spirit is supposedly
very active during performances.
Downtown Milwaukee contains a number
of places rumored to be haunted. The
Pfister Hotel is one of the most
infamous places involving ghosts in
Milwaukee. So much, in fact, that
many professional basketball and
baseball teams avoid it or request
special amenities to sleep there.
The hotel’s founder, Charles Pfister,
purportedly still resides in the
hotel’s lobby to oversee operations
over 80 years after his own death.
Guests have claimed to see moving
lights, have heard strange noises
and experienced strange drops in
temperature while in their rooms.
The Rave’s basement is said to be
haunted by the ghost of a young man
who died there. The Rave/Eagle’s
Club was originally built as an
athletic club and among its features
was a swimming pool. Rumor says that
a 17-year-old male was swimming and
either drowned or had a heart attack
and passed away. Concert attendees
claim to see the ghost of the young
man in the basement of the building
from time to time.
The Shorecrest Hotel, located at
1962 N Prospect Ave. by McKinley
Park, is rumored to be haunted by a
piano-playing poltergeist. The story
goes that if you wait until bar
close, a baby grand piano located in
the bar of the hotel will start
playing all by itself.
Closer to home
Freshmen staying in the dorms may
recall hearing about the supposed
poltergeists in Sandburg Hall. The
though stories vary, the epicenter
of the supernatural seems to be the
North Tower. Others have experienced
strange activity in other buildings
Maybe the question is not whether or
not these places are haunted but
whether or not you have experienced
these incidents yourself. Perhaps
this Halloween, truly creative souls
will stray from the same old costume
dress up and find out on their own
if Wisconsin is truly haunted.