October may not arrive for another three months (sad I know), but what better way to embrace your inner Buzzfeed Unsolved's Ryan and Shane than to share with you some of the scariest haunted spots in Milwaukee that I know? I have lived in Milwaukee my whole life and this city definitely has its fair share of spooky ghost stories. From the story of the spirit that walks his dog in a famous hotel to tales about hauntings on our own campus, Milwaukee is the perfect place to embrace your inner ghost hunter.
Yes, the place you always go to see your favorite bands and musicians is the home to one of the more significant hauntings of Milwaukee. The Rave's initial purpose when it was built was to be an athletic club, with the former pool area in the basement being the strongest ghost hotspot today. It is rumored that the athletic club was eventually shut down because two kids drowned and many believe their spirits continue to haunt the popular concert venue.
Many people have committed suicide along this hiking trail in Grant Park, so it is no surprise that their spirits supposedly haunt the area today. Some of the more prominent scary stories of Seven Bridges include people hearing screaming when no one is around and seeing strange glowing lights. As if it couldn't get any creepier, the sign at the entrance of the trail reads, "Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature." Um, I'll pass.
The Pfister Hotel
This ritzy hotel located downtown has a long history of hauntings. In fact, many famous athletes who travel here refuse to stay in the Pfister because of the frequent spooks. It is believed that the first owner of the hotel, Charles Pfister, still wanders the halls at night with his beloved dog. You know what's better than a normal ghost? A ghost dog!!
Milwaukee Public Museum
Museums are home to antiques and artifacts from all over the world, so it makes sense that some creepy activity would come with such aging objects. However, the main haunting of Milwaukee's Public Museum is reported to be a former curator, Dr. Stephan Francis de Borhegyi. People have claimed that just passing by his portrait brings chills and an uneasy feeling. Plus, anyone who's visited the museum has to admit that the Old World Milwaukee exhibit and its many realistic wax figures are just freaky.
North Point Lighthouse
This lighthouse that resides over Lake Michigan is a picturesque image of the Lakefront, however, there are many ghost stories about it. People have reported hearing children screaming around the area and feeling overwhelmingly unwelcome when they pass by. But, let's just be honest, any lighthouse is at least a little bit creepy.
Hilton Garden Inn
This hotel opened fairly recently, however the building still holds a lot of haunted history. In the 1800s, the building was known as the Newhall Hotel until there was a huge fire that killed up to 70 people. It is said that these victims continue to roam the Hilton's halls today. Maids have reported hearing strange sounds in certain rooms, and claim that their hair is pulled.
Forest Home Cemetery
This cemetery is reportedly built on a Native American burial ground, so of course disaster is expected to occur. Many famous Milwaukeeans are buried here, including the Pabst Brothers and the co-founder of Harley-Davidson. People have described feeling uneasy and ill here, but isn't that expected in a cemetery? They're not really the most upbeat places.
Captain Frederick Pabst himself is said to haunt this popular tourist destination. Chandeliers creepily swing on their own and doorbells ring.....and there's noooobody there. In one fascinating story, staff were setting up for an event and candles kept falling to the ground. No one knew why until the staff realized it was Pabst's birthday.
Our own alma mater has so many reported hauntings, I could've written an entire article about them alone, easily. For starters, Johnston Hall- home to the School of Communication- is reportedly built on a Native American burial ground. To make that even more creepy, two priests committed suicide on the fifth floor and apparently still haunt the building. And we all know Straz Tower used to be home to a YMCA, right? Well, a young boy drowned in its pool and is still seen swimming among students today.
Humphrey Hall is another spot that we all know is haunted, but did you know that it used to be a Children's Hospital? People in the hall report seeing young spirits in hospital gowns roaming the halls at night. Actually, most of Marquette's dorms are reported to be haunted. A woman is said to haunt Mashuda Hall, and her spirit supposedly used to throw objects around her room and write messages on the windows, until the dorm room was blessed by priests. As if MU couldn't get any more spooky, Helfaer Theatre is also home to the ghost of an art director who died, while Varsity Theatre is said to be haunted by a stagehand who died after falling into a large fan.
Moral of the story is that there is no hiding from the spooks- even on campus. So I say, let's get into the scary spirit and start hunting some ghosts!