Milwaukee’s Most Haunted

A list of some of the most haunted places in Wisconsin with background for your reading pleasure. You might have a different list. Feel free to comment and present your own favorite haunted places below.

The Pfister Hotel: 424 E. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI.

Ballplayers are perceived to be a tough bunch. However, when it comes to staying at this haunted hotel, some decide to stay at a different location on their own dime. Many players have voiced their experiences at the location and they’re all somewhat similar. Strange noises and moving objects are the norm. Brewers visiting clubhouse manager Phil Rosewicz told a Milwaukee newspaper about a player from an opposing team who chose to sleep on a couch in the lobby instead of in his room, ultimately electing to leave the hotel entirely. He awoke to the blinds and window being wide open in his room and, because he was sure they were closed when he went to sleep, was distressed that someone had entered his room. He splashed some water on his face in the bathroom, closed the windows and the blinds, and forced himself to go back to sleep. A short while later, he awoke to find them both open again. He stayed at a budget hotel down the street. At The Pfister, iPod’s play on their own and furniture gets overturned without warning or explanation. The Pfister Hotel is 10th on Travelocity’s list of the most haunted hotels in the country.

The Rave: 2401 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.

If you’ve ever attended a concert at The Rave, you know that the building and the interior are an amazing sight but, if you look past the domed ceiling, pillars, and intricate trim, there is something darker lurking. The Eagles Club has featured many popular stand up and musical acts, beginning the practice of hosting live talent in the venue in 1939. Everyone from Bob Hope and Red Skeleton to Buddy Holly and Richie Valens took the stage, but the building wasn’t built to host rock concerts and comedians. It was originally constructed for the Milwaukee Fraternal Order of Eagles, originally the Order of Goodfellows. Those eagles overlooking the ballroom were put there for the fraternal order. In addition to the ballroom, the venue also featured a two story gymnasium, a pool, a barber shop, and a cafeteria among other amenities. Paranormal reports include hearing a little girl laughing and seeing a male apparition wandering the lower levels, items being thrown from the roof with no explanation, and, in the basement, a feeling of being oppressed by negative energy and the strong and unexplained smell of bleach.  Shadow figures, strange noises including banging and knocking as well as disembodied footsteps have also been reported.

Shaker’s Cigar Bar: 422 S. 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI

The menu is delectable, the drinks are superb, and the ghosts are many! Shaker’s is a fantastic restaurant featuring a full bar and a decent cigar selection, but they also boast an impressive history. One of the most popular ghosts is Elizabeth, a little girl who enjoys knocking on stall doors in the women’s washroom. Visitors have reported hearing a knock and seeing 19th century shoes peeking under the door. Elizabeth allegedly died from a fall, breaking her neck instantly. The area the building sits on was once a cemetery and Elizabeth fell to her death while playing in a tree within it. The basement is also a hot spot. When Shaker’s was a front for Al Copone’s prohibition era speakeasy, a couple of city officials purportedly got into a physical altercation that ended in murder. It is said that there are bodies buried beneath the floor. The apartment upstairs was once a bordello and is supposedly haunted by a girl who was hacked to death. During renovations of the space, human bones were found inside the walls. The furniture and decor throughout Shaker’s is not original to the location, likely adding to the paranormal activity and energy within.


Marquette University: Humphrey Hall 1716 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI

The activity at Marquette is plentiful, but Humphrey Hall and its past as a local YMCA and a children’s hospital stood out. Students and staff report seeing a ghost girl on the first floor in a hospital gown. They also hear running in the hallways but, once investigated, the noises cease. Laughing and screaming is heard without explanation and students report an “eerie feeling” if they ride the elevators late at night. A food service company uses the space on the first floor that once housed the hospital morgue and kitchen. Although the floor has been remodeled, the space where baking racks and extra kitchen stores are kept was once an old autopsy and embalming room. Humphrey Hall is reportedly haunted by children who died in the hospital. Desk clerks have seen children playing on the security cameras near the back door, a location that was once a play area within the hospital.  There have also been reports of a young male ghost, reportedly named Petey, who roams the basement area and drowned in the pool when the building was a YMCA.


Milwaukee Public Museum: 800 W. Wells St, Milwaukee, WI

Shrunken heads, mummies, and a ghostly archaeologist. The third floor of MPM is quite active. It is said that the ghost of Dr. Stephan Borhegyi, a handsome and flamboyant archaeologist who was decapitated in a car crash in 1969, roams the third floor of MPM. He was a former MPM director and an expert in Middle American Archaeology. Visitors report seeing a dark caped apparition wandering the third floor and smell tobacco smoke.


Borhegyi was rarely seen without his pipe. It is also speculated that his ghost calls the elevators. His office was located a few floors above and the elevator frequently stops on the third floor when no one has called it. Also on the third floor, the exhibit of shrunken heads, they are all authentic artifacts,  belonging to those who could not defeat Jivaro Indians in battle, are said to cause museum patrons to experience shortness of breath. They also experience a drop in temperature while being around the artifacts. The third floor is also home to a ghostly apparition that wanders the mezzanine. A museum employee stated that she saw a shadowy figure cross the mezzanine and disappear into the open mouth of one of the mummies.


Brumder Mansion: 3046 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI

The Brumder Mansion is now a bed and breakfast, but it was once the stately home of the Brumder family. The mansion is filled with antiques, all procured by Carol Hirischi who bought the property in 1997, and restored to its original grandeur. The building has also been a boarding house and a parsonage. When guests stay in the Gold Suite, they experience the presence of spirits and incredibly vivid dreams. The owner herself has had a frightening experience in the room. It had been vacant a couple of days and when she went in to ensure everything was in order for a new guest she found two drops of fresh blood in the bath. The droplets defied explanation for when she went to check upstairs to see if there was cause for blood dripping through the ceiling, she found nothing. Guests also report being kept up late into the night by disembodied voices. It has been surmised that much of the activity within the mansion is caused by the ghost of a child. A visiting psychic confirmed that there is a child spirit haunting the house, but also the spirit of a woman who could potentially be the child’s mother. Other mysterious goings on include a musical doorbell malfunctioning and playing random tunes (Happy Birthday is a favorite) and other strange noises.

Have you ever stayed in a haunted location? Do you have a story to share about your experience? Please comment. =)

Your Fellow Haunt Head,


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Author: TheODDentityPodcast

The ODDentity Podcast tackles tales of the unusual, unique, strange, and bizarre. Hosted by Janine Mercer.

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