1. The Pfister Hotel
The Pfister is easily considered the most haunted spot in Milwaukee! It appears that the hotel’s founder, Charles Pfister, never left, as his ghost is seen wandering the halls. Mr. Pfister seems to particularly enjoy tormenting MLB players, which has led to more than a few refusing to stay at the hotel!
Adrian Beltre, at the time a third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, reported that he heard pounding noises on his door and behind his headboard, and even said his TV and air conditioning flipped on and off throughout the night. Brendan Ryan (at the time a shortstop for the Cardinals) reported seeing moving lights pass through his room and feeling a cold presence. Bryce Harper, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals, said he had set out a pair of clothes before bed, but when he woke up the next morning, he found them on the floor and the table where he had placed them had been moved all the way across the room. Carlos Gomez, a former center fielder for the Brewers, claimed to have heard creepy voices, while others report seeing ghostly figures and experiencing unexplained technical issues with electronics.
Maybe Mr. Pfister wasn’t a baseball fan… or maybe he just wants to scare the visiting teams before big games!
2. Brumder Mansion Bed & Breakfast
This hauntingly beautiful mansion was built in 1910 and converted into a bed and breakfast in 1997, so if you are brave enough, you can actually spend the night with the ghosts who haunt here! The mansion has been occupied by various owners over the years, including a notorious mobster named Samuel Picks.
Typically, hotels and houses have one room or area that feels especially haunted, but several of the rooms at Brumder Mansion have been reported to contain spirits of bygone eras. Most of the ghosts here seem to be more playful than harmful, often playing pranks on visitors by ringing the doorbell to random tunes (we’ll be honest, this would still freak us out) or moving objects around the room (though they never break them!). The Gold Suite, however, definitely has a darker vibe. Visitors have reported spooky experiences, including creepy, vivid dreams and an unusually talkative (but invisible) group of ghosts that disrupt the sleep of those who stay in here. One of the most disturbing experiences comes directly from the B&B’s owner, who once found fresh drops of blood in the bathtub… but nobody had stayed in the room for several days...
3. Forest Home Cemetery
This beautiful cemetery is located in the Lincoln Village neighborhood and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in 1850 and is said to have been built atop a former Native American village. It now contains more than 110,000 gravesites, and is the final resting place for some famous names in the brewing industries, including Jacob Best, Frederick Pabst, Joseph Schilz, and August Krug. Visitors report having eerie feelings and creepy visions of broken coffins and corpses.
4. Muirdale Sanitorium (now Technology Innovation Center)
These days, it’s known as the Technology Innovation Center, but back in the day, this was the site of a tuberculosis hospital. Muirdale Sanitorium saw plenty of deaths from the highly contagious disease during operation between 1915 and 1970, and hospitals like this are frequently the site of serious hauntings. Even though the hospital is long gone, there’s definitely a still creepy vibe here. Several people have reported hearing the disembodied coughing of former patients and occasional ghostly apparitions.
5. Marquette University
Located in the heart of the city, Marquette University was founded in 1881… so it’s had plenty of time to gather up ghost stories! One of the oldest buildings on campus, Johnston Hall, is said to have been built over a Native American burial ground. If you’re a scary movie fan, you know that this is always a recipe for disaster. One story tells of a Marquette priest that committed suicide up on the fifth floor who continues to haunt the halls.
Several of the other buildings on campus have been repurposed over the years, and it seems a few spirits of their past have stuck around. Another "hot spot" is the Glen Humphrey Hall student housing complex; it was once the site of a Children’s Hospital and the ghostly sounds of kids playing (and sometimes screaming) are reported around the campus. Some even claim to have seen a few of these ghost children, including a young girl and "Whispering Willie," who is said to have drowned in a YMCA pool that once occupied the area where East Hall sits today.
6. North Point Lighthouse
North Point Lighthouse was built in 1855 is in one of Milwaukee’s oldest public parks. Plenty of spooky stuff happens around here! Some people hear the sound of children screaming... when there are no children anywhere nearby. Others encounter unusually cold pockets of air or a general feeling of sadness or unwelcomeness.
7. The Rave / Eagles Club
This Milwaukee icon was built in 1926 and was originally the headquarters for The Milwaukee Fraternal Order of Eagles. Members of the Order of Eagles were highly involved in performance art, so the building had an enormous, elegant ballroom for hosting social events, particularly concerts played by many famous musicians. Unfortunately, upkeep became too expensive and the building was sold, but not before being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Today, the venue has been restored into a popular entertainment complex.
There are several known drownings - two of which were children - in the pool that was once part of the Eagles Club gymnasium.
The spirits of these children are occasionally seen in several areas of the building, particularly around the (now) coat check. When the Athletic Center closed, parts of the building were used as a temporary homeless shelter during the dangerously freezing winter months. One of the directors was known to be abusive to the homeless men, and his disagreeable spirit is said to haunt here, along with other (less cranky) shadowy people that might have been band members packing up gear. Down in the Boiler Room, a former employee known as "Jack" has stuck around to continue working... but he doesn’t really like people watching him work.
Not all of the hauntings are negative though; often, performance venues like this one are said to be haunted by the spirits of former musicians who played the stage. The 1959 Winter Party in The Eagles Ballroom was actually the very last show played by Buddy Holly before he died in a plane crash only a few months later. Bands who play here these days often report feeling a presence in the ballroom… perhaps it’s one of the past acts who played here in their heydey?
For the most part, it seems like many of Milwaukee’s most famous ghosts aren’t out to hurt you. Whether the spirits are trapped here or just never left, we’re glad they aren’t causing trouble. If you are still unconvinced of their presence or just want to go gather up some evidence on your own, check out these seven spots around the city – just don’t forget to report back to us if you uncover something spooky!