Haunted Wisconsin: Historic Hotels with Ghoulish Guests

We all know someone who likes a few extra thrills on their vacation. Luckily, Wisconsin has its fair share of places so enjoyable that some guests couldn’t bear to check out, even after death. Whether you want to get in the mood for spooky season or just want to dive into the history behind your stay, these hotels will transport you somewhere magical.  

The Four Seasons Island Resort - Pembine

Looking to do some real-life ghost hunting yourself? This Northwoods luxury resort hosts a professional paranormal team that gives guests the chance to investigate strange encounters that have happened on the property over the century since it opened, including voices in the dark and unexplained moving shadows. 

The resort sits on beautiful Miscauno Island and was originally built in 1905. A scenic getaway right off the railroad, it was a popular spot for well-to-do Chicagoans and was even rumored to be a favorite hangout of gangster Al Capone in the 1930s. Book a stay for two in one of their suites and after a day of enjoying the spa, restaurant, and 9-hole golf course, meet up with the Fox Cities paranormal team for an after-hours tour you won’t soon forget. 


Shaker’s Cigar Bar & Penthouse - Milwaukee 

For a dive into Milwaukee’s dark history, stop in with friends at Shaker’s Cigar Bar in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. Built on a former graveyard, this now-trendy building once operated as a speakeasy and brothel owned by the Capone brothers during prohibition. And to add to the creepiness, in the 1990s it was a popular haunt of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. Today, guests can dare to stay in the “brothel-turned-Airbnb" above the bar or opt to take a ghost tour at one of the top five most haunted bars in the nation. Don’t forget to try a Ghost Ale and split a Cajun Meatball Pizza with the bravest of your friends to fuel up for the long night ahead.


Hotel Retlaw - Fond du Lac

This upscale hotel in downtown Fond du Lac was built in the 1920s, has eight spooky stories and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Secret tunnels underneath the building connect it to former taverns; these passageways are rumored to have been used by John Dillinger to transport alcohol and run a speakeasy during prohibition. Hotel staff have reported many strange phenomena including lights and faucets turning on and off by themselves, screaming coming from room 717 even when empty, and the ghost of a woman in a bathrobe who disappears into the walls.  

These apparitions haven’t stopped famous guests like Eleanor Rosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Brad Pitt from enjoying the elegant amenities, however. Book a stay in the Dillinger Suite for a luxurious getaway and feel history come spookily alive. 


Brumder Mansion Bed & Breakfast - Milwaukee 

The owners of this Victorian gothic mansion built in 1910 have embraced the haunted history of their Bed and Breakfast. Guests over the years have reported unexplained noises, haunting nightmares and moved objects – occurrences that have been confirmed by Chicago ghost hunters. Instead of fearing these spirits, you can party with them in the subterranean theater by attending a murder mystery event, a magic show, or other live entertainment. This B&B has also been voted a top romantic getaway, so grab your special someone and book a one-of-a-kind stay in this authentic haunted house. 


Old Baraboo Inn – Baraboo

Now a saloon and bar, this historic inn was built in 1864 right off the train tracks from Chicago, making it another popular haunt for big city mobsters and their dangerous tastes through the years. Tag along for a weekend ghost tour and you might meet Mary, a former tenant who is often seen as an apparition wandering the place. Other paranormal activities have included dishes flying off shelves, brooms moving on their own, and voices and orbs of light recorded by visiting ghost hunters from the Travel Channel and Food Network. 


Looking for more thrills? Check out additional Wisconsin ghost tours here.