Spooky, Scenic and Silly: Quirky Wisconsin Lodging

By Jerry Huffman
Special to TravelWisconsin.com

For an overnight stay that offers more than just a place to pillow your head at night, check out these unique lodging options across Wisconsin!

Karsten Hotel – Kewaunee

Wisconsin has a surprising number of hotels, motels, and inns that boast of being haunted. One of the coolest must be the Karsten, rumored to be haunted by the former Kewaunee mayor who founded it.

For the spookiest experience, ask for a room between 205 and 210, where William Karsten's living quarters once were (and where he died of a heart attack in 1940). Another hot spot is room 310, where a housekeeper named Agatha lived and worked for more than a decade. Guests who have stayed in her room “have heard strange knocks, faint crying and sounds.” Are you up for it?

The hotel changed names and owners many times over the years, and paranormal activity has been reported since 1966, when the building underwent substantial renovation efforts. 

The Walker HouseMineral Point

Wisconsin’s oldest inn is open for business, again, in Mineral Point.

Opened in 1836 the inn was started by William Walker, a local miner who settled here from England. There are nine lodging rooms, a restaurant, a pub, and an ice cream shop in the 16,000 square foot building.

New owners, Dan and Kathy Vallaincourt, reopened the rooms last fall and the restaurant, pub, and ice cream shop followed this spring. The goal is to restore the Walker House so it reflects its original Cornish design from the 1830‘s.

A point of pride for the new owners – the Walker House is one of the oldest buildings in the US still functioning as an original business.

The Glass House (Candlewood Cabins)Richland Center

Made with reclaimed glass walls and a recycled tin roof, the Glass House cabin is meant for people who don’t throw stones.

The unique cabin was the brainchild of owners Susan and Norbert Calnin who wanted to build an overflow space for extra guests. “We took the glass from another project and once we saw the metal roof,” said Susan, “we knew we had a winner.”

Featured in the New York Times and Midwest Living, windows at the Glass House are still intact after four years. “In spite of the best efforts of one crazy robin trying to fly through the cabin,” said Susan.

Extra charge for linens and towels. Pet friendly. No kids under 10.

Don Q InnDodgeville

The Don Q Inn in Dodgeville is hard to miss. It’s the hotel with a Boeing C97 in the front yard.

The Iowa County hotel’s niche is fantasy suites but think 70‘s chic. The most popular choice is the “Up Up and Away” hot air balloon suite where a full-sized bed is in the gondola.

Other favorites are Tranquility Base with the bed in a space capsule and the Northern Lights featuring a full-size igloo with a seven-foot water bed.

The plane was featured in a car commercial starring Farrah Fawcett. Look closely at the fuselage--it’s autographed by the 70’s heartthrob.

Adults only in the suites. Standard family rooms available.

Browse more lodging options near you in our directory, subsribe for updates and check out these haunted historic hotels with some ghoulish guests who never checked out!

This entry was posted in Specialty