Strange Things Happen in Wisconsin

Wisconsin the "Badger State". It is the dairy capital of the US and the number one cheese producer in the nation.
The Baraboo Inn is located across from the Old Train Depot in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It was established in 1864 when it opened as a tavern and brothel. Sometime in its history the building also had been a brewery/winery. There was a major fire which closed down the building around 1988. After 14 years finally a new owner B. Farr opened up for business in 2002 having renovated this 141 year old building transforming it into a restaurant and bar. At the time of renovation Farr found out that he had unseen presences helping him out.

At some time this building had a brothel on the second floor. Three prostitutes died here and two of the buildings former owners also died in this building.

During renovation paranormal activities began. Lights which were turned off after work were found to be burning in the morning. Objects began reappearing in different places from those where they were left. When apartments were rented out, before the first floor renovation the renters told the owner they could hear loud honky-tonk type and old time piano music and sounds of people partying.

Then after opening for business paranormal occurrences became more frequent. Dishes, cups and utensil would fly off their storage racks and pieces of Tupperware have been thrown like Frisbees across the kitchen. Brooms enjoy floating around by themselves and doors open and close at will with no assistance.

An entity waits until someone walks into the basement walk-in cooler and then shuts the door and turns off the light if the human is disliked. It the human is liked then the door will open by itself again.

There is a female entity dressed like a saloon dancer and has been named "Mary". She bled to death here sometime in the early 1900s. She has been spotted by guests going about her business in the restaurant and bar. At times she likes to dance to the juke box and look behind the bar. A regular patron Char Lotte says that Mary's favorite tune on the juke box is "If the House Is A-Rockin" by Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The upstairs area is haunted by an unknown female entity. In one of the two apartments located on the second floor a female entity teases the living and has appeared as an apparition and has haunted vocally as well. At one time she called a young male resident's name during the night and scratched upon his door finally causing him to leave.

The Southwest Wisconsin Investigation Group are planning more investigations. The Baraboo Inn does have a photo of one of the entities hanging behind the bar.
Brumder Mansion B & B is located on W. Wisconsin Street which is a main street that runs from downtown Milwaukee, past Marquette University, and runs parallel to the 94 Hwy. It's in a neighborhood of old Victorian houses some of which have been converted into apartments while others remain as private homes or are used for commercial purposes.

Brumder Mansion is a 4 story 1910 red-bricked Victorian/Gothic/English Arts and Crafts style mansion. The first floor includes a parlor, foyer, dining room, billard room, library, large kitchen etc. The most stunning room is the dining room which has a handcrafted stained glass tile fireplace, designed by Neideken, an interior designer who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright.

The main massive Gothic oak staircase leads up to the second floor where there are 3 bedrooms/suites. Another staircase on the second floor leads to the servant quarters which were on the third floor. Here are 3 rooms and the innkeeper's apartment. There are a total of 6 guest bedrooms used for visitors to the Brumder Bed and Breakfast. The Victorian ballroom was placed in the large basement and is now rented out for special events and group activities.

This lovely mansion was built by business leader, George Brumder, who made his fortune publishing German language newspapers, reading material and sheet music. He built it for his son, George Jr. and was enjoyed by the Brumder family for at least 10 years being put on the market sometime in the early 1920s.

The Brumder family sold the mansion to Sam Picks, who was said to be part of one of the Chicago gangster organizations. In the late 1930s it had become a boarding house. In the 1960s the mansion became a parsonage and was used for church activities by the neighboring Lutheran Church. On the 2nd floor a psychedelic youth chapel was created and other rooms became offices. The basement ballroom was transformed into a coffee house, with live music and was called The Catacombs, which was part of the church's outreach program.

By 1997 the once lovely mansion had become a fixer upper and was bought by Carol Hirschi. She put in the work and the Bed and Breakfast opened in 1998. The basement ballroom became a place to see professional theater and take acting classes with the Cornerstone Theater Company.

As of January, 2008 Tom and Julie Carr became the new owner and the place is buzzing with paranormal activity.

There is an entity known as Aunt Pussy (real name Susan). She was one of the maiden aunts in the Brumder extended family and came to live at the mansion. As a young woman she was stood up at the altar by a young man and never quite got over it. Over the coming years as her siblings got married and had children she became known as Aunt Pussy spending many happy years living in the mansion. Her room was what is now known as the Gold Suite.

An entity of a young girl enjoys the third floor and Emma's Room sometimes. An unknown entity thought to be a woman is also around.

While Carol Hirschi was the owner the following things happened:
Carol spent her first night in the mansion in what used to be Susan/Aunt Pussy's room. She had her dogs with her in bed. Suddenly feeling a strong presence she heard a voice in her head who told her to GET THE DOGS OUT OF THE BED! Aunt Pussy didn't like the mirror Carol chose for the bathroom which was hung over the sink in the Gold Suite's bathroom. The mirror lifted itself off the nail, floated over the bathtub and thrown into it, breaking.

When guests would come to the Bed and Breakfast the door bell failed to ring but would ring fine any other time. Silverware laid out on the dining room table the night before was found all turned around the next morning.

In the little theater in the basement guests and patrons started seeing the entity of a woman, dressed in attire of the early 20th century, walking about. One of Carol's friends saw a woman in a formal black dress float down the main staircase and sometimes guests who are staying in the Gold Suite would have intense dreams such as if they had a dog with them in the dream a woman sternly lectured them about getting the dog out of the room, threatening to hurt the pet. Waking up they had a strong desire to remove their pets.

A psychic staying in the Gold Room was contacted by Aunt Pussy/Susan. The psychic passed on her message to Carol. It seemed that Aunt Pussy didn't like all the changes, the new d├ęcor and that too many people were coming to the mansion. Aunt Pussy would learn to exist with all of this if only Carol kept her dogs and dogs in general out of the Gold Room and kept the room's shades up, because she liked the light coming into her room.

Recent paranormal activity as of 2008:
Susan/Aunt Pussy has been fairly quiet seeming to be content for the first part of the year. Then when the curtains were taken down in the Gold Room before the new ones were hung it is thought that she was the entity who locked the deadbolt of the door from the inside, leading from the mud room into the entry way, locking out some guests, who called the innkeeper to let them inside. Then after a German marriage certificate in a large frame with a sturdy wire was hung on the wall, it mysteriously lifted itself off and crashed face down onto the floor cracking the glass. There was no problem with the wire or the nails.

In what is known as George's Room a staff member felt a cool breeze brush by her face and hair and then billowing the curtains as it breezed through the room. No logical explanation was found. A regular guest during the winter month heard an unseen presence moving her medicine bottles about in her carry-on bag in the bathroom.

In Marion's Room some think that the entity of a young girl haunts this room. A friend who was visiting was awakened by a presence who playfully bounced on the bed to wake her. Another guest watching TV in bed saw a towel which was hanging securely on a hook lift itself off and fall to the floor. The gas fire place was on low when suddenly in roared up and then down and if someone was playing with the gas control.

In the Blue Room guests have reported that a small light sitting on the fireplace mantel turns itself on during the wee small hours of the morning.

An investigation was conducted last year by The Haunted Times Magazine. That evening Aunt Pussy wasn't found in the Gold Suite but three entities were recorded sitting on the front porch. Another investigation group is planning to set up a camera in Marion's Room because they sensed something was there.

Meanwhile entities let the living know they are there in different ways and perhaps it you don't have a maiden aunt you would like to visit Aunt Pussy waiting just for you in the Gold Suite.
Published: 11/15/2008
Bouquets and Brickbats