Mysterious footsteps and flickering lights are not uncommon at the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc.

A few years ago, I traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and while I was there, I went on a Haunted Walking Tour. It was so much fun, even for me, someone who loves history more than ghost hunting or stories about spirits.

But, let’s face it — the intrigue that ghosts and spirits bring to a building or locale is alluring, and even captivating, for many people.

Besides, the tour was great!

As we walked, we learned more about the history of the city of Gettysburg and the Civil War as the guide talked about various hauntings in the buildings.

The good news is that you don’t have to travel to Gettysburg to hear about haunted places and buildings. Wisconsin — even the Manitowoc area — has plenty of stories revolving around paranormal encounters and hauntings.

The even better news is that you don’t need to leave your couch to hear some of these stories because Manitowoc Public Library is bringing “Wisconsin’s Most Haunted Locations with Chad Lewis” to you virtually! It will be airing on the library’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and 3 p.m. Oct. 31.

I am excited to have Chad Lewis back (virtually) at MPL to share paranormal stories from Wisconsin to help celebrate Halloween this year.

One of the more intriguing stories Chad includes on his tour is set in Manitowoc County in the village of Maribel. It’s known as “Hotel Hell” to ghost hunters, but its official name is Maribel Caves Hotel.

My husband and I visited the caves recently, hiking around and enjoying the scenery. We ventured around the park to the spot where you could see what is left of the hotel.

Unexplained paranormal phenomena are rumored to have occurred on the Maribel Caves Hotel site, and it’s even rumored that the well on the property is a portal to hell!

People have shared stories of a shadowy figure standing at one of the windows peering out. Others have reported hearing strange noises that sound like voices and screams coming from the basement, as well as hearing footsteps, ringing bells and rolling wheels.


Volunteers at Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers had an unexpected guest during the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Rouse Simmons. (October 2014)

Reportedly, there’s a rumor that a little boy died in a bottling factory near the hotel and his ghost can be seen playing on the hotel’s roof. Creepy!

People have experienced and seen other mysterious things at “Hotel Hell,” but Chad has done the research on these rumors and will be sharing what he discovered during his investigation of this paranormal hot spot in his presentation, as well as many other places in Wisconsin with stories of spectral sightings, so make sure to tune in to our Facebook page on one of our two scheduled viewings to find out what he uncovered.

For those of you unfamiliar with Chad, he’s a researcher, author and lecturer on topics of the strange and unusual. His background is in psychology, but for the last 20-plus years he’s traveled the globe in search of unique and bizarre stories from history.

I’ve listened to a few of Chad’s presentations, and one of my favorite things about them is that no matter how weird his stories get, he presents both the rumors and the facts, leaving the viewer to decide for themselves what to do with that information.

If you love paranormal stories, this is definitely a program that you’ll enjoy immensely. Chad’s a great storyteller, and he’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.

Have a fun Halloween, and don’t forget to watch “Wisconsin’s Most Haunted Locations,” which airs on MPL’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and at 3 p.m. Oct. 31. To get to the Facebook page, go to See you then — IF YOU DARE!

Meredith Gadzinski is adult services associate at Manitowoc Public Library.


For staff at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, unexplained noises and happenings come with the territory.



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