The month’s not over yet, there’s still time to relish in the spooky-goodness of October. Satisfy your adventurous side with an alternative Halloween experience and opt for a paranormal road trip! These Midwestern haunts are sure to scare and thrill even the most skeptical of explorers.
Old Baraboo Inn
A place where elephants and circus clowns once roamed the streets, Baraboo Wisconsin happily flaunts it’s unique history. However, not everything was ringleaders and acrobats, some spots in the town were home to a much darker past. The Old Baraboo Inn has had lived many lives, from boarding school to brothel this building has stories to tell.
Dating back 141 years, the Old Baraboo Inn is a historic gem. Many ghostly personalities still dwell here. Cowboys, ladies of the night, pets, kiddos and past owners, this place hit the paranormal jackpot. Employees, visitors and tenants on the upper-level have claimed to have come face-to-face with these strange entities. A haunted suite located in the old brothel is available to rent if you dare.
Excalibur Night Club
Perhaps you prefer a more swanky haunt? Look no further. Chicago’s Excalibur night club is hopping with excitement from both the living and the dead. In 1871 a massive fire swept through the Windy City, bringing countless buildings to their fiery demise. Hundreds of people flocked to this alleged fire-proof building. As you may have guessed by now, the claims unfortunately were untrue. Many lost their lives on that tragic day and the building is still lively with their presence. The Excalibur was featured on season 6 of the Travel Channel’s popular show Ghost Adventures. The crew investigated claims from patrons and employees of bizarre apparitions, violent attacks from unseen forces and a candle that likes to light all on it’s own.
The Bell Witch Cave
The Bell Witch Cave may be America’s most infamous haunt. Supposedly a begrudging spirit named Kate Batts tormented former property owner John Bell. According to the Bell Witch Historical society Kate seemingly had two reasons to harass the Bell family. 1) to kill John Bell, 2) to prevent John’s daughter Betsy from marrying a neighbor boy. The spirit tormented the family daily, they were scratched, pinched and pushed. The Bells even claimed to have suffered physical ailments due to Kate’s presence. In 1820 John Bell died. Legend has it that Kate poisoned him, and apparently the spirit later admitted to doing so. The story of the Bell Witch Cave drew lots of attention. The haunting on this property is so severe that former U.S. president Andrew Jackson said the following after spending a night at the Bell witch house. “I had rather face the entire British Army than to spend another night with the Bell Witch.”
Bobby Mackey’s Music World
Not for the faint of heart, this location has a seriously negative reputation in the paranormal community. A place for live music, good times and sweet dance moves one might not guess something more sinister lurks behind these 4 walls. Rumored to contain an actual portal to Hell itself Bobby Mackey’s has a dark energy about it. The location is most famous for the tragic suicide of a young woman named Johanna. Johanna fell in love with singer Robert Randall and got pregnant with his child. Her father was outraged by this news and used unlawful means to have Randall killed. Heartbroken by her father’s actions, Johanna poisoned him and killed herself after the deed was done. Things were quiet after that until 1978 when a series of fatal shootings rocked the nightclub.
That same year the building was purchased by a man who fascinatingly dubs the full name, Robert Randall Mackey(Similar to Johanna’s late lover). Despite strange occurrences since day one, Mackey remains a skeptic. Those who spend an abundance of time at the property suffer negative attachments. Even Bobby’s wife claimed to have been picked up and thrown down a flight of stairs by a mysterious force. Although he’s still not convinced, Mackey seems to have some sort of connection to Johanna(who many continue to see on the property to this day), because he wrote a song for her that he still performs today.
The Lemp Mansion
Nestled off the highway in a cozy St.Louis neighborhood, to the untrained eye the Lemp Mansion appears normal enough. However, this historic building is anything but!
A home of wealth, power and tragedy; many members of the Lemp family met their demise inside those four walls. After immigrating to Missouri from good ole’ Deutschland(Germany) John Adam Lemp discovered the market for lager beer was in it’s prime. Soon the Lemp family became the greatest lager beer brewers in the U.S. The Lemp brewery was St.Louis’ pride and joy, symbolizing the city’s greatness. Sadly, in the years to come many members of the Lemp family died of suicide, heart attacks and natural causes.
Even from beyond the grave it seems members of the Lemp family simply cannot leave their beloved mansion behind. This location is said to be one of the top ten most haunted places in America. Today, the mansion acts as a restaurant and inn, serving delightful pasta and traditional St.Louis-style ravioli. Ghost tours are held from time to time for those looking to make contact with members of the Lemp family who have yet to cross over to the other side. You can even commemorate your spooky experience with an “I got orbed” t-shirt!