Green Bay has always been a city with a fierce sense of tradition complimented by a friendly atmosphere. Those qualities seem to attract not only living visitors but also spirits of the dead.
Tim Freiss has had many personal experiences with visitors who come from beyond the grave. Freiss, a well-known Green Bay paranormal expert, offers Green Bay Ghost Tours and wrote a book titled Haunted Green Bay detailing the spooky history of Northeast Wisconsin. He shares some short ghost stories below.
Sometimes we can all use a little help from our relatives, whether they are alive or not. This story involves the Union Hotel, located at 200 N. Broadway Street in De Pere. The present Union Hotel was built on the same location as the original hotel after being moved to a different part of town. The hotel would get its name due to its Civil War roots. It served as a boardinghouse for Civil War soldiers returning back home from battle.
The new Union Hotel was built in four different stages. The first part was completed in 1883, and an addition followed two years later. The third floor was constructed in 1903 and after the need for more space, a final section was added in 1920. This serves as the oldest continually running hotel and restaurant in the state of Wisconsin. As legend has it, the spirit who seems to be haunting the hotel is the great grandmother, Miss Antonia Maternoweski, of the current owners - the Boyd family. She was born on August 15, 1872 and died in her room in 1937 of natural causes after living in the hotel for over 65 years.
Some of the haunting occurences that take place involve the seeing of a floating apparition late at night and lights often turning off by themselves. There is also an unexplained feeling of being watched when there is no one else around. This haunted activity often occurs in the bar, front dining area and in the basement.
National Railroad Museum
The National Railroad Museum of Green Bay is definitely a must see attraction for train enthusaists as well as those looking for a good paranormal story. This museum dates back to 1956 when local citizens advanced the idea for a national museum dedicated to the history of American railroads. It took nearly four years for the museum to acquire the first steam engine. Since then, the museum has built quite a collection of both steam and electric engines, along with many different passenger cars.
It is believed that one of the passenger cars has an other-worldly passenger on board. The General Dwight D. Eisenhower served as a wartime locomotive during World War II. The land the museum was built on is suspected to have been an old Native American burial ground leading to further haunted experiences throughout the musem. Bathroom faucets have been found turned on long after guests have left and a paranoid feeling of not being alone when nobody else is around.
Captain's Walk Winery
Captain's Walk Winery is a beautiful example of a historic home with traditional Greek Revival style and Italianate accents. The cupola on top of the house, often called a captain's walk or a widow's walk, is meant to represent a miniature version of the house itself. Elisha Morrow built the home in 1857 for his wife, a local woman named Josephine Sayre and his six beautiful daughters. The second youngest daughter, Helen Morrow, inherited the home and owned it until 1920. She was forced to sell the house due to financial hardship. Since 2006, Captain's Walk Winery has been this house's latest tenant.
Helen is believed to be the spirit haunting the winery, bitter that she had to sell her home all those years ago. Many of the employees over the years have experienced her presence. This spirit has been known to throw wine glasses and books, turn on lights, radios and faucets, run the freight elevator up and down and appear in person wearing a white Victorian dress. Sometimes late at night after closing and cleaning up, the last employee getting ready to lock-up hears a girl running around upstairs giggling.
This final story involves the haunting of a business in downtown Green Bay known as Titletown Brewing Company. It was originally the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Depot. The building was designed in a Romanesque-revival style by the well-known Chicago architect Charles Frost. By the middle of the 20th century, two dozen trains arrived and departed the depot daily. Its size and decoration conveyed the city's stature. The train station was built in 1898 and was Chicago & Northwestern Railroad's second largest stop in the state and also boasted the best clubhouse.
On April 30, 1971, C&NW discontinued passenger service leaving the building vacant until 1995. At that time, Titletown Brewing Company purchased the building and land from the City of Green Bay with the plans to renovate the depot. No one knows who is haunting the depot, but many staff have reported seeing a lady floating around the dining area wearing early 1900s clothing, including a gray bonnet, a gray dress and carrying a gray umbrella.
For more details on these stories and to read about more haunted places around Green Bay, order Tim Freiss' book Haunted Green Bay.
Tim also offers Green Bay Ghost Tours that will take you around the city to visit these haunted trails and maybe even catch a glimpse of Green Bay paranormal.