Welcome, brave readers, to our spine-chilling journey through the dark and mysterious past of the Green Bay area. Starting as a small trading post in 1634, Green Bay is the oldest city in Wisconsin and has a long history of hauntings and paranormal activity.
So turn the lights down, grab your flashlight, and get ready to discover some of the most haunted spots in Green Bay!
Downtown Green Bay
Many people don't realize that most of downtown Green Bay exists on the former site of three cemeteries–that's right, we said THREE. Indigenous people initially used the area as a burial ground, which French traders co-opted to be used as a cemetery. Later, English settlers and other European immigrants also began using the cemetery and expanded it to accommodate more bodies. Now, many of the buildings downtown are said to be plagued by ghostly visitors and playful spirits.
Captain's Walk Winery
Tucked within the downtown district on Adam's Street, Captain's Walk Winery has more than just the aroma of aged wines lingering in the air. According to first-hand accounts from the staff, the winery has long been home to the spirit of Helen, who seems to have never truly left what was once her childhood home. Staff members have reported sightings of her as a child, in middle age, and even as an old lady. Occasional surprises, like handprints on the glass of the upstairs shower or unexplainable sounds, add to the winery's eerie charm.
St. Brendan's Inn
Situated in one of the central areas of the former burial grounds and cemeteries, St. Brendan's Inn has seen its fair share of history. However, some of its past inhabitants seem to have never truly departed. From shadowy figures to flickering lights and unexplained movements of objects, the inn is rumored to host some of the more mischievous spirits in downtown Green Bay. Don't be surprised if you hear tales of salt shakers thrown by unseen hands or encounters with more hostile entities within the inn's walls.
Ferguson Family YMCA
The Ferguson Family YMCA, located on Jefferson Street, is a place meant for nurturing young minds and offering community fitness and wellness programs, but this building actually hides a chilling secret within its walls. Sometime before 1980, when the building's top floors served as a housing program, two young men were murdered, one stabbed and one shot. Now, their spirits continue to linger in the corridors on the fifth floor. Luckily, the ghosts are described as harmless and have never been aggressive or frightening to those lucky enough to see them.
Fort Howard Hospital at Heritage Hill
The Fort Howard Hospital at Heritage Hill is not your typical historical site. Beneath its quaint facade lurks a dark tale of tragedy and a restless spirit that haunts the premises. In the early 1830s, this site witnessed a gruesome incident that would become the stuff of legends.
According to records, one night, Lt. Amos Foster arrested a belligerent drunk soldier named Private Patrick Doyle. Days later, Doyle requested a meeting with Lt. Foster–a meeting that took a deadly turn. During a heated argument, Doyle grabbed the guard's rifle and shot Foster point blank, killing him instantly. Doyle was arrested, locked away in solitary confinement, and eventually hanged on October 15th, 1832.
Now, the spectral presence of Lt. Foster lingers inside the Fort Howard Hospital building, having been seen multiple times over the decades by soldiers and staff.
Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley
Amidst the crash of bowling pins and the cheers of bowlers, Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley harbors a haunting secret at Lane 17. Legend has it that Lane 17 is not just another spot for a friendly game of bowling. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of a man named Willard, whose heart gave out on that very lane. Willard's spirit, for reasons unknown, has chosen not to move on and seems to enjoy playing tricks on players and staff.
Staff members have shared experiences of objects moving on their own, disembodied voices, and flickering lights. Lane 17 also frequently has unexplainable problems with randomly turning on, the scoring computer not working, and the ball retrieval machine not returning balls. Next time you're in the mood for bowling, request Lane 17 and see if Willard is ready for a little competition!
Hotel Hell in Maribel
Hotel Hell, located near the Maribel Caves just over 20 minutes south of Green Bay, is perhaps one of the most notorious haunted locations in the area. Before it was "Hotel Hell," it was the Maribel Caves Hotel, a spa and resort. However, after suffering three separate fires and being used as a hideout for Al Capone and John Dillinger during the Prohibition Era, the shadows of the past have left their mark.
Hotel Hell got its terrifying name from local lore–if you are brave enough to peer into the old well outside the building, you risk falling into a portal to hell. Whispers of books bursting into flames on the property and other unexplained phenomena like figures in the second-story windows, haunting singing and moaning, and reports of blood running down the walls have also been reported.
Now, the hotel stands as little more than a ruin after a storm destroyed what was left of it in 2013. Because the building stands on private property, most ghost hunters won't get the chance to get an up close and personal investigation, but many say if you gaze at the hotel from the nearby trail, you might just catch a glimpse of a spirit.
Lawrence Cemetery, also known as Cady Cemetery on Sand Acres Drive in De Pere, may seem like a peaceful resting place, but it has garnered a reputation for harboring unexplained occurrences and eerie encounters, leaving visitors to grapple with the unnerving sense that they are not alone.
Many have reported experiencing inexplicable phenomena, such as sudden formations of mysterious fog that seem to materialize out of nowhere, eerie sounds echoing through the night, and orbs of light floating in the distance. Most notably, visitors to the cemetery commonly report a feeling of dread and unease that does not subside until they've left the grounds.
Have you seen any ghosts or ghouls lurking in Green Bay? Our haunted city has a rich history, and many residents and visitors have their own tales of encountering the unexplainable. Next time you find yourself wandering the streets of the city, remember to keep an eye out for the whispers of the past–you never know what ghostly encounters may be lurking just around the corner.