Waukesha Ghost Walk

Waukesha, WI
$20

Suddenly during the evening every gas jet in the house was turned off, and a genuine bonafide ghost stalked through the rooms. He, she or it was enveloped in the proverbial winding sheet, surmounted by a death’s head and the grisly thing displayed the osseous structure of its fleshless arms in the most appalling and hideous manner… the revelers waited in awe till the monstrous thing harmlessly withdrew.

                                     – November 2nd, 1889, The Waukesha Journal

A city of spiritualism, murder, curses, and exorcism. Even Mary Todd Lincoln stayed here while seeing a psychic medium whom she’d prayed would connect her with the soul of her assassinated husband. From its resort city history to the ghosts of modern day, see a side of Waukesha that you never knew existed. 

Highlights

  • Hear of hauntings at the Waukesha County Courthouse and the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce, among other government buildings
  • Enjoy an easy 2-hour guided walk through Waukesha for entertaining ghost stories]
  • Get to know more about Mary Todd Lincoln’s spiritual connection to Waukesha
  • See a giant replica of the Les Paul guitar
  • Discover Wisconsin’s connection to UFOs
  • Get spooked by the tales of McAllister Hall (Carroll College)
  • Enjoy multiple stops on this walking tour to hear ghost stories and take a break from your 2-hour stroll

Important booking information

  • Parking across the street from the Riverwalk entrance
  • This tour runs in cold temperatures and light rain, so please dress accordingly and wear comfortable shoes.
  • The tour route is wheelchair-accessible, just let us know if you plan on using one, so we can adjust the route appropriately for your comfort
  • Because this is a limited capacity tour, all sales are final. But we will reschedule you if you have an emergency, we love ghosts, not monsters!
  • Service animals are welcome, but no pets are allowed

Price

$20 per person

Location

Waukesha, WI

Duration

1.5 - 2 hours

Distance

1.5 miles

What You Can Expect

Learn the interesting legends, real-life stories, and strange history of things that have happened in Waukesha. While modern history here only goes back to around the 1840s, when the town was called Prairieville, people have lived here for thousands of years.

Throughout the 2-hour tour, expect to hear a number of strange and gory stories that many people swear are true. A manhunt that started at the Waukesha County Courthouse that could be the plot for a true crime podcast. UFO sightings in Wisconsin. The truth behind a neighborhood witch. And perhaps the most famous account of all: the time Mary Todd Lincoln came here to visit a psychic after Honest Abe’s passing.

Please note: Some of the stories can get graphic, so if you get scared easily, be prepared!

Fox River Water Man and mysterious drownings 

There are two Fox Rivers in Wisconsin. One is the famous river that goes by Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh. They call those municipalities “The Fox Cities” for that reason. On this tour, you stand along the Fox River that runs through most of Illinois.

Listen as your guide shares chilling accounts of mysterious drownings that have happened in this river, and the “Water Man” that could be responsible for it.

The haunted bridge at Moreland and St. Paul

Next head to St. Paul Avenue, which runs parallel to this river. It used to be called Highway 59. Here, you will learn of freak car accidents that left people dead, and others scared out of their wits.

Waukesha County Courthouse and the Hille Farm Curse

From St. Paul Avenue, walk to the front of the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum. It’s housed in what was originally the Waukesha County Courthouse built in 1893.

In July 1918, at the Waukesha County Courthouse, a manhunt was launched to find a corrupt farmhand named Elder Krause. He was wanted after the unusual deaths of the Hille [Hill-a] family, German immigrants who came to the United States in the 1840s and had a successful farm.

This tragic story makes up for one of Waukesha’s most unusual hauntings. Find out more as your guide explains the events that transpired from a WWI bribe to a family’s group suicide to the unfortunate events that plagued anyone who bought the farm after the deaths.

The witch at 929 Rosemary Street

This house at 929 Rosemary Street has had a reputation for weirdness since the 1960s. It’s the house that neighborhood kids would whisper to each other that a witch lived here and the legend was that on Halloweens or Friday the 13ths, you could see a glowing skull appear in the yard behind the house.

Learn the real story about the witch at Rosemary Street when your guide debunks some of the stories that collected about this house over the years.

UFO Sightings on Arcadian Avenue

With 22 reported sightings in the city of Waukesha since the year 2000, this place may very well be of interest to our little green extraterrestrial friends.
And actually, the entire state of Wisconsin might be of interest to them! Wisconsin has the 2nd highest reporting of UFO sightings in the United States. But it’s on this street, Arcadian Avenue, where in March 1987, a man called the Waukesha Freeman newspaper to report that his wife saw a triangular object with red and white lights hovering over the city. It’s just one of many stories you hear about UFO sightings in Waukesha. You’ll even hear about a “federation telepath” in Waukesha who thought he was the inspiration behind the Star Trek series.

An informal exorcism

You’ll also walk by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. It doesn’t have its own exorcist, but it was the church that a scared family came to after having strange experiences in a house they rented in downtown Waukesha. Hear an entertaining story of the Catholic priest who tried to help, and the stubborn ghost who wouldn’t leave his house.

The Spiritual Lincolns and the Waukesha Freeman Building

The Waukesha Freeman is a newspaper that predates the Civil War. It was established to provide a voice for the Abolitionist movement dedicated to eliminating slavery in the United States. And many of the prominent Abolitionists were also followers of Spiritualism. Your guide takes you to the front of this newspaper’s building to talk about some famous Spiritualism followers.

Get to know more about Mary Todd Lincoln’s spiritual connection to Waukesha, as well as more on séances.

End your ghost walk at Waukesha Civic Theatre

After several more stops for entertaining and frightening stories around downtown Waukesha, your tour ends at the Waukesha Civic Theatre. This building was constructed in 1939 as the PIX movie theater and is on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll also learn it’s haunted history of a student named Barbara Jean.

Customer reviews

Facebook Review

I’ve gone on this tour twice now, and it’s a lot of fun. It will get you in the Halloween mood, and there are many really interesting buildings that you never really can appreciate when you’re just driving through town. Wendy is a great storyteller, and very funny to boot! Highly recommend. ~Heidi S.

Facebook Review

Had a wonderful time on the 2PM Ghost Tour! Our original tour had been rained out, but we were switched to this time within moments of the announcement. I enjoyed the history and spooky stories we were told along our lovely walk around Waukesha’s downtown. As someone who goes to school nearby, it was awesome to hear about some of the people and places so close to my “second home”. Wendy was a great guide!! ~Amanda Z.

Facebook Review

I had a great experience tonight. Erin was our tour guide. I have lived in Waukesha for 50+ years and it's my first time hearing about the para-normal,ghosts,shadow people, and ufo, in my home town. Erin was awesome. Thanks again ~Vicky H.

Waukesha Ghost Walk meeting location:

We meet at the corner of N. Barstow and Corrina — it’s right by the entrance to the Riverwalk in downtown Waukesha.

Copyright 2021 Wisconsin Ghost Walks LLC, part of the American Ghost Walks family of haunted history tours.

Copyright 2021 Wisconsin Ghost Walks LLC, part of the American Ghost Walks family of haunted history tours.