Dig out your brooms and spell books, spooky season has arrived! If you love a good ghost story Walworth County has its fair share of tales to tell. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to hear about four spooktacular legends of WalCo!
Beast of Bray Road
One of Wisconsin’s most well-known urban legends is the Beast of Bray Road in Elkhorn. There have been several books written about encounters with this creature and even a few films and documentaries have been made! The beast has been described in many forms, but the most common is that it is of dog-like nature that walks on its hind legs. This man wolf has been seen by many locals lurking down Bray Road just outside of Elkhorn. It has been said that the creature steals chickens, feasts on roadkill, and has even chased down people who have come across it. Some say that the mythical animal has been seen back as far as the 1980’s and others say it has been around much longer than that. No matter what the beast truly looks like we can all agree it would be a fright to behold!
Witches Tower of Whitewater
Whitewater, also known as Second Salem, is a city full of ghostly stories and sightings. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s dormitories have been said to house more than students, but ghosts are said to haunt some of the halls. One of the most memorable tales is that of the Witches of Whitewater. The town has three cemeteries that form a perfect isosceles triangle when viewed from above, this is often known as the “Witches Triangle.” In Linda Godfrey’s “Haunted Wisconsin,” it is said that the witches in Whitewater would travel through underground tunnels to an alter that is where the university’s Wells Hall dormitory now stands. The water tower that looms over Starin Park has been referred to as the Witches Tower, where many believe seances have taken place. In 1889 the Pratt Spiritualist College was formed but closed after a few decades. In this time it is said that the students at this College had written a cursed book. The book is referred to as the “Book of Death” due to accidents that have allegedly occurred after people would read it. Many say it is locked away in the basement of UW-Whitewater’s Library and others say it has never existed.
Lake Geneva Ghost Walk
The city of Lake Geneva is well known for its famous mail boat tour, but did you know it also hosts a two-hour Ghost Walk Tour? Through the walk you get to learn about the many ghost stories of Lake Geneva that surround the ground, lake, and mansions – such as Maxwell Mansion and Baker House. In a video from American Ghost Walks, they dive into the haunting of Maxwell Mansion. Many claim to have heard voices, footsteps, and objects moving through the mansion’s halls, even when it is empty. A chilling story that many have had experience with is Danny, the little ghost boy that lives upstairs. Danny likely passed of scarlet fever at the age of four and now haunts Maxwell. It is said that if you ignore Danny, he will usually get bored and go on his way but if you give him a good reaction and are frightened of his presence he has been seen to try and play tricks on you by pulling on your pant leg or blowing a whistle.
Our final haunt is East Troy’s Cobblestone Inn. The former hotel began construction in 1846 and was opened in 1849 by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Brady. It is rumored that Abraham Lincoln stayed there. Linda Godfrey stated that after a successful few years of business and paying off their mortgage, the Brady’s left to travel on an ocean voyage to visit family in England and were never heard from again. The Inn’s bar and restaurant are now said to be haunted by the Brady’s. People will hear footsteps and voices, see shadows, and even catch objects that have moved! Sadly, the upkeep of the building became too great, and the three-story cobblestone building was demolished in May of 2022.
Whether you believe in ghost stories or not, WalCo has a vast history of fun haunts for everyone to enjoy! Do you have a ghost story from other communities in Walworth County that we haven’t covered?
If real haunts aren’t your thing check out these spooky attractions for 2022!
Walk of Terror – Begins September 30th
Dan Patch Stables Haunted Hayride and Barn – Begins September 30th
Schneider Farm’s Boney Manor – Begins October 20th
Fuzzy Pig’s Shockwave Haunts – Begins October 8th
Whitewater Spirit Tour – Begins October 7th
Lake Geneva Ghost Walks – Tours run through the end of October
For more kids friendly ideas check out some of our other Fall favorites.