Life and Style

A spooky scene: the haunted "houses" of Madison, Wisconsin

Want a spooky haunted house experience? Look around Madison, if you dare...

Want a spooky haunted house experience? Look around Madison, if you dare...

Image By: Graphic by Zoe Bendoff

As the leaves start to change and the crisp fall air begins to blow, you might be trying to think of something to fill the urge for a little spookiness during this Halloween season. 

Well you’re in luck, because there is no better place to get your scream on than Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is a culturally-rich city with a lot of history, no doubt a cause for a few rumors of ghosts and hauntings. 

There is no better way to truly get in the Halloween spirit than making a visit to some of Madison’s most haunted locations. 

Welcome to the show

The first spooky destination is just right off of Capitol Square on King Street — the Majestic Theatre. This iconic venue, known for its glimmering marquee and numerous performers first opened in 1906. 

Over the years there have been multiple reports of a ghostly figure of a man roaming the theatre. Many performers claim to hear voices crying out of nowhere wishing them luck and the sensation of their hair being pulled while on stage. 

Stay for a bite, and a fright

Another place to go ghost hunting is the famous Madison restaurant The Great Dane. The current building it now lives in is 140 years old and was once known as the Fess Hotel. 

Employees at The Great Dane constantly report phantom phone calls, ghostly figures in the basement and cellars and even have experienced pool balls being moved across the table out of nowhere while closing for the night. 

Bascom Hill lies here

Lastly, take a look at an iconic campus location that we all know and love: Bascom Hill. The landmark of Bascom Hill is known for its iconic steep space of green grass where students often relax. However, few actually know that before it was a part of the UW campus, it actually served as the location of Madison’s first cemetery.

In 1922, when building the President Lincoln statue, construction workers dug up the graves of Samuel Warren and William Nelson. To this day it is reported that these two roam around near the statue and Bascom Hill in the early evening. 

Too scared for the real thing?

Of course, there are seasonal haunted houses that pop up every Halloween and give those who prefer make-believe scary stories. For that, try Wisconsin Scaryland, Screamin Acres Haunted Houses or even Science Hall... if you dare.

Whether you are a thrill seeker or not, Madison is a perfect place to excite all who dare to explore the hidden secrets and ghostly past of this old city. 

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