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Old Baraboo Inn –
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Haunted Place: Old Baraboo Inn

ADDRESS:

135 Walnut Street
Baraboo, Wisconsin  53913

(608) 356-2528

LOCATION:

Located in Baraboo, across from the Old Train Depot. Situated on Walnut Street, between Lynn Street on the south and Waters Street on the north; right before it changes to Ash Street (113).

DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:

Established in 1864, The Baraboo Inn opened as a tavern and brothel, in the late 1880s-1890s, being located right across from the railway station.  This building sometime in its history was also a brewery/winery. This building suffered a fire, closing the establishment which was open for business at this time, around 1988.

After being closed for 14 years because of fire damage, new owner B. Farr opened it up for business in 2002, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating this 141 year old, fixer upper tavern, transforming it into a restaurant and bar.

Farr had bought the building in 1998, and began renovating  this fixer-upper opportunity; beginning with the second floor apartments, then proceeding to the first floor.  He found out that he had unseen presences cheering him on.

ghost-baraboo

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:

This building housed a brothel on the second floor. Being employed as a prostitute has always been a dangerous endeavor.  Three prostitutes died in this building.

Several people had died in this building over the years - 2 former owners. It seems that perhaps the current owner is getting some help from an entity who likes to evaluate his employees, and people in general.

MANIFESTATIONS:

During the restoration process, paranormal incidents began to manifest in front of the owner and the people who helped him remodel the building.

Examples: Lights which were turned off when they were finished working for the day, were found blazing away the next morning.

Objects were found in different places than where they were left the night before.

When the apartments were rented out, before the first floor was renovated, they reported to the owner hearing loud honky-tonk type/old time piano music and sounds of people having a great time.

After opening for business, paranormal occurrences began in earnest and have continued....

Dishes, cups and utensils have the habit of flying off their storage racks.

For chuckles, pieces of tupperware are playfully thrown like frisbees across the kitchen area.
Brooms like to float across the kitchen by themselves.

Doors will open and close without the benefit of human hands or natural breezes.

An entity lets the living know if they are liked by using the basement walk-in cooler; An unseen presence will wait for the disliked human to walk into the cooler, and then will shut the door and turn the light off.  If the human is liked, sometimes the door will open by itself.

Perhaps this is the entity of one of the past owners - A theory may be that the entity responsible seems to dislike some of the employees, or people who have business to take care of in the cooler; Perhaps critical of their job performance. This reminds me a little of our story about The Bullock Hotel, in Deadwood, South Dakota, where an entity of a strict former owner, Captain/Sheriff Seth Bullock, has been known to let employees know his displeasure when he has issues with their work ethics.

Female Entity dressed like a saloon dancer, has been named "Mary" by the living, who bled to death here sometime in the early 1900s.

Guests have spotted this entity going about her business in the restaurant and bar.  For chuckles, she likes to dance to the juke box, and inspects the area behind the bar.

According to regular patron Charlotte, the juke box selection of "If the House Is a-Rockin," by Stevie Ray Vaughan, is Mary's favorite tune.

Unknown Female Entity haunts the upstairs area.

In one of the two apartments which are located on the second floor of the building, where a female entity likes to tease the living and has made herself known to both female and male residents; appearing as an apparition and vocally haunts the living as well.

In one instance she would call a young male resident's name during the night, scratching on his door, causing him to finally leave.

STILL HAUNTED?

Yes Indeed!

While The Southwest Wisconsin Investigation Group are on the fence, having no solid evidence of entity habitation, they strongly suspect that all the eye witness accounts of these lively entities have merit. They were planning another more in depth investigation, but haven't made it public yet.

The restaurant does have a photo of  one of the entities who make the Old Baraboo Inn their after-life home, which can be found hanging behind the bar. The eye-witness evidence is very strong, coming from the owner, employees, patrons and apartment residents. Employees have quit and residents who lived in the apartments over the restaurant and bar have left because of the paranormal experiences they have witnessed.

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SOURCES INCLUDE:

Haunted Wisconsin - Real Haunts * lacrossetribune.com
freerepublic.com
- Article by Doug Erickson, Wisconsin State Journal, July 5, 2005

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