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Old Baraboo Inn –
Haunted Place: Old Baraboo Inn
135 Walnut Street
Baraboo, Wisconsin 53913
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Haunted Wisconsin - Real Haunts * lacrossetribune.com
freerepublic.com - Article by Doug Erickson, Wisconsin State
Journal, July 5, 2005