5 Outdoor Haunts to Explore This Halloween Season

But maybe only while the sun is still up!


1. Whitnall Park

5879 S. 92ND ST., FRANKLIN

Those seeking specters may find one on the northern end of Whitnall Pond. According to some, the area is haunted by a pale apparition of a young mother in distress. The footless woman appears suddenly, only to rush into the nearby woods toward the wails of an unseen infant. Who the woman and her crying baby are, and why they appear rooted in this picturesque park, remain a mystery.

2. Lake Park

2975 N. LAKE PARK RD. 

Lake Park was built on prehistoric Native mounds that date sometime between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D. Perhaps it is the desecration of sacred land that is behind the supernatural happenings reported near the park’s popular “Lion Bridge.” Some visitors to the area describe feeling a sense of dread that increases as they walk south along the bridge. Groups of ghostly, menacing-looking children have also been spotted on both sides of the bridge.


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3. Cavalry Cemetery, Milwaukee


Among the more than 70,000 souls who rest here lies a key figure in the famous possession case upon which the 1973 horror film The Exorcist is based. The Rev. Walter H. Halloran assisted Revs. William Bowdern and William Van Roo in the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe. The pair believed the teenager was possessed by a demon and needed men to aid them in vanquishing it. Halloran participated in three rites between March 16 and April 18, 1949. For years after, he was hounded by curiosity seekers who wanted to know whether he believed Doe had really been possessed.

4. Forest Home Cemetery


Near the northern edge of this cemetery, visitors have encountered cold spots, and some say they felt the touch of an unseen hand. Persons who claim to be sensitive to the spiritual world recount eerie feelings in this area, accompanied by acute fearfulness. They also report experiencing horrible visions, including images of splintered coffins and shredded corpses. 

5. Seven Bridges Trail at Grant Park


Entering Grant Park’s Seven Bridges Trail, walkers see a sign encouraging them to “Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature.” If the local lore is to be believed, more than nature haunts these trails. Read more about the legend of this trail here

Anna Lardinois is the founder of the ghost tour company Gothic Milwaukee and the author of Storied and Scandalous Wisconsin, a collection of stories about our state that will be available in local stores and online beginning Nov. 1.

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s October issue.

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