This Adult Trick-or-Treat Bus Tour Shares Milwaukee Ghost Stories

Take a ride around the city, enjoy some treats and learn about Milwaukee’s Halloween tales and traditions.

In the 1950s and ’60s, every Milwaukee Public School student received a Ziegler Giant Bar for Halloween – a world-famous candy made right here in Milwaukee. The beloved tradition is one of many that Milwaukee Food and City Tours’ “Ghouls and Spirits” tour revives for its October bus trip around the city’s haunted sites. 

“For us, [the tour] is all about sharing these traditions of Halloween that have been lost through the years,” says Theresa Nemetz, the founder of Milwaukee Food and City Tours. 


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Another such revival is “souling,” a medieval precursor to trick-or-treating. The tour stops at Calvary Cemetery in Story Hill, and each guest is given a “soul cake,” a small round cake baked using a 1500s-era recipe. They then proceed through the cemetery, singing a “song of souling” for the dead. 

Ghost stories from around the city are also part of the revelry, including the tale of the Brumder Mansion on Wisconsin Avenue, a 1910 home with decades of spectral happenings, including cold spots, tables moving inexplicably, blood drops in the bathtub and more.

“There are so many ghost stories in Milwaukee – we want people to learn about these stories and traditions in a really fun, unique way,” Nemetz says. 

The “Ghouls and Spirits” tours run Oct. 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. Shop tickets at


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

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.