Are you afraid of ghosts? If not, take a look at our blog post for the three most haunted places in Madison. Two out of three are Madison icons.
There are many reasons why people fall in love with Madison. This is one of the best times of year to visit, with a variety of events and activities going on. Within many of our city’s most iconic attractions, there are believed to be spirits and ghosts roaming around. Below are our picks for the three most haunted buildings.
1) Wisconsin State Capitol
According to USA Today, a roof collapse occurred in the south wing in either 1908 or 1909. Workers lives were lost while doing routine maintenance. Staff and visitors of the south wing’s fourth floor have reported sounds of footsteps, opening/closing of doors when no one is around, and feelings that someone is watching.
2) Forest Hill Cemetary
The Forest Hill Cemetery came about in 1857, when the city purchased 80 acres of land. After the Civil War, it became the main burial site for the two-thirds of Madison residents who served in the war, and for Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Randall. When this cemetery opened, bodies were transferred from smaller cemeteries.
Some identities were lost when bodies were moved; this is why Forest Hill cemetery is considered haunted. Other theories include Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners of war being buried near each other.
3) Wonder Bar Steakhouse
The Wonder Bar Steakhouse is one of the most iconic restaurants in all of Madison. When owner Roger Touhy opened its doors in 1929, prohibition was still in effect and it became a popular spot for Chicago mob members such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Al Capone. A tunnel was believed to lead to Lake Monona, where the alcohol would be stored. The bar was recently brought back to its original name The Bar Next Door.
According to Wisconsin State Journal, no shootouts ever occurred inside. Bartender Eddie Touhy, brother of the owner, went missing in the 1950’s and might be buried behind the fireplace on the second floor. Many people also report a smell of body odor and citrus that comes and goes within the bar, the sound of footsteps in stairwells, and the laugh of a young girl.