Thursday, September 29, 2022

HGB Ep. 454 - Haunted Green Bay

Moment in Oddity -  Cremains on the Moon (Suggested by: John Michaels)

Many of us enjoy getting away from city lights and gazing up at the night sky, hoping for a glimpse of a shooting star or a UFO. Eugene Merle Shoemaker was an American Geologist who studied the night sky in search of new comets such as the Shoemaker-Levy 9. He co-discovered this comet with his wife Carolyn and comet chaser friend, David H Levy while at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California. In July of 1994, they watched through telescopes as several major fragments of the comet pummeled Jupiter which provided quite a show for spectators as it was televised around the world. Along with his career with the USGS he also had associations with NASA and Caltech. In July of 1997, Shoemaker was studying an impact crater site in Australia when he was killed in an automobile accident. After his death and subsequent cremation, a portion of his ashes were carried to the moon with the Lunar Prospector mission. Today, there are various price options for those who wish to have the same type of burial. Whether or not his gravesite is haunted is unknown, but the thought of having a loved ones cremains launched into space, certainly is odd.

This Month in History - Walter Reed Born

In the month of September, on the 13th in 1851, Walter Reed was born in Glouchester County Virginia. The youngest of five children, Walter attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a medical degree at the age of 17 which gave him the distinction of remaining the youngest student to graduate from the medical university to date. He went on to earn a second degree the next year from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. In February of 1875, Reed took a 30 hour exam to gain entry into the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army. One of the exams questions related to the spread of yellow fever and the answer that Walter gave detailed the spreading of germs by clinging to clothing and the like. He passed his exam and accepted a commission in July of 1877. After practicing medicine in rural areas for 15 years, Walter decided to go in a different direction which would eventually take him to Havana where he hoped to address the growing yellow fever epidemic. He arrived in June of 1900 and after conducting many experiments on human subjects to find the cause of yellow fever, he was thrilled to discover that the disease was transferred by mosquitos. From a very young age, Walter had desired to make a significant difference in the suffering of human kind and he was celebrated with this discovery. He received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan as well as Harvard. Reed was also to be appointed to the Assistant Surgeon General with ranking of colonel. Tragically, in November of 1902, Walter took ill and was admitted to the Army Hospital on November 23 due to peritonitis after his appendix ruptured. Walter Reed was later buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His marker reads, "He gave to man control of that dreadful scourge yellow fever.". In 1909 a new Army hospital would bare his name and would later become the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Green Bay (Suggested by: Shane)

When people hear the name Green Bay, they probably imagine people in football jerseys with large triangles of fake cheese atop their heads. The city is so much more than just a hub for football even though it is nicknamed "Titletown." This is a city influenced by many cultures from the early Native Americans that were here first to the French to the British to the Dutch to the Irish and to the Belgians. Their burial places and businesses and homes all seem to be touched by an essence of the supernatural. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

What makes a city like Green Bay, Wisconsin so attractive to spirits? Is it being located on a major waterway like the Fox River? Green Bay sits at the mouth of that tributary. Could it be the early settlement of Native Americans who came here because of the fertile land? Indigenous tribes had been here for centuries. The Ho-Chunk and the Menominee and their ancestors all lived in this region, hunting and fishing and growing rice, corn, beans and tobacco. The Ho-Chunk were also called the Winnebago and they gave women more rights than the settlers that would push them out. The tribe wouldn't take action on something unless at least half of the women agreed. 

Was it the influence of the different explorers and immigrants that would call Green Bay home? The French called this area "La Baye" and they first arrived in 1634. The first settlers wouldn't arrive until 1745 and this was the Charles de Langlade family. Charles was a war chief and is considered the "Founder and Father of Wisconsin" and he was of mixed race, son of a French-Canadian father and an Ottawa woman. In 1754, Green Bay was incorporated. The British took over the settlement from the French in 1763 and then after the American Revolution, the area went to the Americans. The British were the first to call this Green Bay because of the green tint that would cover the shore in the early spring. The Americans built Fort Howard in 1816 and people started streaming here. 

The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, launched Green Bay into more trade and by the 1870s, the railroad was the primary transportation and opened up Green Bay to visionary industrialists for lumber milling, iron smelting and production of paper products. Green Bay is most famous for being the home of the Green Bay Packers, but for us, its the large number of spirits hanging around that gets our interest. We'll never really know what makes a town infused with hauntings, but for Green Bay we think the main source of hauntings might be thanks to John Jacob Astor IV who decided to plat out the city’s current downtown on top of a burial ground. Tim Freiss, who owned Green Bay Ghost Tours, claims that most of the downtown area was a cemetery at one time.

Lorelei Inn

The Lorelei Inn started as a smaller building that was a bar called Bob's Allouez Tavern in 1930. In 1952, it was bought by a German man named Tom Eschelweck and he changed the name to the Lorelei Inn, inspired by the legend of a beautiful woman who threw herself into the river Rhine after her lover left her for another and she was changed into a siren. She then went on to lure sailors to their deaths. Tom was able to expand the bar into a much bigger restaurant when the gravestone business next door, moved across the street. The restaurant offered German food and beer, of course. In 1970, Tom's son Dave took over the restaurant and ran it until 1980 when he sold it to the Kubiak family. They ran it until 1983 and then Len and Marilyn Hack bought the restaurant in August of that year. Their son Dave now owns the place and he has basically had this place in his life from the time he was teenager. His sister Lynne and niece Meagan are co-owners. They still use Tom's recipe for their German dishes. And their beer list has been expanded to include craft beers and this was one of the original places to serve imported beers.

Nothing bad seems to have happened at this location, but people claim it is haunted. Objects move on their own, pots come off their hooks inexplicably, TVs turn on and off by themselves and disembodied footsteps are heard upstairs. One of the spirits thought to be haunting the place is believed to belong to former owner Leonard Hack. He loved the bar here and likes to hang out there where his cigarette smoke is detected and have felt his presence. He also visits the basement where his office had been. Lynne told Action 2 News, "No one has quit but I've had them run up the stairs, freaked. All of a sudden the cigarette smoke comes out of nowhere and up the stairs they are." She claims that things happen here weekly. One time there was a sound like wind coming through the restaurant and bunch of items were tossed on the floor. A skeptical cook changed his mind when he watched a pot pick itself up off a hook and it fell straight down. Not only is Dave and Lynne's father in his former restaurant, but their mother's spirit is here too, mostly hanging out in the kitchen where she cooked and cleaned to keep everything spotless. A table in the corner of the restaurant has the most activity. Many people asked to be moved from this haunted corner.

Captain’s Walk Winery

The home that houses Captain's Walk Winery is gorgeous, built in the Italianate architectural style with a wonderful square cupola at the top. This was a house built in 1857 by Elisha Morrow for his wife and six daughters. Elisha helped to organize the Republican Party of Wisconsin and as a delegate, he voted for Abraham Lincoln to be the Republican candidate for president in 1860. When Elisha and his wife passed away, their daughter Helen Morrow inherited the house. Eventually, she had to sell the house because she couldn't afford to maintain it and it was purchased by the Green Bay Women’s Club in 1920. The house went through four more owners, including a law office, before Brad and Aric Schmiling purchased it and turned it into Captain’s Walk Winery in 2006. 

Every one agrees that the ghost here belongs to Helen Morrow. She loved the home and wants to make sure it is kept well. The first claims of paranormal activity date back to 1970 and the owners at that time was running a gift shop. They claimed that they saw the full-bodied apparition of a woman standing at the top of the stairs. The figure seemed to be angry and they wondered if it was because they had remodeled the house. Helen has been blamed for moving and throwing wine glasses and books and she turns on sink faucets. The freight elevator also tends to run on its own. The interesting thing about this spirit is that she may reveal herself at different ages. The reason we say that is because Brad and Aric claimed to hear a little girl bouncing a ball and playing one evening when they stayed overnight. They followed the giggling up on the second floor, but found no one. Donna McVey works in the winery and she was interviewed by WFRV Local 5 in 2020 and she said during the pandemic shutdown they were doing some remodeling. She had been using her sander on a table, but shut it down to go eat lunch. After a bit, she heard a noise and went to investigate. She found the sander on and making its way down the table. She said that it was a very Helen kind of thing.

Magiccode12 wrote on TripAdvisor, "While waiting for the tour to begin, everyone taking the tour was standing in the foyer. Where my mom and I were standing we could see one of the bathrooms. The bathroom light was on and as we were standing there the light went off. One of the women standing next to us said that she had just used the bathroom and the light was a switch and not a motion sensor light."

St. Brendan’s Inn

St. Brendan's Inn is located at 234 Washington Street. This is located in the Johnson Bank Building, which also houses a bank and other commercial businesses. Before this building was built, Augustine de Langlade’s trading post and home was here in 1745 and later, the Green Bay Transit Garage sat here and was used as a car barn for the Green Bay trolley system in the 1920s. Buses became the main public transportation system in the 1930s and so this was converted to a bus garage. And that's how it remained until 2001. After the buses were moved out, the city realized that the site was heavily contaminated. This contamination came from two 10,000 gallon leaking underground storage bins and bled into the soil and ground water. It was decided that the structure needed to be razed in order to access the extent of the contamination. St. Brendan's Inn opened and not only has an Irish restaurant and authentic Irish pub, but also 28 guest rooms. There had been a thought that this location might be on an Indian burial ground, but the historical society assured builders that wasn't the case. But something is haunting this place. Guests complain that their beds shake and that the lights turn on and off by themselves. Disembodied voices are heard and some guests claim to have seen shadow figures. Employees claim that the laundry room is the most haunted spot in the place.

Astor House Bed and Breakfast

Listeners probably already can guess what inspires the name of this bed and breakfast. It was indeed related to the Astor family. The land here had been owned by John Jacob Astor, who went down with the Titanic. The Astor House is located at 637 S. Monroe Avenue and was built in 1888 by local attorney, F. Adolph Watermolen. This was a “Stick-Style” Victorian house. This was a transitional style between movement from the Gothic to the Queen Anne. The most obvious stylist flourish can be found around the windows. They have a lot of ornamentation. San Francisco is full of these styled homes. The exteriors feature eave brackets and trusses with pyramidal roofs and squarish window bays and towers. Dr. Julius J. Bellin moved into the house near the turn-of-the-century and he did a major remodel. Bellin was a prominent physician and surgeon in Green Bay  and he founded Bellin Hospital and Bellin School of Nursing. In 1994, the house was opened as the Astor House Bed & Breakfast and it continues to be that today. There are five rooms with private baths. Guests can enjoy their breakfast in the parlor, which is also the place where the ghost here likes to hang out. Most people believe the spirit belongs to Dr. Bellin. His apparition is usually seen in the early morning hours.

Titletown Brewing Company

Titletown Brewing Company is located at 320 N. Broadway. Before the brewery called this building home, it was the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Passenger Depot. The building was built in 1899. Many famous people came through here like Nat King Cole, Buddy Holly, President Taft, President Franklin Roosevelt and President Eisenhower. The railway stopped service at the depot in 1994 and then the building sat vacant for 2 years. A group of investors bought the building in 1996 and remodeled it into the Brew Pub. In 2013, the company decided to expand into neighboring warehouse buildings and opened a full service brewery with a Tap Room. The restaurant remained in the depot until the Pandemic. The depot is now leased by The Depot Gastropub and they have TBC beers on draft. Titletown Brewery, Tap Room and Roof Tap are still open in the neighboring Larsen Canning Building. There is a glorious smokestack atop the building with Titletown in letters running down the stack. The ghost here goes back to the depot times. People who have seen the apparition describe him as an elderly railway conductor. There have also been sightings of residual male and female ghosts who probably traveled through the depot at some point. The sound of a train whistle is sometimes heard.

Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley

The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley is located at 2929 Allied Street and is an independently owned bowling center. They offer Cosmic Bowling, so we are totally in! This location used to be a high-end restaurant called The Salt Cellar. There were three themed rooms. The Mahogany Room had decor from a brothel, the Oak Room had a fireplace from a 1900s steam ship and the main dining room had a 125 year old bar. A man named Willard died of a heart attack on lane 17 and people believe that he haunts that lane. He plays with the ball return and scoring computer. People feel as if someone is hovering over them on that lane. This is the only lane that has these issues with the lane turning on by itself and with the computer. The haunting carries over to the lights that turn on and off  by themselves, objects move on their own and disembodied voices are heard. 

Local 5 interviewed Brandon Kohel in 2021 who was a long-time bartender. He told them that one night he was cleaning up after the bowling alley had closed and he felt like someone walked behind him and touched his back. He said, "It felt like as if another bartender passed behind me like they would as they would put their hand on your back so you don’t back into them. The hair on my arms stood straight up, was a pretty weird feeling." There was only one other person in the place and this was a manger who was in an office. Another evening, a manager asked Brandon if he had turned the lights off on her. He had not. She also asked if he had just been upstairs walking around and he also hadn't done that. They checked the upstairs and no one else was in the building.

Kewaunee County Historical Society Museum

There are 19 rooms of artifacts in the  Kewaunee County Jail Museum that is run by the Kewaunee County Historical Society. So yes, this is a former old jail, so you know we love this one. And it is ingenious how they have themed out each of the rooms. This isn't just an old jail for people to walk through. It presents tons of artifacts from all different aspects of the county's history. But it retains the essence of the jail also. Before this current jail was here, there was the first Kewaunee County Jail that opened in 1862. An inmate named Joseph Bushey set the jail on fire and it burned to the ground. Bushey died in the fire and is buried on the grounds. Sad when one hears that the reason he was in jail was because he stole some clothes off a clothesline. The new jail opened in 1877 and remained open until 1969. The jail was built by John Janda of Kewaunee. Since this was an old county jail, as you all know by now, the Sheriff and his family lived on site. There was no running water and no electricity. Wood stoves were in each room to provide heat. The wife cooked the meals for the prisoners.

Thirty-nine sheriffs served over the nine decades that the jail was open. There were several jail breaks. A brass key was made from a water faucet, but was found in a porthole before it could be used. A twenty-year old man serving 90 days for theft, used a toothpick to open the main door of the bull pen. After he got out, he stole Green Bay Packer player Max McGee’s car and was promptly arrested again. Another prisoner was in taking a bath and took a leg off the tub and he struck the jailer on the head with the leg and escaped. He also stole a car, but when he got picked up for that, he had made it down into Iowa.
When the jail closed in 1969, the county wanted to tear it down, but was saved by a vote. It was decided to turn it into a museum that opened in 1970.

Tim Freiss investigated here and he used a small flashlight to try communicating with the spirits. He thinks he communicated with the spirit of a five year old boy. He also got a strange feeling that made him weak and caused a sharp pain in his head. He told a historian at the museum about his experience and was told that the skull and bones of a 5 year old Native American boy had been dug up and moved around by construction workers who were excavating the dirt from the museum's basement. The bones were eventually reburied on the grounds. There is believed to have been a Native American burial ground here before either jail was built.

The Green Bay Theater

The building at 217 E. Walnut Street used to be The Green Bay Theater and was built in 1900. This was one of the last 19th century modern style theaters in the nation. Later, the building became Vic Theater and Orpheum Theater. The exterior of the building was changed in the 1930s to an Art Deco style. By the 1990s, the building hosted two different night clubs, Envy's and Confetti's. Confetti's had the largest dance floor in the city. Today, the building seems to be vacant, at least in regards to the living. There are spirits here just like every other former theater. When this was still the Green Bay Theater, legend claims a double murder and suicide took place here. A beautiful local actress was playing the lead in a play entitled "Because She Loved Him So." During rehearsals, she fell in love with her co-star. There were a couple of major problems though. She was married and so was he. That didn't stop the duo from getting together and on one occasion, they were doing their thing in the theater's balcony. The actress' husband discovered the two and pulled a pistol from his jacket. He shot his wife and then as her lover tried to jump off the balcony, the husband shot him in the back. The husband made his way down the balcony steps and apparently grieved by what he had just done, he took his own life. People claim that the spirits of all three people are still here in the theater. A shadow figure jumps from the balcony and another shadow figure fades away on the balcony staircase. The disembodied voice of a female is heard.

Greater Green Bay Y.M.C.A

The Greater Green Bay YMCA is located at 601 Cardinal Lane. The first Y building was built in 1870, so the group has a long history here. Reverend Daniel C. Curtiss helped develop this first YMCA. This earlier group disbanded in 1879, but returned again in 1887. On their website they write, "With the tremendous growth in lumbering, came an influx of men to work in the forests, harvesting this great treasure. Green Bay would soon feel the impact of these men on community life and that would cause some concern for those citizens interested in the young people exposed to these rough men as they came into the city for a ‘night on the town’. By 1874, Green Bay was a rowdy, wide open, fun city for sawyers, lake sailors and itinerant lumberjacks." The YMCA was hoping to bring some order we imagine. A new building was built in 1891 and featured "lifting machines, vaulting horses, ropes for climbing, dumbbells, horizontal bars, wands, rope ladders, quarter circle and mats. Two bath tubs with clean hot and cold water. Correspondence table in the reading room. Stationary provided. Reading rooms furnished with comfortable chairs." That building burned down in 1908. The current YMCA was completed in 1925 and features a Tudor-Gothic style. An extensive renovation was done in 2017. 

There is a crime connected to the building that has led to the haunting here. In 1987, a man named Erik Lee Vogliotti was living on the fifth floor as a part of the resident program offered back then. They paid rent according to their income and was a way to help men get back on their feet. Erik didn't have a job and a month had passed. The rule was that residents had to get a job within two weeks of coming to the YMCA. Erik also wasn't well liked because he kept to himself. Two other residents went out drinking, Charles Conrad age 25 and his friend Thomas Mason age 22, and when they got back they found Erik sitting in the TV room. Mason started cursing out Erik who got up and left. The next day, Mason felt bad and tried to find Erik to apologize, but was unable to locate him. Mason and Conrad went out drinking again that night. When they got back, Erik ambushed them with a gun. Conrad was shot in the heart and he died instantly. Mason was shot in the stomach. He died at the hospital two hours later. Erik is now serving a life sentence. People claim to see the spirit of Conrad at the YMCA. His apparition is seen in the hallways and in the 5th floor TV room. 

The Bellin Building

The Bellin Building was built in 1915 for Dr. Julius Bellin to use for medical offices. Physicians, dentists and other medical practices all rented space here. The building is an early example of Chicago-style architecture with a terracotta facade and ornate bevel features and was the first small skyscraper north of Milwaukee at the time. It stands 9 stories. The Bellin family held onto it until 1972 and then it was bought by Robert C. Safford who owned it until 2006. An investment group now owns the building with over 28 businesses renting space.

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Julius Bellin was one of the most prominent surgeons in Wisconsin and he contributed a lot to the medical field of the area. He was born in Kewaunee County in 1870 and moved to Green Bay in 1904. Dr. Bellin started his first hospital in 1907, and also founded the Wisconsin Deaconess Hospital. That was renamed Bellin Memorial Hospital in his honor in 1920. He contributed $50,000 of his own wealth to the building of a children's hospital in Green Bay. He helped out with other charities and was very active in the community and it came as a great shock to the community when he fell gravely ill. Doctors couldn't figure out what the problem was and Dr. Bellin passed away. He was only 58. 

Legend claims that the ghost who haunts this building belongs to the man for whom it was named. He's not just hanging out at the Astor House. Dr. Bellin haunts the Bellin Building too. Tim Freiss says of the good doctor, "Dr. Bellin was a pleasant man in life, he still is in death. Dr. Bellin does like to play games in the elevator. He likes to keep you stranded some times, or brings you up when you're supposed to go down or down when you're supposed to go up." The building has a unique manual elevator. It's one of four left in the US. Business owners have claimed to see the apparition of a man in his 50s, wearing a black suit and tie. He is always smiling when spotted.

Grace Manor

Marcus says of his apartment in Green Bay, "I live on Monroe Ave and our apartment is haunted. I’ve only seen the figure of a woman dressed in 1920s fashion. (Which is also the same time our building was built.) Every night around 12:30 you can hear her walking in our kitchen. Then the water will run for second. Then she walks back toward our bedroom. My brother is law says he has heard a woman say hello to him and no one will be at the apartments. Very strange stuff. But she keeps to herself for the most part so I don’t mind her." And from the same location Paula wrote, "My daughter just moved into Grace Manor on Monroe Street a couple months ago. At night she hears odd things and when she checks her kitchen, cupboard doors are open and pictures have fallen, Also the microwave door will open and shut by itself. Now she leaves her television on at night, It’s the only thing she can do to get some sleep. We are thinking about calling for some help to rid her apartment of this ghost."

Green Bay has a lot more to its history than just football and much more than team spirit. There seems to be many spirits in this Wisconsin city. Are these places in Green Bay haunted? That is for you to decide!

No comments:

Post a Comment