A couple weeks ago I took an intriguing look at Shaker's Cigar Bar, Milwaukee's historic – and notoriously haunted – Walker's Point bar. This past weekend, I got even more up close and personal with an overnight stay in the building's third floor haunted penthouse.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know my two intrepid companions and I survived the night. But, according to Shaker's owner Bob Weiss and marketing director Amanda Morden, it was more or less a coin toss for whether we slept through until the next day or took off screaming in the wee hours of the morning.
No lies. 50/50. They've even had people leave within an hour of checking in (around 10-10:30 p.m., after the last bar tour ends).
What's got everyone so freaked out? Guest reports range from finding their shoes relocated to the bathroom sink to hallucinations of the bedroom ceiling engulfed in flames. After hearing a list like that, even my analytical side got a little sheepish at the thought of bunking with the beyond.
Not all of the goings-on up there have been tied down, but Shaker's has determined that a 1920s brothel girl by the name of Molly Brennan once plied her trade in the third floor penthouse. The story goes that the 16-year-old recognized a well-to-do friend of her family and was murdered.
In 2001, Weiss and a construction crew made a more definitive morbid discovery: a pile of bones buried beneath the floorboards at the back of the penthouse. The medical examiner determined that about half were human and were about 70 years old. The people at Shaker's believe this to be Molly, but even if they don't belong to the ill-fated Irish brothel girl ... yikes.
Nevertheless, I am proud to report we made it through the night (with a little liquid courage). And, at the risk of entering TMI territory, I even went to the bathroom without relying on the buddy system.
As for general spookiness? Sadly, our shoes were all where we left them, and thankfully, there were no walls of billowing flames. We did, however, fall asleep watching a movie on a laptop, which we found mysteriously closed when we woke up. I know I didn't do it, and I trust my friends when they say they didn't touch it. The doors were locked, and there's only one key to the upper levels.
Maybe I should rethink my "see it to believe it" mentality. Thanks for the hospitality, Molly.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Renee Lorenz
Published Jan. 11, 2013
Classic gangsters loved a good embarrassment of riches. And for a movie like "Gangster Squad," showing off is fine. But, when the swanky style of the era meets the stylized swank of the movie's own excesses, things get out of hand.
Published Jan. 3, 2013
It feels like not a week goes by without someone posting something about how Facebook's invading everyone's privacy, spying on your browser history, etc., ad nauseum. (These posts are usually made on Facebook, by the way.) I understand the generic concern over the Orwellian slippery slope, but it doesn't take me too long to re-assess and arrive back at my old conclusion: Who cares?
Published Dec. 31, 2012
Although outsiders may not see Milwaukee as a hotbed for the performing arts, locals know there's plenty of talent to go around. And, there are numerous venues across the city that proudly show off area actors, dancers and musicians. But, despite the wide array of opportunities available, Katie Rhyme and Karen Zakrzewski still felt something important was missing.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Merry Christmas, "Les Miz" lovers - I'm about to hate all over your musical.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Well, it took director Quentin Tarantino 20 years, but he finally got his Western ... kinda. Although it's fair to say he's been preparing his entire career with his raucously bloody shoot-'em-ups, Tarantino's time warming up has been well spent if "Django Unchained" is the final result
Published Dec. 21, 2012
Unlike most middle-aged men, Judd Apatow can afford a whole garage of Camaros and Mustangs. So, it makes sense that his mid-life crisis would manifest not with a youthful car buy, but by splurging on the production of a new movie.
Published Dec. 19, 2012
They say time flies when you're having fun. I don't know who "they" are (probably those terrifyingly upbeat "glass half full" people), but they nailed it. My 2012 is a blur of exciting times and memorable moments, most of which my lawyers have advised me not to discuss in detail. There's still plenty to talk about, though, and I've shared the highlights below.
Published Dec. 18, 2012
Well, another year of movies is (almost) in the books. Full of many memorable ups and seared-in-my-brain-forever downs, here's my take on the best (and worst) of 2012.
Published Dec. 14, 2012
Eleven years after "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" introduced audiences to the majesty of director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" makes a triumphant return to the mythical land with a new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Published Dec. 12, 2012
After being tasked with putting together an actual wish list, I'm legitimately afraid of the death glare I'll get if I hand over my ultra-practical, completely un-whimsical list of stuff I want. So, I'm posting it here.