By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Sep 10, 2020 at 7:01 AM

The Riverside Theater has been empty since March ... or has it? The theater has an eerie reputation as one of the state's most haunted venues – and this Halloween season, you'll be able to investigate the spooky situation for yourself with the Riverside's new ghost tours.

Running Oct. 9-31, the theater will host behind-the-scenes tours allowing ghost-busting guests to explore its ghastly past and ghoulish hot spots in the present with the help of real-life paranormal experts and creepy audio clips from past ghost hunts and terrifying tales.

The Riverside will offer two types of ghost tours in October: the regular hour-long edition and a special three-hour late night version for maximum haunts and horror. The former – available Fridays and Saturdays during its October run as well as Thursday, Oct. 29 – will ghoulishly guide guests through Riverside hot spots and history not normally open to the public, complete with tales from historians, spine-tingling tapes and tales of the unexplained, and bar service before and after your tour to help drink away your chills.

The latter, fittingly available exclusively during the midnight hours (11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.) on Halloween night and the evening before, goes even deeper into the venue's diabolical lore with an enhanced three-hour experience complete with ghost-busting equipment – infrared thermometers, digital voice recorders, a spirit box, EMF detectors – thorough hot spot investigations with paranormal experts and, yes, even a seance on the theater's stage. Plus, you'll receive a special commemorative ghost tour laminate to remember your afterlife adventure.

And to make sure the only thing scaring you during these strange times are the ghosts, the tours will all require masks at all times and limit themselves to groups of ten or less to crowds low and keep distancing high. 

Tickets are on sale for both tours now at the Riverside's website – and considering the late-night version has an extremely limited supply, you'll want to act frighteningly fast. 

An important final note: The only thing scarier than ghosts is the idea of losing iconic venues like the Riverside, the Pabst Theater and more due to the COVID-10 pandemic shutdown. So be sure to sign this petition to Gov. Evers voicing your  support for live entertainment grants and other legislative aid to keep these places alive and well during this outbreak. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.