City Cast

Where to See a Ghost in Madison and More Haunted Places

Natalia Aldana
Natalia Aldana
Posted on October 23
The Orpheum Theater on Park Street in Madison, Wisconsin.

Is the Orpheum Theater haunted!? (Phil Roeder/Flickr)

Sometimes you need a good thrill, and what better time to do so in Madison than during the scary season! For all of you who like to get your heart rate going, the City Cast Madison team spoke to a few Madisonians in the know for some of the best places to seek out the ghosts, ghouls, and haunted places in town.

216 State St.

This notable landmark in Madison opened its doors in 1927 and has hosted vaudeville shows, weddings, and concerts with famous musicians from Bob Dylan to Bob Marley. But its most famous resident is Pete the Projectionist. Legend has it that he committed suicide in the projection booth and his spirit lingers within the theater. Pete has been known to taunt people who have worked there 😲

Lisa Von Buskirk, a Madison ghost host and tour guide, recommends signing up for one of the capitol’s free tours and to take a secret elevator to the top floor and find a spiral staircase from which you can access a balcony. There you can say hi to Frank Smith the Ghost, believed to be one of the steelworkers who helped build the Capitol. Legend has it he fell in the middle of the rotunda while he was trying to place the flag on top of the Capitol. Luckily, Frank is considered a friendly ghost. Think he knows Casper?!

Built fully of masonry and metal materials and perhaps the oldest steel brick building still extant, this over 130-year-old building on the UW-Madison campus will have you feeling like you’re in a haunted castle. City Cast Madison host Bianca Martin remembers navigating twisty, turny halls and random doors during her time there as an undergrad. What could be hiding within these walls?

🎃 Want more scary places to visit? You’ll find details on these and so many more on the City Cast Madison podcast.

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