This old school turned haunted house may truly be haunted by a few schoolyard specters
Paranormal Encounters at
- The ghost of a little girl reportedly rolls a ball around the gym
- Apparitions have been seen in the second floor corridor
- Loud footsteps have been reported around the former principal’s office
- A spirit in the band room is said to roll tennis balls around the floor
- Reports of intense negative feelings in the boiler room are common
- Visitors to the third floor have heard loud whispers in their ears, only to find no one near them
- People have claimed to be pushed around the janitor’s workshop
- EMF anomalies have been noted in the cafeteria and band room
- Potential EVPs have been collected by past investigators
From Schooling to Scaring:
History of Brodhead Manor
In the sleepy Wisconsin town of Brodhead, not much stands out. But despite its unassuming persona, some folks think the whole area is haunted. From mysterious burial mounds, paranormal steakhouses, and playgrounds from hell, Brodhead has as much lore-per-capita as Salem, Massachusetts. And one focal point of Brodhead’s ghost stories is the large, red brick building on 10th street.
Once Brodhead’s only school, the old structure has become Brodhead Manor, the local haunted house attraction, having traded out students and teachers for strobe lights and jump scares. But, there may be more than just props and special effects haunting the halls of Brodhead Manor.
From tales of phantom children to shadowy apparitions, claims of real ghosts at Brodhead Manor are nearly as common as the frights from the haunted house.
Timeline of Brodhead Manor's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Brodhead Manor through the years
For many years, education in Brodhead was managed by a network of small schoolhouses. In 1896, the town invested $14,000 to build a single, four-room schoolhouse to serve the community. While a major advancement in local education, the small building was quickly outgrown by the demand for childhood education.
In 1907, a much larger, brick school was built on the site of the four-room schoolhouse, becoming Brodhead’s school for kindergarten to the end of high school.
The 1907 school brought many new luxuries to the local learning experience, including laboratory facilities, well-kept playground spaces, skill training courses, and a special agricultural program. Throughout the new school’s early years, it was led by Principal Carl T. Pfisterer, who would remain at the head of local education for decades afterward, and oversaw the Brodhead school’s continued success throughout the early 1900s.
By the mid-1930s, even the large brick school built in 1907 was no longer adequate to meet the needs of Brodhead schoolchildren. A large addition was built onto the building, nearly doubling its size to 60,000 square feet.
Completed in 1939, the addition included a large library, an expansive gymnasium, and numerous additional classroom spaces. The expansion allowed the school building to continue to serve as the community’s only school for over two more decades.
By 1960, Brodhead had grown too much for a single school to support, and a new, separate high school was dedicated on November 13th of that year. The old red brick school stayed open, now as Brodhead Middle School.
The building continued to educate children up until 9th grade for over 35 more years, until finally being replaced by a modern middle school building in the mid-1990s. The old school building finally closed for good in 1996, and stayed abandoned for over twenty years.
It wasn’t until 2018 when a plan for the old school actually came to fruition: a haunted house called Brodhead Manor. In the years since 2018, the Brodhead Manor haunted house has continually grown each year, and the building’s ghostly lore has grown alongside it.
From claims of paranormal encounters during remodeling, to real spooky experiences from haunted house attendees, Brodhead Manor has quickly developed a name for itself as Southern Wisconsin’s most haunted haunted house.
Haunted Band Room at Brodhead Manor
The ghost of Elizabeth isn’t the only one at Brodhead Manor known for rolling balls. In the upstairs band room, another ghost is said to roll tennis balls down the tiered platforms of the band room.
At other points, visitors and proprietors have found the band room tennis balls all the way down nearby staircases, but always carefully placed and centered at the bottom of the steps, as if the band room specter placed them there specifically.
Brodhead Manor’s Paranormal Principal
One ghost of Brodhead Manor has been reported since the days when it was still an active middle school. Throughout the late 20th century and into today, the ghost of former principal Carl Pfisterer has reportedly been roaming the second-floor hall, around his former office.
He is often said to stomp around the floor, both in the former office and in the room directly above it. Those who have heard these noises claim it sounds like Principal Pfisterer is trying to keep people out of his workspace.
Surprising Spirits of Brodhead Manor
On the top floor of the school, there’s said to be a spirit who loves to surprise people. While no one is quite sure who this spirit is, their encounters all have similar claims. The spirit on the third floor is notorious for whispering loudly in peoples’ ears.
Those who have experienced this say the ghost seems to wait until their most inopportune or vulnerable time to accost them, whether that’s going to the third floor alone, or standing on the top rung of a ladder doing renovation work.
In recent years, many paranormal investigations have been performed at Brodhead Manor, resulting in even more paranormal claims. EVPs are said to be captured throughout the building, sometimes accompanied by audible disembodied voices.
Unexplainable EMF spikes are also common, especially around the band room and the former cafeteria space in the basement.