Paranormal Reports at
- The apparition of a speakeasy bouncer is seen in the basement
- Loud banging and knocking noises have been heard in the backstage of the theater
- Visitors have been grabbed by unseen forces
- The entity of George Brumder Jr. has been seen lingering between two rooms
- Mysterious blood spots have been seen in bathtubs
- EMF anomalies and similar equipment response has been recorded in second floor suites
- Drawers on dressers in the Gold Room reportedly move in and out on their own
- Sinks on the third floor reportedly turn on and off by themselves
- The apparition of a doctor has been seen on upper floors
- The entity of a little boy is known to move objects on the third floor
- Plugs will be unplugged by unseen forces on the third floor
In the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just a few blocks from the Pabst Mansion and the Ambassador Hotel, is a historic if unassuming bed & breakfast.
The Brumder Mansion may be just one of a few large, old homes in the neighborhood, but it stands out from the crowd, and not just because it’s the only mansion on the block built with a particular shade of blood red brick. The Brumder Mansion screams that it has stories, and it’s got a few, most of them ghost stories.
As local legend tells it, the spirits of the Brumder family can still be found lingering through the halls, and they may not be the only phantoms calling the B&B home today.
Ghosts of mafia enforcers and mysterious doctors also reportedly reside within. It seems many souls have found they don’t want to check out from their life at the Brumder Mansion. And, after your stay, you may not want to either.
Timeline of Brumder Mansion's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Brumder Mansion through the years
George Brumder Sr. spent the late 1800s making a great success of himself in Milwaukee. He began in 1864 as a bookseller, and quickly branched out into publishing, becoming a force to be reckoned with in Milwaukee’s German-language publishing industry. By the 1890s, Brumder had a booming business and a growing family supporting him through what would be the last decades of his prosperous life. In the early 1900s, George decided to use his wealth to build homes for his children, and in 1910, this effort built Brumder Mansion.
Built for George Brumder Jr. and his wife Thekla, the 8,000 square foot Brumder Mansion was a grand affair, with more than enough space for the couple and their three children. Unfortunately for George Sr., he died shortly before the home’s completion and never got to enjoy its comforts. George Jr., however, lived in the stately mansion well into the 1920s. But, by 1927, George Jr. and his wife had moved out of the home to another family estate, selling the red brick manor to Sam Peck and his brother Ed.
Sam and Ed Peck decided to use Brumder Mansion, and its wide open basement ballroom, as a speakeasy in the thick of prohibition. Both brothers reportedly had ties to Al Capone and made quick work of building up the Brumder’s speakeasy operation. In no time, the basement became a hopping club, and rumor has it the upstairs bedrooms became a brothel. But, by 1932, prohibition was on its way out, and Sam Peck had a bigger club, Club Madrid, to keep afloat. Eventually, he soon sold off the mansion to other, more legally-minded owners.
Between the 1930s and 1940s, Brumder Mansion became a boarding house, but in 1948 it saw a major shift in use: a parsonage. The nearby Our Savior’s Lutheran Church built a large cathedral next door to the mansion and used it as housing. It stayed a parsonage until the late 1960s, when the church charity, the Next Door Foundation, moved its offices into Brumder Mansion. The foundation kept offices upstairs, and used the lower floors for a Christian coffee house in the evenings.
After years of varied use, Brumder Mansion was restored in 1997 by Carol and Robert Hirschi. The Hirschi’s brought back the home’s original, historic splendor and opened it as a bed & breakfast. They also converted the former basement ballroom / coffee shop into the small theater still in use today. Purchased by the current owners in 2008, Brumder Mansion continues to greet guests as a B&B today. But, alongside living visitors, many now say spirits of former tenants and those of the Brumder family still haunt the mansion’s corridors.
Brumder Mansion’s Haunted Basement
In the Brumder Mansion’s basement, the hauntings can be as different as the area’s use over the years. One spirit often reported in the basement is Joe, reportedly a former mafia enforcer who served as the speakeasy’s bouncer.
Joe’s apparition is reportedly seen in the far corner of the theater by performers on stage, as if he’s still catching shows on his breaks at the speakeasy. Joe has also been known to get handsy at times, grabbing at people just to startle them.
Other strange activity has been reported in the basement, both in the theater and maintenance areas.
Loud, unexplained thumping and banging have been heard in the long backstage corridors, and at least one person has reported the sensation of electricity running through them in the basement storage spaces.
Brumder Mansion’s Mischievous Phantom
On the mansion’s third floor, the ghost of a young boy reportedly runs around causing mischief. Though not much is known about the boy, he reportedly moves small objects around guest rooms. He has also been heard laughing in the third floor halls, though anyone who tries to find him will find themselves curiously alone on that floor.
In one particular third floor suite, the Gyenth, guests have often reported being awakened in the night by the sensation of some unseen person getting into bed with them. The third floor of the Brumder Mansion is also well-known for its haunted plumbing. The faucets on sinks and tubs have been known to turn on and off at strange times and for unexplained reasons.
The Good Doctor Ghost of Brumder Mansion
One spirit commonly encountered on the third floor is referred to as The Good Doctor. Said to be the ghost of a doctor who once kept an office on that floor, The Good Doctor can be a bit of a prankster, like the previously mentioned little boy. He is known for pulling electrical cords out of sockets and pushing a particular vent out of the wall of one of the third floor suits.
Perhaps most chillingly though, is the claim from one guest that the apparition of The Good Doctor once rose up from the floor in the night, stared at them for a moment, and then sank back down into the depths of the mansion’s hardwood.