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Spooks in bars, scares at the fair

Milwaukee prepares for the arrival of Halloween

Published: Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Photo submitted by VISIT Milwaukee)
Shaker's Cigar Bar, which has a haunted penthouse, is part of the spooky Halloween fun in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE – Halloween is drawing near, but it's not too late to experience the spooky side of Milwaukee.

Those who'd like to be involved in a little haunting can spend the night at the Brumder Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Once owned by businessman George Brumder, the mansion was built in 1910. Now it's said to house more than paying guests – mobsters, residents and even musicians.

Two other overnight stays could yield a ghost or two. Charles Pfister may just be at the Pfister Hotel to greet visitors in the hall. Then there's Shaker's Cigar Bar, which has a haunted penthouse. It once was a brothel and the location of a murder. The bar also will host a three-part "The Séance of 422 S. Second St." Wednesday. Reservations are required.

Tonight and tomorrow a Milwaukee Ghost Tour will go into Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward District. The walking tour covers 1 mile. Participants will hear ghost stories, true crimes and history. Tours start at 7 p.m.

Visitors to Milwaukee don't need a dark and stormy night to revel in ghostly appearances. Check out Hauntfest at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds. This haunted house is open through Nov. 3.

Although not everything is suitable for children, other events aim right at them. The Milwaukee County Zoo offers Halloween Trick-o-Treat Spooktacular. The haunted house is open from 6 to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Costumes are welcome to this family-oriented treat.

Also running this weekend is Betty Brinn Children's Museum's Not-So-Scary Halloween. Young children can enjoy indoor activities with craft stations and a scavenger hunt.

Imagine what it would be like to combine Halloween with chocolate. The trick-or-chocolate Halloween bus tours with Milwaukee Food Tours have one final event at 10 a.m. Saturday. The 3-hour family-friendly bus tour goes through haunted areas. Desserts, non-alcoholic drinks and a guide are included in the price.

All in all, Milwaukee really steps up to the plate to provide something for everyone looking for a special way to spend Halloween. It's as easy to enjoy as saying "boo."

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