2019 Wisconsin Halloween Activity Guide

Are you looking for some creepy Halloween fun this fall? Fortunately there’s no shortage of strange and spooky here in Wisconsin. From haunted ghost walks and historical cemetery explorations to celebrations of all things macabre, this is your guide to the best 2019 Halloween activities in Wisconsin.

Sputnikfest

Ms. Space Debris Pageant at Sputnikfest in Manitowoc

When: September 7th

In 1962, as the Soviet Sputnik IV satellite fell back to Earth and broke up in the atmosphere, a 20-pound chunk crashed into the streets of Manitowoc. To celebrate, every year the city holds Sputnikfest, a “wacky tacky” festival with comical reenactments, costumes, Ms. Space Debris pageant (judged by comedian Charlie Berens of Da Manitowoc Minute), alien pet contest, and more.

“Sputnik landed here…Why don’t you?”

More info here.

Downtown West Bend Ghost Walk

Downtown West Bend Ghost Walk with author J. Nathan Couch

When: Various dates from Sept. 7th through Nov. 1st

Join author J. Nathan Couch, who has recently appeared on the TRVL Channel series “In Search of Monsters” and History Channel’s “UnXplained,” on a walking tour through downtown West Bend’s peculiar history and bizarre legends, including an old jail where a sheriff may have buried the body of a prisoner he murdered, and a theater from the Vaudeville days where a long-dead manager still makes his rounds. You never know what you might encounter.

More info here.

Friday the 13th Fest

Friday the 13th Fest

When: September 13th

The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference kickoff party includes live horror metal from bands Ratbatspider, Sinister Fate, and Illogical, and a burlesque variety show by Grindhouse Tease.

More info here.

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

When: September 13-15th, 2019

Explore the paranormal at this year’s Milwaukee Paranormal Conference with presentations on strange Milwaukee happenings, lake monsters, Bigfoot, the Lake Michigan Mothman, the haunts of H.H. Holmes, and an amazing selection of vendors.

More info here.

The Night Carnival

The Night Carnival in Milwaukee

When: September 14th, 2019

A whimsical, surreal, and immersive theater experience featuring fire dancing performances by Sisters of the Eclipse and a burlesque extravaganza by the Brew City Bombshells.

More info here.

Rienzi Cemetery Walk

Rienzi Cemetery

When: Date TBA

As far as haunted cemeteries in Wisconsin go, Rienzi has a pretty spooky history. The land occupied by the cemetery was once owned by Nathaniel Tallmadge, who moved here when he became governor of Wisconsin Territory in 1844. Before it was a burial ground, the Tallmadge family communed with the dead on this land and experienced the mysterious, unexpected death of their 19-year-old son William in 1845. Today the cemetery is full of legends of gates to hell and witches, but the real history is far more fascinating. Learn about it from actors in costume portraying the curious historical figures buried in the 170-year-old cemetery.

More info here.

ParaNomiCon

ParaNomiCon at the Mabel Tainter THeater

When: September 27th-28th

Explore the unknown in a beautiful, haunted Mabel Tainter theater for the premiere ParaNomiCon paranormal convention in Menomonie. Guest speakers include Grant Wilson from Ghost Hunters, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, Terry Fisk from Unexplained Research,, Travis Walton whose UFO encounter was the basis for the movie Fire in the Sky, and more.

More info here.

Doors Open Milwaukee

The abandoned crypt in Milwaukee's Calvary Cemetery

When: September 28th & 29th

The annual Doors Open Milwaukee event is a great opportunity to explore two of the city’s historic cemeteries: Calvary and Forest Home. At Calvary you can visit the grave of The Exorcist priest, find the monument dedicated to the lives lost when the Lady Elgin sank in 1860 (I never have) and explore the crypt beneath the crumbling chapel. At Forest Home Cemetery you step inside the Midwest’s first crematorium. In both cemeteries you will find memorials to the 76 people who died in the devastating Newhall House fire in 1883, as well as the extravagant final resting places of Milwaukee’s beer barons.

More info here.

Windigo Fest

Windigo Fest Halloween festival in downtown Manitowoc

When: October 4-6th, 2019

Don’t miss the 3rd annual Windigo Fest! Wisconsin’s largest Halloween festival is three days of spooky fun right in downtown Manitowoc, with a parade, costume contests, hearses, live music, a dark art exhibit featuring grotesque works from local and international artists, and much more. This year includes special guest Miko Hughes (Gage from the original Pet Sematary) and the killer car from Stephen King’s Christine.

More info here.

Whitewater Spirit Tour

Whitewater Spirit Tour

When: October 11th & 12th

There’s a reason why Whitewater has come to be known as Second Salem. The town is full of witches and hauntings, and it all began when Morris Pratt built the world’s first and only institute of Spiritualism here in 1889. Did their efforts to commune with the dead awaken something? Local legend says that every building within the triangle formed by the city’s three cemeteries is haunted. Visit the tomb of self-proclaimed witch Mary Worth, hear the stories of serial poisoners Myrtle Schaude and Nellie Horan, and see the eerie Witches Tower, where many have had strange experiences.

More info and tickets here.

Wisconsin Myth, Monsters, and Legends

Wisconsin Myths, Monsters, and Legends at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend

When: October 26th, 2-3pm

Frank Anderson—animator, director, author, musician, and creator of Wisconsinology—speaks at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend on the origins of monsters and mythology within Wisconsin. His spooky stories range from the Wendigo to the Hodag.

More info here.

Linking Houdini: A Halloween Séance

Halloween Houdini seance in Milwaukee

When: October 31st, 7pm

As part of their current Harry Houdini exhibit, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee will be holding a seance to contact the famous escape artist, whose roots like in Wisconsin. Every year since Houdini’s untimely death, a seance has been held to see if he can escape the grave. Will this be the year?

The event includes a costume contest and tarot readings.

More info here.

Did we miss a spooky Wisconsin Halloween event? Let us know.


 

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