Phantom in the Attic

The Milwaukee home of Fred and Walburga Oesterreich

Wealthy Milwaukee businessman Fred Oesterreich wasn’t superstitious, so it didn’t take much for his wife Walburga to convince him that the missing items in their home were misplaced by him while drinking, and that the strange noises he heard were all in his head.

Fred even sought help from a doctor, who prescribed him a tranquilizer to ease his likely stress-induced delusions.

Still, the strange happenings continued for years, following the couple for years as they moved around three homes in Milwaukee. And, when Fred decided to open another branch of his business in California in 1918, the phantom went right along with them to their new Los Angeles home.

But Walburga knew more than she was letting on, and her bizarre secret was hiding just behind the padlocked door to the attic.

This odd true tale that began in Milwaukee and culminated in a mysterious murder in LA is the subject of the latest episode of the Lore podcast called “The Devil in the Details.” Listen to it right here.

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