Tag Archives: masonic

Photo gallery: Madison Ghost Walk

Situated between two large lakes, the beautiful, old capital town of Madison has European roots dating back to the 1820s, but Native American presence here dates back nearly 12,000 years.  The haunted history of this city has a lot to draw on – from the ancient mounds that still dot the landscape (though many were built over, possibly leading to more unrest), to the murders, eccentric characters and accidents that make up any town’s history.


This little strip of land has enough paranormal activity to support not one or two, but THREE downtown walking tours, including one that specifically focuses on the UW Campus.

Click on the banner above to book your own tour – there’s never an ‘off season’ for ghost stories!  And keep in mind that the tour company, operated by paranormal podcast host, Mike Huberty, has tours across the Wisconsin (Lake Geneva, Milwaukee, Waukesha & the Dells) & Minnesota (St. Paul, Minneapolis & Stillwater).  You can book inquire about tours, including private tours in any of this listed towns at this link.

I checked out one of the downtown Madison tours with our incredible guide, Lisa Van Buskirk, a firefighter who has unique insight to Madison’s dark, true and sometimes hidden stories.

To check out a photo gallery from our tour:

Captions, clockwise from top, left:

1. Capitol Building – built on the grounds of the original, burned building. Fascinating ghost story involving a painting!
2. Old hotels and apartment buildings have all the stories!  And the Lorraine Hotel has a very unique claim to a bit of crime history!
3. This classic, 100+ year old building (commonplace in Madison) boasts a tie to Thomas Jefferson & a ghostly couple still seen in an upper window.
4. One of the absolute highlights of the tour (in my opinion), is Madison’s Masonic Lodge.  They are just now starting to make their ghost stories known – thanks to the prodding of our ‘vampy’ tour guide.
5. Madison’s US Federal Court building has at least one post-mortem employee still occupying an office.  Time will tell if loose lips will start exposing more stories!

Do you know about another haunted Madison location?  Or do you have a personal experience or know an interesting fact about one of the locations listed here?  Leave a comment on this post and share!

If you are interested in more haunted Madison locations, check out our posts on Sanitarium Hill and the Wonder Bar.

Where Masons go to rest: Mountain View Mausoleum

by Scott Markus
Mountain View MauoleumMountain View Mauoleum

Another film shoot has brought me to an amazing location that might eventually be covered in my next book.  This time it was a week long shoot in Altedena (near Pasadena), CA called Mountain View Mausoleum.  Unlike another recent film shoot that landed me in the famously haunted Linda Vista Hospital in East LA, there are no known reports of hauntings at this location.  I must also say, that in my four days at this location, I didn’t feel anything other than excitement for the location, which is not the case when it came to Linda Vista.

The initial excitement certainly came from the overall beauty of the site.  It was absolutely epic in scale.  The the building seems large from the outside, but feels even larger within.  When you think you’ve seen the entire place, you find another corridor that leads you to another chain of hallways.

Mountain View Mauoleum

Mountain View MauoleumI snapped the top picture on my first day and immediately Dan Melone chimmed in from Chicago on it, comparing it to one of Chicago’s Freemason resting places, Acacia Park Cemetery.  So, with partner in crime Kyle Jolly, we scoured the place, finding all sorts of symbols.  Kyle had a surprising amount of knowledge and I’m entirely new to the Masonic conspiracy theories.  I haven’t even seen or read “Di Vinci Code.”

The entire place was covered with symbols, from some familiar, though still interesting like the one on the left, to the more elusive carvings over the front door (are those chickens in the above picture?).

Mountain View MauoleumI hadn’t seen so much stained glass in a mausoleum (or anywhere for that matter) since Chicago’s famed Rosehill Cemetery, which has the largest collection of real Tiffany glass in the world, but, even Rosehill doesn’t have entire, long, hallways of stained glass ceilings.

Beauty and majesty aside for a moment, one chilling moment (though not at all paranormal) happened when we were filming in one room that was referred to in the script as the “storage room.”  Turned out it was the room where the cremations happened.  Being a production that had rented out the entire place, we had full access to both the viewing room and the “business end.”  Again, a chilling place to be standing, but nothing paranormal (pictures of both are posted below).

There are apparently 120,000 interments in the mausoleum and surrounding cemetery, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there were some ghost stories associated with the place.  If you have any stories of your own or even just any additional interesting facts about this location OR if you want to start a discussion about the Freemasons, conspiracies, etc, just leave it in the comments below!
Mountain View Mauoleum Mountain View MauoleumI did return to this location a week later with friend Max Timm.  He has similar interests in the unknown, the paranormal and conspiracy theories, so I knew he would appreciate this place.  In addition, I brought along an EMF detector.  This was far from a formal investigation, but I was curious if I would get any strange readings.  Mountain View Mausoleum did not disappoint.  I had one of my most direct responses ever after requesting, “If anyone is here with us, can you please come up and touch the device in my hand.”  The needle started jumping around almost instantly.

Max wasn’t present by that point.  He had been overcome, feeling sick to his stomach.  His only concern was leaving the building immediately.  Sitting outside of the mausoleum was the only remedy that made him feel any better.  Was there something from the other side that was effecting Max?  We don’t know for sure, but his feelings would not be considered uncommon at a strongly haunted location.

Video from our trip, including the incident with the EMF detector, can be found here (skip ahead to the 6 minute mark to see the Mountain View footage: