Fond Du Lac WI is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, Retlaw Hotel. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
The Retlaw Hotel has been operating since 1922. Retlaw is Walter spelled backward, giving credit to Walter Schroeder for his instrumental work in the hotel's creation and commissioning. The Schroeder Hotel Company chain was one of the largest hotel chains in Wisconsin in the 1920s, and his namesake spared no amenities.
Walter Schroeder was a philanthropist, generously donating much money to various organizations. There are strong rumors that Walter was murdered in the hotel in 1967. These rumors have been confirmed as false. He passed away from natural causes in Milwaukee on July 18, 1967.
It has been confirmed that at one point the hotel had many underground tunnels beneath it. From this, speculation rose that these tunnels were used during prohibition for people staying at the hotel. Perhaps they were involved in illegal gaming and/or in speakeasy activities. Some folks even strongly feel that these illegal activities were organized by John Dillinger. Unfortunately, the tunnels became unsafe and were walled up in the late 1980s.
Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has catered to some very important people over the years such as; Alice Cooper, Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Eleanor Roosevelt, President Kennedy, and the First Lady, The Oak Ridge Boys, Gene Autry, Brad Pitt, and Jack Dempsey to name a few.
The hotspot for supernatural events is in Room 717. Guests and staff report hearing a woman's curdling screams coming from the room. While screaming continued, the door was moving as if someone was kicking it from the inside. When they finally opened the door, it was empty. Guests have reported that sometimes they have heard a man calling out, “help me, help me”. Folks have trouble unlocking the door attempting to get inside the room. Guests who have stayed in the room have reported their hair being pulled. Television channels change inexplicably, lights and faucets were turned on and off. There is even banging on the walls.
Another epicenter for the hauntings in this majestic hotel is the ballroom. It is rumored the spectral activity that occurs here could be caused by a man who hanged himself on the second floor, which is now the ballroom. A ghostly couple has been witnessed dancing in the Crystal Ballroom only to vanish moments later. Joining them, a phantom ballerina has been seen dancing in the ballroom. Stomping and dancing noises heard from within the ballroom when no one is present. Brand new candles placed in the ballroom by the staff the night before were found the next morning all burnt down halfway. A green glowing light has been seen under the stage in the ballroom area. Its chandelier has been seen to sway and tremble of its own accord.
Throughout the hotel, guests and the staff have reported events such as disembodied voices, footsteps. They also experience unseen bodies bumping into people. There are also strange humming and whistling noises heard with no explanation. Items have been thrown at the kitchen staff, by an unseen entity. Unexplained movement and activity with the elevators. Unseen bodies have been reported to have bumped into guests and staff.
Apparitions are frequently reported as well. The specter of a redheaded woman in a white bathrobe has also been seen disappearing into walls. She also has been reported that she will disappear down a hallway when people notice her. A man's full apparition is also seen walking through many parts of the hotel, leading to speculation this may be the spirit of Walter Schroeder.
There have been many suicidal attempts here, which may have the manifestations that have not been directly attributed to them. For instance, there is also the story of the ballerina who jumped out of the window in her 7th-floor room as a suicidal act. There is also, the story of the man who committed suicide by throwing himself from the hotel parking ramp about seven years ago.
This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.
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