The Haunted Hotel Pfister

Pfister Hotel
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The Pfister Hotel

1.2 billion years ago two tectonic plates ripped apart, creating a mid-continent rift, which formed what we know today as Lake Michigan.

1,199,999,873 billion years later the Pfister Hotel opened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin three blocks from Lake Michigan. The hotel was the brainchild of Guido Pfister and his son, Charles. Guido passed away in 1889, four years prior to the hotel’s opening. Charles Pfister took over and purchased controlling shares in the hotel, allowing him to complete his father’s vision of a grand hotel. It opened in 1893 and Charles lived there for many years while running the hotel. During that time it was known as the “Grand Hotel of the West” and became a favorite spot for dignitaries and celebrities. A stroke forced Charles to sell in 1927. He died later that year.

82 years later in 2009, the Pfister Hotel was (and still is) the hotel for visiting major league teams in town to play the Brewers. Ballplayers staying at the hotel reported strange occurrences, which have been attributed to Charles not wanting to relinquish control of the day to day business of his hotel. It seems that Charles is also a Brewers fan from beyond the grave, doing what he can to mess with the psyche of visiting ballplayers. How does Charles spin his web of fear? Through object manipulations, electrical anomalies, appearing in ghostly form and stomping around players’ rooms late at night. Not really the best formula for a good night’s sleep before a ballgame.

The Spooked

Electrical Oddities

The earliest major league ballplayer to report oddities at the Pfister Hotel was Adrian Beltre in 2001. At the time Beltre was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Beltre reported his TV and air conditioner turning on and off, as well as a strange knocking at his door.

Fast forward eight years and the haunting of ballplayers increased or at least those willing to admit it increased. In 2009, St. Louis Cardinals middle infielder, Brendan Ryan reported that he saw a light passing through his room. He also noticed a significant temperature decrease. That same year, Pablo Sandoval took what he thought was going to be a relaxing shower, only to have his iPod randomly start playing music. A few years after Pablo’s sonic haunting, Brandon Phillips, former Cincinnati Reds All-Star second baseman, had a similar experience. Phillips was getting ready to take a shower when his radio inexplicably turned on. Spooked, he turned it off and got in the shower. When he was finished showering, Brandon was troubled to find his radio on again.

These Boots Were Made for Haunting

In 2011, Michael Young was having one of his most productive years with the Texas Rangers. He would end the season with an All-Star appearance, lead the American League in hits, and have over 100 RBIs. Young was also visited by Charles’ ghost while staying at the Pfister. After a game, Michael was in his hotel room with the lights out. That’s when the footsteps started. They quickly turned into stomps. Maybe Charles was dancing or possibly fuming around the room over a business deal gone bad, either way, the level headed Young was unnerved.

Irregular Room Service

The 2012 season saw rookie sensation, Bryce Harper, achieving what every young ballplayer dreams of. He finished 30th in MVP voting, appeared in the All-Star game, and won the Rookie of the Year Award. Not a bad start to a career. One lesser-known thing is that he was also formally introduced to Charles Pfister while staying at the ghost’s hotel. One night, Harper, being the responsible young rookie, laid out his clothes on a table for the next day. When he woke the clothes were on the floor and the table was in a different part of the room.

Managerial Coverup

While Clint Hurdle never reported any strange behavior at the Pfister during his ten years as a player in the Majors, he was privy to at least one complaint from a ballplayer during his managerial career. While Hurdle was managing the Pittsburgh Pirates, he said that a player confided in him about an unsettling experience. During the previous night, the player said that twice while trying to sleep his television randomly turned on. The player did not want to be named and Hurdle kept his vow of ghostly silence.

Deadly Serious

As we draw closer to Halloween the dead become more restless and their spirits are seen with greater frequency. There is no better place in the country to experience this other worldly experience than at the “Grand Hotel of the West”, The Pfister Hotel. Just ask any ballplayer who has been forced to stay there. The accommodations are first-rate and the company is to die for. Stay at your own risk.


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